Unorthodox Man Podcast: Unorthodox Injury with Eric Schwarz

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Unorthodox Injury with Eric Schwarz

This week, I get to sit down and talk with a guy who was a student of mine when I was doing full-time student ministry, Eric Schwarz. He’s an amazing guy with an amazing story. Here are a few of the bulletpoints form our discussion… though you REALLY need to push play and hear Eric’s story for yourself!

  • Eric was born & raised in San Diego
  • Grew up at North Coast Church and I knew Eric’s older brother, Tony
  • Loved skating & punk rock
  • Knew Jesus was real, but wanted to do his own thing

Why didn’t you follow Jesus if you knew it was real?

  • “I didn’t care about my salvation at that point. I just cared about having fun.”
  • Eric did all the church events, but not any of the relationship with Jesus.
  • He knew there was a reason that everyone else believed, but he never took the time to grasp it and engage with it

Eric’s life dramatically changed… and it all started with an accident

  • One day, Eric got high after school and skated home
  • While following his friend home, his friend crossed the street and as he went to cross, he was hit by a truck.
  • Eric woke up in a hospital with no idea why he was there.
  • Later, Eric learned that a Nissan Titan hit him at 45 mph, Eric was thrown 30 feet, destroyed his shoulder and smacked his head on the concrete.
  • Eric was diagnosed with PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury
  • After getting home from the hospital, he went right back to his old life of smoking, partying and skatingUnorthodox Injury with Eric Schwarz
  • While watching his grandfather die, Eric saw what true commitment to Christ looked like.
  • His grandfather’s example and strength led Eric to follow Jesus for real
  • Now, with this life change, Eric has finished school, advocates for people with TBI and works at a school for the disabled.

What are the long-term impacts of the injury?

  • Life long headaches, anxiety, depression, lower functioning motor skills and lack of focus
  • Eric has found that creating art helps cope with depression

What are words of advice for people going through brain injury?

  • Practice gratitude – gratitude helps you focus on the good things in this world
  • Don’t Isolate yourself – talk to others who know more than you do: professionals, doctors, family, friends
  • Admit you need help – get the help you need!

What advice do you have for people who are in relationship with others who are dealing with depression or TBI?

  • Just be there – you don’t need to do it all
  • Don’t just say good words – have good actions

Eric’s favorite Bible verse?

  • John 3:16 – it is the entire Bible summed up in one verse. It is the Gospel.

“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”

Closing thoughts:

What you earn give back to others. Keep your word and live in truth

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