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Surviving & Thriving: A True Story - With Guest, John Ramstead [Podcast]

Episode 120: Michael and Kathryn talk to John Ramstead, leadership coach and founder of BeyondInfluence.com, about his Christian faith journey and the near fatal accident that changed his life. This very special episode is about hope in the face of adversity and discovering how to live one's best life. Whatever your beliefs, we hope you give this episode a listen and are encouraged on your own entrepreneurial journey.

Podcast size John Ramstead HV Podcast (2)


In This Episode You Will...

  • Discover how John miraculously survived a near fatal horseback riding accident.
  • Find out how the accident changed the way he sees life, his relationships, and his business.
  • Learn how hope can be the way forward if you are facing difficulties right now.
“Everything that you are going through right now- you'll look back on it someday, and will say 'That prepared me for what I'm doing now.' ...Hold onto the fact that by the end of the year it could be better. That will help you keep taking that next small step forward."
- John Ramstead

Resiliency Quiz

References:

Eternal  Leadership (Podcast)
Beyond Influence

 

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Michael:
              Hi there. Welcome to HaBO village podcast. I'm Michael Redman.


Kathryn:
               And I'm Kathryn Redmond.


Michael:
              And we're really excited. You're with us today. You know what? You're going to get a really unique episode and you know by listening to this, that Katheryn and I have a very strong faith in Christ and we talk about it. We mention it periodically, but this podcast doesn't focus on that.


Kathryn:
               Right. It doesn't focus on it. And so today's episode really will and we just want to give you a heads up about that. Just as a way of honoring you and yeah.


Michael:
              We know that not all of you I have a Christian faith and some of you don't even believe in God and we love you and we bless you. And well, we thank you for listening to us and we want to respect that. And we know that. And we know that part of the reason you listen to us is because of the other content we bring. We just want to honor you today and let you know, hey, if you're going to stick around for this next episode, it's a powerful episode. It's a story about a man who had incredible adversity in his life, beyond what most of us ever go through, has had incredible success in his life, more than most of us ever have and his story on how it took a left turn and took him through some dark places and how he came back. But God is a very critical part of his story so we want to let you know that.


Kathryn:
               And we hope you'll listen because there's incredible hope in this episode. And even if you're not a faith based person, the story alone should encourage you, that you can get through just about anything.


Michael:
              And John is a great speaker and he's super engaging and warm and fun to listen to.


Kathryn:
               Yeah. And these days we need all the encouragement we can get. I just encourage you to listen.


Michael:
              Yeah. All right. Without any further ado, we're going to launch into the episode, the way we recorded it.


Michael:
              Hello and welcome to the HaBO Village podcast. I'm Michael Redman.


Kathryn:
               And I'm Kathryn Redman.


Michael:
              And today we have a very special guest who's a friend of ours, who we think you're going to really enjoy listening to the conversation we have with him because I'm so excited about having the conversation with him. John Ramstead, he's our friend. I love his bio. I loved your bio. I really did. And those of you who don't understand, we get bios from people who do interviews. And when we go, we send our bio and everybody reads it and all that kind of stuff. One, John's been married 25 years and that's the way he starts out his bio. I think that's just real important for you to understand. That and then he's got three kids and they are, I'm just going to read.


John:
     And the marriage came first, which I'm really proud of.


Kathryn:
               Very good.


Michael:
              And you should be.


Kathryn:
               Well done. Well done.


John:
     Although I do have a grandson who from my son who was in high school at the time. You know what?


Kathryn:
               You know what?


John:
     We're all here for a reason. How's that?


Kathryn:
               How did things get out of order.


John:
     We're all here for a reason.


Michael:
              "Without the incredible support of God, my family and amazing friends, I wouldn't be the person I am today," he says. "As I recovered, I sought direction." I'm just going to read this to you folks, because I think I liked it this much. "As I recovered."


Kathryn:
               As I recovered.


Michael:
              Oh, you know what? I skipped a sentence.


Kathryn:
               You did skip a sentence. It's kind of an important one.


Michael:
              An important part of the whole conversation. Wow. This is raw today.


Michael:
              "It's been three years since a near fatal accident changed the trajectory of my life. Without the incredible support of God, my family and amazing friends I wouldn't be the person I am today. As I recovered," I feel like I'm reading a letter to me that's just, this is to you personally. "As I recovered, I sought direction of why God saved me and what he wants me to do. He led me to a new calling, taking the life he's given me and pour it into others to equip and inspire them to work in his kingdom. My 25 years as a Navy fighter pilot," I'm excited to hear a little bit about that, "entrepreneur, Fortune 500 management team member and a board chair has led me to serve others towards extraordinary lives, businesses and a personal relationship with Jesus Christ."


Michael:
              I like this. It's really good. John, welcome to the show. Thank you very much. And thank you for just being a cool guy and a good friend. Even though we have not had a lot of time to spend talking, I feel like, gosh, it's been two and a half years now.


John:
     I know, we've had some great conversations and we need to get together in person. Road trip. Road trip to Chico is what I'm thinking.


Michael:
              We did, we were within a few miles of your house and then that didn't happen.


Kathryn:
               You were so busy. You didn't have time for us. It's the way it works out.


Michael:
              The little people in life.


John:
     I think I had nap time scheduled.


Kathryn:
               Oh no, you were cleaning out your sock drawer or something like that. I don't remember.


John:
     When was that? That was during coronavirus, though wasn't it?


Kathryn:
               Early March, right as everything started to shut down.


Michael:
              The week the governor shut it down we were there. We were there before it and after it. It's kind of like we straddled the line.


John:
     Oh yeah. When you guys, I was actually speaking at one of the last conferences that kicked off and then we have some family members that are immunocompromised and my wife was like, "Yeah, don't leave the house." We even had groceries delivered for two months straight.


Michael:
              Oh you did.


Kathryn:
               Wow.


John:
     Yeah. Seriously. Yeah. We were. And we had the entire family here, so I had all three of my boys, my daughter-in-law, my grandson, my wife and I, two dogs. We were all together for almost four months. And I got to tell you, it was the best part of the whole thing. We cooked together. We had amazing conversations. We did game nights. We watched movies. It was awesome. Now that things are loosening up, my one son's back in college, John and Casey have moved back into their apartment, but we just wanted all be together so now it's just Donna and I and my 16 year old. But I think that honestly built a foundation that we're going to look back on for the rest of our lives and saying, "You know what? That's really where our family just really got strong."


Kathryn:
               That's awesome.


Michael:
              It's really interesting because it was like the whole world, and some people were not focused on the positive side, but we hit the pause button. And you just don't get to pause everything at the same time ever in life. It just doesn't happen. That's pretty cool. But that leads me into my first question. Let's talk about the accident because in that intro, that's a pivot point. And I know for you, that's a major pivot point in your life.


Kathryn:
               What were you doing before? What happened?


Michael:
              And why was the accident such a big deal? Let's just describe what happened.


John:
     Well, let's see. What I was doing before. I had been at a Wall Street company for seven years. And before that I'd been a Fortune 100 company, before that a technology company and before that I'd been an entrepreneur. I was tired of just the bureaucracy of these giant organizations. And I had decided, I'm going to go start my own thing. I found some people, we had actually just started our own company and this is in 2011, the spring.


John:
     Five months later as we're in the middle of trying to build a new company, I'd also gotten involved in politics here in Colorado. And I got invited up to a retreat with Dr. James Dobson and a ranch in Montana. And I got in on Thursday and on Friday we were going to ride horses to the back of the property and have lunch and get to know the small group that was there. 14, 15 people and I was the first one saddled and I'm on a horse. I grew up in Minnesota so we just did trail rides. That's what I was expecting. My horse starts trotting away from the fence, which is really uncomfortable because you're just going ba bam. You guys horse people?


Michael:
              I grew up riding horses. Yeah.


Kathryn:
               I've ridden a few times. Yeah.


Michael:
              When you're in a trot, you're just bouncing on that saddle, just like a jackhammer kind of thing.


John:
     Yeah, I didn't know to stand up. This is really uncomfortable and all of a sudden he just bolts and he takes off, he does 90 degree turn and I'm laying flat on my back and his rump is pounding me in the shoulder blades and I'm scared to death I'm going to flip off the back of this horse and get kicked in the head and die. There's only one thing I know to do in that moment. And that was just squeeze as hard as I could with my legs. Now I had not read the owner's manual, but you probably know what I was telling the horse. Don't you Michael?


Michael:
              I do.


Kathryn:
               Faster.


Michael:
              No.


John:
     Yes.


Michael:
              Yeah, he took of more.


John:
     Go faster. And he responded and we found out later he was actually a trained cutting horse. He wasn't even supposed to be in this lineup.


Michael:
              Oh my goodness.


John:
     I didn't even know what a cutting horse was. I thought that was a breed. No, evidently that's really high level of training for leg commands so bad combination.


Michael:
              It was like a sports car with a touchy pedal for people.


John:
     Yes, it was. Okay. That's a great analogy. I'm going to have to remember that one. Yeah, so he hit afterburners, dude. He's flat out. I was able to get my weight back up in the saddle and there's a fence line all the way along my right hand side and maybe 80 yards down, straight in front of me is a whole series of paddocks and they're made of these three inch rolled steel beams. And then to the left of the paddocks, it's completely clear up to the mountain. I'm looking at this as we're accelerating straight down this pasture and I'm like, okay, all I have to do is turn to the left and we're good to go and I can figure out how to slow this beast down. And I grab the rein and I pulled firmly to get them to turn to the left and he just pulled his heads straight back and we didn't even break stride. Didn't turn at all. I was like, hello?


Michael:
              Ah, yeah. Yeah.


Kathryn:
               Hello? Now what? Okay.


John:
     I grabbed the rein and I pulled even harder to get him to turn and he just pulled his head straight back again. What I didn't even know is that, and maybe it would have stopped him I would have had to probably use both hands and pull his chin all the way down to my left ankle, my heel.


Michael:
              And even the way you're describing it, I don't even know if that would have helped.


John:
     Well he was now flat out run and we're going faster. We're going faster. The fence is getting closer and I'm starting to panic. And I remember thinking, I got to jump off this horse. If I jump of this horse, I'm going to die. If I die, I'm going to break my neck. Literally complete overload. Now I've been in combat. I've been shot at. I've raised three teenagers. Nothing prepared me for that moment. And I remember he had not slowed down. We're flat out, wind's in my hair, hooves thundering, 20 yards in front of the fence, everything slows down. Perfect moment of clarity. I remember saying, "This is not going to end well." That's the last thing I remembered.


John:
     And our friend, our mutual friend, Steve Rider was there. He said, "What happened was is this horse came into the fence and he dropped his butt and then he bucked so hard, he flipped over and landed on the ground on his side and slammed into the fence rump first." And when he did that, he'd launched me Superman headfirst into that steel corral fence. I broke every bone in my skull, I believe or fractured it except for my jaw and my right cheek bone. Caved in the whole left side of my skull. I broke my neck, shattered my right shoulder. Everything tendon was ripped off, bones broken. And then the next bar down hit me in the chest. I broke four ribs and punctured my left lung. And I woke up on the ground in more pain, I don't remember hitting the fence. That's gone thankfully. But I woke up into more pain that I could even describe. Panic, fear, overwhelm. And you know that saying, God, doesn't give you more than you can handle.


Kathryn:
               You were pretty sure he was lying about that moment.


John:
     Yep. that's not true. I'm convinced. I actually tried to find that in scripture, not biblical.


Kathryn:
               Nope. Don't love it. Nope, this is too much.


John:
     Yep. Yep. We exceeded John's ability to cope. But what happened was, I didn't know this, but this was all cut open here. This was hard for, head wounds are kind of ugly because this is all caved in and cut open and I'm riding around and yelling and screaming. I don't know I'm doing this, but I could feel people holding me down my head, my shoulders, my hips. Thank goodness, because I should be a quadriplegic like Christopher Reeves because I broke C2 and C4 in my neck, the very top. And all of a sudden, one of the guys externally said, "All of a sudden, I just saw you relax completely and just start breathing normally and then stop." He thought he had just watched me die. But it was in that moment that I was in God's presence. He was standing next to me. He didn't come and appear. He didn't come down. He was actually already there and just revealed himself, was my understanding, which was crazy for me at the time, kind of where I was at. We can talk about that too.


John:
     And I immediately felt the most, this love, it was had a power to it, an energy. It was pulsating and it had, it was nothing I've ever experienced in my life. It was, and it was also personal. This was not some universal energy. This was God loving John like you two as a couple. When you just love each other and you're sitting there next to each other and you just feel that love like this is personal. And it was so unconditional. I knew in that moment, everything I had ever done in the past, good, bad or otherwise was not even relevant to the relationship and the love that God had for me in the present.


John:
     And that I got to tell you that was eyeopening for me because I did not understand God's nature until that moment. Because I always, I guess, projected human relationships and how humans interact. Truly understanding what unconditional love meant for me was really hard because I'd never had that before until that moment when I felt it and I knew it was true. And I remember the first thought that crossed my mind in that moment was thinking, I'm not worthy of somebody loving me like this. And then I just felt that, you know that power that was emanating, it was like, it literally had a physical way to it almost like you're at the edge of an ocean and you're at the beach and the waves are coming in and washing up over your body. And as I felt this, the peace was unreal and all the pain and panic and fear that I had was completely taken away. It was gone. Not even a memory, just gone. That's what they were observing from outside is that it was taken away.


Kathryn:
               Wow.


John:
     And then I heard God's voice speak to me, came from everywhere and nowhere. It was not that deep James Earl Jones voice. Honestly, that's kind of what I was expecting as soon as he started talking. That's just kind of how weird I am. It was this strong, calm voice and it came from everywhere and nowhere and it wasn't to my ears like we would communicate. It was almost like a consciousness flowing through me. It was like communicating spirit to spirit. And what God said was, "All things work together for good for those that love the Lord." And then he said, "John, I'm going to heal you and use this for my glory." And then he said, "The Lord giveth, the Lord taketh away. Blessed be the name of the Lord." And as soon as he said that, I knew my left eye was permanently blind. He just gave me that knowledge, which it is. All the bones behind my left eye socket shattered and severed the optic nerve. My eye is not connected to my brain on the left side.


Michael:
              It tracks though.


John:
     Yeah. I'm incredibly fortunate. People that have this kind of injury, almost everybody, their eye drifts off and eventually has to be replaced with a prosthetic. And if anybody out there listening, if you met me and you looked, you could tell that it's just a little bit off, but it does track. And if you meet me, you don't know unless I tell you.


Kathryn:
               We've had many conversations and I didn't know until just now.


John:
     Yeah, if I come in really close, you guys are looking at me, you can see.


Michael:
              Yeah, yeah, I can see.


John:
     The one eye's just off a little bit.


Michael:
              But when I watched you thinking. Folks, were talking about this, because you're not seeing it, when you think and your eyes dart in different directions to access stuff in your mind, you did that. You looked to your left and both your eyes moved at the same time.


Kathryn:
               Right. That's so interesting.


Michael:
              Two and a half years into this relationship, I didn't know that you couldn't see out of that eye.


Kathryn:
               That's awesome.


John:
     Yeah. That's why, if we do meet, I'll make sure you sit on my right or that Kathryn sits on my right hand side and Michael you're on my left hand side.


Kathryn:
               Smart move.


Michael:
              Yeah. You don't need to see me anyway.


Kathryn:
               I'm much better looking.


Michael:
              I know, way. Okay let's break it down.


Michael:
              But I just knew. It was interesting afterwards. I had some people praying for my healing and they were really upset with me. Some Christians and they said, "I'm praying for healing of your eye." You're not believing in us. I'm like, no, I'm dude. I just knew in that moment, it's permanently blind unless God chooses to heal it in a way that's going to serve him. And I'm totally good with that. I had some people upset with me because they felt like I was the block between me and healing, which was interesting. But anyway, I woke up, well I didn't wake up. I opened my eyes and everybody's around me. I could hear him. Steve was there, Dr. Dobson was there and I said calmly, "God's here. You don't have to worry. It's going to be okay."


Michael:
              Now the thing was the woman who was next to me, holding me down, been a paramedic up there. She's a believer for 30 years. She saw that my skull was crushed in. My neck's broken. I ended up being, just put this in context, I was in ICU for five weeks and then I was transferred to a specialty hospital that just does traumatic brain injury. Had a severe traumatic brain injury for 20 months. Had 23 surgeries. I had my skull taken off twice to do craniotomies to repair things. When I got to Gregg Haas, they didn't expect me to survive. As a matter of fact, I was acting so normal right after the accident, they called my wife and said, "John got thrown off a horse. And you need to come up from Denver."


Michael:
              We were in Denver, and up to Montana to bring him home. And then they life flight me. For the hour I was waiting, this is just the after effect of being in God's presence, I felt zero pain. Everybody that was there said I didn't complain of any pain. I was talking normally. I would repeat some questions. They knew, okay, definitely something's happened here, but seems to be doing pretty good. They got the bleeding stopped. They get me to the hospital, do a CT scan and Dr. Dobson, imagine this Kathryn, he called my wife and said, "Hey, you need to get up here and bring your boys. It doesn't look good." They didn't think I was going to make it through the night once they assessed me medically. And then we heard from three other doctors afterwards that what happened to you is not survivable.


Michael:
              I had one doctor, who'd been a doctor in Iraq who totally walked away from his faith from what he saw and experienced over there. Said that he just watching me as an observer, he was my anesthesiologist during one of my surgeries. And I shared the story of being in God's presence to him right before he put me under. I did that to everybody, I shared the story to everybody who'd listen, whether they wanted to or not. But he started watching my recovery. And he said, he followed up with me about three years after the accident, which was eight years ago was when the accident happened. He said he's totally reconnected and come back to his faith in Christ watching me recover because it's not medically, physically possible to recover so God was involved. And then I had to start acknowledging that God is real and what does that mean to me? And so it's just how God has used this has been incredible.


Michael:
              Pre the accident, where were you with god?


John:
     Well, let's see. I was 43 years old. I grew up in church. Going to church every Sunday. Never connected to a personal relationship. Go in the Navy, become a fighter pilot. Work hard, play hard, do all that stuff.


Michael:
              How long were you a Navy pilot?


John:
     Seven years. I got when I'm 27 and I was supposed to go to the Top Gun. I got orders to go to Top Gun, life long dream realized. And I got the next weekend after I got told this, I'm playing softball and I got hit with a line drive in my right eye and had nerve damage.


Kathryn:
               Wow.


John:
     And Clinton was drawn down. This is 95, Clinton's drawing down the Navy. I was asked to leave. And so you have your dream completely ripped out, your identity. My identity was being a fighter pilot. My identity was everything about the Navy and it's gone. And the only job I could find was selling cellphones. I was going door to door seeing if anybody was home to buy a cellphone from me. And the sounds of my dreams roaring overhead back into Miramar.


John:
     And I was devastated, bitter, angry, depressed. And it was in that time, Michael, that three men connected with me and reached out to me and started mentoring me and showed me and tried to figure out what I could do next and recast an identity, a vision and a purpose. And it was through that process, to served me and helped me, that these guys led me to the Lord when I was 27. Was this amazing conversion experience. But here's what happened was I was such an infant in just so many things internally. I had this new faith. I started getting into business, I go, it should be easier now. It wasn't. I started a company and it failed. Here's what happened was the thing about that first love, that true north that the Lord is, that that relationship is, and I let myself just slowly drift away from that.


John:
     Love that Casting Crowns' song, a man doesn't fall in the day. The name of the song is A Slow Fade. And it wasn't a moral, slow fade, it was a relational, slow fade. I started giving myself the credit. If I had to overcome something, I just figured my model was, I'll just outwork everybody around me. Now fast forward 20 years, right before the accident. Everybody knew me in town as a believer. We went to church most Sundays. But that was not where my strength came from, if that makes sense. And I was a place that I would describe at the time, just before my accident, of just absolutely smoldering discontent because that connection had gotten, that gap had gotten so big. I was trying to fill it for me with work, with the next promotion, with how much I made, with starting nonprofits, with what boards that I'm on.


John:
     I was working 70, 80 hours a week. I was working with my kids' teams. I just felt like I had to do more. And eventually, and then I was miserable. There was times I didn't want to come home because of the environment I had created my home. I know for a fact there's times my wife and kids probably didn't want me to come home. I was just a grump. I was always short tempered and frustrated, but it was me. I don't know if my wife and I would be married today, had the accident not happened because I think of who I was at the time. Do I want to put up with this guy for another 20 years? Enough.


Michael:
              Would you go through the accident again?


John:
     Oh yeah. I know I can't take it back so it's easy to say yes, but I got to tell you, I look back today, Michael, I get to do work I love. I get to serve leaders. I get to work. I have a marriage today that I'd always dreamed of. My wife and I were just sitting on the couch yesterday afternoon, we both kind of had a break and we're just sitting there, TV's off, holding hands, talking, snuggling. And then we both just took a little power nap, curled up on each other's shoulders. We just have an amazing life. I have my relationship. I had a brain injury, I had lost complete control because it had been damaged, of what are called a social filters, my emotional control. And what are called, what are they called? Executive function.


John:
     Think about this. My poor kids, they were 14, 12 and eight. They'd come in just being kids. My brain literally cannot handle noise. I could not be in a room with noise and anything repetitive, clapping or any snapping fingers, my brain literally would just freak out.


Michael:
              How long did it take to curve through that? Because obviously.


John:
     Three years. And that was frustrating to me too. The kids would come in and I would start screaming at them and swearing at them. And I didn't know, I had no feedback loop saying, "This is being hurtful. This is wrong. This is bad." And then afterwards, as I calmed down on my wife would get me to a quiet room and then say, "Hey, you can't do that." The whole time I worked with a neuropsychologist to help me understand some of these things. But I damaged my relationships with my kids. No doubt. And something that was compounding on that though, and it was when I was listening to Henry Blackaby talk about spiritual strongholds. I just had this epiphany. My stronghold was, I was angry at God because he said at the accident, he was going to heal me, which he did, but he didn't heal me the way I thought he would. Hey Lord, this is taking what now? A brain heal's really slow. It's three years, four years. It's now eight years. I'm still not a 100%. I know for a fact I'm not.


John:
     But when I said, "You know what? I'm angry." This is why, these surgeries, the pain that I was in constantly, just miserable physically, emotionally. When I heard Blackaby say that, I went to God said, "Man, I'm angry that this doesn't make sense." God was like, "Yeah, I know. You should have told me this earlier."


Kathryn:
               Come on team.


John:
     Yeah, I know, but I got to tell you though, that was the start though, understanding that. Because I went to my boys and I each one of them and I'll do this without getting incredibly emotional. But I remember being on my knees and saying, "Forgive me, I've been angry at God. That anger has come out in you. It's hurt our relationship. I know I've caused you pain. Will you forgive me? Or when you can, would you please forgive me? I want us to have an amazing relationship. This is my focus. This is all I'm going to work on with you and I."


John:
     And I remember sitting there with my son, my one of my sons who I think emotionally this affected more than the other ones, just sitting there holding each other, crying for a long time. At this time he was 14, 15. And today though, what I would tell you is me and each one of my boys, they're my best friends. That's why our family, when we had COVID and we were all together was one of the biggest blessings ever because we have worked so hard and God has redeemed and reconciled and restored all the relationships in our life. My finances were completely zeroed out. Two and a half years with no income and seven figures in medical bills. And Donna had to be my caregiver, right in your peak earning years, 45 to 50.


John:
     My health had been taken away. I literally, after three years, when I was trying to get back to work and start what I'm doing now in the coaching business, I could literally work maybe 12 hours in a week max. And here's what I found. This kind of blew me away, in partnership with the father 12 hours a week, I did more of that first year than I would've ever done on my own as an entrepreneur doing a startup on 70 or 80 hours a week. It was a amazing journey. Taking this journey with God versus reaching out to him and occasionally when I get in a jam. And say, "Hey, here's my idea. Bless it. This is what I'm going to go do. Need your little magic prayer dust on that one."


Michael:
              I don't know what you're talking about. I have never done that before.


Kathryn:
               Never done it, never.


John:
     Anyway, so would I take it back, no, because of not only who I am, but I think my marriage, my relationship with my kids, what I get to do in the world, I would have never even considered doing what I do today had my business career kept. What I didn't realize at the time I had the choice. To be honest with you, I didn't realize or I felt like that it was too late for me to change the script.


Kathryn:
               Yeah. You kind of had golden handcuffs at that point. Yeah. Wow.


John:
     Now I can't imagine doing anything different.


Michael:
              When we first met you, you could do four hours a day before your brain just kind of got fatigued. Where are you now? How's your fatigue? Has it gotten better? Are you still?


John:
     I can work now, eight hours a day, but I have to be really careful with how I would schedule that. For me, it's almost 11:00 in the morning here so I've been up since about 7:00. I'll work through about noon, I'll take a nap in the afternoon so I can do a couple meetings. But if I'm a day or two of me, let's say that I get busy and I over schedule myself and I can't nap, the headaches that I get, the fatigue that I get, the cognitive fade, I'll sit there and if I'm tired, I'll stare at an email, let's say trying to respond to you and it's hard. It's hard to explain if someone who's ever had a brain injury or a really bad concussion, they know exactly what I'm talking about.


John:
     Doing normal things, it's like the doctor described it, like you put brand new batteries in a big lantern that you use for camping, big bright beam and it should last all summer. Except I have a short in my battery because my brain is not as efficient and by the end of that first day, the lights completely dim and you got to get a new battery in there. To the glucose and things that are in my brain, it takes my brain a lot more of that, burns it off to be able to just have a conversation, to write an email, things that feel easy to a lot of people is very difficult. But God has been faithful in everything.


Michael:
              Yeah, he is, isn't he?


Kathryn:
               Wow. Stunning. What a story.


Michael:
              Thank you for sharing.


Kathryn:
               That is stunning.


Michael:
              That is cool. I know you love to share your story and you have a passion for it and you love to demonstrate to people and tell people what he did for you. He actually is a good God. This podcast is not focused on faith.


Kathryn:
               Now there's some people like, okay, I'm out.


Michael:
              But we're pretty honest with who we are and what we do and this is a big deal because this is like, ah man, when people say "God's not good," I just go, "No, he is." You just, you want to put good in a very small box.


Kathryn:
               Yeah. And I think, one of the things that you said that I think really, really resonates is that the timeline of God doing what he says he will do is rarely aligned with our timeline. And so we get impatient. We think maybe we misheard. We think he's not good. It's like you said, and you're not doing it therefore. Yeah. I think that sense of just getting frustrated and feeling angry and feeling short changed somehow as though he owes me, can be very real for people.


Michael:
              Yeah. I want to get us back together at some point in the future. Talk about leadership and talk about, I really thought we were going to talk about leadership today, to be honest. I love the fact that we took a left turn.


John:
     Yeah, we sure did, didn't we?


Kathryn:
               By the way, John, runs a company where he does coaching and leadership development and works with really important people and stuff. But we didn't talk about that today. We'll talk about that another time.


Michael:
              Yeah, so let's end this by saying this and then we'll tag on our piece at the end. There's a lot of powerful things in the world that can happen. And there's a lot of things we talk about with passion and provision. And you know this John, that making a buck and making a living is not the center of it all. It just isn't. It's important and we were designed to work and work is really important and having this whole process and growing and everything else, but you came to a place where, what I am hearing out of the last half hour, 45 minutes, is you came to a place where your priorities in your life was redesigned, recentered, recalibrated and you worked really hard to keep family and God and those relationships close to you and work on them.


Michael:
              And we have a goddaughter who has a brain injury who never recovered from it. She never got her filters back. She never got her executive functions fully back. We know people whose kids have just never come back from that. I know you've probably heard this before, but I want to commend you and thank you for the hard work you did. And to show that and to work with God and yield to God, to just show what is really possible and maybe not in everybody's story that has a head injury or those of us that don't have longterm head injuries, there's a grace in there. And that's what this podcast tries to do is go look. There's more to life than just making a buck and I'm not advocating disappearing on all of those responsibilities.


Kathryn:
               No, but part of John's story is even the power of making a buck in the place that you're called to. Of actually living into who you're designed to be in your best contribution. And so John, you're living into your best contribution now and it took a bit more of a two by four than most of us have had to experience to get you there. Because you're probably pretty stubborn.


John:
     Thank you Kathryn.


Kathryn:
               But you're there.


John:
     You know what? Careful what you pray for. Pray for the patience, just saying. But here's something though I think, especially for your listeners that are business owners, being in all that and also having been through business failures and business success, this isn't the only adversity in my life. There's been many. But what was really given to me, this amazing gift this time was actually hope. When God told me all things do work together for good, I had to actually make a choice to trust that. And there was days where I knew that tomorrow was not going to be better than today, but I could hope that maybe next week could be next and next month and next year.


John:
     And what I found by having that perspective and holding onto the hope, it allowed me to approach all of this adversity from a mindset and a belief and an attitude that allowed me to keep moving forward because I was around a lot of people, like you mentioned, Michael, that we're in this hospital that was just for brain injured people that went the opposite way with their mindset. And I watched them spiral down mentally to a place that literally it shook me and it scared me. I know for a fact the same thing's happening right now in the world in business, we're looking at industries. I have friends of mine, clients of mine whose businesses either failed or failing.


Kathryn:
               It's a rough season.


John:
     Life is not for the faint of heart.


Michael:
              Is that so?


John:
     And that's why we need friends. That's why we need to be in community. That's why it's okay to just say, I had a friend of mine call me the other day. He's one of the strongest guys I know and just said, "Man, I'm really struggling. I'm having a bad day. I'm really struggling. I just need someone to talk to." And I definitely had days like that too. This was not a straight line up. I'll tell you that at all. And I think it's okay. I think just, for the folks listening, just everything that you're going through right now, you'll look back on it someday and say, "That prepared me for what I'm doing now." And although what you're going through is not enjoyable.


John:
     But hope. If I could just tell people just hope. For the guys that are believers, just hope on God's promises in his faithfulness. And if you're not and you tuned in, you're listening to this, just hold onto the fact that you know what? By the end of the year, it could be better. And by the end of 2021, it has the possibility of being better. And I think that'll just help you to just keep taking that next small step forward.


Michael:
              On that note. And it's a perfect note, we're going to end this episode. You can find more about John Ramstead at eternalleadership.com. Correct?


John:
     Eternalleadership.com, is our podcast and then beyondinfluence.com is our coaching and consulting company.


Kathryn:
               Sweet.


Michael:
              check out John's stuff. Give him a listen. The podcast is great. There's lots of good people on his podcast, too.


Kathryn:
               We've been on his podcast.


Michael:
              Twice.


Kathryn:
               We were great.


Michael:
              We've been on it twice.


John:
     Best episodes ever.


Kathryn:
               Ever, ever.


Michael:
              Come on. We hope that as you're leaving today and turning this off, wherever you are in your life you're encouraged. You have a little bit more hope. That we believe, the three of us believe that as you hear stories of people who have survived and thrived through difficult times, you can increase your hope and you have access to some of that hope for yourself. We just believe that that's part of the way this works. And so we want to encourage you and thank you just as John said. And so on that note, I'm Michael Redman.


Kathryn:
               I'm Kathryn Redman.


Michael:
              And you are?


John:
     John Ramstead.


Kathryn:
               Thank you so much for joining us, John. It's been quite a pleasure.


Michael:
              Thank you for joining us.


John:
     Love talking with you guys. Keep up the good work.


Michael:
              Bye bye.