The Depth Of My Pride

As the followers of my blog know, I’ve had ALS for twenty-two years, I’m completely paralyzed and unable to speak. I use an eye-tracking computer to communicate and I am totally reliant on Mary to take care of me.

Chipping away at my pride

I remember when I first started having to rely on others to help me with simple tasks. Even though my body was beginning to fail me and I sounded like a drunk when I spoke, I fought so hard to keep working after being diagnosed. Not just because we needed my income, but also because I just couldn’t imagine not working.

With my job as a Regional Sales Manager, I usually traveled two or three days per week, and usually left for the airport at five in the morning. I remember attending a convention and having to ask a coworker to button my shirt and put on my clip-on tie (I had already given up on adult ties).
On another trip I swung my overnight bag up on the conveyor belt going through security and lost what little balance I had and fell to the floor. Everyone in line just stared at me, until finally a frail elderly security guard helped me up. For most people, this incident would be close to the top of their “Life’s most embarrassing moments” list. For me, after twenty-two years with ALS, it doesn’t even qualify for the top 25. The incident did mark the end of my career, though.

One would think that a person who is completely helpless would have had every last drop of pride wrung out of him. Think again.

Following my last post about Mary being Laid-off from the job she’s had for the last twenty-nine years, and her income being more than double the amount of my monthly disability check… Several readers suggested setting up a Go Fund Me Account. “I’m not going to stand on a virtual street corner with a Go Fund Me placard asking for donations,” I thought.

If even the lame and mute still retain their pride, is anyone truly humble?

Well, my brother did start a Go Fund Me Account for us and one of our daughters is helping him manage it.

I cringed when my brother, daughter, and several followers of my blog suggested that I put a link on my blog to the Go Fund Me Account. This step was even more difficult for me.

I’ve been thinking and praying about this for the last two days. I would never want to give the appearance that I was trying to capitalize on the friendships, so many good friendships, that I’ve built through this Unshakable Hope blog over the last six years.

God reminded me that over the course of this long difficult trial, financially and otherwise, He has blessed us over and over through the hands of others, and that this Go Fund Me Account is an opportunity for Him to bless us again.
(My brother set the fundraising goal without consulting me; I would have set the goal at a million dollars :-))

If you’d like to give, please click HERE. (Thank you so much, my friends).

(Please) “…don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” (2 Corinthians 9:7)

About Bill Sweeney

In 1996, Bill was diagnosed with ALS (“Lou Gehrig’s Disease”) and the doctors told him he had 3-5 years to live. He is now completely paralyzed and unable to speak, but by God’s grace, he’s still alive and through his blog shares a message of hope in Christ - Unshakable Hope!

Posted on November 8, 2018, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 65 Comments.

  1. Reblogged this on quirkywritingcorner and commented:
    Faith Filled Friday – Through my disability I’ve learned to trust God more than I ever did. I still don’t like having myasthenia gravis, but I think it has made me a better witness for God’s love and salvation. I’d love to see all my Facebook and blog friends in heaven with me. Connie

    • Thank you for your comments and for the re-blog, Connie. I am sorry that, like me, you are physically weak, but I’m glad that God’s strength is working in you and through you.

  2. Just wanted to wish you, Mary, and the rest of your family a blessed Christmas, Bill! <3

  3. Thank you so much for the post. 🙂 🙂 Do not know what to say but, it is giving me courage to open up, and let people do things sometimes. Instead of doing everything on my own.

  4. You are an inspiration to many out here . I am really amazed to see your strength & perspective on life. Appreciate your pick of words in the post which shows you are humble. Respect to you !!!

  5. Dear Bill & Mary, I believe this post is an answer to prayer. I prayed God would bless you with more than what you are used to getting so you could complete what the Lord has planned regarding your writing.
    Blessings ~ Wendy

    • Thank you, Wendy. I agree with you completely – in the big picture, Mary losing her job is going to be a good thing because, “all things work for good…” thank you so much for your prayers.
      I know Thanksgiving is in October in Canada, but it’s today in America, so, Happy Thanksgiving!

  6. Reblogged this on YAHWEH-NISSI.

  7. I thought about this when I read your last post. It seemed so empty to me to send good wishes and prayers. I understand that prayer is the most important thing we can do, but the Bible also tells us that if we are able to help someone, to not just send them on their way saying we’ll pray and wish them well, but to actually put action to our words. I’m so grateful that your family set up a vehicle to help and bless you! Every little bit helps, but I pray God will amaze you with his generosity to you! You have blessed so many!

  8. Bill, your story is inspiring. My brother-in-law is paralyzed from the waist down from cancer chemo gone awry. My sister is a little bitty thing and has to use two hoists to move him around. He, too, is an inspiration. I would love to contribute, but at the moment we are, too, are swamped with doctor and hospital bills from my having Myathenia Gravis, an autoimmune disorder. There are times I would like to just go to sleep and not wake up. But it’s stories like yours and Greg’s that keep me going and thanking God for my doing as well as I am. God bless… (Isaiah 41:10)

    • Thank you for your comments. I am sorry you are going through difficulties. I love Isaiah 41:10.
      “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

  9. We will have such a jolly time together some day! But now, thank you all for staying the course! And thank you for allowing us the privilege of helping.

  10. Bill, we pray blesses for you and Mary as you continue to bless us with the unshakable hope the Lord has given you,

  11. You humble me every time you post. And that’s a good thing. Thank you.

  12. Dear Bill,
    I’ve just read your latest posts, so this comment will do for all three. I’m not delighted about your situation. I am, however, delighted to be one of your worldwide congregation putting a bit into the plate as it passes by! I can’t think of a better way of connecting with people who make a difference in ways most of us will never experience in our bodies. As for our spirits, our souls, the things with which we struggle daily, we’re definitely on the same page. Thanks for sharing so many pages of your life with us. Especially when it starts to ‘bite.’

  13. It is a privilege to be of some small assistance, Bill. Your friendship is invaluable to us all.

  14. Was just praying for you and your family today. <3

  15. Dear Brother Bill, you have always been such an encouragement. May the Lord continue to wrap His strong, supportive arms around you as you continue your journey. You are a true beacon of the grace of Christ.

  16. Reblogged this on 1 Way 2 Yahweh.

  17. Thank goodness your pride didn’t get in the way. As believers, we take care of each other and serve one another, it’s our calling. Just like those in Acts who lived a communal life, sharing everything. May God greatly bless!

  18. A few years ago I had a discussion with a close personal friend and follower of Christ. The subject was giving specifically giving to God. She felt churches should not emphasize giving. I told her the issue was not giving. The issue is when you deny someone the opportunity to give you rob them of the blessing that God has in store for them. And as the church is not a building but a community. And you and I are part of this community. If you deny those that can help the opportunity to help you are also denying them the opportunity to be blessed by God. The Go fund me page is not just about blessing you it is also about God blessing those that bless you.

  19. Karen Suttle Sanchez

    Bill, I know that pride is a big thing, especially with men, but women can be just as prideful, Thank you for admitting it, most men won’t :).

    I know, firsthand, how God uses family and friends through the most difficult of circumstances. I made a third of what Rick made and I have sooooo many stories of his provisions for us and the boys during his illness and after he went home to be with Jesus. You and Mary are one of those stories and I will forever be grateful that I had, and still have, friends like you and Mary who, without me saying a word to anyone (my pride in full swing), followed the Holy Spirit’s prompting and blessed us financially, even in the midst of your illness.

    God is GOOD and He will provide for you and Mary through friends and family, there’s NO DOUBT in my mind!!!! I know you and Mary know God is good and faithful, but just get ready…you are going to be overwhelmed with just how good he is and be AMAZED as He proves himself once again!!!

    I’m so sorry Mary lost her job, but after the initial shock and coming to grips with the whole situation, she will see (probably already does see) that God has a plan and you both can rest in that confidence!

    I’m excited to see how God uses people all over the world for “such a time as this.”

    I love y’all both so much and cherish our friendship over the last 36+ years (everyone should know we all met when we were 5…hahaha).


    • Thank you, Karen. I really miss Rick, I can still hear his belly laugh when I think of him, which is often. So many great memories. It’s hard to believe that Garrett turned 28 today; Rick would be so proud (good pride ( :-)) of his boys. We’ll see him again!

  20. For some reason, your post is not allowing me to “Like.” All for the better because now I can say: “Like, like, like.” Good on you, Bill. Now we all get a chance to love on you and your bestest wife. If you get a chance, watch the movie, “I’ll Push You.”

    • Thank you, Sr. Dorcee. I just watched the trailer for “I’ll push you.” Because there are so many bad movies being put out, Mary and I are very selective about picking movies. It is my responsibility to pick out our Friday night movies, including reading parental guidelines 🙂 Thanks for doing my job for me – you chose tomorrow night’s movie for me. Great reviews!

    • Thanks for the movie recommendation, it is a great documentary.

  21. Dear Bill, there are many character traits that come to mind when I think about you. Pride is not one of them. As a matter of fact pride doesn’t make my list … not even the top 25. I happen to think this is a great idea! I am praying!

  22. You and Mary are such a blessing.

  23. We still want to prepurchase your book … in the meantime the Kennedys from Australia are delighted that you have done this so we can show our love for a fellow member of our Christian family that have been challenged by so much but that have blessed so very many!
    God is Good my blogging friend … God is Good!
    Beth (and Andrew and our two poppets who read your posts too)

    • Thank you so much, Beth, (and Andrew and your two poppets). I am so glad that this blog allows me to communicate with people all over the world – even down under. Yes, God is so good! Romans 2:4.

  24. Thank you for the opportunity to say thank you with more than words.

  25. Good grief, Bill! How in the world could we NOT want to help you guys? I can’t do much at one time, so I’ve bookmarked the page to revisit. Hope others will do the same. What an absolute honor this is! (BTW, I would have made it a million, too!) 🙂

  26. You have given so much of yourself freely to others.. I am thankful your family decided to ask others to pay it forward 🙂
    I pray the Lord will open another door for your lovely wife..
    God bless you all.

  27. You rely on God so much, Daddy. And you have the gift of generosity on your life. I have watched you give generously to so many throughout your life. Abundance will be poured back to you!!! You are the real deal!

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