Here is the link to Amazon to order your copy!
Here is the link to Amazon to order your copy!
I recently went on a week-long fishing trip. I enjoyed the chance to relax and connect with my buddies. But when I returned home, the degenerative aspects of my daughter’s disease seemed to have progressed dramatically. My wife told me she’d been falling asleep on the school bus. Now, I know a lot of kids fall asleep on the bus. But Shayla has always been overwhelmingly excited about school, including the ride there and back.
As I tucked Shayla into bed that evening, she was extremely lethargic. I asked if she’d missed me while I was away. She said she didn’t even know I was gone. Whenever I’ve been away for even a day, the first she’s always told me is how much she missed me.
I hugged Shayla and asked her if she wanted to say a prayer. She agreed. I said, “Why don’t you ask Jesus to heal you tonight?”
My daughter stared at me for several moments with an expression of complete confusion. I asked her what was wrong. She said, “Dad, there’s nothing wrong with me.”
“I know, honey,” I said. “But maybe you could just ask Him to help you walk.”
She continued to look confused. It suddenly hit me that she knows this is how she is, and she’s okay with it.
I knelt beside her bed and did my best to hide my pain as I prayed desperately for Jesus to heal my daughter and give her the quality of life she deserves.
After prayer time, I gave Shayla some tickles to try to lighten up the heavy mood. Then I tucked her in with kisses and hugs, telling her how special she is, just the way she is.
Shayla asked, “Can I say a little prayer now?” When I told her to go ahead, she prayed, “Jesus, please help my dad to feel better.” Shayla has always been more concerned about me and my feelings than about herself.
When I joined my wife in our bedroom, I told her what had happened. She said, “You’re confusing Shayla by asking her to pray for a healing she doesn’t understand.”
“I know. I just thought maybe if she did understand, God would heal her because of her strong faith.”
My wonderful wife touched my damp cheek and looked me in the eye. “Jesus said we all need to have faith like a child.”
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with Shayla’s faith. It’s mine that needs constant adjustment. Instead of begging God for a miraculous physical healing for my daughter, I need to start praying that my faith in Him will become stronger and more childlike every day.
This morning as I went to make sure Shayla was okay while she was using the bathroom as I walked in heard a thump. Rushing in Shayla told me she had almost fallen. The same fear my wife and I had just discussed on our way home from the car races. If Shayla falls the wrong way the porcelain tub is right there (not good). It’s clear it’s time to change something for her safety.
Shayla has had some good days as of late. She has been it seems at least a little more active than usual. Playing more with her little sister (Taytum) instead of just lying in her bed playing on her i-pod (which at times is all she does). Not only giving her what seems to be more energy but also seems a lot happier. Which in turn obviously makes for better days for all of us to see her laughing and happy.. When Shayla is like this she is such a joy, her laugh is contagious and it’s amazing the beauty that auras off of her when she’s like this.. Love you Shayla! God Bless All!
“Maybe we should get a potty chair for Shayla’s bedroom,” I suggested to my wife one day as we were driving home in a severe thunder storm. “That way she won’t have to crawl to the bathroom at night and take a chance of falling off the toilet and hitting her head on the porcelain tub.”
Nadine and I usually avoid conversations about my [how old is she now?]-year-old daughter’s medical condition because of the pain that topic stirs inside our hearts. But with rain pelting our windshield, thunder bellowing, and lightning bolts flashing on the horizon, I felt as though all the angels in heaven were grieving with us.
“Dan,” my wife said firmly, “going to the bathroom is about the only exercise Shayla gets. If you take that away from her, she’ll be confined to her room with a toilet beside the bed. That seems too cruel.”
I agreed … and thanked God for my smart and level-headed wife.
For the rest of the drive, with the windshield wipers barely keeping up, we discussed what we could do to make sure Shayla was safe yet give her as much mobility and independence as possible. We tossed around a few ideas but came up with nothing.
At dinner that night, I noticed Shayla having trouble bringing her sippy cup to her mouth. In spite of the conversation I’d just had with Nadine, I couldn’t stop myself from doing it for her.
During the evening, as my wife and I encouraged Shayla and our other children to share about their day at school, I noticed my daughter seemed rather depressed, which was unusual for her. She’s always had a positive attitude, even in the midst of battling this horrible disease that has attacked her body since she was [how old?].
That night, as Nadine and I prepared for bed, we discussed Shayla’s attitude. “I think she’s getting to the age where she realizes she’s different from other children,” my wife suggested. “And she gets ignored at times because she’s so hard to take care of.”
I took a long, shuddering breath. “Sometimes I can’t help but wonder … wouldn’t Shayla be better off with Jesus?” I choked back a sob. “I don’t know how I’d handle giving her up. But it’s just not fair for her to continue to suffer like this.”
Nadine collapsed into tears. “Why is God doing this to her, Dan? Why?”
I wrapped my arms around her. “I don’t know what His plan is. But I know He has one. We just need to trust that this will all work out for good, like the Bible says.”
“But it seems so cruel for a sweet little girl like Shayla to have a debilitating, fatal disease. I just don’t get it.”
As Nadine and I wept together, I thanked God for giving me a wife who loved my daughter so much. “Maybe,” I said, “God is going to use the book I’m writing about Shayla to help someone come to Christ for their salvation. Or to strengthen someone’s faith in the Lord.”
I am thrilled that Armonia Publishing has offered me a contract to publish Divine Healing, God’s Way. If this book can bring a lost soul into God’s eternal kingdom, or bring a wandering sinner back into the loving arms of our heavenly Father, it will be easier to understand and accept the heartache my family and I live with every day of our lives.