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« Life in CO Springs by Emma | Main | Memorial Day, New Season (Toben) »


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Holly Smith

I do agree, Brother...but I think it can also be a reason to not hope.

This very morning, the Lord woke me and invited me to pray for Joanne's healing--He reminded me that He creates from nothing and is able to do the impossible. So I prayed for COMPLETE healing this side. I did, and I am, and I will. I choose to keep on praying for and believing God for complete healing, plan A, this side, maybe even today. Because I know He can...and I will be the nagging widow until He does.

Love you all so much!


I have two daughters who both had serious medical issues at birth although not the same. We were in the hospital with one daughter for 3 months, she is a walking 10 year old miracle to this day. I held the other as she breathed her last on this earth at six weeks of age. They were both healed, it is true. (one though, of course, will still suffer a physical death unless Jesus comes back first)

This is simple to say, but a thousand emotions remain present. God calls us to value life, we are image-bearers. I did not give up hope for either of my daughters, I never planned their funerals while in the hospital, and looking back, I am so glad I stayed hopeful. I worked to remain in the moment for them. We don't know why God chose to do things as He has, and we would never elect these things for ourselves but through them we have experienced tremendous growth. (All things work together for good) Never give up hope, never! After my daughter (#2) died, I planned her funeral, buried her, and for sometime, myself...emotionally anyway. Many people go through life with their granite counter tops, 5 pc on-suites, and the like never having to go through the trials others do. And there is nothing wrong with this, let me say that. We can ask "why me" but honestly, I feel I have been so blessed to have been able to see life so differently, see what is important, and then, in time, to be there for others who have suffered similar losses. Every situation has the point where you can turn around and help others just like you have. I continue to pray for all of you, I know the road is long and hard, hang in there! Spring is coming.

Marena Sheffield

I agree that they can both be correct. BUT the doctors are human and are working off of statistical data. Statistical data can be useful but I don't feel it can be taken as the "gospel", for it does not take into count any of the many variables that each case brings. If I believed my initial doctor's report, or even the report after a year I would have never gone back to college and completed the Vocational Nurse program, on the other hand I do feel like the extra challenges of my life post stroke contributed greatly to my failing my Registered Nurse program. I KNOW before the stroke this would not have been a problem.
All that to say I think this side of glory we will never know what we could have become and the other side of glory I doubt we will care!
I believe that God could have prevented my (or Joanne's) stroke, yet He didn't. I believe He could heal me (or Joanne) completely, yet He doesn't. I believe it is my (and Joanne's) job to praise Him in this storm (as the song says). BUT as I praise him I still push my brain (like an athlete) to try to do more, learn more, remember more.
Sorry this is so long, but this is where I live. One of the hardest parts of a brain injury is that those of us who know it the best often have a hard time expressing ourselves
More than anything I wish I could give you and Joanne a big hug

Wendy Selvig

This is a really controversial topic. On one hand, you don't want to tell someone to have faith for something and then have it not work out....making the person feel like they don't have enough faith. On the other hand, you don't want to limit God or encourage people not to trust and believe for healing either.

I know and have seen God miraculously heal people. I layed hands on a man who was dying of Yellow Fever in a hospital in Uganda. I felt the heat and electricity of God go through my arm into his body. He sat upright and though he couldn't speak English his daughter translated saying, "he says there is great heat coming through your arm!" Within minutes the man was sitting up in his bed laughing and talking and rejoicing and the fever was gone. He and his daughter gave their lives to the Lord. Many other times I've layed hands on someone or watched someone get hands layed on them and prayed for and have seen healings...but those are the kind of people I like to hang out with. :)

I grew up in a denomination that was cessationist, which means they believe the Holy Spirit stopped doing things like that back when the last apostle died off. I can guarantee you that we never saw healings in that church.

So...the conclusion I've come to over time, and it may not be right, I'm just telling you what I believe... is that the Church is not where we SHOULD be yet in regards to faith and healing. People who believe in healing and step out on a limb to lay hands on people and try see way more healings than those who do not. You know, a hundred years ago, in other issues like segregation, you could say the Church has come a long way. Since Jesus said we would do ALL OF THE THINGS HE DID AND MORE, I tend to believe we are stuck in an age of growth where the Church isn't sure what to believe in this regard...and we see some healings and some failures, but the Church isn't there yet. There are some really great successful teachers out there that teach on the topic. There is a guy in my church (Andrew Wommack) that has raised a few people from the dead! His own son even! Some of the Church is ready for people like him, and some of the Church is not. I'd personally rather hang out with and learn to walk with the people who are having success at this.

A few my husband and I like to study their books on the topics are:

Todd White
Andrew Wommack
Curry Blake

Good luck with your quest on this topic!

Child of God

Hi Toben,
What a huge topic!! One, that I don't think we will have the answers to until we meet Father and ask Him. :)

When I study Jesus and Scripture I see that each and every healing is very different. There is no one pattern of prayer or technique that is used and each healing is unique. Then there are the no to a healing like in Paul's case or in Timothy's stomach issues which was prescribed moderate use of wine.

I believe each and every person is unique and each and every healing is unique and sometimes Father says no because the greater good and glory to His name is through the sickness and not in the healing. Ultimately it is about God and our relationship with Him and always it is for His glory and not ours.

My husband is a physician and he prays over his patients before he ministers medical help and during medical help. Just recently he had a massive heart attack patient come in who while skiing collapsed on the mountain. This man was dead for 45 minutes. When he arrived to the hospital my husband prayed over him and Father told him what to do and this man survived and is 100% healthy today!! Praise GOD! Then about 1 month later our pastor had a massive heart attack and collapsed on the street. When my husband heard about it he prayed and then proceeded to drive up to the hospital only to find out that our pastor was dead and Father took him home. Both times my husband prayed and then acted and in each case, as you see, the result was different. Why? Because Father willed it.

As long as there is life there is hope for healing and I hope and pray for 100% healing here on earth for Joanne and I won't give up on that unless Father tells me so.

Blessings Toben,

Jenna Hoff

I have followed your story since the stroke and never commented ust wanted to say a few things this morning.

First I cannot imagine the challenges you have faced. I am so amazed by the way you have all persevered, loved each other, and been so strong and courageous in a situation most people would see as a terrible nightmare. It makes me think of a Bible verse about knowing we belong to Christ because of the love we share with each other. This is a very powerful witness in a world that eschews commitment and advises people to leave their marriage when it becomes difficult or inconvenient.

I have not had a stroke and so I cannot pretend or presume to comprehend the pain you have all experienced. I am sure it must be excruciating to see the wife you love so much live in pain with significant disabilities and not know what the future holds.

I can however relate to the agony of begging God for healing, trusting so hard - and wondering where he was in the situation and why he would apparently deny physical healing. I have lived with very painful health issues for the past 13 years and have begged God to heal me, and so far I continue to live each day with pretty severe pain. I also adopted a daughter who is now 13 3 years ago who has special needs because of significant early trauma. I beg God for healing for her too and worry about her future.

And what God is showing me is that through it all He is God. No matter what happens, whether healing occurs here or in Heaven it WILL occur. That ultimately is what Joanne's future holds. I am learning to trust God no matter what He chooses to happen, when the healing occurs. I am learning I need God more in my pain and illness than when I am strong and well and doing all these '' great things '' for him. In a way it's helped me to accept that for now this is the way I am, in my unhealed body. But I am carried lovingly and gently in the hands of the One who is the Great I Am.
I also think of the paralyzed man in the Biblical story whose friends lowered him through the roof to Jesus for healing. Jesus first forgave his sins before actually physically healing him. And everyone was so aghast! But I think one of Jesus' points in doing two separate healings for this man was to emphasize that by far the most important was his spiritual healing. For a long time I was caught up in the physical healing I so badly need even still that I missed the fact that Jesus already HAD given to me this most important spiritual healing. He died for me. He - the incredible God who created our most amazing world - He offers himself to me daily. And that just blows me away. I still beg God to heal me physically but I am so grateful to have him with me through the pain and hardship.

Anyways I hope you don't mind me sharing a bit of my own journey with you.

Blessings and God's great peace to you and your family.

Shannon O

I agree and disagree. God always has the power to heal (even while we are still on this earth). But I believe it is wrong for us to expect that He will always heal us in a physical sense. Many times, the healing we receive is a spiritual healing as we are able to trust Him in the most difficult circumstances. Sometimes our physical healing takes place in heaven. But HE CAN always heal. I do think many misinterpret scripture to say what they want to believe. But our God is great and He can always do more than anyone can comprehend.


I just wanted to say I have been following your blog since almost the beginning. I thank you for your honesty about struggling in your faith and with your beliefs on healing. You are not alone! I am a lifelong Christian who has struggled with the hurt of seeing my brother live with severe autism. I have had many moments of crying out to God...and sometimes have not been satisfied with the answers. I sometimes think it is harder to walk with faith that God still heals than it would be to just hold the cessationist chance of having hopes dashed. Have you heard or read Bob Sorge's story? He was a worship leader who had botched surgery on his vocal cords years ago. He discusses these issues and to keep trusting God when you don't see the answers you'd hoped for. Yet. One book is called "The Fire of Delayed Answers" and goes into this more fully than anyone I've ever heard. Just a suggestion...I am praying for you and your family. God bless you and thank you again for being real.

Ruthy :o)

Precious Toben I would like to encourage you to get alone with Father God and listen to Kutless their song *Even If* Resting in who God is x always Faithful and always Good x

With love n Prayers


We are not promised complete healing, this side of heaven. God is sovereign, He has His divine purposes, and He will accomplish them. All He allows in our lives is motivated by His love for us. His ways our not our ways. He may choose to heal someone physically. He may choose to use the situation to heal someone else (perhaps not even a family member) spiritually. His primary objective is not that we will be comfortable, or without pain. His plans are bigger than that. He doesn't promise to take us out of trials. But He does promise to be with us in trials. (check out this video: )


I just completed an encouraging book "Out of the Darkness and into the Light" by Ruth Lycke who suffered a stroke at age 42 (12 years ago).You will see several articles if you Google her name telling about her successful experience with Traditional Chinese Medicine and Nutrition and how she built her own company as a result of this experience to help others who have suffered and have not been able to get the needed assistance from insurance companies. She is a very upbeat person who relies on God to lead her and is excited about helping others. I trust this will help you. I started reading your blog as a result of Beth Moore asking for prayers for Joanne at the time of her stroke and have continued since. You are such a good husband and father and I pray you will continue to receive the strength and peace that only God can give.

Christie Ulrich

I believe it is always Gods will to heal, this side of heaven. I know it's not a popular thing but I can't help it. The message everyone preaches is God is in control but I don't think he is. He gave authority on earth to man and he can't just take that back. That's why Jesus had to be born of a woman. We aren't puppets of God. We each have our own choices. He makes all things possible but we have to choose it and then do the principles to get what he has already provided for. If someone gets born again today, Christ would not have to die again. He already made it possible 2000 years ago. It's the same for all the promises. The bible says God is no respector of persons and that he withholdeth no good thing, so why do we think it's up to him and if I beg enough he may or may not heal me? Even Jesus in some places could do no mighty works because of unbelief. He was limited to what the person could believe.
Would you ever put sickness on one of your children to teach them a lesson? Is there anything you wouldn't do if you could to take it from them? God is the same way. That is why he sent Jesus, so we could be more than conquerors.
Please know that I don't want to offend anyone in any way. I just want to help you see the facts from the TRUTH. The fact may be sickness but the truth is "By His wounds we are healed" If we were just spirit we would have no trouble seeing this, but we are spirit, soul and body.
I will always believe that any promise of God that I miss here on Earth is my fault. God wanted it and made it possible but it was up to me to possess it. He is not going to make me do anything. He sets it before me, I choose.


I feel everything has a purpose and a plan. If its Gods will for someone to be completely healed it would and will happen in his timing. Doctors are Gods hands here on earth. I have come across doctors so skilled and gifted you know it's only by God that they have the gifts they have. However i think like us, they can only do so much...It truly has to be Gods will for your life. Even if his will is hard to understand i know with all my heart if healing doesn't come like we pray for, there is a much greater reason and purpose that our minds cant understand right now. ( give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus) If God calls us to do something, we must respond with trust and faith. You must pray and ask the Holy Spirit to help us. Not only will he convict you of the rightness of trusting in the Lord, he'll help you do it. Sometimes It's just too tough to do on your own. So i guess my answer would be Yes he is able to heal but sometimes Gods plans are different and doctors are God gifted human beings but they can only do and understand so much...In the very end, it all really depends on Gods will for our lives. It starts with God and all ends with God<3 ... if healing isn't part of our plan here on earth then we will be healed in heaven... 70/80 years here on earth trusting Gods will is nothing compared to eternity in heaven where we will be made whole again. So hang on tight live a day at a will all be ok...bc God said it will be..<3

God is completely able but its not all the time his will....and doctors know a lot but dont know everything....never give up hope for healing just put your hope for healing in Gods hands and will with all your love and trust...

Karen Booker Schelhaas

I was at BSF a few years ago and the teaching leader, whose husband was struggling with cancer in his 40s (and subsequently died), went through three healing scenarios she believes God uses as she's studied scripture. He either heals your physical suffering, He heals your heart spiritually through your suffering, or He heals you through death. Took me a while to take that in, but it's helped me over the years. We can and should pray for healing. But healing comes in different forms -- as my child was healed of his physical infirmities through death, so another might experience new heart transformation through suffering, and even another might experience full physical healing. I don't like that we don't get to choose. And I have no words for your situation. But I found this teacher's take on healing very helpful. Much love and hugs to you and yours as you put one foot in front of the other.

Courtney McDermed

Toben, I don't know what the answer is but I really appreciate you sharing your questions. Your (You and Joanne together) struggle is such a witness to the glory of God, regardless of the outcome. I doubt you see it that way so I wanted to let you know that you reflect God's glory just by sharing your journey with us.
I will continue to pray for your family and for healing. I don't have any answers but again, I thank you for sharing the road upon which you are traveling and your questions/struggles along the way.


A gift for you....truth.
The true Gospel is now delivered to you from the wilderness Rev 12:6 as a witness Matt 24:14.
Our heavenly Father will not put any child of his into a hell fire no matter what their sins. It never entered the heart or mind of God to ever do such a thing Jer7:31, Jer 19:5. The true word of God John 1:1 is now delivered Rev 12:5 start at this website

God chose a woman Rev 12 to be the prophet like unto Moses and Elijah Matt 17:3, Acts 3:21-23, Luke 1:17. Those professing themselves to be Christians would be wise to hear all Acts 3:23 BEFORE making any judgment. The proof of what I tell you is in the hearing.

Prove ALL things 1 Thes 5:21. Satan has deceived the whole world Rev 12:9 until now.


Hi Toben and Joanne,

I have followed you for years. Heard about you from Dr. Dobson's program. Actually, Ryan was the first one...anyhow. I am reading a book that I think might be really helpful to you both. Not to give you false hopes, but to help you understand and keep working with the side affects of the stroke. The book is: "The Brain that Changes Itself" by Norman Doidge, M.D. It is not a Christian worldview, but it is very enlightening!!! You really will want to read this book; both of you! Best always! I pray for you when I think of you.

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