Cystic Fibrosis, my Faith, and Instructor Training School

In November, I will be making a trip to New York to run the New York City Marathon. I'm a couple of weeks into my training program and kind of enjoying it. I have to admit that I'm a little uneasy about a full marathon, despite the fact that I've run two half marathons this year. That's not the purpose of this post, by the way. Once my training gets further along, I'll feel better about the marathon.

The point of telling you that I'm running the New York City marathon is to show you how I was able, if only for a small moment, to share how cystic fibrosis affects my faith. During the first few days of my Journeyman Instructor Training (JIT) school, we were instructed to give a 3-5 minute brief on something that we care about. Well, I care about cystic fibrosis, a disease that my daughter has. Yet, as I thought over what I wanted to talk about, I felt the urge to plant a seed, if only a small one. We had, after all, been instructed not to share about religion as it is a divisive subject.

So I shared how my daughter has cystic fibrosis and how it affects me as a sailor. I also shared how my family has raised several thousand dollars for research and how I'm raising money now for the Boomer Esiason Foundation while preparing for the New York City marathon. Finally, I shared, in a few brief words, that my faith is affected by cystic fibrosis. I let my classmates and teacher know that, should they have any questions afterward, they were welcome to talk to me.

Was that enough? It had to be. Saying that was borderline breaking the rules. I felt compelled to do it by the Holy Spirit, and I know it was the right thing to do. No one has asked me anything about my faith, but maybe it was more about me being obedient to the Spirit than me getting to share more with my classmates. I don't know. The bottom line is that I felt compelled to share, I shared, and I survived. People now know that I am passionate about helping my daughter, beating cystic fibrosis, and about my faith. Pretty much sums me up I think.


Don the Baptist said...

When the heat is on THEM, they will remember your committed, quiet faith.

Stephanie Kay said...

Obedience almost always involves a risk or sacrifice. Too bad it can't always be easy. I'm hoping we can cheer you on in NY in Nov. since it's only 3 hours away. :)

Anonymous said...

Dear Dan,

Good for you! You did the right thing, both in sharing about CF and its difficulties and in sharing that your strength to face your daughter's challenges come from the Lord. I am the grandparent of a 12-year old boy with CF. Fortunately, most of our family are believers in Christ as you are, and we can tell you firsthand that prayers and support from family and friends are the best gifts anyone can offer. Needless to say, we keep praying for a cure for CF, but until that happens, we know that God won't give us more than we are able to bear.

J. Cody

The Navy Christian said...

Don, that is exactly what I'm hoping for. I certainly want to be available when/if people need someone who can share Christ's love.

Stephanie, that would be so awesome! And thank you for the encouragement. It is risky, but it didn't hurt this time.

J., it is definitely easier to focus on fighting this disease with the prayers and support from fellow believers. God has surely sustained us!

Robbi Cary said...

Good for you! You made the most of the opportunity and left the door open for others to know about your faith.
I like how you said it that "CF affects your faith."
Two of my boys have cystic fibrosis and it has affected our faith as well.
Still we know though that God is at work and is good to us.
Keep up the good work.
Robbi Cary

The Navy Christian said...

Robbi, nice blog site you have! Someday, I'm going to have my own site someday as well, but I need more readers first, I think, to justify it.

It was good to briefly read your story. I plan on going back to read more in the near future. Nice to have you comment on my blog, I look forward to future thoughts from you.