Katie, we’re honored to have you here on the Praying Through Blog. Would you tell us a little about yourself?
It's a joy and privilege to be here. As a mom who's spent nights in the hospital with my own children, I'm excited about the way God is using the Praying Through ministry to encourage and strengthen parents as they walk really hard roads and face so many unknowns with their precious children.
To start off, my parents named me Katie—just Katie, not Katherine or Kathleen—and my husband, Scott Faris, gave me his last name when we married in 2005. When God joined our lives together, we had no idea that our union would also bring genes together in such way that some of our children would have a serious genetic condition that impacts their liver and lungs, and I'll share more about that in this interview.
I'm a pastor's wife, mom to five children aged five to sixteen, and I love to write! Our family lives in New Jersey, and our favorite day trips are to the shore.
You’re the author of “He will be Enough: How God Takes You by the Hand through Your Hardest Days.” For those who aren’t familiar with your book, would you give a brief overview of what it is about and the target audience?
Gladly! When three of our five children were diagnosed with Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency in 2013, Scott and I were overwhelmed with grief. Those were some of our hardest days. Since that time, our family has faced additional diagnoses, financial struggles, and more. Sometimes there have been more questions than answers. Yet we've experienced God's faithfulness over and over again. Our suffering is a part of our family's story, but it's not all of it.
Having experienced God's goodness to us, through my writing, I'm grateful for the opportunity to come alongside and encourage others walking through their own trials. He Will Be Enough is a journaling devotional, and each chapter unpacks a biblical truth about God that serves as an anchor to the soul that we can all cling to on our own hardest days. At the end of each chapter, there are questions and journaling space so readers can write their thoughts and prayers as they apply Scripture to their own lives.
What was the inspiration behind the book? Why did you write it?
Following our children's diagnosis, along with our grief arrived a host of questions—what would this mean for our kids? Our family? The future? As Christians, we also found ourselves wondering, where was God in all this? And how do we pray for our kids with their genetic condition?
I think a lot of people ask questions when faced with trials, and I hope He Will Be Enough encourages readers to run to God with their perplexities and get to know him better right in the middle of their challenges—not just on the other side—whatever they're going through. While I weave our family's story throughout the book, ultimately I want to encourage others that when we trust God, we find that he is enough for us.
As you know, our ministry serves families journeying through the NICU, PICU, and Child Loss through Biblical Truth and encouragement. Would you take a moment to share a bit about your experience with complex medical diagnoses and frequent hospital stays?
Alpha-1 was first to hit our family. After that, our daughter was diagnosed with both hypoglycemia and a rare form of food allergies and two of our sons with celiac disease. Among all our five children can be added: three ambulance rides, four hospital stays, two concussions, some broken bones, mild scoliosis, a heart murmur, blood-clotting issues, asthma, environmental allergies, reflux, low weight gain, typical childhood illnesses, and multiple bouts of pneumonia. There have been finger pricks, blood draws, X-rays, ultrasounds, CAT scans, DXA scans, food trials, EKGs, endoscopies, dental surgeries—and more.
All that to say, I write as a mom in the middle of my story. I'm not a doctor, counselor, or any other kind of expert. While some of my questions surrounding my children's complex diagnoses have been answered, there are still mysteries surrounding their future. When told by a doctor, "There's 95% chance it's nothing," I've come to expect that our family will be part of the 5% for whom it is something. Specialist appointments still round out our calendar, and our family's medications regularly fill the drawer marked "F" at the pharmacy where we're known by name. I still lie awake at night sometimes, asking the Lord to remind me of the truths in his Word—and help me believe them.
How might your book bless and encourage those walking through the difficult seasons of the NICU and PICU?
Days spent in the NICU and PICU can be long and wearying, full of questions and uncertainties. If this is where you are, I pray God meets you in the pages of He Will Be Enough and strengthens your faith for the long-haul. I hope the stories and Scriptures you encounter refresh your heart and give you truths about God's character and his promises that you can cling to right now—on some of your own hardest days.
What words of encouragement would you like to share with someone walking through complex medical diagnoses?
God sees you in your suffering. He hears your cries for help. And he cares about you more than you can possibly imagine, enough to send Jesus to enter the middle of the story of history and offer hope in the middle of yours. Rather than despising your pain, God wants to take you by the hand and lead you through it.
The Lord has helped my husband and me to see that even in a world where horrific things happen, God is our life, and he is enough to sustain weary believers on their journeys heavenward. No matter what trial you face, don't turn away. Stick with Jesus. He will be more than enough for you.
But if you have gone astray, and you hear the Lord calling to you, return to him. Your heavenly Father waits to welcome you into his arms. His promise is for you too. He will be enough.
Where can readers connect with you? Where can they get a copy of your book? Do you have any promos for us?
I'd love to connect with you on my blog, Facebook, or Instagram. He Will Be Enough is available on Amazon, at The Good Book Company, or almost anywhere you order books. And yes, there are promos! There's a free YouVersion five-day devotional based on my book, and you can find downloadable memory verse worksheets here.
KATIE FARIS is a pastor’s wife and mother to five. Her children have multiple health challenges, and Katie's experienced hospital stays and all kinds of medical testing with them—along with God's amazing grace. She is the author of He Will Be Enough: How God Takes You by the Hand through Your Hardest Days (TGBC 2022), God Is Still Good: Gospel Hope and Comfort for the Unexpected Sorrows of Motherhood (Crossway 2023), and Loving My Children (2015). Learn more at katiefaris.com or follow Katie on Instagram or Facebook.