Author, The Smart Stepdad (Bethany House, 2011)
Founder & President, As For Me and My House Ministries
Fouder, Successful Stepfamilies
Licencsed marriage & family therapis
Licensed professional counselor
Masters degree in marriage and family therapy from Abilene Christian University
Married to Nan
Ron & Nan Deal: Trust
The 700 Club
Ron and Nan Deal know exactly what it means to trust God in everything. Their son, Connor, passed away three-and-a-half-years ago at the age of 12. “I miss him every day,” says Ron. “As a matter of fact, I know how many days, 1315, and I can’t wait for the day when I get to stop counting.”
The first diagnosis was pneumonia. Since Connor was a 12-year-old healthy boy, Ron and Nan just knew there was no need to worry. "One night, one lung was getting full so Ron was on one lung and I was on the other praying, Lord, heal him,” says Nan. The next morning the doctors told Ron and Nan that Conner was responding to treatment and even though he would lose a lung, they would be able to take him home in three weeks.
When Ron and Nan returned from lunch that day, they knew something was wrong when they looked at the doctor’s face. They gathered their parents, family, friends, boys and for two hours, they sang Connor home.
Ron says, I’m kind of embarrassed to say it but I’ve been in ministry for 25 years and have read Scriptures and counseled people who had gone through great tragedy but I really didn’t understand it. I was thrust into that tension between trusting God and not knowing what’s going on. That’s what tragedy does for us. It teaches us how small we are because we don’t get to run the world like we think we do.
“I was really angry with God,” says Nan. As a minister’s wife, I have done everything right. God is good all the time but this isn’t good. This just doesn’t feel good. Nan asks, “I’m trying to hold on to you, but where are you?”
I read Job before Connor died, but I never really read Job before Connor died, says Ron. God thought so much of Job that he allowed Satan to test him. It’s a huge compliment to Job that He had so much confidence in him.
Anybody who’s ever experienced any sort of loss or sadness or tragedy or broken dreams understands this better than they ever did before that. “It’s an unfortunate thing that we have to sometimes experience tragedy to really shape our hearts to trust God more,” says Ron.
There is always hope in tragedy and it doesn’t mean tragedy doesn’t stink. It doesn’t mean that it doesn’t hurt. Ron says, “There’s hope because our God is working redemption in our story.” He is redeeming our story through his story, a story of grace.
ABOUT CONNOR’S SONG:
Connor’s Song is a nonprofit, 501(c)3 ministry that aids in the rehabilitation of trafficked children in Ghana, West Africa. With love and artistic creativity we help children move through their difficult experiences as they find God’s healing. Help us sing Connor’s Song.
ABOUT RON DEAL:
Ron L. Deal is Founder and President of As For Me And My House Ministries ( www.RonDeal.org) and Director of Blended Family Ministries for FamilyLife®. He is a family ministry consultant and conducts marriage and family seminars around the country; he specializes in marriage education and stepfamily enrichment.
Ron is author of the bestselling book and DVD curriculum The Smart Stepfamily: Seven Steps to a Healthy Family, author of The Smart Stepdad, and coauthor with Laura Petherbridge of The Smart Stepmom and with Dr. David Olson The Remarriage Checkup: Tools to Help Your Marriage Last a Lifetime (which is based on the largest survey of remarriage strengths ever conducted). His latest book, Dating and the Single Parent, is scheduled for release in Oct, 2012. He is a member of the Stepfamily Expert Council for the National Stepfamily Resource Center and is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Licensed Professional Counselor.
Ron has extensive experience with the media. He has appeared on dozens of national radio and TV broadcasts in the US, Canada, and the UK including The 700 Club, Fox News, ABC Nightline, WGN-TV News, FamilyLife Today, and Focus on the Family, and his work with stepfamilies has been covered by ABC News.com, New York Daily News, Ladies Home Journal, and newspapers/blogs throughout the world. He has written numerous book chapters and articles for magazines including Focus on the Family, FamilyLife, ParentLife, Gospel Today, and Christianity Today. Ron writes a monthly article for stepfamilies in HomeLife magazine and publishes a free E-Magazine through SmartStepfamilies.com. He and his wife, Nan, have been married since 1986 and have three boys. Find resources and conference information at www.RonDeal.org.
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