I have been reminded of Joshua 1:9 many times since our family moved across the country. I had no idea what God was preparing us for. What were we about to face? For what events would we need to be strong and have courage?
Four months after we moved, my father passed away. After a long battle with Parkinson’s disease, he met his Savior face to face. Our family flew to Minnesota for a beautiful celebration of his life and home going. Family and many friends shared testimonies of God’s unmistakable presence touching them through my dad’s life.
A couple of months later, as we were knee-deep in the challenging task of establishing a missionary training center, our 2-year-old son began to slip into the fog of autism, losing speech and eye contact, and worse, withdrawing from us into his own distant world.
While we were still looking for answers for our son’s regression, our fourth child was born with a serious heart condition requiring open heart surgery at 6 months of age. We felt our need for God like we had never felt it before.
We learned that when we were lacking wisdom and felt weak, we didn’t have to somehow muster the strength and the courage. We simply had to lean into God. Because God was with us, He became our strength and provided the courage to walk through all those challenges. We felt God's peaceful presence surround us as we studied scripture, engaged in prayer, and listened to the encouragement of friends.
Now, eleven years later, we see clearly just how powerfully God has been with us, strengthening us, and giving us courage. We have had to walk through yearly heart check-ups, seizures, and brain surgery. Our 12-year-old with autism has regained awareness and a few words, but more importantly, he knows we love him, and he just wants to be near us. Our 9-year-old heart patient is healthy, charming, and vibrant. Through all of the challenges, God has never left us for a moment, and continues to speak life, hope, and encouragement to us through God's Word.
You can read more about our family’s journey of hope ator .