No family expects its son to be born with a heart defect, but that is exactly what Josh Good and his family have had to endure with their son, Joshy.
When Joshy was born, he was diagnosed with aortic stenosis, meaning his aortic valve was too narrow. According to the Mayo Clinic, this disorder restricts the ability of the heart to send blood to the rest of the body. Though the news was difficult, the family maintains it has helped strengthen its relationship with God.
“There is absolutely nothing you can do except for pray,” Josh Good told Sports Spectrum. “From the time [Joshy] was born until now, and even what happens, I have realized that you can do everything you can in your own might, and I think we should. Whether it’s hard work, or thinking and planning. … But there are going to be moments in your life when you have absolutely no control and that’s when you pray and you truly give it over to God.”
As both his uncle, Jim, and father work as basketball coaches for Boca Raton Christian School, Joshy has always had a passion for sports. His heart condition never impacted his athletic endeavors.
That all changed two months ago on April 19, when Joshy collapsed during gym class.
Due to quick action by the physical education teacher — who also happened to be Joshy’s father — and others in the school, Joshy’s life was saved.
“God’s taught me to have that attitude of gratitude and as I walk through that process [I look back and see] there was no time for error or confusion, and God just had everybody in the right spot at the right time,” Jim Good said. “It was probably the longest 7-8 minutes of our life, but looking back, it was just ordained from God.”
Joshy’s heart condition required open-heart surgery following the incident. Playing basketball or any other sport will have to wait while his heart and body recover.
While this has been a long journey for the family, both Josh and Jim attest to how God has used this situation to teach them. Jim said watching his brother love Joshy reminded him of how God loves him.
“As I watch my brother love on his son as a dad … When you get married and have kids, your love and appreciation for who God is as a Heavenly Father grows,” Jim said.
Jim also said that while trusting God with Joshy’s life has not been easy, it has been necessary. He compared his brother’s action with that of Abraham, who himself trusted his son into God’s hands.
“We have given Joshy over to God as a baby,” Jim said, “and at 14, why would we change?”
Josh echoed Jim’s words and said he’s learned the importance of full reliance on God.
“It doesn’t mean it’s easy. It doesn’t mean it works out the way you want,” Josh said. “But it’s like, ‘You know what God, You are in control and You need to be because I know that You have a plan for me. You have a purpose for me. You’re not here to harm me, You’re here to bless me.'”
In spite of the heartache and pain through Joshy’s condition, Jim and Josh look for how they can utilize it to share the Gospel.
“Maybe this is why Joshy is going through that, so God can still be glorified,” Josh said. “God is doing amazing things in my son with his heart, but also through him. He’s being able to reach different people who maybe don’t know Christ, who don’t really think about God or faith. … I’m like, ‘God’s got this. Faith over fear.’”
“Faith over fear” has been a phrase that has guided everyone involved through this storm. Instead of merely cowering and complaining when life does not go according to plans, they are choosing to have faith that God will bring good out of the trials.
Joshy hopes to fully recover from his surgery and return to playing basketball soon, as the family uses the circumstance to spread the love of God to everyone they encounter.
“Joshy’s story is going to be God’s story,” Josh said. “God still does miracles. God gets you through hard times. … I thank God every day for my salvation. I thank God every day for my family. I also thank God for the hard times in my life because it’s through the hard times that you really grow, you really mature, you really get closer and closer to God.”
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