Here is an excerpt from my new book titled, Overcoming the Trials of a Lifetime, subtitled, Finding Meaning and Joy in the Midst of Afflictions, Illness and Hardships (My book is available for purchase at Amazon and a number of other retailers.)


I was diagnosed with what they call Young Onset Parkinson’s Disease. In 2000 and when I was only 38.  Now I am 58.

That was rough. When you lay a twenty-, thirty-, or forty-year decline estimate on someone who’s already seventy or eighty, many of the issues with Parkinson’s would occur after average life expectancy. When you’re thirty-eight, you get to ride through all those times.

Parkinson’s is incurable, progressive, and degenerative. It just gets worse. There are no Parkinson’s survivors. It never lets go of you. It never goes away. I didn’t have a lot of options for coping with the situation. I wasn’t counting it as joy nearly two decades ago when I was diagnosed.

I was shocked. I had plans. I had goals. I had career objectives. I was doing well in my career. Everything I had worked so hard for was in the palm of my hand. My life was going great. I had all kinds of things lined up. My life was in order. Suddenly, I was told that in ten years, I’d be in a nursing home. I didn’t have time for this! I had things to do.

I asked myself (not God), Why is this happening to me? What did I do to deserve this? My children were toddlers, and I thought, Will I ever dance at my daughter’s wedding?

First came denial. There must be a mistake. What else could cause these same symptoms? Maybe there were more doors I could choose. Could it really be that Parkinson’s was my best outcome?

Second, came anger. I complained, “Why me? It is so unfair. I don’t deserve this.” I was filled with anger. I paid my taxes. I hadn’t hurt anyone. I wasn’t out robbing banks or selling drugs. Why would God single me out for punishment?

Third, there came an emotional response reacting to my feeling that my getting Parkinson’s was unjust.  But this time my request was less that I would be spared, but more that people more unworthy should be diagnosed with Parkinson’s.  I thought, Why don’t you punish that person? I don’t like him very much, and he probably deserves it.  I named the names! You can understand what was going through my mind and how I would think that way, right? There are so many evil people in the world God could let get Parkinson’s. God, go turn your anger to those people.