Merry Christmas!

This will be the shortest post I’ve written. It’s a post I never expected to write because I didn’t expect to be alive this Christmas.

Of my more than twenty-four years with ALS, the last month has been the toughest. Beginning around Thanksgiving, my breathing went from bad to worse. I fought so hard to write my previous post about the victory over death through Christ, thinking it would be my final post.

It got to the point where I couldn’t sit up to look at my computer, let alone read or reply to emails or comments on my blog. Mary signed in and read my email to me. I wanted nothing to do with TV, so I laid back and listened to faith-building YouTube videos or had Mary read to me. It’s probably too much information, but my body couldn’t tolerate the formula for my feeding tube, so I pretty much quit eating altogether. My skinny body continued to deteriorate. I was fading fast.

Our daughters, Lauren and Leah, came in to help Mary make funeral plans. I was at peace and so ready to leave this emaciated old body behind. There were three or four nights that I just knew would be my last. But, like in the movie Groundhog Day, I’d wake up in the morning trapped! Then, I finally figured out the reason for my waking up those mornings I didn’t expect to – IT IS YOUR FAULT! I’m referring to all of you who have been praying for me. I don’t know what today or tomorrow holds, but it looks like, due to the powerful prayers of my family and friends, I’ll get to spend another Christmas with our kids and grandkids.

THANK YOU and MERRY CHRISTMAS!



“The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:10-11).

About Bill Sweeney

In 1996, at the age of 36, I was diagnosed with ALS. The neurologist gave me 3-5 years to live. 24 years later... :-) I'm completely paralyzed and unable to speak. By God's grace and the great care of my wife, I'm still here. I live to encourage and give hope to others going through difficult times.

Posted on December 24, 2020, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 83 Comments.

  1. Richard Proske

    All I can say is, WOW!
    What a incredible man/friend, he is in the hero status in my book!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. What a beloved witness and encourager! I look forward to his winsome smile when I meet him in heaven.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. God bless you Bill and your family.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wish you a great holiday season and new year!

    Like

  5. While my condolences go to the family, my heart is so happy that you’ve made that trip home and now are free of pain and sickness!
    What an amazing light you are to others! Rest in peace, brother!

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I burst into tears reading this. Can someone cry in joy and sorrow at the same time? Rejoicing for your family and all you bless that you have lived through another Christmas, and sorrow for you being trapped still in your wasting away body. For the past two and a half months, some mysterious condition has ravaged my joints and muscles with swelling and pain increasing daily. I’ve thought of you and prayed for relief and your family! My slight suffering is nothing compared to what you’ve endured these past decades. I can only imagine. You’ve encouraged me, but I also have a very small sense of what wanting relief from the struggle is like. Blessings to you and your family. If you get to hear/read this before you stand with Jesus, thank you for your tremendous ministry which proves that God can use anyone, anytime, no matter what the circumstances and usually because of them! I can’t wait to meet you and your family someday in heaven!

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Wow, what a great witness to the power of prayer! So glad to hear you were able to spend another Christmas with your dear Mary and family. To lose a loved one during the celebration of our Savior’s birth is quite difficult. One’s heart vacillates between sorrow and celebration – joy and sadness – tears of joy and tears of pain and the void of that one special person in your life and family. Our family lost a family member days before Christmas. I am so glad for God’s mercy to spare your family from that this year. Never giving up on the power of God’s healing for you, whether here on earth or when He takes you home. God bless!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Merry Christmas! May God Bless you and your family. It is great to hear from you and I pray that God’s peace is with you. You are such a blessing to so many.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Don’t Thank any of thiim. Thank God😉.

    🙂🙂So u almost “got up” n “walked” huh(humor).
    -2we1ve

    Liked by 1 person

  10. So sad to know of your suffering, but blessed to know you survived to celebrate another Christmas with loved ones. ((hugs))

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Praise God, you’re still around to encourage us! Praise God for His grace that carries you through. A blessed Christmas and New Year to you & your family. (Philippians 1.21) 🍀

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Dear Bill, I was very sad indeed to hear that you have been so ill, but glad that God has been with you and kept you with your loving family and us also for another Christmas. God bless and keep you dear Bill – He is with you always. You are in my prayers. Love and blessings to you and Mary.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Bill,

    If the Lord needs you here or home He will prepare you for either. Thank the Lord this life in not it.

    In Christ,

    Gary

    Liked by 2 people

  14. I am so sorry to hear of your suffering, Bill. But glad you were here to celebrate another Christmas w/ family and friends. We all love you. ❤ ❤ ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  15. My heart aches for you and Mary–the rigor required for the two of you to press on day after day. With thousands of others I pray for strength, peace, and joy–and yes, HEALING! I also praise God for the way you both shine as mega-stars (Philippians 2:14,15), exemplifying the God-enhanced life in spite of suffering.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Merry Christmas to you and your family, Bill!
    Praise the Lord for every moment God is giving you together. I’m sorry it has had so much suffering for you. May God be your comfort!
    God loves you, Bill! He loves you so much🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  17. I just started following your blog, but your posts are an inspiration. A reminder that God does have a plan. And a reminder to myself of what others are going through. I have no doubt God is very proud of you! 🤗 Peace and blessings to you Bill and Mary 🙏🏻

    Liked by 2 people

  18. I know that, whether in life or in death, your goal is to glorify our risen Savior, Jesus Christ! Your testimony has to be one of God’s most powerful responses to anyone who is feeling sorry for themselves in this life. If you should precede us in your translation, be certain the angels record your abundant entrance. I want to see it on God’s big screen! Bryan

    Liked by 3 people

  19. I can’t imagine what you have been through and are going through. I do know God is with you and your family. I appreciate your updates and will continue to pray for peace and comfort for you.

    Liked by 3 people

  20. Merry Christmas Bill and Mary ❤💚

    Liked by 2 people

  21. May the Lord bless and keep your family this Christmas, and into 2021.

    Liked by 3 people

  22. Robert Partington

    Bill, so glad you are still with us. I’m always relieved when I find one of your posts in my inbox, and encouraged by each one. To me, and probably bazillions of your readers, you represent (in your weakness) the attributes Christ envisioned for his church: faithful, courageous, persevering, full of humility, willing to suffer in order to follow. Your life is a powerful powerful ministry. Your muscles might be shrunken and useless now, but you’d better get ready to hold (and maybe even bench press) a collection of of well-earned crowns.

    Liked by 3 people

  23. Bill Merry Christmas for you and your family.
    Be strong my dear brother. I love you

    Liked by 3 people

  24. Just have to pass this on. If it’s God’s will, you will be here NEXT Christmas- and the next! A friend of mine had a similar experience when his body rejected the formula. I used to take him to his appointments, and one day I thought it would be his last. But God….but God brought him out of what seemed hopeless. Bill, your life is a miracle. I’m so sorry you’ve lived the last few years feeling trapped, but God ….. has done miraculous things through you. You are living proof that our ministry never stops. Thank you for being the hands and feet of Jesus.

    Liked by 5 people

  25. Oh Bill Merry Christmas to you and Mary and your family. Your posts always stir my heart so deeply. Thank you for your beautiful words. What a precious gift this Christmas. Much love to you.

    Liked by 3 people

  26. Wishing you and yours a blessed Christmas day and the courage to carry on, whatever the future holds. Perhaps we will be the privileged ones who witness his return.

    Liked by 2 people

  27. Merry Christmas, Bill. This world will be so much poorer when our Father decides to take you home. You are a light, an inspiration, a beautiful reflection of our Savior and you will be greatly missed. I pray that whatever time remains will be filled with love, peace, and the joy of our Lord! ❤️

    Liked by 3 people

  28. I love your short post. I don’t love where you find yourself right now. Thank you for this reminder that we’re not in charge, we don’t have a clue what’s coming next, and we must be ready any moment. May God walk tangibly with you and your family through the coming day or days. I can’t stress enough how wonderful it was to find you, and to have this strange, unexpected link to Diane. Rest in peace, regardless of what happens next.
    Elouise

    Liked by 3 people

  29. You will be missed. Thank you for your always encouraging words. I thank God that you commented on my blog so many years ago. May the Lord grant His peace and presence to and with you in your final days.

    Liked by 2 people

  30. I want you to know that my prayers for you have NOT been that God would extend your life here on earth; rather, that He would give you and your dear Mary the grace to deal with whatever He allows in His timing and His knowledge. Strength to endure, peace in knowing your final destination,

    You have been a mighty blessing to many. Mary is the biblical example of a dedicated helpmate. It’s an. epic story, and I hope someone close to you will write it someday.

    Liked by 3 people

  31. Richard & Fran Armstrong

    Merry Christmas to you, Bill, your wife, and your family. Again you have inspired me. May the Lord bless you today with easy breaths. Love & blessings, Richard, your brother in Christ.

    Liked by 2 people

  32. Merry Christmas Bill, Mary, and family !! Sooo blessed to know Bill, and to be able to share his “Unshakable Hope” !! Blessings in Christ, bruce

    Liked by 2 people

  33. God bless you All with His grace, mercy and Love.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Merry Christmas to you, Mary and your family! Your courage, strength and faith continues to inspire and point us all to Jesus!

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Merry Christmas Bill and Mary,
    Your loving posts are always so inspiring.
    Ya’lls love for our Savior and love for family and friends are truly a guideline to showing the love of Christ.
    We wish you much joy and peace this special holiday season.
    Love you both!

    Liked by 1 person

  36. You are such a blessing to many people. I know you are an inspiration to me. Thank you for everything you do for the Lord. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Dear blessed Bill and Mary and children, yes I pray for you all every morning and every night. I asked always God‘s blessings on you and his presence in your life. I know you’re ready to leave Bil, more than ready! He will bring you home soon I think. I’m going to miss you. Thank you for being somebody that I look up to, I look up to Mary as well and your children, and your faith has sustained mine. Thank you with all of my heart. Thank you for your sense of humor. I’m sending loads of love. Nancy. From moody radio

    Liked by 1 person

  38. Dear Bill and Mary, I will not wish you a Merry Christmas, but a Happy New Year, whether it is here or there with our heavenly Father and our Lord. While we may have kept you here by our prayers and supplications, He has kept us close to Him by His life in you. You are both precious to us all. We love you, and with you, long to be together with the Lord. Prayers, praises, and blessings for you and your family. “The Lord is good. His mercy is everlasting and His truth endures forever.”

    Liked by 5 people

  39. Bill, you are a blessing and you are blessed’ One way or another you will spend this Christmas with Jesus. Praying for His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven

    Liked by 3 people

  40. I shared this post on my blog, brother Bill, and I asked for prayers for you and your family. You are the most inspirational person I have ever known.

    I am praying for our Abba Father’s perfect, merciful, loving will to be done in your life. I have gone through some horrors in my own life, and I was diagnosed with severe PTSD as a result. However — God has brought so much GOOD out of even the worst of my horrors, that I have learned to trust Him, no matter what.

    Soon, Bill Sweeney, you will be fully, gloriously healed. Whether in this life or in the next eternal life. Soon. That is my prayer in Jesus’ name for you. ❤❤❤

    Liked by 6 people

  41. Merry Christmas Bill and Mary! Thank you for teaching all of us that every day is a gift. Many, many people continue to pray for you Bill. God has you in His hands.

    Liked by 2 people

  42. I have no words, Bill. I wish you and Mary a loving and heartfelt Christmas. You inspire and lift us up even as you weaken, what a power gift you have. I shall always cherish my friendship with you and Mary, even though I have never met you, I feel you in my heart when I read your blogs. Thank you, for touching my heart and helping me through my time of grief when I needed it. Love and strength to you and your family.
    Lynda.

    Liked by 2 people

  43. Marie Jones-stenger

    My dearest Bill,
    Thanking Jesus for this Christmas you can spend with your family. You are in a good place and beautiful frame of mind.
    Peace be to you and your family.
    Marie Jones(Paula’s friend)

    Liked by 2 people

  44. Grace for the moment, that’s all we need.
    A blessed Christmas to you and your family, dear Bill.

    Liked by 2 people

  45. We are grateful you are still here Bill, seeing your family for Christmas. You are such a fantastic servant of our Lord Jesus, He still has people to touch through you, encouragement to give others, others who will not tune Him in, but will check your posts.
    Thank you for your faithfulness to the Lord, and His Calling.

    God’s Blessings Bill, Merry Christmas to you and Mary, along with your entire family.
    You all are loved.
    George

    Liked by 3 people

  46. Kathy Proske Tyllick

    Dear Bill,
    I’m so thankful that you are still with us and are able to spend another Christmas with your family.
    Yes I one of the guilty ones that has been praying for a miracle of healing in your body. Gods not finished with you yet, Bill. You’ve been such a blessing to me as I have read your blogs.
    You have such an amazing family.
    Merry Christmas to you and your family and may you all have a Happy and blessed New Year.
    Love you guys.
    Kathy Tyllick

    Liked by 3 people

  47. Merry Christmas Bill so glad you are still here to share this holiday with everyone much love to you all

    Liked by 1 person

  48. A blessed Christmas to you and Mary and your family Bill. Like you said, we don’t know what the rest of today or tomorrow holds but we do know Who holds them and that we are safe in His care. May God’s peace and grace be with you all. Love in Christ – Bruce

    Liked by 4 people

  49. God continue to richly bless you and your family. Have a truly blessed Christmas, Bill!

    Liked by 2 people

  50. I can’t wait to meet you in Heaven. Love, Marla

    Liked by 2 people

  51. So beautiful. Thank you my friend. You are so loved and prayed for. What a privilege it’s been to be your friend. God bless.

    Liked by 3 people

  52. Rebecca Meredith

    Merry Christmas Bill! This is Becky, Valarie’s sister. We are praying you have a beautiful Christmas with your kids and grandbabies.

    Liked by 1 person

  53. Words are difficult sometimes… I pray for peace for you Bill… and for blessings for you and your family this Christmas… Diane

    Liked by 1 person

  54. Thank you for giving more of your precious energy to share HIS hope with us again. May the Lord continue to carry you through every moment here with your family until He carries you home. Blessed Christmas.

    Liked by 1 person

  55. Merry Christmas Bill to you and your family

    Liked by 1 person

  56. Merry Christmas to you and family. You are still here because God is not finished with you yet. Stay bless and remain hopeful. Blessings to you

    Liked by 1 person

  57. Followed you here from Linda Lee’s blog, and am truly blessed by your steadfast faith and hope. May the amazing grace of our God and Savior strengthen and keep you and your family. Merry Christmas!

    Liked by 1 person

  58. Your posts are such a blessing to me. Thank you❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  59. CAROL McElmurray

    Bill, you are and have been such a blessing to so many of us over the years. May this Christ-mas celebration be filled with much hope and peace in Jesus.

    Liked by 2 people

  60. I’ve only ever met you through your blog but oh my how you’ve blessed me!
    I count you as a friend that I look forward to rejoicing with one day when all is new and all sorrow is passed.
    Merry Christmas
    with love, Lynn

    Liked by 3 people

  61. So happy you are still with us, the Good Lord knows you have so much to offer our broken world. Merry Christmas to you and yours Bill!

    Liked by 2 people

  62. Dear Bill,

    I am so sorry that you have come to this point and struggling so. I know you are ready, but I’m sure your family is grateful for even one more Christmas with you.

    It is hard for those of us who are so grateful for your life, your strength to share your gift of love and encouragement/inspiration to all of us, to even think of you being gone from this earth.

    Yet, I believe when you do go you will be remembering us to Jesus, our Lord and Savior.

    Thank yous are not enough gratitude for your life.

    Love and hugs,

    ann

    Liked by 3 people

  63. Thank you for your encouragement to all of you readers. Blessings to you and Mary this Christmas.

    Like

  64. Merry Christmas Bill! You have been such an inspiration! Praying for peace for you and for you and your family to enjoy cherished moments together tomorrow!

    Like

  65. Dearest Bill and Mary … I think of 2 Peter 3:8 “But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”
    In one day, a day which we may set aside as worthless, the Lord can do things we wouldn’t be able to do in a thousand years. His work and words in and through us can move people to eternity. What you say, the way you say it, your blog and words have deep impact for Him. He is woking despite and moving while you can’t.
    I am eternally grateful for your willingness and witness, to spend one more day here and make a thousand years of difference for Him.
    Merry Christmas, friends. Love you!

    Liked by 4 people

  66. Merry Christmas to you. so glad you are here to celebrate with your family. Love you guys

    Liked by 1 person

  67. Merry Christmas Bill and Mary and God bless you both.

    Liked by 1 person

  68. Personally I can’t wait to go home to be with the Lord and I can’t imagine your agony. Be blessed this Christmas with your family and may the Lord give you His peace and comfort. You and Mary are such an inspiration to so many. Merry Christmas to you.

    Liked by 2 people

  69. Dear Brother Bill, Bob and I are writing this together. You may blame us, the Body of Christ, for remaining here any longer, but you are a true champion of the faith and a great inspiration for many of us to press on with the hope that we have in Christ.
    What glory it will be to see the Lord! Until then, may He sustain and encourage you and Mary. We send our love to you this Christmas.

    Liked by 5 people

  70. Our hope: “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Rev 21:4)

    I think I can speak for everyone who come to your blog, in that you are a true inspiration to all of us here. “Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have declared so well before many witnesses.” (1 Tim 4:12)

    Have a joy filled Christmas with your family❣ 💖 Remember, it’s our eternal future, not our present, that we ache for. You have set a powerful example of what a true believer is to all of us and to your beloved family.

    Liked by 3 people

  71. All the peace and love of the season to you and your family, Bill.

    Liked by 1 person

  72. Love you Bill

    Liked by 1 person

  73. Wow. My heart. I thank God for you, Bill. I look forward to one day, meeting you and others when when I finally make it home too. Ah, to be present with the Lord. Praying for you and your family. Praying God’s will. Merry Christmas, and thank you for touching many lives for Jesus.

    Liked by 2 people

  74. The Lord has put you on my heart many times Bill, and I have been praying for you and your family. I know the suffering is so hard. I can’t wait to receive my new body in heaven right along with you. I truly pray you are not in pain and you have a beautiful Christmas! We will be home soon. God bless you all!

    Liked by 4 people

  75. Merry Christmas, Bill and Mary! What amazing faith, hope, love, and courage you have for Jesus. Love and blessings to you and Mary!

    Liked by 4 people

  76. Merry Christmas Bill and Mary! Thank you for your great witness and the blessing you are. May you be blessed with great joy and peace at this special time of year.

    Liked by 2 people

  77. I’m very happy. To see you come again, post a blog again. We worship the name of the LORD JESUS Christ

    Liked by 3 people

  78. I only pray for God’s will . I can only imagine how tired you are and am sure going homewould be a blessing…..for all of us. Hang in there….God just must not be through with you …or any of us left here to deal with this crazy world we are living in.
    Christmas blessings to you and all of your family.

    Liked by 4 people

  79. Merry Christmas Bill. We all love you and thank you for updating us. 🌲❤

    Liked by 6 people

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