We as a family have had to battle for faith. When we received the first of our children’s many medical diagnoses years ago, I began to walk a path of trust and faith–a faith I didn’t know at the time would be challenged so greatly.
My husband and I knew when we got married we wanted children. We were so excited to start our family and see who the Lord would bless us with, and God in his great kindness blessed us with four beautiful children: two girls and two boys.
Luke, our youngest, began his battle with illness at ten months old when he got his first monthly fever as part of his periodic fever syndrome. We took all kinds of measures to understand Luke’s illness, but instead of easy answers, we realized he faced even more medical challenges. He was diagnosed with a genetic connective tissue condition, a heart condition, and GI issues in addition to his fevers. We asked lots of questions. We often asked God, “Why is there so much? Why are you making him so ill?” We kept fighting for him to be well.
In the years we were walking through Luke’s journey, our now twelve-year-old son was diagnosed with a neurological brain condition that affects every area of learning as well as GI functioning. School from the very beginning was very hard for him. I remember reading the report from the neurologist and crying so hard and yelling at God asking, “Why, God, do both my boys need to struggle?” My faith was once again challenged. I couldn’t seem to find faith for their future. I was hurting so badly and aching for my boys.
This hill that seemed too hard to climb became steeper as we encountered yet another health challenge. Our now 18-year-old daughter was having a ton of pain, occurring daily and affecting most of her joints. We found that she also carried the same genetic condition as our youngest along with a heart condition. I found myself again asking questions.
My faith was being pulled so hard by this point with therapies, doctor appointments, long nights, surgeries and a truckload of meetings with schools and advocates. We were trusting in God, but it was hard to see His good plan. On top of this, my other daughter in the last two years has had Lymes disease twice.
As my husband and I wrestled with why all of this was happening, we saw our faith slipping away with each diagnosis. First Samuel 2:9 reads, “He will guard the feet of the faithful ones.” We believed this, but we were having a hard time finding faith through the fog of it all. We felt crushed so many days. But we also found that God was using our trials to reveal Himself to us.
In this struggle, the Lord has proven himself faithful in answering many prayers to sustain and guide us. We know even in the hard times that he loves us: “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us” (Ephesians 2:4). What we see through these ongoing trials is that HE is bigger, HE is greater, and HE has a perfect plan for each one of our children. None of these circumstances was an error on His part. No! He knit them together. Psalm 139:13 tells us, “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.” Through these promises, my faith is building back up. As I study His Word my faith builds; as I see my children grow in their walks with the Savior, it builds; as I watch them walk through these challenges in grace it builds. God builds it. And He reminds me that our family can be strong because He upholds us.
So, where is my faith today? Growing! Because He is building it through my relationship with Him. My children’s illnesses aren’t gone and there will continue to be challenging days, but my children are a blessing from the Lord and I see God working in them.
One passage of Scripture that has continually had an impact on my life is Habakkuk 3:17-18: “Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.”