A Place for Me


David and Mary Russell of Plano, Texas, share
Denise’s enthusiasm. Their daughter, Angela, is a very charming
3-year-old regular at Stonebriar Community Church. With undiagnosed
white matter disorder, Angela can’t walk, sit up alone, speak, or
eat, but she is a constant joy. She’s progressed in ways they never
anticipated. “Our child is from God,” says David. “Angela has
taught us true sacrificial love, and we trust God to fulfill his
plan for her life in her current state.”

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Not everyone, though, is as fortunate as these people have been
at church. When Doug and Cindy discovered that their bright,
articulate child’s repeated seizures signaled the onset of
epilepsy, they were devastated. Their strong faith in God led them
to ask for prayer at church — and to cry out to God themselves.
They researched every cure available.

Eight years later — and no cure in sight — Doug and Cindy were
exhausted by their daughter’s condition. They questioned why God
would allow such a debilitating condition and not hear their
prayers for their daughter. Their crisis of faith caused them to
drop out of church.

“I did try to go back without Doug several times,” Cindy
remembers. “But it was always the same. I could see the terror on
the teacher’s face as I explained what she needed to do in the case
of a seizure.”

Cindy is quick to not blame the teacher. “I mean, she’s a
volunteer. I would probably be freaked out too if she weren’t my

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Trying to worship after these encounters was impossible, Cindy
says. “I sat there worrying about how it was going and if
everything was okay. Finally, I would get up and go get her. I
haven’t been back to church since.”

The tragic result? Doug and Cindy have begun to doubt that there
really is a loving God who’s concerned about them.


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