Daniel Arsenault

Colorado Springs, USA

My story, my faith's story, but most importantly HIS story

Well, if I’m going to give my story I better do it right and start at the beginning… In 1992 in a small hospital in Colorado Springs Daniel Michael Arsenault was born. I’ll sum up the next few years of my life just briefly. Lots of crying. Crawling. First words. Walking and then running. Trucks, Lego’s and rolling down hills till I puked. Then BOOM!!! In June of 1995 I became a big brother. My first words to my baby sister were so loving and kind! I affectionately looked into her eyes and said “PUT HER BACK!” (I was worried that she was going to steal attention away from me. And she did!) Anyways back to my story… During my childhood we were staunch Catholics. It was mass every Sunday, fish Fridays and it meant Catholic School when I was old enough. A little side note here. My story is going to be critical of the Catholic Church. It failed my family when we needed them the most. But I know that the Catholic church is a tool that God sometimes uses and that is AWESOME! If you are reading or hearing this as it may be and you are one of the many Catholic’s who are being fed by our living God in the Catholic church that is great and it should be a part of your story when you share. However for me it was not that. But more on that later. When I was very young my Dad got a job doing software training for a large company that required him to travel for pretty much every work week. It was a high stress job that caused him to be out of our home most of the time. In 1996 my Mom was diagnosed with ovarian cancer my Dad took a leave of absence from his job and suddenly he was home a lot. With my Dad being a natural “fixer” all of his time and energy went into helping my mom and being very proactive in trying to find ways to heal my mom. Whether that be researching new treatments calling and speaking with doctors about what was being done or just being present to help my Mom keep a positive attitude. However, despite all my Dad’s efforts my Mom passed away in February of 1997. This was my first actual encounter with God. I was pretty much blissfully unaware that God could and would directly impact my life. The day my Mom passed I saw my Dad who was this big, tough superhero to me cry for the 1st time. I didn’t really grasp fully what was going on but I did know that if my Dad was crying it must be really bad. After my Mom’s death our home was instantly full of people (my mom was 1 of 13 kids) I remember looking up at my Grandma and asking her where Mom was. She said that my Mom was in heaven and that though we would not see her for a while we would see her again. Slowly I started to understand what death was. During the coming weeks after my Mom’s death my Dad called our church’s office to ask about getting some grief counseling from our priest. Our calls were screened and then outright ignored by the church. Attempts to reach out to our fellow churchgoers were scoffed at. It was clearly not the love of Jesus and it caused us to stop attending mass altogether. Eventually, my Dad had to go back to work. My sister and I went to live with my Grandma Jean (my dad’s mom) for the days he was gone. This lead to a strained relationship with my Dad. My Dad was in the adult world 99% of the time so when it came to dealing with kids he honestly did not know how. Things that kids do (like me and my sister fighting with each other, running in the house, or just plain monkeying around) would send him off the deep end. He would get so mad and enraged that I became scared and stand offish when he was around. He expected me especially to act like a grown up. I remember him telling me that “I was the big brother” and that “I should set an example for my younger sister Jenny.” When Jenny did something wrong I felt like somehow I had let him down. Somehow it was my fault for “not being a good example.” This is why today I have little to no family boundaries. I will do pretty much ANYTHING to keep the peace with people in my family. Even though this was an extremely hard time God had a plan! As I said before most days were spent with my Grandma. To sum my Grandma up in one sentence is darn near impossible but if I were to try I would say… My grandma is the BEST! Most people love their Grandmother’s. Some may even say that their Grandma is the best. However unless the person saying that is my sister they are lying. Simply put my G’ma was Jesus to me. Now let me explain that, my Grandma was the embodiment of Christ’s love to me. Her love was so unconditional I felt like I could tell her anything. And I could! She became “Mom.” She took care of us, fed us, and gave us a place to live. She also connected with me and my sister on a deep emotional level. In 2004 my Grandma started attending Sunnyside Christian Church. My sister and I were not interested in Church at the time so we did not go with her. The pain that my Dad felt from the Catholic Church was still very real. We were very gun shy to get back in the church scene. However, after much convincing from my Grandma, in 2005 he decided at which point my sister and I had to go. We became members that year and we were officially “Church people” again. Up until about 2006 Sunnyside was just a place where we went to church. We had no real relationships. We weren’t involved in anything. And every Sunday we came in and left without saying more than “Hello” to anyone. However, towards the end of ’05 we started to build a small relationship with our then Senior Pastor Stan Sack. As it would turn out 2006 became a critical year for my faith. In early 2006 we started seeing a change in my Grandma. She started forgetting things. At first it was small, we would go to a restaurant and she would ask us “Did we order?” Only minutes after we had just ordered. Or she would forget what day of the week it was. But, then she started forgetting big things. Like what our names were, birthdays and doctors appointments. We just chalked it up to her getting older, we didn’t worry too much about it. In mid ’06 she had an occurrence where she forgot where she lived. She called my Dad in a panic. “Help! I don’t know where I am, and I don’t know how to get home.” My dad told her to stop the car and read us the street signs. We found her about 2 blocks away from her house. After that we decided she should go get checked out in the hospital. While she was there it was discovered that she had a Stage 4 cancerous brain tumor. Surgery was scheduled and she went under the knife soon after. While in surgery doctors discovered that it was worse than anticipated and it was determined that surgery would not be effective. In the meantime, I, was relentlessly positive that she would be healed. I prayed with God everyday and night. I felt like me and God had a good relationship for the first time in a long time. He knew how much my grandma meant to me. He also knew that my Grandma was critical to my faith. There was no way in my mind that He would take her from me. I also looked to the Bible to see what it said about healing and I saw verses like this… JAMES 5:14- 16 Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. God seemed to be promising that she would be healed!!! By Christmas of ’06 my Dad told me that my G’ma would probably not make it. I fervently denied that. This was going to be an epic comeback and we would all have front row seats to God’s power and faithfulness. Also G’ma still seemed to be doing ok. She was stable not getting better not declining. However, in January of ’07 G’ma took a visible turn for the worse. She could no longer talk, she stayed in bed all day every day. Also hospice nurses started coming in to bathe her give her meds, etc. In February of ’07 Grandma passed away. I was devastated But God still had a plan. In the hours after my G’ma passed my Dad called Sunnyside our pastor Stan Sack was at our home about 10 min. later. For me it was a sharp contrast between that and how death was handled at the Catholic Church. I was shown tremendous love through SCC. But I was so mad at God that I did not acknowledge that love. I felt lied to God had all but promised me that G’ma would live. In my mind the Bible was full of lies. God had not healed my G’ma at least to my standards. On my best days I was livid at God. On my worst days I doubted he even existed. After an extremely rough day at school I came home furious at God. In my room alone I screamed at God. “This is your last chance God!!! You better show up!!!” I opened up my Bible I was sure that my next move would be to throw it into the trash. But, when I looked down I saw this. Philippians 4:7- 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Wow. I did not see that coming. Instantly the tears started flowing. God had kicked Satan out of my mind in that instant and it became clear that God had never left my side. It felt like my mind was coming out of a haze that I didn’t realize I was even in. God had responded to this little punk kid who at the time hated Him and wasn’t even sure if he existed. There was a war that was going on in that room and God won!!! After that my relationship with my family and with God started trending up. Things seemed to be going pretty well, My Dad had to stay home and take care of us. He finally became the parent God wanted him to be. As I got older I gained more respect with my Dad. God had restored us as a family! But guess what… God STILL had a plan. God always promises us more than we could ever imagine. I was happy and my family was happy. But God knew He could give more. In 2012 my Dad met an awesome woman in a bible study. Her name was Carole and soon after they met they started dating. She likes football, she is a FANTISTIC cook and most importantly she loves God with all her heart, and she also shows my Dad that same love. In May of 2013 they got married. At the wedding these verses came to mind… John 19:26-27: When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home. There was no doubt this was my Mother! I promise I’m almost done but I just want to make a quick side note for people who have someone who is sick and they are praying for healing or they have someone who died whom they prayed for healing. God does heal but He heals people in different ways. Sometimes you pray for healing and God heals their earthly body. He prolongs their life here. However, sometimes he heals them permanently as he did my Grandma. And even though their earthly body passes away. Their eternal soul is taken to heaven. A place where there is never any sickness or pain. I prayed for healing and my Grandma will never be sick again! The point of my story is this, there will be some really awesome moments in the rest of my life. There will also be some downright awful, heartbreaking times but the point is GOD HAS A PLAN! And guess what He is faithful to us even when we aren’t to Him.
— Read more —
Contact me Learn more about Jesus

Similar stories