Selfishness

I have to be honest. I’m really selfish. Don’t worry – I’ll explain.

God is doing some amazing things through this simple blog where all I’m doing is talking about myself. That’s the first way I’m selfish. I’m just talking about myself constantly and my struggles and what’s going on in my life with this disaster that has struck me down. I’m certainly no one special and not doing anything out of the ordinary from what I can tell. I wanted an easy way to keep everyone up-to-date with how Stephanie was doing. I never expected it to grow to over 2000 people (maybe more).

But He is really doing some serious stuff. Those of you keeping up on the comments have no doubt read some awesome stories about people coming closer to God, marriages being strengthened, and faith being restored. I’ve received even more stories via email. Obviously, I have nothing to do with this. Like I said, I’m no one special. I’m just some selfish guy sharing his story about some bad stuff going on in my life. I love God, and that’s about the only reason I can figure that He’s using me.

I’m selfish on another level, though. If I was given the choice, I’m pretty confident I would scrap all the good God is doing in your lives to have my wife back with me right now. I’d do pretty much anything if it meant I could have her back. I miss her tremendously. (Although, the love you’ve all shown for me over the past week or so would give me serious pause at this point in time.)

However, all of your stories really, truly make my pain so much less. I can’t explain it besides the great glory of God. The Holy Spirit in me is rejoicing so much over your stories that I can’t help but be overjoyed and my pain be diminished. Again, I thank you for coming along with me and for sharing your stories with me. Don’t forget for one second that it is making a difference in my life. And don’t stop sharing.

I love you all deeply, for it is Christ in me that provides that love.

35 thoughts on “Selfishness”

  1. Hey brad! I don't think your that selfish at all! You only want what's best for you and your life and your family! And to be quite honest that's what everybody wants! We also want gods will to be done! And sometimes his will just doesn't make any sense to us! Believe me I totally get this! I am blessed to be living I am suppose to be dead according to the doctors! But I survived and that is a miracle in it self ! But god has definitely brought people to me in my job to talk to who are in the same situation I was almost 16 years ago! I am able to console them and tell them to never lose hope or faith! Even though I don't have a corporate job that pays a lot of money, I love my job and I know most of the love me! I am blessed with a job where we are all like family! Life is rough and the road is unpredictable! But we must be strong and carry through! Still praying and thinking of you guys constantly! love you guys! Amy :)

  2. hahaha, I am glad God picked you to be the selfish guy. Because many would agree with me, if we were in your shoes, we would too indeed trade all this for our spouse. I am glad you feel that way, its normal!

    God is surely smiling upon you right now :-)

  3. Hey Brad, that is not selfishness it is called being human and if placed in your situation I would feel the same way. I must say your wrong as far as you being no one special Stephanie sure did not feel that way and from all she ever told me those kids think you created the moon and stars just for them. ;-) Remember no matter how ordinary we feel, someone in the world including God believes us to to be extraordinary.

    1. Rebecca,

      I could’t have put it any better if I tried! Well done! I’m so glad you put it into words for me! Thank you!

  4. God must be living inside you during all of this because your peace and understanding is amazing during such a time that I would be thinking about nothing but myself. I cannot imagine the decisions you have facing you, and yet God is working through you in ways that none of us can understand. I keep praying that God continues to keep his spirit inside of your soul not only for strength to keep on going minute by minute, but that you can continue to see God’s plans over your own.

  5. Still praying with you and your family every time God puts Stephanie on my mind- which is often. Let us know if there is anything we can do. Ryan and Dawn

  6. I don’t even know you but in no way would think that you are being selfish!!! I think you are brave for being able to express your feelings to everyone out there and be able to share what you are going through. I think that this horrible thing has done some amazing things for others. I think this was God’s plan. I feel that you have already made up your mind inside what you need to do, but need to make sure what God wants you to do. If a miracle is not what God intends for Stephanie.. think of how many lives she can live through others if you choose organ donation. God bless you and your family for whatever path God chooses for you!

  7. I join with those who know you in praying for you, Brad, and for your dear children, your extended family, and most importantly your wife. I do not know you, but we’re family nonetheless as our dear Heavenly Father has loved me and extended his welcoming arms to me too. I had a breakthrough in my prayer life this morning – before I ever even knew who you were or what your struggle was. Today while praying for another family whose 2 year old has been given 2 months to live due to cancer, I felt the ALMIGHTY, OVERFLOWING, OVERWHELMING POWER of the Holy Spirit as I confidently came before God and sought healing in this boy’s life. I have prayed most of my life, but today was different. I am no one special either. My past is scarred and stained. God is working through me though as He is through you. I am saying all of this to say that your family too is in my prayers. I don’t ask anything less than complete and total healing and restoration for Stephanie. I can’t wait for the good news. To God be the glory forever and ever – Amen.
    -Amy in Tampa, friends of Sarah (Vollman) Hershey and your sister in Christ.

  8. Brad, I know we haven’t talked in years, and I just heard through a few Malone peoples posts over the last few days what wa going on. Please know that you are in our prayers. Ijust finished reading your blog posts. Your faith and love is evident in them, and even through this difficult time really have been a cause to make us stop and talk. If there is anything at all we can do out here, please let us know. You do have our prayers!!

  9. You’re right, God is doing AMAZING things through your blog. I’ve also heard other stories about people being blessed by your blog that aren’t even in the comments (which I’ll share with you down the road).

    I just can’t help but think what Stephanie would think of all of this. We want so badly for the healing to take place in her body, but there is healing taking place all over and in so many lives because of what God is doing through Stephanie. We ARE selfish, Brad. But as you know more than anyone, Stephanie is one of the most unselfish people I know. She will LOVE this.

  10. Brad, I am another who does not know you or Stephanie. Heard about your situation on facebook (thru Amy Stack) & it has affected me deeply. The Lord often brings you and Stephanie to mind…find myself interceeding for you both throughout my days, in the night, in the car…etc. Still praying for her complete healing & for our God to be glorified! He is the God of miracles! Praying also for His wisdom for you in the decisions you need to make today…for Him to continue to uphold you throughout all that is ahead, however that looks. You are NOT any more selfish than the rest of us. Sounds like even less so than most. I see the Lord’s strength being given to you in the midst of your pain, praying that strength continues as long as you need it. Will be continuing to lift your family up to our King.

  11. Brad,
    This is a wonderful calling that God has given you. Actually I think He has gifted you and you have used that gift and so the blessings are flowing back and forth from you to the body of Christ and back over and over. Your honesty has blessed humanity, not only those who are following Christ, but all of us who are walking this life. The light of Jesus does not shine if hidden under a bushel. Thanks for writing, for honesty, for continuing, and for your faith. Praise God that He is faithful, that He is the only solid rock. May you cling to Him. You are a special brother.
    Prayers are with you.
    I am a bit closer to your situation at the moment because my Mom is in hospital.
    Lovingly,
    Beckie

  12. Oh Brad, you are wise beyond your 29 years. What ever the miracle is that God gives you, we are there to say AMEN and give HIM the glory. You know, there has been a miracle already–like you said, over 2000 people have read this site. Who knew! You will never know how many came to know Christ because of your honest, open desire to serve Him. God has used you and Stephanie already to further His kingdom. To God be the glory.
    kim and dave

  13. Brad,

    I had the joy of having you as my RA at Malone. I really wish that I would have gotten to know you as a friend, beyond the RA/resident relationship. I never had the honor of meeting your wife or seeing you since our Malone days.
    My wife and I have been following your blog since you first posted the link on Facebook and have been praying for you guys every chance we get.
    Your blog has made me ask some very tough questions of myself and how I would handle a situation like this. This has lead to conviction, repentance,and healing within me as a man, husband, and father. We are praying for a miracle…however that may look. Love you my friend!

    Scott Snowden

  14. Brad, Still praying, everytime God brings you, Stephanie, your kids, your family and for all those that you have touched in the past week. You will never know how many people have been changed. We are all selfish (just human).

  15. I’m still praying with great hope in our Mighty Lord and Savior Jesus!

    Whether the events to unfold over the coming hours and days play out to be what are our greatest hopes for you… know that He HAS brought about healing and hope -great and small- through your situation in ways you will never know until you stand before His throne on THE great day we all watch, wait, and hope for!!! Hold fast to your faith in the Truth and the Promises of God, I know on THAT day you will hear, “Well done Brad, my good and faithful servant.”

  16. You are NOT AT ALL selfish! In fact, the opposite – you are amazingly generous and thoughtful in expressing your innermost feelings and sharing what you are going through with us in this heartbreaking time for you. As you said in the beginning – it is helping you deal with all of it and allows us to “be there” with and for you and Stephanie and your family in our thoughts and prayers in a way we couldnt otherwise, even though we would like to be. Thank you! I will keep praying for you all and praying for a MIRACLE!

  17. Brad, you are not selfish. You’ve given it all to God throughout your painful journey. You have cared for your wife so tenderly. Your children know you love them. You ARE someone special. You are a young man wonderfully created in God’s image. I admire your writing of your passion for Christ, as well as your never ending love for your precious family. I’m so sorry for your pain.

    ~love from a Sister in Christ

  18. Still praying for you! I thank God that I met Stephanie through SN and then facebook and now have the chance to hear your words.You are a blessing to my faith! I pray for comfort for you and your kids!
    Thank you!
    Julie

  19. Brad,
    you are so courageous! i’m so sad to hear this news. i hope you and your family find peace. thank you for sharing! you’ll be in my thoughts and prayers.

  20. Dear Brad, I have been following your story from the beginning after receiving a prayer request from friends. I have hesitated to write to you because Stephanie’s story hits way to close to home for comfort. Even now my hands are shaking too hard to type. But I wanted to let you know how much God has used your and Stephanie’s story in my life. You see, I have the same history and type of epilepsy as Stephanie. Even the timeline is pretty much the same. My seizures started about 3 years ago though. I have eleven beautiful children ages 3-21, 7 girls and 4 boys. On Dec.21 of last year 2009 I had 2 grand mal seizures while driving. I was pulled from the car after I crashed, safely thank you Jesus, into a guard rail. The firemen broke out the window. It was like a scene from E.R. I was conscious just long enough to see my husband running across 3 lanes of traffic to be caught up in the arms of a waiting line of firemen. I was taken to the hospital, had 2 more seizures in the ambulance and 2 more in the hospital. There my seizure meds were changed once again, in hopes of better controlling them. THis time I lost my driver’s licence. Sadly enough, 3 weeks later on Jan. 12 our former employer informed us that we were to “resign our positions”. In other words, we were out of a job. What a coincidence,3 weeks after my diagnosis? So here we were, mom with 11 kiddos, with uncontrolled seizures, no driver’s licence, now unemployed in this economy? Months of desparate prayer and fasting, months of seizures, hospitalizations,and financial ruin. But God did everyday miracles in so so many ways. He is faithful everyday to provide. It took 7 months for my husband to find a job but God provided all the time, even when we had no job. God provided me a life saving companion seizure response and alert dog. And in the most unlikely and miraculous way. You see, I set out to adopt and train Emma to be a service dog for our 9th little girl who will increasing be in a wheelchair due to a neuromuscular disease. Well, Emma never could get used to the wheelchair…but she did start to respond to my seizures by putting her head under mine as it banged on the ground, clearing my airway of spittle and vomit, breaking my fall, and helping me up. A few weeks later she started to signal me before my seizures even began. She has and continues to save my life countless times. The amazing thing is is that I never trained her for ANY of these tasks! How could you? When I told the dog trainers about this they said that a very few dogs were able to do this and no one really knew how or why they could. But I know why: “Because I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able, to keep that which I’ve committed unto Him against that day.” My husband has been working now 2 months at his new job. It is not the ministry that we had so faithfully served in for almost 24 years but reading your blog has taught me these important things:
    *Yes, you can have a ministry even if you are not IN
    the ministry.
    *I am going to start a blog so that my family and friends can see my heart and love for them in words and not just in actions.
    *After reading your blog I am doubly resolve to trea-
    sure every single precious moment of life with my awesome family. Who else can say they share life with 11 children???
    *Every single day I am going to let my children know
    how much I love them and cherish them no matter
    what.
    *Every single day I am going to remind them that God
    has a wonderful plan for their life and that that
    plan is for them to become part of His life.
    *After reading of your emotional suffering, heart wrenching pain, and heartbreak near the end, I have decided to write my wishes for “when I shall sleep” down for my husband and children.
    *That they would know clearly what my hearts desire is at the end.
    * That they would have peace. That there would be joy instead of morning. That there would be laughter instead of weeping.That they would know to let me go fly away to Jesus. That I would want to give life to as many as possible before I broke free of this useless broken trap of an earthly body.
    *That I would want my children to know that I had
    loved them and their daddy while I was with them with
    all my heart…and always would. And that I would be waiting for them
    when they caught up with me with my table set for dinner when they got home, as I always had.
    *And I know you do not want to think about this at all right now…but I will write this for my children…I want them to know that when the time is right and if it is the LORD’s will, I would like them to have an earthly mother to love them and watch over them as I did. To fix their owies, and be proud at their recitals, and cheer at their baseball games, to continue to school them, to appreciate their artwork, to marvel at how God uses them in ministry, to be humbled at God’s work in their lives, to wallow in the warmth of their sweet fellowship and love for one another.
    *I want them to know “It is finished.” Now go in peace
    to love and serve the Lord.

    Thank you, Brad for sharing your journey. And thank you for allowing God to touch my life and my family as one who may be “asleep” some day while others pray and cry for me. I don’t know Stephanie personally…but when I am asleep, I want my family to be at peace and let me see my Jesus’ face unveiled for the first time.
    My heart is ever with you and your family.
    fondly,
    Lisa

    1. Oh, you have touched my heart and soul so deeply. After eading this, I promise to remember,each and every moment, just how many treasures that I hold in my hands. I pray that the blessings of God continue to shine upon your family.

    2. Brad,
      You are an amazing man! I wish my marriage was as wonderful as yours is. I have been married for 30 years now and somewhere along the way we lost some of what you have. I’m praying that I will change that. I love my husband dearly, just seems life has gotten in the way. You are truely an inspriation to all of us and in no way have you been “selfish”! You are baring your soul to the world and the world is praying! I am thinking of Stephanie all the time and I have never met either of you! I know I will one day though!
      I heard a message on Sunday and I’m not sure I told you about it but the title was “Dark night of my soul”. It was about how we have dark nights like in the loss of a loved one, etc. but its how we respond to it that matters. With God or without Him. You are in a dark night but you are walking with God through it! I also am in a “dark night” as I lost my sister in Feb. very suddenly. I’m struggling with the fact that I didn’t get to say goodbye to her. I know I will see her again as she was saved but its the missing her now that hurts. I feel so weak as a Christian at times. You have been such an encouragement to me. Thank you for sharing your feelings and for sharing your life with all of us!
      Still praying!
      Pam

    3. Brad, after I wrote to you with the name “Lisa”,the mom with 11 children as one who one day ‘shall fall asleep’ as Stephanie has, I realized that there were many “Lisa’s” on this board. My last name is Nieman, if you should ever wish to contact me. My email is lisamommyof11@yahoo.com. Don’t feel obligated at all. But I want you to know that I am praying always for you and your little ones. And that when I shall fall asleep like Stephanie is now I would yearn for you to be at peace and that would bask in the endless expressions of your love. Not all women are blessed with such loving devotion. You are a true gift to her and but a foreshadowing of her Bridegroom that awaits her so very soon. If there is ANYTHING I can pray for please let me know. As for me, I see things from Stephanie’s bed…we are ‘thorn sisters’, of a sort, and we earnestly await that glory day when that thorn in the flesh with be removed and there will be no more pain, no more crying, no more tears, no more sorrow, no more imperfect fallen bodies to slow us down. And all the recipes always turn our perfect. No more salvaging to piece together our dream kitchens. Our whole families at our tables including our miscarried children that have gone before us sitting in their highchairs. Meeting them for the 1st time. I know that is then and that is now. And you still need to think about tomarrow morning without you at her side. But soldier on brave man of God. Be strong and very courageous, for a little boy and a little girl are watching you to see in your life the kind of God we serve. Tell the story often and tell it well. Help them to marvel at his mercy and his grace in their lives. But do not hide from them the reality of living in a sin-scarred and fallen world filled with enmity and strife.A world temporarily under the spell of those spiritually blinded to the light of HIs truth. They point out so much more clearly why Christ had to suffer and die for their sins to bring us life everlasting. That life her on earth is but a whisper, a blade of grass that blows away, a fading flower that wilts and is disrobed of its beauty when it falls to the ground.

  21. Hey brad! I don't think your that selfish at all! You only want what's best for you and your life and your family! And to be quite honest that's what everybody wants! We also want gods will to be done! And sometimes his will just doesn't make any sense to us! Believe me I totally get this! I am blessed to be living I am suppose to be dead according to the doctors! But I survived and that is a miracle in it self ! But god has definitely brought people to me in my job to talk to who are in the same situation I was almost 16 years ago! I am able to console them and tell them to never lose hope or faith! Even though I don't have a corporate job that pays a lot of money, I love my job and I know most of the love me! I am blessed with a job where we are all like family! Life is rough and the road is unpredictable! But we must be strong and carry through! Still praying and thinking of you guys constantly! love you guys! Amy :)

  22. This side of heaven, chances are I will never meet you, Brad. By now, you know how it goes: I’m a friend of a friend of your brother’s, and am located on the other side of the country. Isn’t it great that geography doesn’t matter when we are brothers and sisters through Christ? What a privilege it is to pray for you and your precious, beautiful Stephanie.

    We know there are numerous entreaties going heavenward on your family’s behalf. And they will continue. It’s OK to be “selfish” because God gives us the permission to do so:
    – Philippians 4:6-7: 6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  I like it even better in The Message: Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

    That’s exactly what you’re doing: you’re accepting this invitation by God, and your petitions and praises are shaping your worries into prayers. Thank you for taking us along and allowing us to join you. What a tribute this is for your great love for Stephanie but even more so for your love for and trust in God.

    When all is said and done, and God completes His good work in Stephanie’s life, whatever that may look like, please know I will stay “on the bus” with you and continue to pray for you and your family. And you have a gift…maybe you will have a new mission and direction in your life. I know you have blessed me immensely and I have been encouraged by you…and I daresay you have the power to do that for others as well.

    In the meantime, I pray you continue to hold onto your faith and to stay strong. I am praying you’ll feel our Abba Father wrapping you and Stephanie and your children in His loving arms. And that He carries you through the coming days and reveals His presence in very real and wonderful ways to you.

  23. Dear Brad,
    I can only say Isaiah 40:29-31 “He gives power to the faint, and strengthens the powerless. Even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted;
    but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” You are waiting, God shall “renew” your strength (and Stepahnie’s) and then, God willing, Stephanie shall “walk” once again! Amen, To God Be The Glory!

  24. Brad,
    We just wanted to let you know that the two of us, my sister & her husband in England, and many of their church friends over there are joining you in prayer during this most difficult time. Thank you for your posts- they are indeed touching many lives!!

  25. Brad, you don’t know me either! :) I met your bro-n-law, Bill, over 6 years ago when we started to go to the same church. Bill is a dear friend. In January of this year I had a little girl and Bill brought me LSU bows that Stephanie made. I was super excited (no exaggeration here)! He told me about Stephanies bow business and how he felt bad for her because she had just had her first seizure and couldn’t drive. He also told me about how sweet she was. Well, I just had to check out her ebay store and of course I fell in love. Stephanie may have told you about me because I’m crazy about those bows! I immediately went through my daughter’s closet and decided on all the different color bows I needed and put my order in. I was so impressed with the quality of the bows and the presentation. Stephanie has also been so kind and generous to me with bonus bows and free-be’s. All my friends and family know about “my bow lady”. I was so proud to have a “bow lady” who I could just email and get a custom bow in no time! I always got stopped and asked about the adorable bows. I carried her cards with me and if I didn’t have one I shared the website on scrap paper. I have a sister in Korea that spread the word for HallesHairbows too! Can’t you tell how I love “my bow lady”. Any way, I just wanted to tell you that even though I have never personally met you or Stephanie I feel like I know you so well now through your blog. I heart aches for you and your entire family. I’ve had all my friends, family, and coworkers reading and praying for you all.
    When I sit in my daughters room and stare at those bows I think so much of your sweet wife. I pray for peace for your mind and spirit. I pray that when you are with your children that Stephanie shines through them. I can’t imagine your heartache and I’m so amazed by your faith. You have been an awesome testimony to all!

  26. Brad, you faith and strenth continue to inspire me. While I continue to pray that God returns your Stephanie to you whole, I have to tell you just how desperately wish that my own mom’s organs had been donated when she died. Knowing that she had aided in the health of another’s life would have been such a comfort to my soul.

    I pray, so hard, that you and Stepahnie and your babies continue to be wrapped tight in the loving arms of God.

  27. All I know Brad is that the kind of selfishness you are talking about it absolutely and 100% acceptable. Your selfLESSness is helping so many people. And Stephanie’s testimony is amazing! Praying for the best!
    In Christ,
    from Idaho,
    Amy

  28. Unbelievable how many times in a day (and night)that God brings you and Stephanie and your family into my thoughts…I take that very seriously and pray each and every time He does this. Only imagining that others are right there with me…and multiply that by the number of people responding to your posts…almost seems like it’s like trying to count the number of hairs on one’s head…I love that God knows that number even if we couldn’t do that math! Continualy praying…

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