A Disease Can't Stop a God-Given Dream
“All of a sudden, just out of the blue, I started feeling really fatigued.” 25- year-old Faytene Grasseschi was always ready to take on the day. Now she struggled to get up in the morning.
The fatigue persisted for weeks and Faytene got concerned. “Coffee could only do so much. So after pumping up on coffee enough times and realizing that wasn’t getting me over the fatigue hump, I figured that something was going on with my body that was a little bit more serious.”
Finally, she went to the doctor and tested positive for ‘autoimmune Hepatitis.’ The disease attacks the liver and there’s no known cure. Faytene was told even with medication she would need a liver transplant within five years, or she could die.
Faytene said, “When you’re facing death, which I was at the age of 25, really, you have nothing to lose. And I can remember I have nothing to lose in believing that my God is the God who heals.”
She added, “In all honesty, it was at that point where I felt like I had a decision to make in my heart. I felt like I had a choice; I either was going to trust in the negative assessment or I was going to trust in God.”
Faytene asked some of her closest friends to pray for healing. In the following months, she not only wrestled with fatigue, she had to battle constant doubt and fear. “I can remember thinking, ‘you know I know God had put dreams in my heart. I know that He’s put a dream in my heart to go to the nations.’ I had such a hunger for missions, foreign missions. I thought - and this is just a logical thought - I thought, ‘I can’t do that stuff if I’m dead.’”
Eventually, the exhaustion was overwhelming. One day, after a Bible study, she asked a friend to pray. “I get choked up thinking about it because it was such a moment. And I can remember her laying hands on me, and praying for me with everything she had in her. And just contending for her friend, you know. And I can remember in that moment, once again, the presence of God hit me, just hit both of us, we just felt His peace, and His presence in such a powerful way. And I could feel the fire of the Holy Spirit. And I knew something was happening in that moment. I felt it not only on the outside, but I felt it on the inside and I knew something was happening.”
That armed her with the faith to take on more bad news. At a doctor’s appointment she learned that her liver was showing signs of failing. Still, Faytene trusted God for her healing.
“Just in a sheer act of determined faith, I booked my next appointment, and I can remember saying to the secretary – and I think it was more for me than for her – I can remember saying to the secretary, ‘you are about to witness the fastest healing of autoimmune hepatitis that you’ve ever seen in this office.” And I said, ‘we’ll see you in a few weeks.’”
Three weeks later, Faytene went in for the results of another routine blood test. Moments later her doctor walked in and read her the report.
“He took his glasses off and he looked and me and kind of, was perked up in his chair a little bit after looking at the documents, and said, ‘well, I don’t know what you did, but it seems to me you have some brand new blood here,’ smiled Faytene. “It was just an amazing moment. He said the enzymes something had shifted and I was like, ‘Yeah God!’”
Faytene was healed and within a few short months, she was off to the mission field in Liberia, West Africa, just one year after her diagnosis.
In the 14 years since, she’s had no recurrence of the disease, and her liver is functioning just fine. She’s still a missionary and sharing the joy of being a new parent with her husband Rob.
“I’m so grateful, I wouldn’t want to go though it again. But I’m so grateful that in those early years I had that battle. That Jesus walked with me through that, and taught me how to fight the fight of faith. I don’t think you can put a price on that or trade it for anything else.”