Focus provided a lifeline for this mother when medical struggles crashed into her life
For as long as she can remember, Focus on the Family has been a familiar name to Laura. Her mother listened to Focus on the radio at home and on the drive to school. “I have always had a connection to Focus,” Laura says. “I am so thankful for their work and dedication to helping families grow closer to Christ.”
Just after Laura and her husband welcomed their daughter Rebecca into their lives, their world changed forever, and Laura found herself in need of even more support. “I learned in a very short period of time that I am not in control of certain events in my life, and it began the day of her birth,” she says.
Right after Rebecca was born, Laura lost consciousness due to a postpartum hemorrhage. “My breath was slow, and I knew my body was shutting down,” she says. “I remember gazing into my husband’s eyes and saying goodbye, and images of our little family crossed my mind.”
But even as Laura stabilized and recovered, Rebecca was diagnosed with a severe condition called spinal muscular atrophy type 1. “My world came crashing down as doctors told us she may never walk, talk or eat, and that they were unsure of her life expectancy,” Laura recalls.
By a miracle Laura attributes to the Lord, when Rebecca was 10 months old, she was selected through a worldwide lottery to receive a new medication for SMA costing 2.8 million dollars. This treatment was fully covered by the drug company and started a long path of healing for Rebecca.
Laura always knew about the articles and books available through Focus on the Family, but during all of Rebecca’s health challenges, she needed more support to help her work through them. A Google search for Christian counselling services brought up Focus’ website, and she discovered that Focus offers a free one-time counselling consultation.
“I always thought Focus was just resource-based, so it was really nice to know that there are people out there that we can call upon,” she recalls.
Through her consultation session with Focus, Laura was referred to a local counsellor in her area. “When everything happened with my daughter Rebecca, Focus was a source of somewhere to go. I spoke to a counsellor and I have asked for prayer many times. When you go through something dark like I have gone through, it really was like a shining light, a beam of hope, just having someone listen and hear me.”
She also sent in several prayer requests to Focus and got responses by email. “It has been an encouragement during this time and it is not an easy path that I have come on, but by reading stories and hearing other people's perspectives, it brings everything into light that God is in my life even in the trials,” she says.
Laura continues to find helpful articles and resources through Focus that speak into her family’s circumstances. “I can just go online and pull up a whole bunch of resources and articles. I find the ones that relate to my life. I find books related to suffering or resilience or disabilities, and I know that they’re coming from a Christian perspective, which is what I wanted. You can find a lot of resources out there, but to know you have a reliable Christian source was really good for me. The most recent book that I read was No Such Thing as Can’t by Tyler and Lisa Sexton. It opened my eyes to see how God can use disability as a vessel for doing his work. I want my daughter to see herself as a precious jewel used by God for a purpose.”
Laura and her family have seen first-hand the impact made possible through generous donations. “These donations are impacting other people’s lives,” she says. “Donors may not know whose life they're touching, but through that generous donation, Focus is able to help someone with something that they are going through. I know Focus on the Family will always be a resource to reference as my daughter gets older and I am so thankful for their work and dedication to helping families grow closer to Christ.”
Today, Rebecca is one and a half years old. She eats, babbles and is learning to stand with assistance. Laura dreams of a day when Rebecca will be able to walk over to her. Every day, she reminds herself of Hebrews 6:19, which speaks of “hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” This verse gives her hope each day as she looks to Rebecca’s future. “Nothing is too big for the Great Physician,” Laura says, “and I have that hope.”
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