The principal of my daughter’s school gently pushed a sheet of paper across the table so I could see it more clearly. “This is a list of the markers of dyslexia.” My eyes filled with tears. I didn’t want this for my girl. I wanted an easier road, one that didn’t include painstaking slowness to read, the embarrassment of not being able to spell simple words, or struggling to not give up reading because it’s too hard.

In my sadness and frustration, a wise friend reminded me of an important truth: “A life of ease is not your deepest desire for your daughter. Your deepest desire for her is that she learn to fully trust in the Lord rather than in herself—and the Lord is serving her up an opportunity to begin to do just that.”

My friend was right. I want above all else for my daughter to hope in God and for him to use her mightily in his kingdom—and often the path that leads us there is one of great difficulty. A quote from Charles Spurgeon came to mind: “The Lord gets his best soldiers out of the highlands of affliction.”

In their book, Hope Heals: A True Story of Overwhelming Loss and an Overcoming Love, Jay and Katherine Wolf chronicle their journey through affliction. In 2008, as a new mom at the age of 26, Katherine suffered a sudden and massive brainstem stroke, which she miraculously survived. The surgery that saved her life entailed removing part of her brain, leaving her severely disabled. The couple went from being happy, healthy new parents to a disabled mother and her caretaking husband. The book alternates between the perspectives of Katherine and Jay as they process and struggle through the new life that’s been thrust on them.