3 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me: A Dad’s Story

An Interview with Bob West

In .22 seconds, more than 94,400,000 links to the word parenting came up in my search engine, revealing that we certainly don’t lack for material on the topic of parenting. However, the parenting process is far more complex than a list of links or a load of head knowledge, and parenting is profoundly more complicated when a difficult or disabling condition is involved.

Twenty-four years ago, Bob and Sue West were settling into life together—successful, well-educated newlyweds with typical dreams of home and family life. But life has a way of teaching us that dreams rarely unfold as planned; such was the Wests’ experience with the birth of their oldest son, Kyle, diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

Over the course of 17 years, Kyle has endured 11 major surgeries—along with painful and persistent difficulties that have changed their lives in countless ways. In this very vulnerable interview, Bob talks about wrestling with his faith and forging a totally different path with his family.

Watch the interview:

Interview Questions

  1. The Lord changed your family life years ago; will you tell us about that?
  2. Tell us about “D” day . . . Diagnosis day. What was it like to hear the doctors say, “Your son has cerebral palsy”?
  3. How did your wife respond to the diagnosis?
  4. How were you able to identify your feelings, and how can we learn to identify our feelings in the midst of such trauma?
  5. How did you and your wife work through the stress of life at that time?
  6. How did you deal with the negative assumptions and judgments from those in the church?
  7. How have you discovered God as your Father?
  8. How did Dr. James Dobson answer your son’s question, “How can God use someone like me with cerebral palsy?”
  9. How did you not get stuck in resentment and bitterness? How did you avoid telling yourself, “This is unfair; I don’t deserve this!”?
  10. What is the third point in your booklet that you wish you would have known years ago?
  11. What are some general principles you have discovered that would be beneficial for men to hear?

Let Me Hear from You

Questioning God, wrestling with faith, belief, doubt, disappointment, and grief are not the most popular subjects people discuss, yet they are part of our lives.

Rare is the person who has an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ who hasn’t endured suffering or entered into seasons of spiritual bewilderment. We can’t walk through the valley alone, so whom do we trust with our deepest questions?

These questions have to be asked somewhere; why not here?

  • What part of Bob’s story did you connect with?
  • Do you feel lost or confused about how to move forward?
  • Isn’t it time to turn on the lights and talk about real stuff as Bob did in this interview?

I promise you will not be judged or rejected; instead, you will find comfort and care as you never have experienced before. So please, take time to examine and reflect, and let’s begin to reach toward each other. We need one another.

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Connect with Bob West

Bob WestBob and Sue West have three children: Kyle, Jonathan, and Monica. Due to God’s faithful work in their lives, Bob and Sue have developed a significant ministry to families around the world via their “Need Project” ministry and Web site.

You can connect with Bob on his Web site, where you can also find numerous resources, including Bob’s book.

Insight for Living Ministries Resources by Charles R. Swindoll

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