Rest

I know we are all wishing right now that this post was coming from Bill Sweeney, but instead, I (Lauren, his eldest daughter) will share a little post in his honor. Last year, we were celebrating one last miraculous Christmas with Bill, enjoying his invaluable presence that was still with us. He told us a few weeks before (struggling to type with his eyes) that he knew his body and lungs were shutting down and that he was ready to “throw in the towel” and say goodbye to his ALS-depreciated body. “The jig is up,” he sarcastically typed to my mom. (He would always somehow find a way to make us laugh despite the heavy circumstances.) The past several years had been a long journey of near-death experiences and fighting to stay alive with the aid of my mother right beside him. 

Every day of his 24-year journey of ALS, Bill would wake up believing Jesus would heal or at least that Jesus was calling him to suffer well with Him, believing for the impossible. This filled his soul with hope and his dying body with determination. He gave 2 Corinthians 4:16 so much context: “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.” He wasn’t fearful, however, of dying. It was quite the opposite. He taught me that this time on earth is not our home. Eternity is what we live for when we are finally with Jesus face to face. 

Most of our December 2020 was spent enjoying quality time with him. Although a sad, solemn month, there was an overwhelming peace and rest over the house and our hearts. I learned during these last days with my dad that sometimes resting in the Lord is harder than rising up in faith and fighting. True rest is not a break from tension but resting through the trials.  Our whole family had run a long-suffering race with this disease and now the Lord was asking us to lay down our swords and trust Him in a new way. 

One morning I had been in my dad’s room sharing with him about the theme of “rest” that God was speaking to me through his Word. My three kids were playing in the other room. I walked in the office and found them writing random letters as “passwords” with paper and pens scattered around the room. I walked up to my barely-five year old daughter, who could not write actual words at the time, and on her paper she had written “REST” as her “password” not knowing she had formed an actual word. Ok, Lord, I hear you! Ha! 

Life is constantly forcing us to take a deep breath and choose to surrender all control to God.  He has to daily remind us of trust because He knows it does not come naturally, and we obviously want to run from all discomfort. The learning-to-rest game is a muscle that constantly has to be flexed, an art that is always in need of more nurturing and sculpting. There’s no mastered end-goal of this journey but rather a way of life—inhaling deeper breaths and exhaling contentment, releasing anxiety and control. This is analogous with natural childbirth. When I chose not to get an epidural during the delivery of my three babies, the main thing that I remember my midwife and others coaching me in was to relax during the pain. The more tense any muscle got in my body, the more pain I would feel. DO YOU KNOW HOW HARD IT IS TO RELAX IN EXTREME PAIN!? But He calls us to this rest every day and season despite the circumstances (even if we aren’t always successful). 

He knows our whole life on earth has extreme “birth pains”, but it is not a waste. “For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of Glory beyond all comparison.” (2 Corinthians 4:17) Like this analogy, I believe Bill did learn this surrendering art so beautifully—letting go of self and receiving the Grace that empowered him to “fight the good fight of faith”.

This was my first Christmas without my dad—to hug, laugh with, give him a gift. Even with him having ALS for 24 years and unable to talk, walk or hug me back, his presence was always in the home. His presence was always still available for me to text/email or send funny videos of my kids with the confidence I would get a response. I know many of you can relate as you are also missing someone’s presence especially during these holidays. 

I’ve realized that the most comforting thing about being with someone I love is not the topic of conversation or what we choose to do, but simply their presence. If we put so much value on one human in our life that we love so dearly, how much MORE substantial and real is The Presence of Jesus that will never leave us!? I believe God created our hearts with this presence-craving deep within us because He actually has that same hunger in Him for ours. God craved to share His presence with us so much He chose to send his only son as a weak baby to a dark earth to then be the ultimate sacrifice for us by receiving the most painful, humiliating death by crucifixion. 

Presence releases rest, and rest releases Presence. 

“In repentance and rest is your salvation. In quietness and trust is your strength.” 

-Isaiah 30:15

My family and in-laws had a skiing trip planned for Colorado after Christmas, and because dad was feeling a bit better and was deeply determined for us to still go on our trip, we continued our plans. As we ascended the mountains of Colorado, Daddy also was beginning his ascent to heaven, and around midnight on December 30th, he finally received his full healing! I caught the next flight out of a small airport with ironically the acronym code “ALS”. I had a one-way ticket leaving ALS, never to return!

I believe we are all on this ascent of learning rest, enjoying His Presence, and letting go of self to take hold of His strength in our weakness! Thank you for all your prayers, support, love tears and laughs throughout this journey. I could write so much more about the power of love and prayer from each one of YOU through all of this! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from our family to yours! 

Posted on December 30, 2021, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 143 Comments.

  1. Kathryn Graber

    Lauren: your words have been a true comfort to me. We lost my father almost four years ago and my mother went to join him in Heaven in late January. Finding peace with no longer having my parents ‘present’ in my life is difficult but I know without a doubt that God will help me day by day. Your words helped me better understand this journey….and so many, many times your fathers words did the same. His light shines through you. Thank you for continuing to bring ‘the light’ of Christ to us. God bless you & your family.

    Like

  2. Dear Lauren, thank you so much for your very kind words and encouragement. They really helped me. It was lovely to read ‘Nothing can break the chain’ again and it’s definitely worth getting your son’s picture framed. Although it’s so simple, the truth it conveys makes it a real masterpiece. It’s beautiful. I love the way your son drew himself and God in the shape of hearts with happy smiles and chained together – by unbreakable love! I can’t tell you how much reading your dear Dad’s posts have helped me in the past and still do now. His faith and hope in Jesus through all his trials was truly inspiring and so too are the words you and your Mum have written about him. Thank you again from my heart and God bless you all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Christine, It is so encouraging to know that Bill’s words continue to help you and others. It was his desire to encourage the Body. I, too, find myself here reading his blogs. They encourage me, as do the comments from others like you. Thank you for taking the time to comment. Bless you.

      Like

  3. Lauren, thankyou so much for your words of hope – so like your dear Dad. I lost my Mum in 2017 and five months later, my Dad. I miss them both very much and at times have lost hope too. But I woke up this morning and for some strange reason, I remembered one of your Dad’s posts – ‘Nothing can break the chain’. One of his grandchildren had drawn a very touching picture of himself holding God’s hand with those words above it, reminding us of God’s promise that nothing can separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ. I can’t remember which month your Dad posted this, but I’d love to read it again and keep it in my heart and remind myself daily to keep holding on and resting in God’s love. God bless you and God bless your dear Dad.

    Liked by 1 person

    • laurenmulvey88

      Hi Christine,

      That is so heart-breaking to lose both parents and even more so close together. I’m so sorry. Praying you feel His Presence so near. There will always be days we don’t feel hopeful, “but when we are faithless, He remains faithful” is the verse that comes to my heart for you as I type this.

      I too was recently thinking of that picture last week and have been wanting to frame that drawing my son created to encourage and remind me as well.

      Here it is:

      https://unshakablehope.com/?s=Nothing+can+break+the+chain

      Thanks for taking the time to encourage me as well today!

      Like

  4. Dear Lauren & Mary,
    The testimony of Bill’s Unshakable Hope spoken through you both is a gift to all of His readers. Thank you for this.
    And thank you for these beautifully penned words of rest:
    “True rest is not a break from tension but resting through the trials.
    The learning-to-rest game is a muscle that constantly has to be flexed, an art that is always in need of more nurturing and sculpting.”
    Blessings ~ Wendy Mac

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Thank you…THANK YOU!! Your beautiful soul is so much like your Dad’s! When I first saw this post in my email, I caught my breath! But just like your dad you give so freely from your soul to make an impact on all who read your words. I know you miss him dearly and grief is so personal. I can’t believe the airport code was ALS!!!
    Many Sweet Blessings to you and your family. Thanks for reaching out!! ❤

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Reblogged this on Something to Stu Over and commented:
    Bill was such as inspiration to me over the years. And his daughter Lauren has written a touching post of her father, ALS, and the faith their family has in God. I hope this touches you as it did me…REST

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Lauren, this is such a beautiful tribute to your dad and a marvelous testimony about how to rest. Your statement, “True rest is not a break from tension but resting through the trials” is perfect. Thanks for sharing your learned and lived wisdom.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. So, so beautiful! God rest his soul and comfort yours!

    Liked by 4 people

  9. An incredibly powerful post and one I needed to read as I start treatment for breast cancer next week. God always puts words into one’s line of sight just when they’re needed. Lauren, you write beautifully about your dad. He obviously lives on in you as you bring him to others.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thank you for stopping to write a quick encouragement to me. I am going to pray for you today–complete healing over your body and minimal side effects from treatment and a year of REST.

      Like

    • I will be praying for you, Julie, as you walk through this trial. God’s Grace will be there for you as you look to Him for your comfort.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Reblogged this on Mitch Teemley and commented:
    My Featured Blogger this week is Lauren Mulvey. This is a unique and very special post in-as-much-as Lauren is the daughter of the late Bill Sweeney, whose blog many of you faithfully followed for many years. Bill was and still is a spiritual touchstone and hero to countless people (including me). After his passing, I reblogged his wife Mary’s deeply moving post (June ’21). And now his daughter Lauren has added her own wonderful words about “returning and resting” (from Isaiah 30:15, a verse that resonates deeply with me). Has any family tree ever born better fruit than this one? I doubt it. Read Lauren’s post (and Bill’s and Mary’s) and you’ll see what I mean.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Mitch! Wow, I am deeply touched by your powerful words of encouragement. Thanks for the re-blog. I know we are all hearing God call us to more REST right now! Thank you, also, for the friendship and encouragement to my mom and dad. They have both separately told me about you, and I have enjoyed reading your blog!!! Thank you for your continual faithfulness to encourage the Body of Christ!

      Liked by 2 people

  11. Savannah Crihfield

    Thank you!! I needed this.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Savannah Crihfield

    Thank you so much for sharing! The Spirit was so present as I was reading. I’m learning to not be fearful and to rest, so this was right on time 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

    • Hi Savannah! I am also learning the same thing. May 2022 bring REST to your family! Thank you so much for being the best neighbors to my mom all the time!!!

      Like

  13. Wonderful to read your words and hear from your heart, Lauren! You father had such a remarkable impact on so many people (including me), and still does. We’ve all heard from your mother Mary, and are deeply aware of her role in this ministry. And now to hear from you, his daughter, as well, and to see God continuing to work through each of you, is an inexpressible blessing.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.” What a perfect verse for your dad. When you see him, he will have so much to share with you.
    ALS airport – what a great “coincidence,” and I love your insight – “Leaving ALS never to return.” AMEN.
    Blessings,
    Annie

    Liked by 5 people

  15. Thanks for this, Lauren, a tender tribute. I love the confirmation the Lord gave you via your little girl. “A little child shall lead them.” I receive it as well. “Rest.” Just the word He has been speaking into my own heart these days.

    Liked by 3 people

    • That is so encouraging, Allan. I know rest is the opposite current of our culture, and He is craving extra time with all of us for His Presence to rest on us.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Hello,

    Glad to see the blog is still alive. That was a wonderful memory. Thanks for sharing your perspective on your dad’s life. In Christ,

    Gary

    On Thu, Dec 30, 2021 at 10:57 AM Unshakable Hope wrote:

    > laurenmulvey88 posted: ” I know we are all wishing right now that this > post was coming from Bill Sweeney, but instead, I (Lauren, his eldest > daughter) will share a little post in his honor. Last year, we were > celebrating one last miraculous Christmas with Bill, enjoying his inva” >

    Liked by 3 people

  17. Happy new year! Seeing a post from Unshakable Hope was a great blessing! I read it immediately (always did), though I just now had time to comment. Thank you for sharing here, and it encourages me as a parent to see the legacy left by someone who continued to fight for the Lord in whatever way he could. So glad he shared his unshakable hope with you and with all of us! ❤

    Liked by 3 people

  18. Lauren: This is not amazing to receive this message. I had just visited with a friend and we spoke of ALS. I have lost three loved ones to this disease. My husbands sister, a cousin, and my father’s companion after my mother passed away at age 60 to cancer.
    I had said that I was receiving these wonderful blogs from and gentleman who had be living with ALS for a really long time. I loved seeing his messages and loved how your mother was always such a support system for him. I am saddened to hear of his passing but his life on earth was such a struggle for him and he never complained and always enjoyed life to the fullest. Thank you for sending all his readers such a wonderful message of hope for our journeys. The “REST” part is so close to me. I am a polio surviuver since 6 1/2 months old and now at age 74 life is becoming much more difficult and I tire so easy. But, being such a determoned person, I have to make myself rest. I enjoy reading and that gets me to sit down and enjoy another chapter in my most current book and rest my weary arms. My legs gave out long ago and with the help of a left long leg brace and a cane to help me walk life has been good. Now my shoulders are saying they are very tired of helping my legs get the job done of living. I will contiune to do all the things I love. Caring for my husband, enjoying grandchildren sports events at school and eating my popcorn until there is just nothing left. I know my end reward and I will be ready when my time comes. Sympathy to you, your family, your mother and your siblings. Your dad was in inspiration to so very many. God rest in peace. The journey is over. Linda

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hi Linda,

      Wow, I am overwhelmed reading your comment. What a long-suffering journey you have had with polio, knowing so many with ALS and many trials. I am so glad you took the time and effort to write a book about it your life; I know your story will bless and encourage many. Your life is such a testimony to God’s grace and power within our weakness. I can tell you have the joy of the Lord despite your life’s circumstances!

      Oh, and books and popcorn are two of my favorite pastimes too 😉

      Like

  19. Dear Lauren, your Father’s blogs were always one of my favorite reads online. Always insightful, always upbuilding, opening my eyes and heart to a “real” faith, a “real” life, and the soul who was chosen to carry both. Raw. When your Dad passed, and your Mom wrote the announcement, another layer opened up, and i saw the tremendous love, self-sacrificing love, that she gave to him, her family, and now us readers. When we read a Bible text,few of us understand the full depth of faith, or the words Jesus spoke. Reading your words, and tribute to your dad today, I realize his gift of expression also runs through you. I wonder if our Lord has asked you to continue your father’s legacy, incorporating your dad’s insights and leadings, with memories of your own. God bless you for your beautiful tribute and agape love to all. Debi

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hi Debi,

      Thank you so much for your deeply encouraging comment.

      It’s funny that you say that; I wrote this blog post not because I was dying to write something but because I knew my dad would have liked me to, ha ha! I know I can’t fill his shoes of writing on this blog; I feel much too inadequate, but perhaps I will consider again if I feel the Holy Spirit prompting me…or get my mom and sister to post once in awhile!

      Yes, my mother has been the behind-the-scenes hero for so many years. She has held our family together!

      God bless you and your 2022.

      Like

  20. What a beautiful post! We have been leaning into that place of rest this past year. Thank you for sharing such wisdom from your heart. You have the same writing gift as your dear father. I hope you continue sharing. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Oops! I wasn’t quite finished. Lol. Not only do I feel God’s wisdom shining through you, I feel as though I just read one of your dad’s articles. I hope you continue to share here. God bless you and your family!

    Liked by 1 person

    • laurenmulvey88

      Thank you for the encouragement 😀

      Like

    • It’s funny that you say that; I wrote this blog post not because I was dying to write something but because I knew my dad would have liked me to, ha ha! I know I can’t fill his shoes of writing on this blog; I feel much too inadequate, but perhaps I will consider again if I feel the Holy Spirit prompting me…or get my mom and sister to post once in awhile! ;D

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Thank you for writing. I actually sense your dad’s presence through your words. What a gift.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Maybe because the only way he was able to communicate was through e-mails my whole life so I am so used to his writing, ha ha!

      In all seriousness though, that is such a sweet encouragement! Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Lauren, you have shown yourself to be a woman of faith and faithfulness as much as your mom and dad have lived out those qualities. Thanks for the update. I can’t imagine how challenging it was for all of you this year to be without your Dad, but knowing he waits for you with the One who has created us all is such a picture of joyful anticipation. In all his writings, Bill was a man of honesty and authenticity–he didn’t sugar-coat his disease or whine or complain. He told it as it was and looked to God to make life work. I hope you continue to share your family experience. There’s a legacy of hope there that I think many of us need to hear. Hope this new year will bring an abundance of joy and delight in the Lord for you and your whole family.

    Liked by 3 people

  24. I ALWAYS looked forward to your dad’s posts,they were always words of encouragement to me, I was pleasantly surprised to receive your post. I’m reminded that we all need to take a deep breath, trust & rest in knowing that God holds it ALL together. This verse comes to mind, “You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.”
    ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭26:3‬ ‭NKJV‬‬
    Thank You! For your words of comfort & encouragement, how we ALL need to take a step of faith and be a Barnabas to others. God Bless

    Liked by 3 people

    • laurenmulvey88

      Thanks so much, Sara. I am always needing more training in rest and trust. Ha! Thanks for the verse too. I love that one! The answer is simple–to keep our mind on Him. God Bless you!

      Like

  25. I always looked forward to your father’s posts. You too have written an inspiring post. Thank you. May God comfort you as you remember your father

    Liked by 4 people

  26. I was so inspired by your father, and I’m glad he is in his final rest. I uploaded a podcast about rest recently, a counselor friend wrote about rest for her blog, and now you are posting about rest. I think God is trying to tell me something. I take care of my mom who has dementia and lives with me. I struggle to find physical, emotional, and spiritual rest. Thanks for the truths you present here. I especially liked this: “The learning-to-rest game is a muscle that constantly has to be flexed, an art that is always in need of more nurturing and sculpting. There’s no mastered end-goal of this journey but rather a way of life—inhaling deeper breaths and exhaling contentment, releasing anxiety and control.” You are a good writer. Keep on writing for His glory. God bless you in 2022.

    Liked by 4 people

    • laurenmulvey88

      Hi Elaine! I love how God repeats himself when He is trying to speak. That has been happening to me about “rest” as well. I’m so sorry to hear about your mom. That has to be challenging….what a weight of glory He has for you from all the trials! My mom has told me about your blog and said I would enjoy your stories you have written! Thanks for the encouragement!

      Like

  27. What a fabulous post.I just loved it !!!!!!!!!!

    Liked by 4 people

  28. “A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children…” Proverbs 13:22

    The evidence of your dad’s life lives on in you. The inheritance of faith is the greatest gift we can leave this world with. I hope you consider to share more often on line. 🙂

    Be blessed in Him and your father’s memory and your mother’s faithfulness!
    BT

    Liked by 4 people

    • laurenmulvey88

      Hi BT, thanks for the encouraging comment. “The inheritance of faith is the greatest gift we can leave the world with…”. I love that!

      Like

  29. Reblogged this on Flatlander Faith and commented:
    An inspiring memorial from the daughter of Bill Sweeney that I want to share with all who face the loss of a loved one, or our own uncertain future. May we all know the rest that is spoken of here.
    “It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart”. (Ecclesiastes 7:2)

    Liked by 5 people

    • laurenmulvey88

      Hi Bob! I love the verse you shared. It reminds me that we only will be “mourning” and have an opportunity to walk by faith and hope for a short time on earth…until we see Him face to face. We will get to “feast” with Him for eternity!

      Liked by 1 person

  30. Beautifully written. God bless you and your family as you journey through this life without Bill.

    Liked by 4 people

  31. This was beautifully written. I didn’t know your dad, but followed his blog. I, too, have ALS and and 5 years post diagnosis. I lost my dad to ALS in 2012 after 4 months. It’s a hard journey, one I wouldn’t want to walk without Jesus. Although I wax and wane in my walk as we feeble humans do, I persevere with His help. I pray I finish well too.

    Liked by 4 people

    • laurenmulvey88

      Hi Kelly, oh my goodness. I am sorry to hear that. That has not been an easy road you’ve had. I pray God’s comfort continues to be so near and may your spirit and muscles be strengthened in Jesus name! Thank you for the encouragement and comment.

      Like

  32. Dear Lauren, what a joy to find your post in the Reader section. I always looked forward to your dad’s posts. Now, it is clear you are a child of the Father — two fathers, one who taught you well and the other who will continue to teach you as He taught Bill. I pray He will continue to speak through you as He did through your dad. It has been a blessing (as I lost Jerry last year) to be in touch with your mom. You are both a blessing to us all. Love and blessings to you as you teach your little ones.

    Liked by 5 people

    • laurenmulvey88

      Thank you for your sweet comment. I know my mom and dad have been blessed by your encouragement and books you have written! My mom told me about your husband recently dying. I’m so sorry.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dear Lauren, I look forward to more posts from you. Your mom is precious to me. Ministering to her has been a blessing to me as a former caregiver myself for 28 years — and part of my healing. I would love to share how our Heavenly Father has revealed Himself to me this past year. I am now in the process of writing about this wonderful fellowship with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit that fills the void. Love and blessings as you and your family are learning to live without your dad.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thank you for taking the time to write about that; I know so many will be deeply encouraged by what you have to share. Your life is a testimony to God’s faithfulness through a surrendered heart!

          Liked by 1 person

  33. Thank you, Lauren. Your dad, and the whole family, has been a great blessing to me.

    Liked by 4 people

  34. Happy New Year, Lauren. Thank you for this beautiful post. I don’t interact much on WordPress but have had the distinct pleasure of interacting with your dad on occasion. I was sad for your family when I heard of his passing—though admittedly, was overjoyed that he was now healed and in the presence of Jesus. I pray the best for you and your family in this new year. Blessings! 💜

    Liked by 5 people

    • laurenmulvey88

      Thank you for the thoughtful comment. I know—it was such a day of sorrow but also so much celebration that he was done suffering and with Jesus! God bless you and your 2022.

      Liked by 1 person

  35. Thank you for writing this.

    I was blessed to be one of your daddy’s friends, so in deference to my friend, I’m going to repost this message.

    God bless you and your family.

    Liked by 3 people

  36. I always knew reading your fathers posts, I would shed tears..
    Sometimes joy, and other times pain..
    The Lord spoke through your daughter, and out of the mouth of babes hast thou ordained strength.. Thank you for sharing this very touching post..

    Liked by 3 people

  37. So beautifully shared, Lauren. Thank you for bringing such a powerful and sweet perspective to our struggles and losses on this earth. So much love to you and your family as you continue your journey here and anticipate being with your dad again. Xoxo

    Liked by 3 people

  38. Your dad was an amazing man and his devotions were something I always looked forward to. His gift of words is yours as well and it was a true blessing to read your update … and truth be told several things you said resonated strongly with me as my family is dealing with the wasting away of our mother due to her health issues. Thank you and may 2022 bring your mom and your entire family laughter, peace and love.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thank you for the encouragement. I am so sorry about your mother’s illness. I know that has to be so hard to watch the ones we love suffer. I’m praying you feel God’s nearness in 2022 like never before.

      Like

  39. Beautifully written post, Lauren. I hope you and you and your family continue to be comforted in the best REST ever. The one you find in God’s love. 🙏🙏

    Liked by 3 people

  40. Lauren, I sure do miss Bill’s blog posts. Before I knew what his subject would be with any particular post, I always knew it would be inspiring, and profound. I believe his suffering gave him a depth and wisdom that’s rare. It was so good reading your message tonight, and to hear about him from a daughter’s perspective. Very moving, and a great reminder how temporary this life is, regardless of our health status, and what we all should be looking to in Jesus. Thank you for that!! I hope you share more.
    Preston

    Liked by 3 people

    • I miss his posts too! Yes, so true. This life is so short…”for what is seen is temporary but what is unseen is eternal..” Thank you for the encouragement!

      Like

  41. Beautiful post and tribute to your dad. I always enjoyed reading his posts, he encouraged and inspired me more than he’ll ever know. Blessings to you and your family!

    Liked by 2 people

  42. ❤️

    On Thu, Dec 30, 2021 at 12:57 PM Unshakable Hope wrote:

    > laurenmulvey88 posted: ” I know we are all wishing right now that this > post was coming from Bill Sweeney, but instead, I (Lauren, his eldest > daughter) will share a little post in his honor. Last year, we were > celebrating one last miraculous Christmas with Bill, enjoying his inva” >

    Liked by 3 people

  43. So beautiful. Thank you for sharing and continuing his legacy.

    Liked by 3 people

  44. How excited I was to see a post from Unshakable Hope!
    Thank you for the lovely post. We sure missed our most favorite Christmas card & newsletter this year.
    Much love to you, Mary, and Leah & Happy New Year!
    ❤️

    Liked by 3 people

  45. Amen, Lauren. Your Dad was a great encouragement and inspiration to me to keep going strong through all my suffering. I think of him often when I am struggling with pain. His words of wisdom and kindness were such a blessing, and still are today. Grace and peace to you and your family. God bless you all.

    Liked by 4 people

  46. I was a new follower of your Dad’s shortly before he passed away….i enjoyed his writing, the way he wrote and the humor and yes hope he conveyed. Looks like his talent now lies with you. Maybe you should continue blogging! God bless

    Liked by 4 people

  47. Thank you so much for taking the time to write to all of us. Most of us never got to meet Bil, never got to meet Mary neither are you girls. But you are is real and is like family to me as if I had met all of you. Thank you for broadcasting the funeral the way you did, I’m so glad I got to be there for that. And I hope you’ll keep sharing your heart right here and reminding us to have unshakable faith!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Nancy, thank you for all your support and love and for being with us “in spirit”. I know my dad was also so encouraged by YOU!

      Like

  48. I too used the Bradley method in labor and agree with you about how difficult it is to relax when we we are in pain. As the second half of the verse you stated from Isaiah 30:15 says, “but you would have none of it.” Yep, that’s us… trying so hard to save ourselves and stay vigilant to prevent our worst fears from coming to pass. Believing that somehow our actions can shape our reality. It’s not until we run into a strong foe like ALS or my daughter’s leukemia that we realize how little control we really have. Thanks for sharing this. I love your dad and mom so much. Both have been such a help to me

    Liked by 2 people

    • Did you do the hand-in-the-ice test during the Bradley method? I always thought that was a funny way to “train” for pain/labor, ha!

      So true. The second half of that verse always convicts me–pushes me deeper into knowing I must press on to rest and trust Him because I am so prone to not take any of His goodness that He is offering.

      I am SO sorry to hear about your daughter’s leukemia. I am praying for y’all tonight.

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      • Thanks for your prayers. No, my midwife just handed me the Bradley book and said to learn it lol. Fighting pain by bracing ourselves against it seems natural. Acceptance and trust seems counter-intuitive. Life gives us plenty of practice though

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  49. What a wonderful tribute, Lauren!

    And the note from your 5-year-old – most certainly that was one of those “winks” from God that we all treasure when we have eyes to see and ears to hear them. Your father was a treasure to many, and your mother – a bedrock example of living out those marital vows in the most challenging of circumstances. And living them out in true love, devotion, and grace. I miss your father’s wit and charm and self-deprecation – but most of all, I miss the enormous faith that he imputed to so many of us through his anointed words. I am confident that in Eternity, I will finally get to meet him face to face! His legacy clearly lives on – thank you, dear heart, for reaching out to us. Your family is loved, appreciated, and prayed for. Happy New Year to you all!

    Liked by 4 people

  50. This is a beautiful post. Your dad will be proud. ‘Presence releases rest; rest releases Presence’. Yes you and he left ALS behind that day ♥️ to see him again and dance in your daddy’s arms while both being held in your Daddy’s arms… in a blink of an eye you’ll be there. In the meantime, amongst the crowd of witnesses he says ‘that’s my girl’ ♥️

    Liked by 5 people

    • I love you, sweet Beth!
      I wasn’t itching to write something on this blog, but I kept having the thought, “My dad would want me write something.” Ha! Thank you for all your encouragement and love. It means the world. I’m so thankful Jesus…through my dad…made us become friends!!!

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    • …and I have been following your blog for over 12 years now!!!

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  51. 😳Caught me lookin👀….. like, “ wait, who postin on behalf of the homie🙂🤷‍♂️?(retor)”
    -2we1ve

    Liked by 1 person

  52. This was so beautiful and truly a confirmation to what I have been hearing God speak to me over the last couple of days. Thank you for sharing and also carrying the legacy of encouragement from your sweet dad. God bless you ♥️

    Liked by 5 people

  53. This is beautiful, Lauren! I think you have your dad’s gift of writing and encouragement. Thank you for sharing another little piece of him with us. What a great sense of humor he had. Bill is dearly missed. I will never forget him. He still inspires me to keep writing and doing the things for the Lord, even when I don’t feel like it. God bless you and your precious family!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hi Meghan! Thank you so much for your sweet encouragement. My dad has talked about you and your blog and your children’s book. I have read your blog before when he sent it to me. You have a wonderful gift of writing as well!

      Liked by 1 person

  54. I was so blessed and encouraged by your dad’s faith. Reading your words was wonderful today. To rest in Him in our pain is truly challenging but the lord calls us to do that.
    Happy new year to you

    Liked by 3 people

  55. Thank you Lauren, he is always in our hearts.

    Liked by 3 people

  56. Sweet Lauren, this is moving me deeply… “Leaving ALS, never to return” … what a powerful picture. Your mom and dad have been (and still are) two of the most instrumental people in my Christian walk. They have taught me so many things about marriage, love, and endurance. I miss your dad, a lot — especially today! THANK YOU for your words of comfort and wisdom … you are your Fathers’ daughter … both of them 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  57. I followed your Dad from the time I heard him and your Mom on Chris Fabry’s program. He was always such an inspiration. Thanks for this post and a Blessed New Year!

    Liked by 3 people

  58. You are so much like your dad, your words inspire faith, hope, and love in us all! Thank you for sharing and continuing Unshakable Hope!♥️

    Liked by 3 people

  59. Your Dad,yur mom and your fmily have been and will continue to be a powerhouse of faith.

    Liked by 2 people

  60. I don’t even remember how I came upon your father’s blog, but I immediately started following his posts. They were a source of comfort and strength. I had started my own, which had started out as a daily devotion email to friends. Your dad encouraged me in that way. Reading his posts was a testament to someone who has learned to trust God fully, to be vulnerable in times of suffering, and a display God’s of strength. I’m sure you miss him. I miss his encouraging posts, but like my father who passed 20-years ago, he’s fully healed and joyously experiencing heaven. Thank you for sharing this post!

    Liked by 4 people

  61. Dear Lauren, Thank you so much for your post. It is beautiful, profound, and so much like your Dad. He is missed by all. I know it is a lot to ask, but the posts by you and your Mom are such a continued blessing; is there any chance you and your Mom, and maybe other memebers of your family might be able to continue posting?

    The message in Your post today is just what I needed. And it made me feel the presence of Jesus and thoughts of your Dad warms my heart.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi sweet Ann!

      Thank you for your kind words. It’s funny that you say that; I wrote this blog post not because I was itching to write something but because I knew my dad would have liked me to, ha ha! I know I can’t fill his shoes of writing on this blog; I feel much too inadequate, but perhaps I will consider again if I feel the Holy Spirit prompting me…or get my mom and sister to post once in awhile! 🙂 God bless you!

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  62. I was only a part of your Dad’s blog community a very few years but learned what strength and peace truly looks like. Wishing you and yours every blessing in 2022.

    Liked by 3 people

  63. Thank you for sharing these precious memories.
    I only knew dear Bill through the blog and was so powerfully encouraged by reading his words.
    Blessed New Year to you and your family!

    Liked by 4 people

  64. Your parents raised an incredible daughter. Thank you for sharing. ❤

    Liked by 3 people

  65. Great post, Lauren, and great memories of your Dad. He was a treasure!❤

    Liked by 4 people

  66. Thank you so much for writing this. I will never forget the life lessons I learned from your father, and it is a great privileges to say that knowing him through his writings was knowing a true man of God.

    Liked by 4 people

  67. Thank you Lauren, for this great update about your Dad. I am so glad you are continuing to honor his legacy and that his site remains active. Bill made a giant impression upon me from the time we began following each other on WordPress in 2013. He will be forever missed but is now enjoying his one year anniversary of total joy and happiness with the Lord Jesus who made it all possible. All glory to the Lord! Blessings to you

    Liked by 5 people

    • RJ, wow, since 2013? I love that. Thank you, also, for being such a source of joy and courage to my dad all those years! Yes, God will get all the glory!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  68. Always with us 💝

    Liked by 3 people

  69. Such an encouraging message. I hear all the time from my preacher that we must decrease so that God can increase. Bill was such an inspiration to many, I know he was for me. I am blown away by the strength of your family. I so love to see this email in my box every time it comes around and I do hope it continues. I wish nothing but love and joy in each of your hearts as we come to this time of year and remembering the faith and fearlessness Bill showed to us all. Blessings to you and all the family.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hi Mrs. Lynda! Thank you so much for your kind words. May God bless you and your 2022. Thank you for all your love all these years to my mom and family!

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  70. I’ve had the great pleasure of conversing with your Father, your Mother and now you Lauren. I have to tell you that tears quickly welled up in my eyes, just reading what you shared. There are a lot of things that I admired about your Father, Lauren, but his ability to rest and trust in God, to my mind, was just amazing and I think you captured that just beautifully. What a tribute to your parents that you are, but even more so, to our God who allows us to transcend that which is unexplainable, through His sheer grace. I am indebted to all of you. Love in Christ – Bruce

    Liked by 6 people

    • Hi Bruce! Thank you for the beautifully written comment. I know my parents were also so encouraged by YOUR love and support and friendship. I have enjoyed reading your blog as well.

      Liked by 1 person

  71. Lauren, Leah, and Mary….. my heart is full remembering the joy Bill brought to all of us, and my heart is heavy knowing how much he is missed. He would be so proud of you three, walking through this year of grief and healing. I’m so grateful to be part of your tribe♥️

    Liked by 4 people

  72. Your father sharing his journey with us made wonderful differences in our lives over and over. If he had been healthy and wealthy, even when wise, he would not have had the powerful impact on so many. What a gift he was! And now your words have also been timely for me. Thank you.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Hi Eileen, it’s so true how God makes even good come out of suffering–His Power is made perfect in our weakness. Thank you for the encouragement!!

      Like

  73. Happy New Year to you and yours! So many of us were blessed and encouraged by your dad’s faith and by his words. Just reading this post and thinking of him made me smile.

    Liked by 5 people

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