Author and Pastor Chad Veach On His ‘Unreasonable Hope’
Interview from The 700 Club
Photo from Chad Veach’s Facebook
Chad Veach is the Pastor of Zoe Church in Los Angeles, California. He remembers April 10 of 2012 as if it were yesterday. He and his wife, Julia, refer to it as ‘Diagnosis Day,’ the day they were told their 4-month-old daughter Georgia would never develop past 3 months – she would never walk or talk. However, they chose to hold on to hope, and they share their journey on the book ‘Unreasonable Hope.’
Take us through ‘Diagnosis Day’ and what this was like for you and Julia.
Well, Georgia was our first born so for us there wasn’t anything wrong, my mum was the one who noticed something and she thought we should check it out. I thought something was wrong with her eyes, I thought maybe they will correct – put a patch over it. We never expected them to say, “Your daughter’s brain didn’t form.” Lissencephaly, this word – I’ve never heard of it. ‘Diagnosis Day’ is a day I will never forget. It’s been four years. I will never forget the feeling of asking God “What am I going to do as a father? How do we face it?” Right from the beginning, we had to make a decision: We are going to put our trust in God. We’re going to take all of this pain and we’re going to praise God through it, we’re going to find hope through it. Hope sometimes can be elusive, it can be a second cousin of faith … I find hope to be this confident expectation not that my daughter would be healed alone, but I have hope in a better place – Heaven, I have hope in a person – Jesus, and it’s why, I think, the Bible says that hope can’t disappoint us.
How has this changed the way you see other people?
I didn’t realize other people were in pain until I had pain. And once we faced this, my eyes were opened, I started to look around and think “People are suffering.” It changes your sense of compassion, sympathy, empathy, your relatability. It changes you on the inside. I wouldn’t trade this for anything. It made us better people.
“I DIDNʼT REALISE OTHER PEOPLE WERE IN PAIN UNTIL I HAD PAIN.”
Talk to us about ‘Seizure Day,’ because that’s what started to change your life.
We had to continually face our storm. The seizure started to come – ten, some days up to 50 seizures in one day. We had to realize life is not going to be normal for us all the time. We’re going to have to learn to combat this, and smile through this and help her.
How did you do this? It’s so easy to quote scriptures about faith, but when you are in the storm, that is another story.
I think the first thing we had to do was say ‘Hey, the struggle is real.” I don’t think God can’t work with the fake us, I think He wants to work with the real us. God desires truth in our innermost part, so we have to be honest: This is frustrating, this hurts, this is not easy.
You also had to work out how you as a couple would be able to handle this.
What I’ve learned throughout this is that God is honest. He loves our honesty. He embraces it. He has room for it. He is not intimidated by it. And Julia and I have learned to be honest with each other and to be honest with God. And that brings a peace in itself. I don’t want to just quote a bunch of scriptures or motivational quotes for social media, I’ve got to be honest with how I feel because then I can really resolve it in my heart, even though I feel this way, I know the truth – God is real. He is here even though I can’t see Him, and He didn’t cause this. I don’t believe sickness is from God. We live in a fallen world, these things happen, and that’s why we wrote the book. A sick daughter can happen, a divorce can happen. These things happen. How are we going to overcome? How are we going to allow God to take this pain and turn it around to a purpose?