By Chuck Hofvander
Whatever your faith, Muslim, Buddhist, Judaism, Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, what ever you believe, my wife and I had begun to think God didnít exist.
Liz was diagnosed with breast cancer on June 21, 2004, exactly four months after my stroke. She had a mastectomy. My older son Brad got rear ended in September 2006 and is still undergoing physical therapy. Heís received injections of cortisone and the doctor thinks he will need surgery. My younger son Mat has a degenerative disk disease that was diagnosed about the time of my stroke. Mat has the back of a sixty year old man and yet heís a young man of 21. As for me, I had and continue to have problems with medications, seizure concerns, balance issues, worsening aphasia, etc. Itís like living in a nightmare. There is an old saying that God never gives you more than you can handle. Well, weíve had more than we could handle.
In my youth I had gone to church school, after that I became involved with a church order. I had faith. I talked to God. But over the years I lost it. My wife had begun questioning faith after my stroke and her cancer, and the problems with the boys put the icing on the cake. She didnít believe. If there was a God how could he do this to our family? Didnít God care? Is he so arbitrary that he/she/it could just ignore the suffering of my family?
My wife and I stopped believing. We didnít believe there was a plan for us. Sure we got involved in various stroke support groups, got involved in many experimental therapies for stroke. I even started a group for Aphasia survivors at my house every week. But there was no mention of God.
Three years have passed since I had the stroke but even though I was physically recovering something was missing. At my motherís suggestion, my wife and I had agreed to attend several area churches but we werenít enthused about going. With all the pain and adversity my family had gone through, my wife and I had begun to doubt Godís existence. Isnít God just a thing man made up?
Well, the first church we went to ended our search. Instantly, we were drawn to the pastor. Pastor Greg visited us at our home and talked to us about faith. The parishioners welcomed us like long lost family. Liz and I talked about the sermons and we were surprised that we both felt the pastor was speaking directly to us. After all we had gone through it seems this church has restored our faith.
It doesnít matter what you believe in, but as the musical group the Spin Doctors sing, ďYou got to believe in somethingĒ. I chose to believe in God.
Copyright © August 2007
The Stroke Network, Inc.
P.O. Box 492 Abingdon, Maryland 21009
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