The best books on faith and hope during illness

Who am I?

Having practically grown up at the hospital where my dad worked as a medical photographer, I wanted to be a nurse from the age of ten. I worked in ICU for five years and then retired to become a stay-at-home mom and later a homeschool mother. But once a nurse, always a nurse. I continued to care for friends and family, including my one-hundred-year-old mother-in-law, through health crises and long-term illnesses. My book and the others listed here tell stories of God’s healing—physically, mentally, and spiritually—a theme I’m passionate about and hope you are, too!


I wrote...

Health, Healing, and Wholeness: Devotions of Hope in the Midst of Illness

By Tracy Crump,

Book cover of Health, Healing, and Wholeness: Devotions of Hope in the Midst of Illness

What is my book about?

Are you facing a health crisis or battling chronic illness? Do you need a dose of hope? Through her work as an intensive care nurse, Tracy Crump witnessed lifesaving miracles when everyone involved had given up—everyone except God.

Crafted with unique examples of God's miraculous power and saving grace, Health, Healing, and Wholeness blends Scripture-rich meditations with biblical principles highlighting God's mercy in times of medical need. Moving stories of a mother's sacrifice, children overcoming catastrophic accidents, and joy despite traumatic brain injury instill hope. Whether you are experiencing a medical crisis, walking alongside someone who is, or caring for a loved one, these thirty devotions will bring comfort and peace.

The books I picked & why

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Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

By Dr. Paul Brand, Philip Yancey,

Book cover of Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

Why this book?

This is one of my all-time favorite books! Raised in India by missionary parents, Dr. Brand saw firsthand the effects of leprosy on the body. He trained as a doctor in England and returned to India where he pioneered the concept of the “gift of pain”—the idea that lepers’ “rotting” extremities resulted from the loss of sensation and subsequent infection, not the disease itself. A renowned surgeon, he was the first in the world to use reconstructive surgery on lepers, techniques he later applied to diabetics.

The book goes through the body, system by system, relating the physical body to the body of Christ. My favorite parts are Dr. Brand’s vivid stories of treating the “outcasts” society shuns but God does not.


Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story

By Cecil Murphey, Ben Carson,

Book cover of Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story

Why this book?

Another favorite! Raised by a single mom who spurred him to do his best, Ben Carson rose from a low-income, inner-city upbringing to become director of pediatric neurosurgery at John Hopkins by age thirty-three. He gained worldwide recognition for developing a technique to separate Siamese twins conjoined at the back of the head—the first successful operation of its kind. His strong faith, instilled in him by his mom, influenced every decision he made, making him a more compassionate and sensitive doctor. This book combines fascinating scenes from the surgical suite with a picture of a remarkable yet humble man who is an extraordinary role model for future generations.


90 Minutes in Heaven: A True Story of Death & Life

By Don Piper, Cecil Murphey,

Book cover of 90 Minutes in Heaven: A True Story of Death & Life

Why this book?

This book spent five years on the New York Times bestseller list. Despite what some see as controversial claims that the author spent ninety minutes in heaven and then came back to life, only five of the eighteen chapters dwell on Piper’s “near-death experience.” The majority of the book chronicles his horrifically painful struggle to survive and then recover the use of his legs which were mangled in an accident. He often begged God to let him die. Instead, God brought people into his life to help him move past self-pity and find a renewed purpose.


Strength Renewed: Meditations for Your Journey Through Breast Cancer

By Shirley Corder,

Book cover of Strength Renewed: Meditations for Your Journey Through Breast Cancer

Why this book?

As a registered nurse, South African writer Shirley Corder knew cancer from a medical standpoint, but she didn’t really know the disease until she heard the words “you have cancer.” In her book, she walks readers from diagnosis through surgery and cancer treatments to recovery, shedding God’s light along the path. Her subtle humor and genuine faith lighten a heavy subject. Though she never sugarcoats reality or implies that we should “just trust God and everything will turn out all right,” her book provides a shot of needed encouragement at a critical time.


Laughing in the Dark: A Comedian's Journey Through Depression

By Chonda Pierce,

Book cover of Laughing in the Dark: A Comedian's Journey Through Depression

Why this book?

Depression can sneak up on anyone, even a Christian comedian such as Chonda Pierce. Her busy schedule and constant pressure to make others laugh ran her own tank empty. Where did she turn? To God, of course. But she found that God often works through friends, family, and yes, even psychologists to haul people back onto their feet. With faith, hope, and humor, she exposes depression from the inside out and leads people from the dark into the light of Jesus. Though I’ve never experienced depression, I feel better armed should I ever meet this foe.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in cancer, neurosurgery, and near death experiences?

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And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

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