My Testimony

He Holds My Right Hand
By:  Victoria L. Stankus

I grew up in a Christian home. My parents came to know Jesus when they were young, and they were active in church before I was born. So, I grew up in church, and it didn’t take me long to realize who Jesus was and what He did for me on the cross. When I was 4 years old, my mother was teaching a Good News Club in our home for the neighborhood children and, as I listened, I understood I was a sinner, so I asked Jesus to forgive me for my sins, and I trusted Him for my salvation.

My family moved around quite a bit while I was growing up (I counted 9 different school systems from K-12), which made it hard for me to make close friendships. So, as I grew into my teen years, I started to realize how important it is to have a good relationship with family, as well as a personal and growing relationship with God. I began reading my Bible more on my own and, at the age of 15, I discovered my favorite verse: 

Isaiah 41:13 - For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. (NIV)

This verse was important to me because it helped me to remember I was not alone. God would always be there for me, helping me along the way. He didn’t promise my life would always be easy, but He did promise He would be there, holding my hand. I have hung on to that verse through the years, and it has definitely helped to encourage me during my most difficult times.

To be brief, some of the difficulties that have caused me to learn and grow and hold tight to God's hand include:

  • When my husband, David, underwent a tricky open-heart surgery to replace a valve and part of his aorta. We had only been married for 3 years at that time, and I was afraid I was going to lose him.
  • After David recovered, we wanted to start a family and went through 2 years of infertility. It was difficult to watch other women around me getting pregnant and having children.  
  • After finally having our first child, a beautiful little girl, we were heartbroken when she was diagnosed with autism at the age of 2 ½. (Autism is a neuro-developmental disorder causing delays in speech, motor skills, and socialization with others. Children are sometimes referred to as being “trapped” in their own little world.)
  • We didn’t try for any more children after that, but our 2nd child, a son, was born when his sister was 4 ½. Thankfully, he did not have autism but, at the age of 5, he was diagnosed with mild Tourette Syndrome (a neurological disorder that presents with uncontrollable tics/movements, which can also cause fatigue, as well as increased behavioral issues when they are active). Then, along with that, we were later told he also had symptoms of Sensory Processing Disorder, OCD, and learning delays. So, raising and educating him has been challenging as well.
  • In September 2012, I found a lump and was diagnosed with aggressive, invasive breast cancer. I never imagined something like this would happen to me, but it did. Its still hard to believe, as I was always the "healthy one" in our family. But, I am thankful to have survived treatments and am now considered to be cancer free!
  • In March of 2013, our daughter (age 14 at the time), began having seizures and was diagnosed with epilepsy. Testing also revealed a pituitary tumor that is, thankfully, non-cancerous, but is still being monitored for potential growth.  

Being a Christian obviously does not mean everything will be perfect in our lives. Each of us has gone through our own struggles, some much worse than what I could imagine. But, I know for a fact that a relationship with Christ can help you make it through the difficult times. He has definitely made a difference in my life. Without Him being there to hold my hand, I don’t know how I would  survive the struggles of this world.

If you let Him, God will be there to hold your hand and help you through the difficult times as well.

Last revised: 8-5-17
Longer version available upon request

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