If wounds are medals, my chest is decorated and heavy.  If trials are marks on a map, mine is covered.  I have had three liver transplants with several rejections of those livers throughout the process.  I have also defecated, at times, pure blood due to a large intestine disease that ultimately ended in the removal of the entire large intestine.  Recently I recounted, on average, just how many times my large intestine disease made me rush to the toilet.  For one year, I had seen more than four thousand trips to the bathroom due to this disease; almost twenty five thousand trips to the bathroom throughout the course of my diseased period.  It’s crazy to think that often times I never made it to the toilet but defecated in my pants or somewhere else.  To add insult to injury, I had developed drug-induced diabetes as a result of so much trauma and surgeries upon my tattered little body.  I had seen my grandfather’s heart literally explode before me on a golf course, witnessed countless yelling matches and feelings of bitterness in my heart due to a terrible divorce happening with my parents, and had the full knowledge and recognition of death pronounced over me several times.

I have had an estimated twenty liver biopsies where instruments are shoved through my rib-lined cartilage in an effort to remove pieces of diseased liver.  I have defecated blood so many times that I ceased to fear the red that consumed and stained my toilets.  How many colonoscopies have I had to endure?  How many sigmoidoscopies, how many tubes shoved down my throat and how many IV’s have been started in my near ruined, abused and almost exhausted veins?  How many questions have I had, fears have I experienced, hopes that have been crushed?  In the past fifteen years, I might have taken over two hundred and fifteen thousand pills just to stay alive and cope with the body of diseases I have had to endure.  I have taken experimental drugs, overdosed on them, and received boils on my neck and face in an effort to survive.  Pulling over to the side of the road while driving and stopping to defecate during dates and courtship were commonplace in my life.  I have felt the fire of disease in the confines of my skin so horribly that I have at times itched off places of my skin just to relieve it.  I have wished for death during periods of my life on an almost daily basis, experienced the humility of not being able to control my bowels at the age of twenty, as well as the utter anger and hatred of myself and my condition.  I have lost my faith so many times it is unbearable to mention and mocked the God who died for me.  I have welcomed death, wished for death, and prayed for death.  I have contemplated suicide in many forms, eager to end the misery to which I was experiencing, jumped up on balconies hoping they would break and walked numerous flights of stairs with my eyes closed praying that God would trip up my feet so that my neck would break.

And last year, December 24th, I lost my precious son.  He was only nineteen days old when he passed and went on into eternity, but during that time, I was forever changed.  God has consistently used the fires in my life for His glory.

If life is elemental, mine is a fire.  A raging maelstrom of flames eager to lick up any hope of life within me.  But God is not afraid of my fires.  No, He consumes them with His holiness, walking alongside of me in them and morphing them to something useful for Him.  Now, it is with this fire submitting to the roaring Lion of Judah, our Holy God, in which I seek to show the world.  This Mighty Champion who gives grace to the humble and increases the power of the weak has given me wings to dance on the air with the eagles.

Let the fires of my life sound the promises that God, though he calls us to the fires in life, will never leave us or forsake us.  This is a promise, not by me, but by the stalwart and trustworthy character of the God of hosts.  And let this Fire consume the entire world with holiness and love.  Magnify the Lord in His goodness!

16 thoughts on “About

  1. Thanks for including me in your blogs, even though I’m not college age, you’ve always let me in on your group, even back in the day at Just Java. Love You and always praying for you and your family Dan.

    Debbie Strboya

  2. It is through your genuine honesty and humility that when I suffered a “Job” experience, I was able to see God’s hand holding me the entire way. Please suscribe me to you blog . You are a blessing.
    Traci Kettle

    • Traci, thank you for your words; would love to hear about the Job experience you are referring to. And you can click the bottom now at the bottom of the page to subscribe via email…blessings!

    • Natalie! My heart smiled when you emailed me back! I shared it with Kelly and we both were praising God for you. There is a button at the bottom of the blog now that you can hit subscribe and you should be good to go!

  3. I’ve thought so much about our (too short) conversation this summer, but always believed that God would draw you back to this place. I will pray that your heart remains pure before Him as the Holy Spirit inspires your words. There is a powerful testimony in the life of Samuel, and you are the only man who can share it with the world. Be blessed in this journey. God has already gone before you. And give my love to your beautiful Kelly:)

    • Thanks for writing that Pam; you are such a blessing to us and have been inextricably tied to us throughout the hardest of our journey. God has gone before us in this and from time to time, I will indeed need you to remind me of that; I do not want to write from my own strength but His. And what is more, once I realized that I did indeed want to get the story “out there” more, I experienced freedom in it. I haven’t written much, perhaps a little more than 30 pages or so, and though it is coming slowly, i want to remain faithful in the situation. Thank you for your partnership and for your love in our lives!

  4. I cannot wait to follow your blog. I can’t wait to cover you guys in prayers daily and to read how God is using the trials in your life to make you more beautiful. I came across your blog by a fellow CDH’r seeking prayers for you guys. We just lost our little girl Esther to CDH May 2nd, 2012 after 20 days of fighting for her life and us clinging to our Lord and Savior through it all. You can see our journey at rhondaandjasonholtrop.blogspot.com. Can’t wait to read every one of your writings and find hope and strength and encouragement in them all. Rhonda Holtrop

    • Rhonda, thank you so much! I can’t believe, as I read about your own journey, how God above has spoken to you and encouraged you. I know the difficulties of this time, and I pray I can be a resource for you as you continue to walk through this. I actually have a book coming out about our time with CDH and losing our son. It will be a tough read for you as it will no doubt be very personal, but when it comes out, email me, and I’ll shoot you a copy…blessings.

  5. Wow Dan. Your words carry power. So thankful you have given up your will for His. He is using the life He breathed into you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s