When I put up my first blog post way back on October 22, 2013, it was a huge step of faith for me. I remember leaving my sick and miserable wife, laying in bed, walking downstairs to my computer, and contemplating what to title this blog. I considered a number of titles:
The Story of How Amy Died
How Life is Nothing Like What I Hoped, Expected, or Asked For
Honesty in the Midst of Suffering and Pain
Where is God When it Hurts?
Life Sucks and Then You Die
But after some prayer, I really felt compelled to call it “Pisteuo: the unfolding story of how Jesus is healing Amy.” But here’s the thing. At the time, I had absolutely no evidence whatsoever that Jesus had any intention of healing Amy. At that point, she had been sick for years, and was only getting sicker by the day.
To mention “healing” in the title felt very presumptuous. Who am I to assume that Jesus wanted to heal her? God had not promised healing and I wasn’t stupid—I was fully aware that serious chronic health issues don’t just go away unless the Lord wants them to. Go back and read my posts from that era—everything in our lives was pointing toward a lifetime of pain and sickness.
I wrestled with a number of issues. First of all, if the Lord chose not to heal Amy, then I would look like a fool. The atheists would say, “See? God is nothing more than a crutch.” I would be exposed as an idiot who stated outright that I believed my God would do something that He never intended to do, which would be a blow to my pride because it would be clear evidence that I am not really communicating well with my God. And who would want to support a missionary who doesn’t know what the Lord is doing?
But secondly, I wanted to protect God’s reputation. I know this sounds foolish, but I love to tell people of the glorious love, work, and miracles of Jesus. It’s what I do for a living. But then if Jesus didn’t come through in my own life—they might consider him to be weak, mean, limited, or uncaring. I didn’t want to make God look bad.
So I had a strong case for titling my blog something more benign. If God didn’t heal Amy, at least I wouldn’t have stepped out on a limb by saying that I thought he would heal her.
I considered safer blog titles, like:
God Might Heal Amy, Or He Might Not
Sometimes Healing Happens But If It Doesn’t God is Still Cool
Living with Pain Brings God Glory Too
I was cautioned by Christian friends not to get my hopes up. But isn’t trusting God for something impossible the very definition of faith?
The Living Bible translates Hebrews 11:1 as, “What is faith? It is the confident assurance that something we want is going to happen. It is the certainty that what we hope for is waiting for us, even though we cannot see it up ahead.”
True, I had not solid evidence that God would heal Amy. But I had no solid evidence that He wouldn’t. And I wanted with all my heart to have the certainty that what I hoped for was waiting for me.
So, I named my blog Pisteuo (which means faith in Greek). The very title was my prayer that Jesus would, in fact, one day, heal Amy. I had no guarantee of that, I had no evidence of that, but I had faith. That was all I had to hold on to.
That was nearly four years ago. Now, allow me to tell you how my faith in an Almighty, All-Powerful Healing God who has complete power over sickness and death has not disappointed me.
Keep in mind I did not know that, one day, I would be able to tell you this story:
A few months ago Amy went on a prayer retreat with some women from church. They didn’t hang out, gossip and chat. They prayed, and prayed hard, all weekend! These ladies (and indeed our church as a whole) takes prayer very, very seriously. Near the end of the retreat, they took time to pray for one another. It was here that Amy shared briefly about her health issues. As you probably know, most people would have no idea that she was sick just by looking at her.
As it turns out, one of those prayer warriors works as a dietician for a functional medicine doctor. Essentially, this doctor and his team work like a detective agency to get to the root of the problem, rather than simply prescribe pharmaceuticals to mask the symptoms of the problem. Amy went to meet with the team, who promptly did tons of blood work.
They learn that Amy was anemic, she had adrenal fatigue, she had insufficient levels of Vitamin B and she was not converting her thyroid meds properly (she had her thyroid removed in 2004). They put her on the autoimmune protocol to bring down the inflammation and also educated her about histamine intolerance (to bring down the swelling and hives). So Amy radically adjusted her diet (even more than before) and started taking hundreds of dollars’ worth of supplements.
Bottom line, Amy feels great!!! Her swelling is down, everywhere, and her energy is up. Her hives are much better. Her overall outlook is better. She laughs more, sleeps less, and has had more time and energy to invest in others. I feel like I am getting reacquainted with the woman I married twenty-five years ago.
One day I was sitting in a coffee shop waiting for Amy to arrive. She pulled into the parking lot just as a rainstorm arrived—and she ran to the front door! There is no way she could have done that before! Recently we went to the City Museum in St. Louis and climbed hundreds of stairs. Amy thoroughly enjoyed the day, just like a normal person. We do not take these victories for granted!!!
No, her healing is not complete and it didn’t happen by an instantaneous miracle. It takes many dollars and many hours of hard work each day to keep her on the road to complete healing. But we are so encouraged and there is absolutely no comparison to how sick she was the day I chose to title this blog Pisteuo four years ago.