February 17, 2014
“How does a young man in the prime of life deal with an incurable disease, loss of strength, the news that he cannot be a father, and the likelihood of a shortened life-span?”
Today’s guest post by Fran Sandin will challenge you to rethink your capabilities, refill your hope tank, and encourage you to discover God’s incredible plan in the midst of impossible circumstances. It’s not only a story of hope; it’s a testimony to God’s continual faithfulness.
Be sure and read to the end to discover how you can enter today’s book giveaways.
His Journey of Hope Begins
At the age of 29, our son, Steve, began a journey we never expected. After completing his Master of Physical Therapy degree, he began working at a hospital and soon became ill with pneumonia. His doctor said, “Steve, I believe you have cystic fibrosis,” Two positive tests confirmed the diagnosis, and he began respiratory therapy that he would need the rest of his life.
He Became His Own Caregiver
My husband, Jim, and I, were shocked as no one else in our family had his genetic disease. About 10% of CF patients are diagnosed in adulthood because one of the parents carries a mutation of the CF gene; and tests verified that truth for us. Cystic fibrosis destroys the lungs by clogging them with thick secretions and causes other organs to malfunction. Digestion is also affected, so Steve also began taking digestive enzymes. No cure is available for cystic fibrosis. As part of his physical therapy training, Steve had learned how to treat patients with CF, but he had no idea that he would eventually become his own caregiver.
Hope Finds a Permanent Home
The shock of this news had barely become reality when Steve almost died with kidney failure due to IGA nephropathy, a separate autoimmune disease. Added to his respiratory treatments, he then needed three trips a week to the hemodialysis clinic. Still, he continued working part time in home health PT. After three years, he switched to peritoneal dialysis that allowed him to use a computerized machine at home where he dialyzed at night. Finally he did not have the strength to continue his profession, but he used his time to begin a home-based business.
Steve lived every day with HOPE. As a child he had received Jesus as his Savior, and he continued growing in faith throughout his years. He prayed daily for healing, and believed that God could completely heal him, if it was His will. But one day Steve said, “Mom, I know God can heal me, but if He doesn’t heal me on earth, I know I will be healed in heaven.” His ultimate healing came following much suffering at his last hospitalization when irreversible complications of CF accelerated; and at the age of 43, Steve moved peacefully to heaven on Sept. 22, 2012.
God’s Incredible Faithfulness
My son taught me many lessons about courage, faith, perseverance, and hope. Between numerous hospitalizations in 2005 and 2008 he wrote two books. One day he said with a wry grin, ‘Mom, God has given me a project and I’ll let you know when I’m finished.’ I had no idea he was writing a book until one day he showed me the manuscript for Jesus Really Said It. He searched the four gospels and categorized the words of Jesus to address forgiveness, healing, faith, deliverance, relationships, conflict resolution, and more. He wanted to reach people who might not pick up a Bible but who would read a book addressing topics of interest to them.
He later wrote another book using Proverbs and addressed subjects of guidance and instruction, wisdom, warnings, finance, words, children, anger, pride, joy, mercy, and others. Make the Right Choice: A Personal Decision Guide, is a great resource for young people–or for anyone seeking wisdom for life’s decisions.
Steve didn’t want anyone to feel sorry for him and he did not openly discuss his physical limitations. However, he attended church and Bible studies when possible, and often asked for prayer. Many, many people prayed with Steve and for Steve’s healing. About two months before he passed away, Steve wrote a tract with the title, So What Happens Next? in which he addressed the subject of eternity. To date approximately 8,500 tracts have been distributed in the U.S. and beyond.
A Legacy of Hope and Inspiration
Although Steve lived in a townhouse about an hour away from our home, I helped him regularly and stayed with him during his hospitalizations and recouperations. Just a few days prior to his last hospitalization, Steve said, “Mom, you know I’ve been sick for a really long time.”
“Steve,” I said, “God will not take you home until your work on earth is done.”
Now breathing the breath of heaven, Steve has left behind a legacy of hope and inspiration for anyone who is facing life’s disappointments and physical limitations.
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15: 13 NASB).
You can find Steve’s books here and find out more about talented author and speaker Fran Sandin at her website here. Like her son, she is a tender, compassionate woman of incredible courage and faith. Steve’s books are not only personal hope-lifters, but they are great resources for individual studies.
What About You? - Book Drawing Giveaways
Fran is offering both of Steve’s books in our book/drawing giveaway. We will draw one name for each book. The giveaway will end in two weeks. To enter, please leave a comment below answering either of the two questions:
Why would you like one of the books?
How has God has given you hope in hopeless situations?
It’s Your Turn
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January 20, 2014
When the “winters” of our lives descend, leaving a trail of destruction and hard times to endure, how do we deal with it? No matter who you are: parent, grandparent, single or senior, writer or teacher, blue collar or white collar, here are five ways to make hard times better: Read more
January 13, 2014
New Year Prayer
What meaningful activities, attitudes, or actions do you want to include in your New Year? Help me write this blog. What is your New Year Prayer? What Bible verse will you make your “new” prayer of action or attitude this year? Read more
January 6, 2014
I’m starting out a new year of blogs with not one, but two book reviews and giveaways: a fiction and non-fiction book. I think you’ll enjoy both of these books. I did. Read on to see how to enter the book giveaway for these books.I’m starting out a new year of blogs with not one, but two book reviews and giveaways: a fiction and non-fiction book. I think you’ll enjoy both of these books. I did. Read on to see how to enter these book giveaways. Read more
December 11, 2013
Today is the eleventh in a series of daily Christmas blogs: 25 Christmas prayers celebrating the names of our precious Lord–Jehovah Rapha, The God Who Heals. I hope these simple prayer blogs will enrich your Christmas season and draw you closer to the One who is the true reason for Christmas. (I’ll be returning to my regular, weekly posts after Christmas.)
Lord, more than ever, so many need Your healing–body, soul, and spirit. In their times of greatest pain they sometimes hide from You, thinking You will not know–or even care.
You Are Our Only Hope
But You are Jehovah Rapha, the God Who Heals. You are our only hope. Read more
November 25, 2013
Most of us count our blessings–the usual ones. But what if God decides to send some rather unexpected blessings? Read more
November 18, 2013
Whether you classify your worry habits as “partly cloudy,” or “stormy,” we’ve all dealt with worry in our lives. Today’s featured book drawing deals with that subject–and of the deeper issue of trusting God–one I like to emphasize often in my blogs.
A writer friend of mine, Kathy Collard Miller, has written a book called, Partly Cloudy with Scattered Worries, Finding Peace in All Kinds of Weather, that challenges women to examine this destructive Read more
November 11, 2013
We’re bombarded daily with ideas or products that might enrich our lives. But here are four radical choices you can make, four “actions” you can take, that will not only change your life, but the lives of others around you: Read more
November 4, 2013
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9, NIV)
Bible Promise: God’s Grace
Do you ever feel like you’ve hit an immoveable wall? Like change will never come? Read more
October 28, 2013
It’s time for another book giveaway. I enjoy encouraging others, and I hope this new book will encourage you. You’ll enjoy a year’s full of devotions that will strengthen you in your walk with Jesus. Read more