Ten years ago, my daughter, Gabi, suffered a stroke just after she was born — which left her right side completely paralyzed.
Doctors told my wife and me that given the scar tissue in our daughter’s brain, she would never be able to walk or talk.
They gave us a frightening diagnosis of cerebral palsy.
Anyone who has ever received a disappointing diagnosis either for themselves or for a loved one can imagine our devastation.
Feelings of anguish, resentment and heartache flooded our bodies that day — but the sensations I most recall grappling with were determination and frustration.
I was first determined that Gabi did not and would not have cerebral palsy, and the frustration escalated when my wife and I began our journey of getting more medical opinions concerning Gabi’s condition, which was a time-consuming and dead-end hassle.
Whether you are currently walking through a difficult diagnosis or are still recovering from the after-effects of receiving one, I can tell you from personal experience that no diagnosis from any medical professional is hopeless.
Why? Because we serve a God with plans that transcend and surpass any physical condition we may have.
God works it all out for good. After my daughter’s stroke, I struggled to find sufficient care for her that could answer all of my questions and assess the needs I saw.
Making appointments with pediatric neurologists who specialized in issues like Gabi’s was time-consuming and costly.
My wife and I spent hours driving to and from offices after booking appointments months in advance, only to leave those sessions, very often, with more questions than answers.
That process was painful and frustrating, but the Lord used it to ignite a vision within me that has gone on to save and treat millions of lives.
He inspired me to begin a business now known as 2nd.MD, a virtual telehealth company that specializes in servicing patients by offering second opinions.
This company and our services are now used around the world and are helping families and individuals who are searching for quality care that accommodates their lifestyle and needs.
Had it not been for Gabi’s stroke and had my wife and I not encountered all of those taxing obstacles while finding her care — I may never have identified a need in the health care space and formed a solution that has gone on to help many, many other people.
The Lord took my family’s difficult situation — and worked it out for a greater good.
God teaches valuable lessons. To this day, I am still benefiting from the lessons God revealed to me through the process of navigating Gabi’s condition and paralysis.
Sometimes, it’s easy to be optimistic and joyful when you’ve come out on the other side of something difficult. Yet I can tell you that I now come at life’s challenges with a far different attitude and perspective than I did before our medical emergency and the birth of our beautiful daughter.
I’ve since learned that God has a plan even when doctors don’t.
I’ve learned that He sends comfort to those who are mourning in the form of family, friends and the heart ministry of the Holy Spirit that only He can send.
Had I not gone through what I did with Gabi, I would not have the faith that I have today.
Now, when trials and unexpected events arise, I am more trusting. After all, I’ve seen the Lord prevail and make something good out of what seemed only bad.
Why would I not continually trust Him?
In this way, God has given me an increased faith that has since blessed my family and loved ones when hard times arise.
God heals. I know firsthand what it’s like to receive a hopeless diagnosis from doctors. I’ve felt the “stop” in my heart and the drop in my stomach when medical professionals said there was nothing to be done or “not as much” as I may have wanted.
They told us that Gabi would never walk or talk.
Well, guess what? She is now 10 years old — and she walks and talks like the other kids her age at school.
Due to the stroke, her right side is still not as strong as her left, but we pray and believe for healing of that, too.
Now, when I receive bad news or a dismal diagnosis, I look at Gabi, who is standing proof that God’s plan can play out differently than the projection of a diagnosis.
I realize that not every situation turns out the way Gabi’s did — and that sometimes, the opposite of healing, or even death, can take place.
But even when healing does not occur in the way or in the time that we would want, that does not alter God’s unchanging attribute of being good and loving us all the time.
All of these truths can be hard to see during physical and emotional pain. This is why the Scripture tells us to walk by faith and not by sight, believing in what we have not seen.
Even when the scans, tests and diagnosis tell one negative story, God’s goodness and faithfulness remain the same.
He can be trusted to work out a hopeless diagnosis for glory.
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