Pastor With Disabled Daughter Helps Others Discover a ‘Whole’ Life With New Book

By Nancy Flory Published on September 15, 2020

“In my darkest hours, the only thing that has assured my wholeness has been the truth of God’s voice,” writes Pastor Robin Steele. 

Steele, who has a daughter with significant disabilities, has written a book called How to be Made Whole, released Tuesday. The new book tells the story of Kennady Steele and what God has taught the family through her life. Kennady, now 18, was born with Alobar Holoprosencephaly, which means her brain did not form into two hemispheres. Caring for a child with disabilities hasn’t always been easy for Steele or his family, but he’s learned how to be whole in spite of difficulties. With his book, he hopes to help others discover a whole life through his experiences.

Unanswered Prayers

When Kennady was a newborn, Steele used to pray that either God would take her to heaven or that He’d heal her completely. For Steele, either way was a win for her. One day while praying for her, Steele had a revelation. “I slowly realized that I wasn’t truly loving her and knowing her for who she was because I constantly wanted her to change.”

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His unanswered prayer for Kennady — she wasn’t healed and wasn’t taken to heaven — turned out to be a far greater blessing. “[W]e learned so much about God that we didn’t know. … This unanswered prayer just showed me a side of God that, man, He’s so much better than that.”

A Meaningful Life

One day as he looked at his baby daughter in the hospital, her doctor’s notes caught his eye. “The parents understand that there is no chance of their daughter having a meaningful life.” He was angry. “Judgment passed over my daughter’s entire life with a short, yet sweeping, sentence.”

Kennady Steele laughs with her dad.

It’s what God says about us that makes a life meaningful. “[M]eaning doesn’t come from what we do or achieve, because if [we’re] going by that standard, we’ll always be chasing that.” He adds that when we hear the voice of God, know He loves us and that He accepts us, we find rest. What God says about us “brings a peace and a rest that cannot be stolen or corrupted or broken. So it’s what He says about us that gives us meaning.”

What Makes a Life Whole

What makes life whole is just being. Being a child of God, being accepted by God and being comfortable with God’s plan for our lives. We live out our wholeness by prayer — talking to and listening to God, Christian fellowship and living by faith. Wholeness is not defined by the absence of difficulty, Steele writes. It’s about living in God’s grace that He gives and trusting that He is in control — the challenges will not overcome us. We can’t live in fear of what will happen.

“Let the future remain where it belongs, in the tomorrows. This is how I have made it eighteen years. This is how wholeness works.”

Steele and his wife, Erica, host a podcast called The Made Meaningful Podcast and are the founders and lead pastors at PromiseLand Church in San Marcos, Texas.


Nancy Flory is an associate editor at The Stream. You can follow her @NancyFlory3, and follow The Stream @Streamdotorg.

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