Who Do I Choose to Become When Illness Manifests?

In 2004 my wife, Faith, was diagnosed with a rare neurological condition for which there is no medical treatment. The news was devastating. Nothing would ever be the same again. Together we began a five-year roller-coaster ride that painfully plunged us into confounding lows, and then catapulted us to unimaginable highs of spiritual insight and wonder. As I witnessed my beautiful wife’s brain dissolve, I questioned every sacred belief about life, faith, fairness, healing, purpose and God. Nothing went unquestioned.

For over twenty years Faith and I had lived the life of our dreams and loved it. As ministers, we had enthusiastically shared the Unity teachings about the power of the Spirit-directed mind and heart to heal and to create the life our souls longed for.

Faith’s deteriorating condition soon became obvious. No longer could she speak in complete sentences. She developed tremors and had increasing difficulty focusing. The most difficult day was when we had to accept that she could no longer serve as she had done effortlessly for decades. One Sunday I stood beside her and pointed to the words in her letter when she got lost. In her halting speech, she informed our community, “The diagnosis is not the one I wanted. People ask me, “Why you, Faith? How could this happen? Where did this come from?’ My friends, these are the wrong questions. At this point it doesn’t matter why or where or how. All I know is, this has washed up on my beach, and now it is mine to deal with. The only question now is, ‘Who do I choose to become as I walk this new path Life has placed before me?’ Please send me your faith, but not your fear, as I walk this new way.”

Faith’s mind was whole, complete and crystal clear, but her brain was slowly dying. It was when we genuinely came to a place of acceptance that we experienced spiritual healing, but not the physical cure we once longed for. I truly believe we are powerful beings, but we are not so powerful as to be responsible for every dented car door, flat tire or serious diagnosis that comes our way. Our true power is in the fact that we have total control over our thoughts and attitudes in all situations, but not always outcomes. It was through the practice of well-documented Unity/New Thought methods that we found a sense of peace and received the clear guidance from our Divine Nature as to how to respond to life’s joys and disappointments.

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