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The Choice


Every day, I am faced with a choice to see life as beautiful and full or empty and unfair. I don’t think that will ever change (I don’t actually think it changes for any of us, no matter what our circumstances.) The only thing that changes is how easy or difficult it is to make the choice and how willing I am to make it, regardless of how capable I feel.


This morning, it’s easy. I feel peace and wholeness nipping at my heels. I feel held and sustained and excited about what the day holds. Tomorrow, it might be hard again. Or in two hours it might be hard again.  All I know for sure is it will be hard again.  I have no control over that.


The choice, however, she’s always mine to make.




I Praise Your name, for Your unfailing love and Your truth;

for You have placed Your name and Your word over all things and all times. 

On the day I needed You, I called, and You responded 

and infused my soul with strength.  

Psalm 138:2-3 The Voice




August 17, 2015 - 9:21 am

jacquelyn strayer/straywolff - Thank you for that scripture. Shared it.

August 17, 2015 - 9:34 am

Kathy - Thank you dear Bo.

August 17, 2015 - 7:10 pm

Jewl - Have you seen Beth Moore’s promo for War Room yet? Get your tamborine ready, even while in Egypt! You will have times when you praise your God even more because our sorrow brings us close to the Comforter and all He holds in heaven, and other times you will and have already felt dumped on the shore of the sea in grief, just gasping to breathe, let alone cry for help. In both times you have already decided the basics: God is good. He will carry you through hard. What relief to know those answers!
I’m so glad you had the courage to ask your friends for help for “that night!” Their work is beautiful, and that pillow is beyond amazing! ☺
With a prayer for healing for headaches and peace throughout.

August 17, 2015 - 8:56 pm

Christine Duncan - May each day be bathed in good things to choose from, and may He grant you the strength to choose them.
Your words today, Bo, are so filled with graciousness… I must confess my soul drank them in, like quenching a thirst. I too have the same choice… wow!
Thank you.

August 23, 2015 - 1:55 pm

Cindy Carlton - A friend from church told me about your blog today. My mother-in-law lost the battle with ALS June 24, 2015. This was such a huge loss. She was, like so many people who are diagnosed with this horrible disease, was full of life and very independent. We got the diagnosis June 2014 and spent 40+ days in the hospital May-June 2015. She had a trache put in over Memorial Day weekend. She had been on a ventilator since early spring. She was weak and required 24 hour care. I watched my father-in-law continuously care for her. The day before her funeral would have been their 40th wedding anniversary. We miss her everyday. I look forward to your future posts. God bless you!!

How My Friends Restored My Hope (and My Bedroom)


“Hey sweet friends – could you do happy hour today?  I have a big favor to ask.”



I remember the very day I sent the text.  I don’t know why it was so hard to do, but it was SO hard to do.  Very quickly, Deanna and Gretchen each responded with such happy yes’s that I felt better about the conversation that would take place at my favorite restaurant with my two wonderful friends who I felt were so perfect for the task ahead.



Quick backstory: Two years or so ago, because of changes in Steve’s condition and the need to accommodate a lot of machinery nearby, we moved him into a hospital-type bed in our bedroom and I had a little bed beside him.  After sleeping together for almost thirty years, that was a really hard day. But I took solace in the fact that he was still at home and not in a facility and that we were still together, even though our room was nothing like it had ever been.  The more ALS took over Steve’s body, the more it took over our room.  I eventually moved many of my things to the guest room as closets and dresser drawers began to overflow with medical supplies.



In December, we called in hospice and I knew the end was approaching quickly. That’s when I started thinking about what life would be like without him. There are a myriad of things you cannot know and cannot prepare for ahead of time, but the one thing that kept haunting me was the idea of the Very First Night.  No matter how hard I tried, I could not imagine sleeping in our room with Steve’s bed empty.  I also couldn’t imagine moving all his stuff out myself. It all just seemed so painful and impossible. That’s when I remembered something I had learned along the ALS road: Fix what you can fix and leave the rest alone.  This, I reasoned, was something I could fix.  And that brings us to my text to D & G.



They met me for happy hour on a gray spring day and I told them of my fear. And then I made my big ask. They listened and, tears streaming, said, “Absolutely. We can do this.”



On the day Steve died, Whitney made a few important calls and one of them was to Deanna and Gretchen.  That phone call launched Operation De-hospitalize Bo’s Bedroom.  As I sat and visited with my family and our pastors, my friends arrived and quietly – almost invisibly – began creating a beautiful space for me. I had already purchased a bed which had been waiting in storage and my friends had chosen everything else: sheets, comforter, pretty pillows and throws, a cushy  reading chair, fresh flowers in vases, new towels in the bathroom (it was important for me to choose friends whose taste and style I trusted.) They worked a long time, cleaning, decorating, ministering through their gifts. When it was ready, they came and got me and I…gosh, I’m not often without words, but I’m not sure what word to use for what I felt. I looked at that beautiful spa-like retreat and I was overwhelmed by the goodness of God to me through the hands of my friends. I felt peace. I felt security. I felt like maybe creating a life on the other side of ALS was an actual possibility.



27 days later, I can say that every time I go into my bedroom – I mean every single time – I am amazed that I get to live there. It is a haven for me in a difficult world.  And it is something that is my very own and I like that. The room that had represented the “us” of Steve and I went away a long time ago, there was nothing I wanted to preserve from the ALS season, so this very fresh, very new start has been one of the most life-giving things anyone has ever done for me.



If you are a friend wondering how to help someone who is in a similar situation, please feel free to send them this post and say:  If this is something you’d like to happen, I will help in whatever way I can.  If you are someone who is facing the loss of a spouse, feel free to send this post to a friend or two and say: If I give you the money, would you be willing to take this on for me?  OR, if you’re more concerned about making the choices yourself, you could buy the things you’ll want and ask a friend to store them for you until the time is right and then with one phone call, they could come in and make all the changes so you don’t have to (I know you hate to ask.  I know you feel like you’ve already used up all your favors.  I know you’re so tired of being the person who needs help that you’d love to just grit your way through something as personal as this, but please trust me – your friends would love to do this for you.)


I know it’s super weird to put pictures of my bedroom on the internet – but, hey – I’m a renegade like that and these are terrible cell phone pics so it’s almost like not really seeing it at all.  Here you go:




Listen, the one thing I know for sure is that I don’t speak for everyone going through sorrow.  I don’t even speak for anyone except me – grief is so subjective. Some people may be yelling at their computer right now, “I could never do that! I could never let someone take over such a personal task.”  I get it and I respect it.  But I do think there are those who have been through a long, hard battle with a sick spouse and they would love to have a fresh, clean space to call their own but are unwilling to ask or maybe even unable to pay for it after all the other luxuries they’ve purchased like medicine and doctor bills and such.  My dearest dream is that this post would be a head’s up to the armies of friends out there about creative ways to give hurting people hope on the hard days. Do with it what you will.


With heaps of freshly remodeled hope,



August 14, 2015 - 7:46 pm

Colleen Miller - This has given me a great idea. Thanks so much for sharing your sacred ground.

August 14, 2015 - 7:48 pm

vickie hughes - This is so hopeful Bo and such a great help to those of us who love people who are hurting and don’t know how to help. Thanks for the very practical, loving idea. It also gives a glimpse of the hope for the future you are feeling in the midst of the pain and sorrow. How gracious of you to be open and willing to share your life when it would be so much easier to hide and shut everyone out. Go Bo!! I’m praying for you from afar and constantly learning from you.
Vickie Hughes

August 14, 2015 - 8:14 pm

Brenda Stroth - No- thank you so much for this post. It has inspired me. One of my closest friends lost her husband of 40 years last year and she is grieving. I would love to facilitate a remodel for her!
Precious. So glad your besties put this together for you. It’s amazing!
Blessings! Brenda Stroth

August 14, 2015 - 9:20 pm

Carolyn - Bless you, Bo. Thank you for sharing so much of your life with us.

August 14, 2015 - 9:31 pm

Patti - Thank you Bo for the amazing, beautiful story!!! great reminder of something we can all do to help hurting loved ones!!

August 15, 2015 - 12:00 am

Jenn Randles - Oh gosh your room is gorgeous! Oh and I love that pillow! What SPECIAL treasures named D & G in your life! Thank you for sharing that story. Its VERY inspiring and helpful for those grieving, as well as the ones walking alongside the grieving.

August 15, 2015 - 5:02 am

Cynthia - When my husband died 7 years ago of multiple sclerosis, I also knew I could not face the bedroom that contained so many memories, good and bad, alone. After all the hospital equipment moved out, I closed the door and moved into the guest room. A few weeks later my friend Jack, and interior decorator, came over with magazines and ideas. He shopped with me and emailed me ideas. Other friends helped with paint and accessory selection. When the room came together–more slowly than yours, but altogether beautifully–I was breathless. It’s just like you said–my room is now a peaceful, welcoming retreat. Which is just what I needed as I navigated the new season of singleness and grief. Thank God for friends who love us and who can bring beauty into our homes!

August 15, 2015 - 6:23 am

Debbie Hershey - Thank you for opening your heart, in the midst of your pain, to help others. May God fill those empty places in your soul with more of His peace and joy!

August 15, 2015 - 6:48 am

Beth Allen - there use to be a show called “While You Are Out” and people came in and re-did a room for them…it was great fun to watch. I did it a for few people. So much fun!!! So glad you were able to do this. your room is BEAUTIFUL!!! Blessings Bo;-)

August 15, 2015 - 8:22 am

Karma - I absolutely love your room! I think this is such a great way for people to serve….thanks for sharing this Bo!

August 16, 2015 - 7:00 am

Jody Collins - Brilliant idea and a beautiful room. You are very wise (and veryloved by people who share your taste for quiet, peaceful places.) The color combo is perfect!

August 16, 2015 - 8:31 am

Debbie Wilson - My friend just passed on your story to me. I lost my husband of 28 years to the side effects of radiation after a 14 year battle on 7/7/15.

There are so many things you have written about that came close to my heart. I wonder how I will get used to this, how I will survive without my best friends love, hugs and getting through life together?

I am angry, thinking about 28 years of accumulated stuff and downsizing I now have to do on my own (even though we talked about it), I am painfully sad for my children, who’s father will never get to see them graduate from college, walk them down the aisle or hold the first grandchild.

I am lonely and heartbroken, thinking about the next 20 or so years being alone…

August 16, 2015 - 7:00 pm

Mary Perko - What beautiful friends you have, Bo! I think this is a lovely idea and would be honored to do the same for a friend. I’m sure your “ask” blessed them as much as it did you. Thanks for sharing your heart.

August 17, 2015 - 1:31 pm

Phyllis - Awesome!

24 Days Later


It’s been two dozen days since Steve flew away home. Since then we’ve had a memorial, a graveside service,  escaped to the beach for a week, and returned to the land that we love. Here’s what I’ve learned so far.



  • I’ve never felt as much pressure to make something beautiful and right as I did Steve’s memorial service. I wanted so badly to celebrate his life well. Somewhere in the mix of planning and stressing I realized I was feeling it was my last chance to honor Steve and it occurred to me how silly that was. We will always remember and celebrate Steve. Our lives are a reflection of him and in actuality, the days and generations ahead will be a much more authentic retelling of the story of Steve than one service in a church could ever be.


  • Having said that, I loved his memorial service.  The music, the people who shared, the pictures of his life. All of it was beautiful and meaningful for me.  I didn’t expect to love it because it is, at the heart, a really sad event – but I did love it and last night I worked up the courage to watch it for the first time and I felt so close to Steve and to the people who loved him like I did.


  • Grief is physical. It’s emotional,too, but I had no idea it would wreak such havoc on my body. For me, this has manifested in the form of fairly relentless migraines and just generally feeling sort of flu-ish.  I think the clinical term for what I’m feeling is “cruddy” (I actually think it’s call the Lethargy of Grief, but tomato, tomahto, you know?)  I read parts of A Grief Observed while we were on our beach getaway and CS Lewis describes it as “feeling concussed,or in a slight state of drunkenness” and I would agree except a slight state of drunkenness sounds way more pleasant than the headaches I’ve been wrestling with.  I ended up seeing a doctor in Portland about the whole thing and as of today, I think we’ve got it solved, but it was honestly one of the more frustrating issues to deal with immediately after losing Steve.  (Also worth noting: I’m loaded up with lots of helpful remedies including essential oils so no need to email me about that. )


  • Our time away at the beach was…rough. We were sad, several of us were sick and all I can really say is that nothing worked much like we had hoped. However, at the end of it all we decided we would be glad to leave that week and some of our sadness behind and return to the safety of home.  Sometimes what you think will be a refuge becomes a dumping ground instead and that’s okay too. I still believe we’re better for having gone, and we look forward to happier trips in the future.


  • My goal in the weeks following Steve’s death was to try to process the past four years and build some sort of plan for my future. I am, by nature, a rational thinker, so I reasoned I would be able to figure this thing out.  But when I arrived at the doorstep of that pursuit, I really didn’t know where to start. Make myself cry? Not cry? Sink into sorrow? Sink into memories? Look on the bright side? I was like a cross-eyed archer just wildly shooting arrows, hoping one would hit something that should be hit and not something that shouldn’t. I turned to a few books and found some helpful ideas and some not-so-helpful ideas and my takeaway is that, much like falling in love, grief is wildly subjective. We all go into it carrying a different suitcase full of emotional triggers and layers of history that create the lens through which we see our journey of sorrow.  I’m just now beginning to figure out what works for me and I wouldn’t dream of giving advice to anyone else except for this: be gentle and generous with yourself.


  • I had four years to get used to the idea of losing Steve, but I look back on the moments and days following his death and see clear evidence of shock. For instance, two days after he died, I sat down and wrote this post, detailing his last day on earth. I cried while I wrote it, but it wasn’t difficult for me – it was cathartic.  Just a few days later, however, I find I’m unable to go back and read it without the adrenaline and anesthesia of shock that was numbing my heart in that first week.  I joked to my sister recently, “I think I like shock.  What I hate is when the shock wears off.”


  • Sorrow really does come in waves. I’ve read it a million times, but now I’ve lived it about a hundred times. It builds and bubbles and then hits full-force and just when I think I’ll drown in it, it begins to recede. I don’t know if it’s true for everyone, but for me the wave runs its course in about twenty minutes. It’s not that I feel happy in twenty minutes, but I do feel like I can breathe and think clearly. Knowing how the cycle works for me (at least at this moment) has helped me know what I can control and make peace with (or get help with) what I can’t. I’m infinitely grateful to the people who kept their cell phones on 24/7 and took my desperate phone calls when I felt I couldn’t surf the wave on my own. Infinitely grateful.


  • People are amazing. I mean, really and truly amazing. I would tell you some of the creative, intentional ways they cared for us during this season, but I’m going to save that for another post. I have, however, been taking copious notes so that I can remember the brilliant ways we’ve been loved and served so that I can do the same thing for others when they travel through the shadowlands.


I know this is the most random post ever, but that’s how I’m thinking right now and I can’t seem to jolt myself out of it. In conclusion, I want to say that I am well.  I feel secure and loved.  My memories of my life with Steve are a warm blanket around my heart, rather than a painful reminder of what I’ve lost and that’s a relief to me because I wasn’t sure which direction that would go. Our home feels safe and peaceful and it’s really strange to be able to come and go as I please. Not bad strange and not good strange, just strange.  I am taking a month or so off of work and I can already tell I’ll be really ready to get back into the swing of things.  My kids are also well and I am so proud of them.


So, that’s the update.  Thank you for caring, loving, calling, texting, facebooking and just generally being the most awesome army in the history of war.  I love you.


With hope,





August 11, 2015 - 9:58 am

Arlene Hiatt - Prayers continue for you and your family. Love you, Bo.

August 11, 2015 - 10:02 am

Dianna Salciccioli - Love you Bo~ glad you are taking time to breathe, to recalibrate. Praying for you all.

August 11, 2015 - 11:10 am

Claudia Lee - Bo,
I, like you, was completely shocked at the physicality of grief. I was ill off and on for a year after Becky died – this for a ‘never sick for a moment’ person was so out of the blue. I just found myself nodding my head at every aspect of this post. Thank you for taking the time to let us know you are OK in a broken kind of way. Do whatever you do in this month off — I know God will be in it with you.
Love and prayers! Claudia

August 11, 2015 - 11:17 am

Karen Hermann - Have been praying for you and your family all along. You are all an amazing testimony of the power of gods presence in your life. You have given a map of how to negotiate the shadowlands. I am so grateful to have been a glimpse of it. You are missed and I look forward to your return. Continue your gentle and grace filled treatment of your self. It will never be the same but the passing of time does help.

August 11, 2015 - 11:31 am

Karla J - Oh gosh Bo, I’m so glad to know you and the kids are well. We’ve wondered…
I can’t tell you how much I agree with your first bullet point and the shock bullet point. Having lost my father in November, I can’t tell you how many times I said I preferred when I had the “shock shield” on. And the celebration service, it was just tremendous. I only wish we could have been there in person. You honored Steve well. Quite well.
Please know that we continue to pray for you daily, sometimes several times a day…for all of Team Stern. We hope that you stay in touch with the Steve side of the family… we love you so and can’t thank you enough for caring for him in such a loving wonderful way. Many blessings to you and big hugs! <3

August 11, 2015 - 1:46 pm

Jody Collins - Bo, it hardly seems possible that it’s been 24 days since Steve passed. Wow.

You are wise to take your time with your grief and let it be what it is–and yes, be gentle and generous with yourself.

May the fragrance of Heaven be a balm to you….

August 11, 2015 - 2:35 pm

Heather - You and your family continue in my prayers. Thank u for sharing your heart. We love you!

August 11, 2015 - 3:47 pm

carolyn - How you are loved, Dearest Bo. You are on my heart ever so many times each day…lifted in prayer and held closely. The path of grief is indeed individual, as individual as God Almighty created us. Embrace the grief and the comfort that He extends. Know that you are surrounded by the many who love you. I am blessed to be one of those.

August 11, 2015 - 8:23 pm

Mike spencer - I like your posts. I have gone through what you are going through and even more since it has been 4 yrs since my lovely of 43 yrs flew off from the evil ALS. She is suffering no more. I have done all the “right” things. Written a book, found God after a long time, serve my fellow person through the ALS Society and church. My kids have been there for me. My parents are still alive and I am blessed by their love, support and help. I have done Bereavement classes. Like you, I have this big void in my heart. My biggest issue, according to my children…Dad you need to move on! I can’t! If you remember Top Gun where Tom Cruz could not let go of Goose! That is me! I am afraid to let go. I hope I stay in step. I hope you find your peace.

August 12, 2015 - 6:04 am

Molly - Thanks for sharing. Been thinking of you daily. More n more prayers coming your way to get you wholly healthy.

August 12, 2015 - 4:13 pm

Laura Black - Iv’e been waiting on your post. Waiting on your random, yet wise thoughts. It was so good to read your post. It is a sort of promise to me that I will make it through this messy world of ALS. That living with someone depressed and dysfunctional will not last forever, that one day my husband will be whole and healed and exactly who the Father made him to be, not the scared shell of a man he is right now. Bo please keep writing. Those of us living in this hard place hang onto your every word. THANK YOU FOR BEING YOU. Thank you for sharing your hurt and your real. I’ve never met you, yet you bring me such HOPE.

Praying for all of you,
Laura Black
Greenville, SC

August 12, 2015 - 9:45 pm

Mike Davis - Bo,
First of all, thank you for sharing your experiences with Steve’s passing into Glory. I have cried like I didn’t know I could. I never got to meet Steve. But, through your words, he is totally my brother.

Secondly, Lord Jesus, heal the headaches of this, Your daughter. Heal her to to full completeness in You. You took the stripes on Your back that we are healed. I claim this healing, in Jesus’ name, for Bo, this minute. We pray for the sick, and they recover. Bo, be healed in Jesus’ name.

You are special beyond your wildest dreams. Steve is soooooo proud of you.

August 14, 2015 - 12:02 am

Donna - In every instance that I have had the privilege to witness a sermon of yours or read your blog, it is wholly evident that you lead with your heart. Your prose is a gift that reads like poetry and it must give you such solace when you are overcome in the “shadowlands”, as you call them. It is indeed a great honor to be allowed to walk with you through this exquisitely beautiful, profoundly painful journey. Praise the Lord; raise the roof, there is no doubt that Love is in the house!

If I could share a memory of your Steve: I saw him, walking somewhat haltingly at Costco a couple of years ago. We made eye contact, nodded our heads at one another and he smiled such a warm, glorious smile and he continued beaming as he exited the warehouse as if the Lord whispered something so lovely in his ear that it made his day. I felt compelled to watch him because it was so apparent that God’s light was shining on him, through him. I’m glad I have that little tidbit to pass on and even though I didn’t know him personally, I had a tiny glimpse into this man of God.

Be safe and be well.


Obituary for Steve Stern


photo-10Steve Stern was born in Detroit, Michigan on April 22, 1962, into a family of great faith and global reach. Before his first birthday, he was on a plane headed for Abraka, Nigeria, where he would spend the formative years of his childhood. Steve loved his life in Africa and would later relish telling his children stories of strange pets, swimming in rivers on hot days and living through the Biafran war. His family moved back to Detroit in 1970 and eventually on to Danville, Illinois, where Steve attended Danville High School graduating in 1980. In 1981 he packed up his Saab and moved to Portland, Oregon to attend Portland Bible College. There he met and married his wife, Bo. They honeymooned in Central Oregon and quickly began dreaming of the day they might make a life there. That day came in 1995 and Bend, Oregon has been home ever since.


unnamedSteve had many brilliant achievements in his life. He was a great golfer and businessman, a successful pastor – but he always believed that his best accomplishment was his family. He was unspeakably proud of Corey and Whitney Parnell, Victoria, Tess and Josiah Stern and he loved being Papa to his grandsons, Greyson and Phineas.


10598369_698938493527512_1406439057_nIn 2011, Steve was diagnosed with Amytrophic Lateral Sclerosis. That’s when he became a hero. He battled the treacherous disease with bravery, humor and determination. He stayed fiercely in love with God and committed to being a faithful and loyal friend, dad and husband, even in the midst of his suffering. He used all his minutes and muscles on the people he loved most and continued to develop new, important relationships up until his last breath on July 18, 2015.


imageSteve is survived by his wife and children, his mother, Eleanor Stern, one sister, Susan David and brothers Philip and Jonathan Stern. He was greatly anticipating the prospect of heaven – especially seeing his dad, Paul Stern, who preceded him in death.


photo-2The impact of Steve Stern’s life, faith and love cannot be contained by words on a page, but it is reflected in his family and the many who were blessed to call him friend. His19,445 days on this earth were a gift that he opened and lived out with joy.


A celebration of life will be held on July 24th at 1:00 at Westside Church.  In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to help with medical and funeral expenses.




July 24, 2015 - 8:36 am

Leilani Haywood - I’ve followed your journey through this valley for several years. I’ve wept with you, prayed with you and I’m weeping now. May God carry your family during this time.

July 24, 2015 - 8:40 am

Angie Tolpin - Bo,
I have followed a little of your families journey the past year through Facebook and stories from mutual friends and I wanted to thank you all for bringing our Father in heaven glory through all the circumstances, the trials, the struggles, and the pain you have experienced. I am sure there were hard, hard, hard days, but even in those Jesus was magnified and that is beautiful even in the midst of all the hard. Know that our family is praying for you and thankful for brothers and sisters in Christ like you that can shine so brightly.
May He Comfort You

July 24, 2015 - 9:15 am

Jess Lederman - Dear Bo,
I can feel my own heart break all over again; and yet, with your example, and Steve’s, and that of my late wife Teri, and above and beneath and beside us all, Jesus Christ, I have joy. Please let me know the address for donations.

July 24, 2015 - 9:22 am

Amber - Please let me know where we can send a donation to. Sending up prayers for comfort and peace to your family, and anyone who was touched by Steve’s greatness.

July 24, 2015 - 9:36 am

Kristin Motter - Beautiful man. Beautiful family. Love and prayers are with you all through this horrifically painful, glorious time.

July 24, 2015 - 9:56 am

Ben & Michelle Earwicker - We are celebrating Steve’s life and impact with you! So sorry for your loss and the difficult days of grief. Love from the Earwickers. – Ben, Michelle, Nyah, and Renn

July 24, 2015 - 10:18 am

Marilee Rodgerson - My heart aches for you and your family as you’ve had to say good- bye here on this earth. Your words, your witness and your faithfulness to God through this horrific journey is witnessed by those who know you from up close and afar. I’m praying for you and your dear family as you walk these days, weeks and beyond with forever changed lives. Knowing God is being ever present.

July 24, 2015 - 11:03 am

Loni Vander Stel - Dear Bo – I have read your book, Beautiful Battlefields, and wept, and agreed through it, as our lives have been mutually through valleys, but with the Great Shepherd. I pray for the continued peace that passes ALL understanding, that your blessed memories of your husband and thinking of him dancing in heaven, lift your spirits, when the years of missing him collide with your heart. May your new normal begin with peace and beauty and the anticipation that it will be a short new normal and in a blink of the eyes, there will be eternal reunions.

July 24, 2015 - 12:03 pm

Janet Beier - Bo I am very new to your battle. I feel i know you through your book – I actually went to Bible college with Steve and he was my drive to work and all I can remember was his smile and his crazy driving! My mom and dad are visiting and brought your book. I had read 2 chapters and then mom found out he went to be with the Lord. I want you to know that i have been in a 7 year battlefield with my love for Parkinsonism (long term complication of a car accident) like Steve a healthy strapping guy who could do anything. Let’s just say i was doubting my ability to endure! Now John and I are reading this book together and say we are on the road to recovery in our relationship. Prayers for peace.

July 24, 2015 - 6:55 pm

Arlene Cox - Please send an address for a donation.
Bo, you graciously GAVE me a copy of “Beautiful Battlefields” when you were the speaker at women’s night of worship at New Heights Church in Vancouver, WA., when you found out that a family member of mine was going through ALS.

Blessings as you go through the battlefield of grief, the celebration of life well lived, and joy of knowing that you will see him again.

In Jesus’s love,

July 24, 2015 - 11:02 pm

Gretchen Wells - An absolutely Beautiful tribute to your husband today! Bless you friend! Many many prayers for you all!!

July 25, 2015 - 4:49 am

Dawn Pieper - Dear Bo and Family,

I am so sorry for the loss of your beloved husband, father, son and brother. You are correct Bo when you say “the impact of Steve’s love, faith and life cannot be measured by words on a page”. The words on the page are a small tribute to the amazing impact his life has had. God be praised for your willingness to share Steve’s life and your journey. You have impacted thousands. You have impacted me. Thank you.

Unfortunately,I am intimately familiar with grief. Losing a brother and two cousins at the age of six. Then I faced my parents dying in a car accident when I was twenty five. Writing is a healing balm as you grieve.

I am praying for all of you to feel the arms of your Savior in each hug and letter you get. Heaven is a place each of you will long for! Steve is lavishing every moment. Those left behind are faced with the heartache and hope.

July 26, 2015 - 10:23 am

Jody Collins - What a party there must be in Heaven!

July 28, 2015 - 10:08 am

Lorie - I’m so sad to hear of your loss; your love for Steve was magnificent and precious. I’ve also been following your journey after hearing you on the radio sharing your story. Thank you for bearing your soul and not holding back on the raw emotion you went through in your blogs … I’ve been encouraged from your example and try to face my own trials with, hopefully, the same grace that’s so evident in you as you shared your experience so courageously. I’ll continue to pray for your and your family as you face the days ahead. I know the Presence of Jesus will be with you each day without fail just as He was during Steve’s illness—and probably more so. You are in my thoughts every day.

August 5, 2015 - 7:09 pm

Krista - Bo
I’m just now reading that Steve has passed on. I’ve been reading your blog for a while now and always want to comment and then I never do bc I think my words won’t possibly mean anything to you. But I want to say thank you for sharing your story and Steve’s journey with ALS. I found you last summer when I did the ice bucket challenge and I donated my money in Steve’s name. You’re an amazing woman and I’m so sorry for your loss.

August 11, 2015 - 4:50 pm

Cynthia Fox - Thank you Bo for sharing.
I haven’t a lot of words but am thankful Steve is at home in heaven and you will all meet up one day soon.
Your lives are a blessing that will live on for always.
Hugs and prayers as you go forth on this journey

On The Day You Flew


Dearest Steve,



Our goodbye had been coming so long. In fact, it seemed we had already said it so many times and in so many ways. With tears and words and recently, as words became more and more difficult for you, with raised eyebrows and tiny hand movements. Our language was second nature to us and so much of our communication revolved around this impending goodbye – but I was still surprised when it really, finally came.


The week had been a constant struggle to keep your oxygen levels up. The caregivers and I would check your pulse ox a million times each day, exchanging high fives with any number in the 90’s and worried glances when it dipped to dangerous levels. The shrill start-up alarm on the O2 machine became a comfort to me, knowing it was doing its job, helping you breathe, keeping you here. We tried – Crystal, Holly and I – to keep the concern out of our voices, but I know you knew. You’ve always known everything before I knew it.


On Friday night, we pulled the couches and cushy chairs into the room so we could be with you. We watched Hitch, because we needed an easy laugh. During the movie, you were awake, asleep, awake, asleep, until finally you asked to be taken to bed. Joe helped me transfer your fragile, failing body out of your chair and into bed. You asked me to adjust your head once or twice and I waited for more instructions because, let’s be honest, there were always more instructions. You, sweet man, are wonderful and kind , but you are a very, very particular patient and we both know I never got out of the night-time routine with less than eight head adjustments. So I waited. But you said nothing. I asked, “Are you good now, hon?” Nothing. “Do you need anything?” Nothing. I stroked your cheek and rubbed your arm, “Do you want me to read you a Psalm?” No response. So I asked Joe to bring me a chair and I sat by your bed and prayed and thought and read and slept off and on. I don’t know what I thought might happen, but I knew I didn’t want to miss it, couldn’t miss it.


After a long time, I fell into my bed beside yours, so thankful we weren’t in a hospital. I was so glad to be near you and near our family, surrounded by the sights and sounds that have defined our life together.


On Saturday, you woke up early and Joe again helped with the transfer from bed to chair. You seemed awake and alert. You told me you loved me so many times and in so many ways as I moved around you to do the morning routine and I treasure each and every one of those, but I could also tell that you were miserable. Joe sat with you and visited (he’s a really great brother-in-law, isn’t he?) while I took a little time to read and write a blog post. Every time I checked on you, it seemed you were less aware. Less there. Holly was the caregiver for the day and she arrived at 10, but much of the morning work had already been done, so she said to you, “What do you need this morning, Steve?” Your eyes closed and opened, but no answer came out. I began asking you questions, but no response. You were there and breathing, but you were also somewhere else entirely. After a few minutes, you looked at me and I knew you were back. It was unsettling, but I still didn’t imagine you were two hours from heaven.


I had been struggling with a fierce headache all morning which I had begun to believe might be sinus-related, so I wanted to run to the store and grab something I could take for it. And I know, our house was filled with every possible medication, and yet…no sinus stuff. All week, you had wanted me to be near you and seemed panicky when I wasn’t, so I checked to make sure you were good with me going to the store. You nodded yes, eyes glassy and staring at the tv. “Who’s winning?” I asked, because you will always talk about golf and the British Open is one of your favorites (but choosing a favorite golf tournament for you is like choosing a favorite child). I asked again and you just shook your head and said, “I don’t know.” And it sounds crazy, but that’s when I knew we were closer than I had thought. Just like you knew you were really sick when your golf swing suffered, I knew you were really leaving me when golf no longer mattered.


I went to the store with my sister, but my heart was pounding the whole time. Heavy tension hung over us, so we moved fast and talked little. It wasn’t that I was afraid you would die while I was gone, mostly I was afraid you would need me.


We were home in a matter of minutes and I went straight to your chair to check on you. I put my hand on your hand and you looked up at me, trying to see through the cob webs of your impending transition and you mouthed your trademark line, “Hello, beautiful.” And by the way, thank you for that. Thank you for being so consistent with that for so long. You built something in me with that line. You built my belief system about who I am to you. Really, sir, so many thank yous.


Corey and Whitney had stopped by to visit and so I hugged the babies and sent Tori on a burger run. I was snuggling baby Finn when Holly yelled my name and her voice told me all I needed to know. I ran to you and knew. “How are you Steve?” I yelled at you and you just shook your head, gasping for air as the color drained from your skin. The pulse oximeter was attached to your finger and we watched as it dropped from 75 to 69 to 64 and down. And I could feel heaven arriving. It was pressing in on us as you struggled for breath and I struggled for breath and somewhere in my breaking heart I heard the words, “Help him home.” So I leaned in close and told you how proud we were of you. How you had fought so valiantly and well. I told you how brave and strong you were and how excited Jesus was to meet you and hold you and give you a good meal. I told you we would be fine, our kids would be strong and would stay soft. I didn’t tell you how desperately I would miss you because I didn’t want you to fight any harder or longer than you already had. I felt like a midwife. Soon, all the family surrounded me and began encouraging you, too. We prayed and stroked your hands and feet and sobbed and told you all we felt you needed to know about the life you had lived and the life that was waiting just beyond this moment. Your breathing was so shallow, but you were still with us so I relinquished my spot by your face so that our kids could step in close and say soft, secret words to you as you made your journey home. Your dearest friend, Riley, arrived with five minutes to spare and when I told you, “Riley is here,” I saw your eyebrows move. It always mattered to you when Riley came.


The whole thing felt both utterly chaotic and completely in order. There were moments when it would hit me that all a the details had come together to make this as beautiful as it could be. Our people were there. The sun was shining. We were as ready as we would ever be.


We turned off the British Open and turned on a worship playlist. As the sounds and songs of heaven filled the room, we said we’d see you so, so soon. At 12:52, with Beauty For Ashes playing in the background, you flew away home. And that’s when I fell at your feet and cried all my tears. So many tears. Pouring and gasping and pouring and gasping out an offering of gratitude to Jesus for the gift of you. I imagine I was pouring out my love at your feet at the exact moment you were pouring out your love at His. I heard things happening around me, others crying and praying, but I mostly heard the sound of my Good Shepherd. I saw His smile and heard His voice saying, “Thank you, Bo, I’ll take it from here.” And all the pieces of my life came together and apart all at once in one afternoon.


When the dust had settled and everyone had taken some time with you, I gathered us all together around you to pray. Corey said a brilliant, beautiful prayer, though I don’t remember any of the words, and then we began to sing


Bless the Lord, O my soul,
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I’ll Worship His holy name


And you know how your family sings, so you know it was beyond beautiful. Evan had rushed Josiah home from camp so there were like a half dozen amazing worship leaders in your home going choir. I hope heaven heard it, even though I know the choirs there are probably pretty great too.


So, here I am on day four. Still standing. Still have a headache. Wondering how I’ll do this without you. The past four years have been consuming, discouraging, exhausting, unnerving and beautiful. You became the very center of my life, my attention, my purpose, my to-do list and my heart. Now my time is free, but my heart is not. It’s odd, leaving the house whenever I want to. It’s strangely wonderful and at the same time dark and disorienting.


My facebook is slammed with messages of hope and strength. People love you, sir. I mean – they love you. Your life made such a mark on your world. And we miss you desperately. I’m not too proud to say I am unspeakably sad for me – but I can’t muster up even one minute of sadness for you. I watched your life. I watched you struggle to breathe and move. I watched you sacrifice all your dignity on the altar of ALS and I am so happy for your new life that sometimes I’m breathless with the thought of what you must be doing and feeling and tasting.
So, that is the story of the day you were born. Really, truly born into life. That I was a witness to the miracle is my dearest, sweetest treasure.
I will always, always love you.


Until we meet again,





Dear friends:  This blog post breaks all the rules.  It’s too long. Too unedited.  Too personal.  But I needed to write it – to get it out, to get it on paper, as a part of the process.  I share it because I think Steve would want me to.  I think  – in fact, I know – that he would want you to know about this 19,445th day in his life. He would want you to know how God showed up to lead him home…and he would want you to know He loves you. 

July 21, 2015 - 8:49 am

Alisha Braatz - Love you Bo, and your whole family. This is beautiful.

July 21, 2015 - 8:52 am

Cindi Dunn - Sweet Bo…I remember the day in Macy’s…all the way last Christmas season, that when I asked what I could pray for you, you told me to ask Jesus that you would be there with Steve at that “birthing” moment…you couldn’t imagine it any other way, & I am sure Steve wouldn’t have had it any other way…Never the less, I have asked Jesus for that, many times, among other things, over the past months and now with tears streaming down my face…I know, once again, ever and always, He is faithful!!!!!…I love you so! Thank you for allowing us the privilege to journey with you over the years…Jesus has “stolen my heart”….you give it words…Thank you.

July 21, 2015 - 8:55 am

Dianna Salciccioli - Tears brimming. Joy and sadness all mixed together. Thinking again about legacy and the power of true faith. Thankful for you and your families honesty in this battle. We will miss Steve’s wit and humor–Heaven is a better place today.

Love you dearly and praying for your season ahead. Peace, healing, joy, and hope to you in this transition.

July 21, 2015 - 9:00 am

Pete Quortrup - Your words are perfect, Bo. You have a gift for communication. Thank you for sharing it here …about this. You and Steve are a light to the rest of us. Beautiful.

July 21, 2015 - 9:02 am

Kayrin - Dearest Bo and family – I have followed your ALS story from the beginning. Your grace through this awful ALS storm has been impressive. Thank you for sharing what I know to be very difficult moments in your lives. I’ve gone through this same journey with my Dad 17 years ago. God bless you Team Stern.

July 21, 2015 - 9:11 am

Debbie Hammagren - Dear Bo, thank you for sharing the beautiful exchange between heaven and earth.

July 21, 2015 - 9:13 am

Jane Lellman - Thank you dear Bo, for putting beautiful and real and difficult things into words. Two years plus later I still sometimes shake my head thinking that at the same time I cannot believe Jim is gone, I also cannot believe God let me have him for so long! I am grateful to you and to Steve for sharing your journey. I think for as long as I live I will remember what a privilege it was and is to be counted among the people I have met on this journey. Prayers for you and your family.

July 21, 2015 - 9:15 am

Gretchen Wells - Dear Bo, I really haven’t been on FB that much this summer and this morning I thought I’d check in…your post was the first thing I saw and I LOVE that about OUR GOD!! Thank You For Sharing “The Story” as hard as it is to read, the beauty of God is everywhere and it draws us so close to HIM! I know you and your family are covered in prayers of love, peace and comfort! We love you and again Thank YOU for sharing and lettings us All In!! Continued prayers for God’s Goodness!

July 21, 2015 - 9:16 am

Gwen Babbitt - Bo, I am Linda Johnson’s sister…you don’t know me but Linda kept me updated on your and Steve’s battles. She texted me Sunday morning when I was preparing for worship that Steve had passed. That morning we sang 10, 000 Reasons also. Not a coincidence I don’t think 🙂 I am sorry…just wanted to add my condolences and applaud your bravery and inspiration.

July 21, 2015 - 9:17 am

Nikki - Thank you for breaking all the rules. Thank you for sharing all of the personal. Thank you for being so real right in the middle of the messy and beautiful and difficult of it all. Thank you for sharing your life, so that we might gain some for ourselves. Tears and joy and sadness flow from my eyes and heart and soul for you and your family. Such bittersweet victory. XOXO

July 21, 2015 - 9:30 am

Kathy Field - Oh Bo, Lila let us know you had written this and I made the mistake of reading it now in my office at work. I have no makeup left but that’s okay, because I have a heart filled with love for you and your family and for a God who is always near. I have a hope of a loving compassionate God who promises us we will see our friends and family again, I have a joy that knows that as soon as Steve was whole again in his Heavenly Father’s arms, he heard the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant!!! Shall we dance around the streets of gold?”, I have tears of heartache for what you are all experiencing this week and in the weeks to come. What a beautiful and powerful song to be playing when Jesus said hello and you all said goodbye. No words can truly express the thankfulness and blessing of knowing Steve, you and your family and how you have all impacted our hearts and lives. I can’t even begin to even imagine what this journey has been for you, but thank you for sharing it with all of us!!! God truly gives beauty for ashes
Strength for fear
Gladness for mourning
Peace for despair

When sorrow seems to surround you
When suffering hangs hangs heavy o’er your head
Know that tomorrow brings wholeness and healing
God knows your need, just believe what He said

With much love, prayer and hugs,
Mike and Kathy Field

July 21, 2015 - 9:32 am

Dianne K Wood - Prayers, hugs, heart felt sympathy. Rest Bo.

July 21, 2015 - 9:33 am

Randy McBride - While we have been friends for many years now both you and Steve always seemed to amaze me. I am thankful that my last time seeing Steve on this earth that he gave me a huge, even though I could see the discomfort on his face.
Throughout the last four years you have shared, and with this I can also see the discomfort on your face as you open yourself up for the “hugs” we all want to give you.
On behalf of my entire clan we want you to know how much we love you Bo, and your clan.

July 21, 2015 - 9:33 am

Hattie Piske - Thank you, Bo for the gift of a glimpse in to such an intimate moment. I’m sitting here weeping at your words but also marveling at how God overshadowed a situation that should’ve felt hopeless. The way He’s provided for you all and the way you’ve responded points me straight to Jesus. Thank you. My prayers are with you.

July 21, 2015 - 9:34 am

David Chown - I’m glad you like to write Bo, because I love to read it. Precious in every way. God was right. Death is precious, and an enemy at the same time. It stalks all the time but when it finally shows up even death is covered by grace. Love always.

July 21, 2015 - 9:35 am

Katie Renault - Bo,
You don’t know me very well and I know your walk through blog posts and podcasts of west side. I was saved a west side and have never sat through one of your sermons without tears in my eyes. THANK YOU for sharing your life story. I am now a missionary in Mexico and I often read your posts of Steves amazing life. Even though I don’t know him or you personally, you both have impacted me through your walk. Your words are beautiful, his life was beautiful. Prayers for your family from Tijuana, Mexico.

July 21, 2015 - 9:42 am

Darleen - Bo, I have only met you and Steve once in my life…It was a message you preached 8 years ago from Hebrews and you were impressing so strongly how important it was for you to leave a legacy, running the race with endurance! I kept my kids in child care and stayed to listen to the message again and then afterward spent time talking with you and your husband about some questions of faith I had. When you preached that message, you never knew about the horrible monster of ALS lurking…Well, I must say 8 years later, well done my sister! so far you are not only impacting your family but now thousands!!! God has given you and your husband MUCH and you are doing amazing things with it even though it would never have been a chosen path….Thank you for sharing your life, your families life and HIS story….Please never stop blogging I look so forward to your posts just as I did the day I longed for you to preach that message for a second time 🙂

July 21, 2015 - 9:42 am

Shelley Kennell - Bo, thank you for sharing your private thoughts with us. Your courage is an inspiration. Blessings to you all along with my condolences.

July 21, 2015 - 9:51 am

Susan Hickox - Prayers for you and your family, Bo. You have shared your journey so generously and I am grateful. What a beautiful relationship you and Steve had.

July 21, 2015 - 10:02 am

Sharon Leskanic - Bo,
I have followed your blogs for we have so much in common, like so many families with ALS. I feel I know you well. My journey with my husband Jim with ALS was shorter, but so similar to Steve’s starting with the golf swing. My 2 teenage daughters & I lost Jim on Oct 2 2013. I empathasize will all you have written; truly it is what I have felt, experienced, & you express it so eloquently & I thank you. My daughter Sarah Caldwell (age 18) recently published her book “Just to Make You Smile”, a teenage daughter’s reflection on her Dad with ALS. It’s on, & maybe it someday will help. In the meantime, I wish you & your family Peace of the Holy Spirit. My heart is broken for you, for I know what it is. A huge hug from Maine, from myself & daughters. Peace & love.

July 21, 2015 - 10:03 am

Terry Scanlon - Dear Bo,
My heartfelt condolences on the loss of your husband. Your posts helped me greatly through the loss of my dear brother who passed from ALS. I was with him as he breathed his last breath encouraging him to let go. For us it was the hits of the 70s we were tuned to in those last days.It made us both smile. My most vivid memory of that day was of his hands, which had been so gnarled and in constant pain were now as limber as they were before he was sick. I knew he had beat ALS and was now home safe. My prayers are with you as you find your way forward. He is with you.

July 21, 2015 - 10:10 am

Yvonne Swarbrick - Dear Bo , thank you so much for sharing this , it’s beautiful and sad all at the same time. My hubby has MS and low -grade leakemia . He’s having chemo at the moment . He’s had MS for 30 yrs, the Lord has been with us all along the journey. Thanks for your encouraging beautiful words that you have always shared. You have ministered to me often when I have read them
Bless you xx

July 21, 2015 - 10:19 am

Gil Miller - Bo, absolutely profound! So deeply hard to read, but soooo full of life and Jesus! Thanks so much for giving us a picture into your heart and soul…..and for showing us Jesus. We love you!

July 21, 2015 - 10:20 am

Jolynda - I’m so sorry for your loss. ALS sucks. Your words were beautiful. This is the first time I’ve read your blog…..just beautiful.

July 21, 2015 - 10:22 am

Steve Merki - We’re so sorry to hear this news, Bo, but are rejoicing for Steve. Thanks for blazing the trail for us.

July 21, 2015 - 10:27 am

Nita Belles - Oh sweet friend. Thank you for sharing this deeply spiritual, and selfishly I say, deeply sad blog. As always, you brought us in to your life and even into Steve’s life evermore. Wow.

I love you and I’m here. 24/7

July 21, 2015 - 10:29 am

Kristin Motter - Oh,Bo. Tears dropped from my eyes for nearly every line. You and Steve are so loved. I truly felt like I knew him through you, and as I read I kept praying his passing would not be difficult. Steve left pure love on earth and was welcomed into the perfect arms of love in heaven. Thank you for sharing this part of your journey. And remember one of my favorite things Christ said: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you. Not as the world giveth give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” Deepest love and heartfelt prayers to you and your family.

July 21, 2015 - 10:29 am

COLIN FITZPATRICK - I have no words…. except to say I love you guys — all of you — MAY GOD BLESS and KEEP YOU ALWAYS!!! 🙁

July 21, 2015 - 10:33 am

linda Johnson - Dear Bo, like everyone else, I wept through the reading of this. What I know is that there is no more sacred, difficult time than ushering your loved one to the gates of heaven. You and your family did it so well. Now rest dear one, in the arms of Jesus, just as Steve is.

July 21, 2015 - 10:36 am

Grace Bennett - Bo, Your story is precious and very articulate. When you are caretaker, friend, lover etc. for so long it is going to be hard but you can do it. I remember you and Steve from childhood days. You both are such a blessing. Prayers

July 21, 2015 - 10:46 am

Vangi Taron - Dear, dear Bo — so beautiful. So heart-breakingly beautiful. Thank-you for letting us in on these amazing moments. And I love you. You can go ahead and break the blog rules anytime as far as I’m concerned.

Love you my sweet cousin,

July 21, 2015 - 11:03 am

Laurie - Oh Bo. No words to add to this. Not a rule broken. It was perfect because you needed to say it. Tears and all, thank you for sharing. You are loved more than you will ever know and have an amazing impact on the people reading this. I love you!

July 21, 2015 - 11:12 am

Ruth - Don’t remember how I came across your book but it touched my heart so deeply. The courage and strength God has given you and Steve to see Gods beauty in the midst of this struggle magnified our great God and was a beacon of hope and life. My son in law and family have moved in with me. He has Huntingtons Disease. May God be glorified in our lives as He was in yours. He is able to do exceedingly more than we can ask or think. The Living God has shown Himself strong at it is beautiful.
Thank you!

July 21, 2015 - 11:14 am

Judy Hinds - As part of Cheryl’s circle I have prayed and followed your story from the day you first got the terrible diagnosis and now with tears streaming as I read of Steve’s departure for a far better world. Much love to the Stern family.

July 21, 2015 - 11:14 am

Becky Jo - Dear Bo & Family,
Wow. Yes, it is beautiful that those who meant the most to Steve were privileged to be present when he moved from his temporary home to his Eternal home. I can’t imagine how you begin to process the transition without him. For awhile, maybe a long while, you will count the days and the new “normal” will feel anything but normal. Please be kind and patient with yourself (and kids) and allow yourself to feel your feelings and sit with them as long as and as often as they come. Please take time to grieve on your timetable in your way. Please know that you are an incredible inspiration and role model, even more so (in my opinion) when you are able to share the brutal truth of the impact of your loss and this disease. Sharing does not diminish who God is or the faith you have. Take care Bo (you know that’s what Steve would want for you). >3

July 21, 2015 - 11:15 am

Nancy Shaw - Dear Bo, thank you for being real and sharing, that’s Jesus with skin on and in my life I need that. How if remember so well when our whole family was sleeping on the floor of my husbands bedside waiting for him to breath his last and go to be with Jesus and I was blessed to see his spirit leave his body. My heart is rejoicing for Steve to be healed and whole in the presence of our Lord and King, what a home coming he had. And my heart grieves with you all as I remember how if feels to let go of your loved one. After my husband died, as he was in a nursing home, they dedicated the room his was as the Butterfly room and are using it now just for terminally ill patients. They told our family we had gone through out loss with dignity and we know it was only because of God mercies and grace that we were able to do that. Walking along side of you Bo and your family as you continue your walk through the valley of death and in to the light of Jesus at the mountain top.

July 21, 2015 - 11:27 am

Jeanie Thorpe - Tears for the loss of your beautiful soulmate.tears of rejoicing for Steves beautiful new life with Jesus.Deeply sorry for you & your family.

July 21, 2015 - 11:42 am

DaNette - Bo-Thank you for sharing your last hours with Steve,I experienced some of the same Heavenly encounters that you did when we had to take our 20 year old son off life support, and we release him to Jesus. A entirely different story, but relational. The Lord asked me to walk him home, the worship songs, the lifting up from the Lord were I thougt I was heading to heaven with my son. You see I am only sharing this because Heaven came to Earth that day, as I am sure you can relate to what I am talking about. Anyways I needed to hear your story because I often feel like my story was maybe a delusional,or I was under so much stress and greif it was an escape from the pain, or just plain crazy. 😉 In your grief you have shared your story,you have brought conformation to me from the Lord that it is okay to share my story and I was not crazy,delusional or trying to escape the pain.The Lord is truly bringing Heaven to Earth when we have to let go of our most precious loved treasures here on Earth that he lent to us for a period of time. Today I am Praising the Lord for you; your gifts,visions,knowledge,and mostly your God given ability to write and help a sister who has been stuck for 6 years. Thank you! May God grasp you daily in this season.

July 21, 2015 - 11:50 am

Amy Crombie - Bo… your love for the Lord and love for your husband and family has always been an inspiration to us all. I heard you speak probably 10 years ago at George Fox and became a Bo Follower ever since. Your heroic steadfast faith and love is one of the most beautiful things I have seen/read. I am blessed to have been able to read about Steve’s 19,445th day on this earth. One of my best childhood friends, 43 yrs old, is battling stage IV breast cancer and the past week has been the worst / most painful yet for her. She is a single mom of a 20mos old son and it just breaks my heart. Reading about Steve’s homecoming instilled a renewed sense of peace, joy, and hope. This isn’t the “end”….Steve entering Heaven is the beginning. Im not making any sense Im sure but THANK YOU. Thank you for sharing this painful beautiful journey. You are my hero. someone I look up to in awe of your strength, dignity, honesty, and undying faith in our Lord. God bless you and your beautiful family. I, too, look forward to meeting your beloved Steve someday. Thank you!

July 21, 2015 - 11:50 am

Linda Ratliff - Bo and family,
I am in complete tears and I am so sad for your loss. But, I am so happy Steve is with Jesus and whole again. I sure hope my passing with ALS is surrounded by my family and friends. A gift that you were there with Steve.
Bo, your writing is so beautiful, emotions raw, I was in the room with you as I read. My deepest sympathies, and my heart hurts for you.

July 21, 2015 - 12:10 pm

Nan Christensen - Sweet Bo… Thank you for allowing all of us to be privy and share in your remarkable journey these last four years. Your most recent post “The day you flew”, Is so appreciated. We wanted to and some way needed the details of your goodbyes Being members of the same body, we grieve with you. Steve was right Bo, you really are beautiful.. Nan

July 21, 2015 - 12:10 pm

Michelle Harvey - Dear Bo – you don’t know me. I am a friend of the Larry and Sue Spousta. I am so terribly sorry for the loss of you sweet, dear husband and friend. Your words were beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. What an honor and privilege to be present at that sweet and joyful but incredibly sad moment when he let go of your hand to take the hand of his loving Savior. I’m sure the heavens were alive with joy and singing at his entrance into his eternal home. I myself was able to share in that moment too when my husband “won” his battle with ALS last October. Your words touched my heart very deeply. Close to the bone but so very moving and true. Know that another out here is praying for you. It’s time to rest now.
Michelle Harvey

July 21, 2015 - 12:25 pm

Karma Gingrich - What a beautiful testimony of your love….for Steve, your family and most of all God! Thank you all for your obedience and witness to thousands around you! Praying for your family! Love to you…

July 21, 2015 - 12:36 pm

Janice Halteman - Bo, your journey with Steve has taken you both to the deepest valleys and highest vistas. The courage, fear, perseverance, trust and faith you have so candidly shared with your blog posts has been an incredible gift. I’ve held you in my prayers and thoughts throughout. You have my deepest respect and admiration. May friends and family and faith hold you close in these tender moments of missing your beloved. Much love to you and your children.

July 21, 2015 - 12:47 pm

Deanna Cranston - Dear Bo and Family,
Your lives have taken us right up to the very edges of heaven. Thank you for allowing us to share this struggle with you. We love you, we miss Steve immensely and we are here for you day or night.

July 21, 2015 - 12:56 pm

Karen Oiness - My good friend April sent this to me. It’s so beautiful and I can relate so well. I lost my husband from ALS on June 23, 2015. He wasn’t able to communicate. I endlessly adjusted his pillow. Sitting by him for hours and telling him I loved him. The sound of the bipap machine. His panicking when I was t there. Sleeping on the floor next to his hospital bed. The last day, hours, minutes, seconds. Like you I am so sad for myself. But to imagine the moment Jesus was there waiting for him. What peace that is. I know I will see my husband again but it still hurts so bad. ( I should not have read this on my lunch hour when I have to go back to work!). It’s beautifully written. Thank you.

July 21, 2015 - 12:58 pm

Kendall Brightwell - Bo,with tears running down my face, I see my future, my husband is now in his 4th yearof this horrible disease. In this past year the lonely truth of it has really become apparent, the promises of well meaning people who disapear, family that is too far away or busy. We have limited money so limited caregivers. So while things are pretty grim here ( he is angry,rude and I won’t go on) your words have touched me and not much does anymore. Bless you and your family. Kendall

July 21, 2015 - 1:03 pm

Carrie Kuba - Thank you, Bo and Steve, for sharing this journey with us.
Prayers continue for you, Bo, and for your family as the waves of grief hit.

July 21, 2015 - 1:06 pm

Karen Oiness - I just wrote a comment but I meant to add that we watched the US Open together for four days straight. I’ve never really watched golf but we enjoyed those times just being together.

July 21, 2015 - 1:07 pm

Michelle C - Dearest, dearest Bo-thank you so much for letting us in to those precious moments. With so many prayers for you and your family.

July 21, 2015 - 1:09 pm

Amy Wiktor - Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful moment with us. Thoughts, love, & prayers to you & your family!

July 21, 2015 - 1:13 pm

carole. lux - Dear beautiful Bo,

You may never see this but like you I need to write this. What a remarkable pair you two were & will be again. You have encouraged & blessed people during some of your hardest times. I so admire you guys. when I heard the news of Steve my mind went to the dream I had of him standing at the door in such total good health & I know he passed thru that door & is more than likely playing golf. My thoughts are with you & your family. You are a beautiful lady. Thank you for sharing your heart.

July 21, 2015 - 1:27 pm

Trudi Burner - Bo – my heart aches and breaks for you right now….but reading Steve has won his battle against ALS, strengthens me and lets me know in this chaotic world, peace can still be ours with the simple whisper of His holy, perfect name….JESUS….can you feel his breath? Hear the rush of angels wings? He is near to you and your family now at this time.

I too lost my beloved mother to this horrific, demeaning, body consuming disease…..So I feel ya sister….Just know, I love you in thought and prayer and I know, because I know, because I know, because I know….Steve won and my mom won and anyone with this disease, who has the hope of Heaven and Jesus….God Bless you for sharing.

July 21, 2015 - 1:29 pm

Michael Wenham - Thank you for sharing this precious moment with us, Bo. May God bless you and your family.

July 21, 2015 - 1:34 pm

Tammy Anderson - I am so grateful that you wrote this, the final chapter to Steve’s earthly story, because I think many of us (maybe all of us?) would have felt privileged to be present in that room for Steve’s transition from earthly life to heavenly life. You write in such a way that we can actually feel present and it helps bring closure for me. It also is good to hear how you are doing, Bo. You are amazing. I love you.

July 21, 2015 - 2:04 pm

Tresa - Be free, Steve Stern! Keep being strong and courageous, Bo Stern! You took that one into the end zone like a true champion! ❤️

July 21, 2015 - 2:19 pm

Andrea Perkins - My heart is so heavy and sad for you. Peace be with you all.

July 21, 2015 - 2:23 pm

Michaela Evanow - Bo. Oh, Bo. Our lovelies..they are together, meeting face to face, at last. Free.

I know this time is so overwhelming. I will write you more later on, when the dust and comments and letters slow. Lots of love to you, all of you.

July 21, 2015 - 2:40 pm

Ken & Judy Gregory - As I read this I cried and cried. Even though we know we are going to be with Jesus and his angels…well it is hard as humans to let those we love go. You are an amazing woman & Steve knew you would be ok, util you meet again. Pray and hold the Lord close and you will smile again.

July 21, 2015 - 2:49 pm

Debbie Clothier - Dearest Bo and Family – My heart was with you every step of the way as you shared the events. They will always remain fresh in my heart as I recall a similar road with my mother-in-law as she passed with ALS. We think we are ready yet we are so far from it when it actually happens. Bless you dear one as you move forward. Our prayers will continue towards heaven for you and your family. We are so blessed everyday by your journey and we will continue to watch as God unfolds His word in your lives and Romans 8:28’s you. Hugs, The Clothier family

July 21, 2015 - 2:52 pm

DyAnn Rybarczyk - Dear Bo,
I have followed the two of you through the arduous journey of Als. So many times, I finished reading your posts/blog with tears flooding my eyes and heart. You have touched me immensely with your ministry during this difficult time. The Jesus heart you exemplify is something I deeply admire.
Truly, your future is bright ~ your ministry will provide hope, purpose and direction for those traveling this same “unplanned” journey with the ultimate question of “why”….
I pray huge blessings and favor to surround you and your precious family as you celebrate the wonderful life of your husband!

July 21, 2015 - 3:33 pm

Helen Washington - Dearest Bo,
My heart and mind are consumed with thoughts and prayers for you all and also for a plane to defy the speed of light.
Thank you for the sacrifice of sharing so many deep and sacred glimpses into your family’s life. We are honored and we are changed. You have gathered a myriad of facets of the character and goodness of God with each post. You have never wavered in honoring God and Steve. I’m so proud of you Bo, Steve is free but well done Bo. All my love and prayers to you all.

July 21, 2015 - 3:42 pm

Sandra Ferrell - As I read this about your husband’s going home day, I have cried like a baby. It shouts the same emotions, and many of the same actions, that occurred June 26, 2015. That’s the day that my Dad took his heavenly flight. I know one day I will see him again, but I am so heart-broken. I miss hi so.
May God bless you richly the remaining days of your life before you take your Heavenly flight.

July 21, 2015 - 3:45 pm

Deborah Gentry - Thank-you dear friend Bo for sharing his last day here on earth and the glorious birthing of his passing into the arms of Jesus….I am happy for your beautiful Steve, but I am sad and have been shedding tears, since….working at a golf course I got to see him often, he would come out on the driving range, just to hit balls…he was an amazing golfer, who taught himself….he told me the story of how he first started( I love that story) and I tell others. I would come into the parking lot and see his blue Jag…loved cars and Golf.

I remember a particular day when he could no longer play, he and his good friend Steve Mickel came and sat on the deck(I think he gave Steve M. Some verbal lessons earlier)he was just sitting on the deck enjoying the sun…I came out and spoke with both of them…the day was was a perfect temperature and the air positive…I knew he longed to be out there, but I could tell he was happy where he was….This man in the midst of his battle, who on earth had to give up on of the things he loved physically( the man was an athlete)would still encourage others and make them feel important… He asked how I was and how my family was doing,” yes, my three boys loved him”.

Thank- you Bo for sharing with us your most personal moment with Steve and your family… I could not even imagine and , yet what a glorious passing from temporal life to eternal life.
Yes, Steve we will continue to pray for your family and support them however we can…and I expect when I see you again…game on…its,”Match Play”.

July 21, 2015 - 4:05 pm

Sharri - Bo, you don’t know me. I read Beautiful Battlefiled a few months ago, found your bog and have been praying for you off and on ever since. I knew it was God who put you & Steve on my heart so strongly last weekend, and now I know why. You have lots who know and love you, but I’m also sure that there are many like myself who you’ve never met, who love and pray for you…and will keep on. God bless you and your family!

July 21, 2015 - 4:09 pm

Adriel Booker - Thank you for this beautiful offering. Love you. Xo

July 21, 2015 - 4:16 pm

Lucie - Oh, my dear Bo, how I wept as I read this. We have never met and probably never will on this earth, but I have followed your story for months now and been so moved by everything you shared. I knew the time was near when I read your post of the 18th and am grateful for this “post that breaks all the rules” – none of which rules matter. How beautifully you and all your family ushered Steve home. How fortunate he was to be so surrounded by your love. Wishing the peace that passes human understanding for you, dear, dear lady. God bless you.

July 21, 2015 - 4:32 pm

Leigh Cagilaba - Praying and lifting you and your family up to The Most High.

July 21, 2015 - 4:35 pm

Dan Hummer - Thank you for your honesty, for your faith, for sharing the hope Jesus has given you . . . I am a brother to Bill, and know something of the depth of his and Carol’s love for your whole family. Your sharing of this journey certainly makes heaven sweeter, and reminds me of the words of an older hymn, ‘Til the Storm Passes By” THANK YOU!

July 21, 2015 - 4:45 pm

Steven Phillips - Bo – Thanks for allowing us to go with you and see beyond the front room of your life, your marriage and your heart. You allowed us into the most intimate of places and for that we are very, very grateful. We were allowed to glimpse the frailness of this life; we were allowed to see raw courage lived out everyday by you, by Steve and by your family; we were allowed to walk with you through the valley of the shadow of death; and finally, we were allowed to hear of Steve’s triumphant escape from the prison of this life into the limitless expanse of being forever free; truly free at last.


July 21, 2015 - 5:28 pm

Kim McRae - Although I don’t know you or your family personally, I have read your book, Beautiful Battlefields and it has so touched my heart as I am going through a battle. I thank you for being so real and transparent and allowing God to use your story to help so many. ” The saving of many lives”. God bless you all

July 21, 2015 - 6:56 pm

Marci Floski - Bo,
I know you have so many around you who know and love you well and deeply. I only know and love you from afar, but even so, I want to thank you. Thank you for always being real and raw and unshakably honest throughout this journey. I have wept my way through many of your posts. Your wisdom and courage has been a source of TRUE strength to me as I work through my own grief. I too, in my own way, will miss your precious husband.
I won’t go on and on. Just thank you.
My love

July 21, 2015 - 7:33 pm

Katie - Bo Stern, you are a hero among heroes. You are teaching us how to love like Jesus. Thank you, deeply, thank you, for faithfully letting us into your heart – the temple of the King, where you facilitate His greatness coming into the world. We love you tremendously.

July 21, 2015 - 8:19 pm

DeAnna Moore - Bo, Break all the blog rules you want. One of the things I have always loved about you is how transparent you are with all of us. I can’t think of a time listening to you speak in church or in reading your blogs that I have been successful at not crying for you, with you and wonder could I face such a thing with as much grace and faith as you have. I hope I could but hope I never have to. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. <3

July 21, 2015 - 11:50 pm

Annette Swor - Thank you

July 22, 2015 - 1:02 am

Kelly Hester - Bonita, what a beautiful midwife you are.
Thank you for sharing loving details from the birthing room.
Your precious Steve has been delivered and he is perfect.
Love and blessings.

July 22, 2015 - 1:21 am

Laurie Francis - After walking 3 family members home, one just last month, I have to say that was the most beautiful description of the most bittersweet moment in time. The birthing moment, the grace of our almighty God. Thank you for sharing your heart

July 22, 2015 - 6:03 am

Kate - Sending you and your family love and comfort and strength, Bo. Thank you for sharing Steve’s journey and his light and his life.

July 22, 2015 - 7:11 am

Sue Rollins - I don’t know you personally but I sure wish I did. I do know the face of ALS and wish I didn’t. Thank you for sharing this gift of Bo’s home going. Blessings to you and your family.

July 22, 2015 - 7:29 am

Nancie - Such beautiful and achingly honest words. What a man Steve was! Or I should say “is,” as he is more alive than ever. What a journey you have been on…and now another journey, dear friend. You all walked through the last one with so much grace! There will be “enough” grace for all the future moments, too.
But. We do sorrow. Yes, we do.

July 22, 2015 - 8:04 am

Brenda - I read this with tears in my eyes. My heart aches for you and your family. Thank you so much for sharing your journey, both in Beautiful Battlefields and your blog. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.

July 22, 2015 - 9:07 am

Vivian Carpenter - Thank you for sharing your heart with us even though some of us never were in your home or that you may not even know us Steve had our heart and you sweet Bo and your children had our prayers and love from the start of his journey home…Thank you for your honesty in sharing the joy ,struggles, your faith in Jesus ,the power in Gods word, you will never know how the power or depth of your words have impacted on the world. In my mind I see Gods words of faith and hope out of your mouth like a ivy vine it spreads in all directions over the hills down in the valleys to the left to the right so far that only our Lord can see the hearts it penetrated…So sorry that a great man like Steve had to leave so soon but the dancing already began in heaven, love and prayers to you and the children and family.

July 22, 2015 - 9:12 am

Pat Whitson - Thank you, Bo, for that precious glimpse of heaven on earth. And thank you for giving me, my husband, and Ed and Donna and their family and loved ones the blessing of encouragement and hope regarding what awaits Ed at the end of his beginning journey with ALS himself. Our Lord is faithful with His strength, grace, and love.

July 22, 2015 - 9:13 am

Barbara Phillips - though I only know of you through mutual friends (Jameson’s, among others) I have peeked into your life as you have gone through this difficult time and have been truly moved by your words and ability to articulate your experience so completely that I am always deeply moved. Today, again, I was deeply moved and blessed by your willingness to be completely transparent and detailed in your telling of such a complex, painful and yet extremely personal and special day in your life. You have given me (all of us) a glimpse of Jesus through yours and also through Steve’s life. Thank you for honoring our Savior the way you share and the way you have lived out your lives. From glory to glory, he has been lifted up and we see him shine through you both!

July 22, 2015 - 9:34 am

Janet Mallory - Bo, I just read your blog via FB post by mutual friend Jeannie Hignell. Thank you for sharing your heartfelt, raw & pure emotions of such an intimate time. Although we’ve never met, I know your heart. Your blog has certainly put perspective into my day. You are a truly blessed woman to have been loved so richly! May God Bless you and your family with His touch of peace and emotional healing in your great loss~Your blog assures that He is doing just that.

July 22, 2015 - 10:28 am

Jandra Sue - Thanks for breaking all the blog rules for this! Like always, I so greatly appreciate your transparency.
Blessings to you Sterns!

July 22, 2015 - 10:41 am

Toni Harvey - Bo, I am so very sorry for the loss of your husband. I lost my brother last November after a short (14 months) but valiant struggle with ALS. My friend Suzanne who attends your church when in Bend gave me your book to read after his diagnosis but it was too painful at that time to finish. Thankfully my brother was a believer and I had the privilege of being with him when the Lord called him home. I cried at his bedside, at his funeral, and a few random nights as well but strangely even though it’s only been eight months I don’t cry for him any longer. I think knowing where they are now is a true blessing over the confinement in which they lived. Your family will surely grieve him but I know you know Steve has a new glorious body, and for that I thank the Lord!

July 22, 2015 - 11:19 am

Molly - No words, but thank you. You let us “be there” with you for that glorious moment. I hope, maybe one day when you can breathe again and are healed up a bit, that there will be one more book…..about how you had the grace to make it to the end….about how it got harder and darker, but somehow you found the strength to reach the finish line. Too many people give up right at these crucial crossroads of victory and glory……so proud of how you and the kids didn’t give in to the easy, comfortable route…..we are thankful for your example. We KNOW that many people will receive strength from your journey…..we KNOW that
God is getting the glory…..we are THANKFUL!
As you said, Steve is dancing, golfing, enjoying tastes and his Dad, and Moses and Abraham, and now we are all jealous and looking forward to joining the party!
I continue to pray for you…..for those “too quiet” moments, for those waves of grief that will come, for that sense of “what now?” I continue to lift up your kids for the same process…..oh my……a bit overwhelming to think about BUT GOD…….and that’s why I’m so glad we all belong to Him!!
I love you deeply and am missing you all terribly right now. Molly

July 22, 2015 - 4:39 pm

Jeannie - Bo you have touched so many people with you blog!! I know you will go through so many different emotions and feelings as the days go on but I know from your blog you will find your comfort, peace and strength in the Lord. I pray for you and your family to find all that in the Lord and to cherish all of the wonderful loving memories that you all have of the great father, husband and friend that Steve was to all of you. I have heard you speak at many retreats and at church I feel I know you, but at a distance. I will keep you and your family in my prayers as you grieve and celebrate this time in your life.

July 22, 2015 - 4:41 pm

Leslie Forbes-Mariani - Beautiful, heart wrenching, moving and so filled with love. This is do deep and personal thank you for allowing us in to be apart. Gods grace…

July 22, 2015 - 5:21 pm

Laura Black - Tears of sadness and joy are streaming down my face. I am so thankful that your sweet husband is no longer hurting and struggling. You are such a light to all of us who are walking in these big ALS shoes. Thank you Bo for your words of honesty. I am so thankful that Steve will be waiting for you in his new body on the other side. May God be with you and your precious friends and family.

Much love,
Laura from SC

July 22, 2015 - 6:20 pm

Karen Thomas - I would like to send you the lyrics to a song that I wrote for my husband when he was so ill. He couldn’t say the words himself, so he asked me to write and speak them for him. So as best as I could, I read his heart.

There’s a place I’d like to go, where the look on your face doesn’t hurt anymore.
If we could trade places you would in a minute, but I love you so much, that I don’t want you in it.
So please take my hand and we’ll go to that place, just hold me there in your gentle embrace. I’ve done all I can, and God knows I’ve tried. Now give me the courage to tell you goodbye.
You’ve been my rock, baby you’ve been strength when I couldn’t bend any more. You’ve been the reason I never gave up, but now it’s time to let me go.
Be strong Bo. You are loved.

July 22, 2015 - 8:08 pm

Pattie - So beautiful! Experienced my husband’s going home and agree about being happy for him but having a dark heart. But your will be lightened again as you focus on this life and the joys we still get to experience. Not as good as his joy but a small taste! Thank you for writing this all so perfectly.
God Bless

July 22, 2015 - 9:56 pm

AnaMaria Bruce - Dearest Bo,
It has been so many years since I have seen you, but stayed in touch through your beautiful blogs. Especially in these last 4 years, which have ministered to me as you have walked through so many dark days. I cried with you through these last few years and prayed for peace. I cried the day Steve passed and I cried reading this last post. Thanks for sharing your heart. You will never know how many lives have been touched by your story, Steve’s story. Bless you! AnaMaria

July 22, 2015 - 9:57 pm

Dorothy Martin - Dear Bo and family. My heart goes out to all of you. Steve was such a precious,loving man. So are all of you. I love you all and you will be in my prayers for a long time to come. My our Lord wrap His arms around you and hold you close to His heart.


July 22, 2015 - 10:30 pm

Beth - Absolutely beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing this. Bless you.

July 22, 2015 - 11:16 pm

Sharmin Crocker - Dearest Bo , thank you so very much for sharing this . We all have known for years but still I want to feel & understand what you all have been through so I could pray for you & family . Steve was so loved & respected . He is resting at peace now watching over his wonderful family . He is no longer in physical pain …..What an amazing story . My heart goes to you & all your amazing family . God bless you all ❤️

July 22, 2015 - 11:24 pm

Edie - Thank you dear Bo for sharing this beautiful story of love, life, sacrifice, devotion. So very personal, such a gift. Every one of your posts has been a gift to me. I love you all so dearly, what a precious family you are. Thank you for the impact you have had on me and my family. You are all in our prayers, and on our hearts.

July 23, 2015 - 9:01 am

Heather - Bo, I’ve never met you and Steve. I’ve only heard about your journey through Cheryl and Dave in our MC through Westside AJC.

Your story makes me heartbroken, full of tears, and yet so amazed all at the same time.

The journey with your husband is a light unto this world, and a beautiful example of how good God truly is.

May I have half the strength that you do, you are truly an amazing woman.

July 23, 2015 - 9:47 am

Marie Whittaker - Hello Bo, I am Joann Whittaker Boswell’s mom. I don’t know if you remember me. But I want you to know that when Joann told me your Dear husband had gone on Home, my heart went out to you. I’ve been praying for you that God would give you comfort and direction as you try to figure out how to go on with your life. All I can say is to be good to yourself and allow others to “do” for you and care for you. I know that your Heavenly Father is very near and will carry you. God bless you, dear sister!
With love and prayers, Marie

July 23, 2015 - 11:45 am

Jewl - Dear Stern Team. Our sympathies to you in your great, great loss of husband, father, grandfather, friend and pastor. Thank you, Bo, for making our Commander and Chief, our Lord, front and central in everyone of your communication lines back to your armed forces. He got so much glory from that! And it wouldn’t have been the same had Steve not joined your heart in that same desire, although you were the voice. You may put down this particular sword. It became bloodier than you ever could have thought possible, but the battle was so worth fighting, the process indeed beautiful despite the messiness of how life plays out, and the outcome for each one of you fighting on the frontline so very victorious! Look at each other and smile about that! : ) More battles will come,… indeed, are facing you now, but your faith is oh, so much greater for having faced and conquered this huge one! Rounds of victors’ crowns to you all! The loss is severe, but you’ve won!! (I hope you soon get some needed sleep and relief.)

July 23, 2015 - 5:01 pm

Joyce Hoffman - Thank you precious Bo for your gift of words that will help all of us move through Steve’s absence here as well as the joy of his homecoming with Christ. Know that all of you are loved and treasured.

July 23, 2015 - 9:56 pm

Angie - thank you for allowing so many to join in on this terrible, beautiful journey. How wonderful to know that for Steve, from here on out, there is only beauty! For you the journey continues and I pray that is full of more beauty than you could ever comprehend! Love you so much

July 23, 2015 - 10:59 pm

Barbara Krumwiede - Bo. Oh, dear Bo. How those beautiful words have come out of your fingertips over and over, day after day during this long, painful journey is a puzzlement to me. But how they have come from you on this day is an even more difficult thing to figure. God gave you a gift. Actually, several gifts. Writing is just one of them and then we go on to count your life with Steve into which you both gave more than I will ever begin to comprehend or know. But I watched you both. And it made me happy. For you. For your family. For those of us who knew it was a real thing. Thank you both – ALL your family – for showing us the way to do it. You’ve done it beautifully. And I know you will continue to, as He and Steve help you all move forward. Know that we love you. All.

July 24, 2015 - 9:58 am

Suzie Abbott - Hi Bo. The memory of Steve always brought a smile and warmed my heart. You both are such warm and loving souls. Memories of Steve will be cherished by many. My heart goes out to you all.

July 24, 2015 - 10:50 am

Allie, Sienna, Brie summers - Beautiful, thanks for sharing. We love you

July 27, 2015 - 5:26 pm

destroyed | No Longer Ashes - […] week I learned of Steve Stern’s passing into the arms of […]

July 29, 2015 - 9:42 am

Linda - Bo, As I read your last post, tears poured down my face. Especially at the moment of Steve’s passing. I remember it so well for myself as if it were yesterday. My Mom passed from ALS 14 months after first symptoms (Bulbar Onset). While it was different for her (she was basically in a coma from Monday-Thursday the day of her passing), I remember so vividly everything, her last breath and just breaking down in uncontrollable sobs. While I was happy for her to finally be at peace, I was so sad for losing her on this Earth and still am. You both were incredible as you went through your ALS journey. This beast they call ALS is so incredibly horrible to all it encompasses. My heartfelt sympathy to you and your family.

July 29, 2015 - 8:42 pm

jeff johnson - Dear Bo:

I became aware of your husband’s fight with ALS when I heard you on Focus on the Family a few months ago. I believe there were two programs, and I listened to both because I was deeply moved by your Godliness, strong faith, and love for your husband and children. I had tears in my eyes listening to you describe your experiences with Steve in the middle of the night when you had to help him do various things. When you said you didn’t always know what you were doing and telling Jesus something to the effect of, “Lord, are you sure you got the right person to do this kind of job?” made me cry and have the utmost respect for you. You are the epitome of a Godly wife. I’m very sorry for the loss of your husband. I will be praying for you and your family.

August 8, 2015 - 9:13 am

John Collacott - Bo, Thank you so much for sharing your story. Thank you for living to encourage others in our situation. Your grace through this is beautiful and your words are life, your journey is not in vain. I pray for God’s grace and vision as you heal and cherish your memories and life with Steve. Thank you for writing me back (back in February). I have written you 2 other times, but never sent them. I don’t know why, maybe I just needed to write as you do. 🙂

Lisa is in her final hour with ALS. Your experience will help me to process what is coming. Please continue to share as God gives you strength and words.

Grace on you and your house,


August 12, 2015 - 1:34 am

Steven Shepherd - Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us, Bo.
Steve is still an inspiration to so many of us, and as this new chapter in your life unfolds, none of us has any doubt that each new page will be filled with untold wisdom, comfort and encouragement as you continue to pour your heart out for fellow travelers. Thank you for vividly displaying the heart of Jesus.
Steven Shepherd

“I will be glad and rejoice in your love, for you saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul.” Ps 31:7