More From Mark A. Carter

January 23, 2019 by Mark A. Carter (Oregon)

Nothing tests both body and soul more than disaster, and disaster is inevitable. As an assistant pastor in my church, I had witnessed a lot of disaster in others, but despite what I had seen, I still didn't how to cope with it when it happened to me. During my thirty-year career I had worked my way up to the top of the corporate ladder. But once I had finally realized my hard-earned success, epilepsy ended it all, literally overnight. My wife and I went from living a comfortable lifestyle to having no income at all. Much like Job, I felt myself tested to the limits of my endurance, and I have to admit that for a while I did lose my faith in the goodness of the lord. But I also learned that while my faith alone was weak, with others it could and would be made strong again.

The church I attended established a support program for my wife and me. They gave of themselves and provided rides to take me to the doctor and to the Social Security office while I was working on getting my disability approved. The church group also loaned us money to pay for our utilities and provided food when we had none. Their help over the four years that we waited for the final approval of my disability literally kept us in a house and off the streets, and showed the very essence of Christian love. I had heard from the first day of giving my life to Christ that he gives to us in many different ways and often when it is least expected, but this was the first time it had ever happened to me. At the lowest time in my life I received a gift.  

That was almost twelve years ago, and since then I have never looked back. I am still on disability, and while I don't like it, at least my wife and I still have a house, and we are able to buy our own food. Although I am still unable to work a regular job, I donate a large amount of my free time to helping my church through volunteer programs. And best of all, with the help of my friends and the help of the lord I am slowly but surely working my way back to where I was before I developed Epilepsy. Treatment has controlled my seizures, and I am now able to drive and look for work again. But most importantly, no matter what may happen to my wife and me, we know that God works. That makes any pain endurable, and it makes any goal possible.

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I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.” 

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