“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”
There seems to be at least one moment of every single day that I cry out, “Lord! I just don’t know if I can do all of this another day! This is SO hard!”
Caring for a child with special needs isn’t a cake-walk. It’s a full time job. And when you have 6 other children looking to you for care as well….it’s…just…a…LOT!
BUT it’s brought light and understanding to 2 Corinthians 12:10 – So I am well pleased with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, and with difficulties, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak [in human strength], then I am strong [truly able, truly powerful, truly drawing from God’s strength].
I didn’t care for that verse. At all. I mean, it’s really not a warm cozy, feel-good verse. My flesh doesn’t always feel like “counting it all joy” when my son is throwing a tantrum and unable to communicate his needs to us. I don’t want to feel “well pleased” with my weakness when I am spoon-feeding my almost 5-yr-old each and every day. BUT, I am learning how to fall back into my Father’s lap and draw strength. I’m learning more and more how to daily be dependent on HIS strength rather than my own. And I’m learning to take it one day at at time instead of being overwhelmed and consumed with the big picture. His mercies really are new every morning. He’s working. I know He has a plan. And my job is to simply trust Him.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds.” ~James 1:2
Between Judah and Malachi we never quite know what our nights will be like. Two nights ago was Malachi’s turn to wake in the night. And apparently last night was Judah’s turn.
For almost 4 years Judah was a perfect sleeper – often 11-12 hours each night. But when these seizures started in May they greatly affected his sleep. For awhile we had the seizures under control but a few weeks ago he began waking again in the night – agitated and having irregular brain activity, sometimes seizures.
Last night was no exception. By 1:00am Judah was awake…and continued to remain awake and quite unhappy til 5:45 this morning.
But in the middle of the night while holding Judah in my arms I had a sweet time with the Lord. Simply chatting with Him about the fact that a miracle is what I’m believing for…Picturing myself seeing Jesus face to face and setting Judah in His lap. Sharing with Him that it seems the ONLY way we’ll see victory in this is from a supernatural touch. We’re doing all we can in the natural – he has a 24 hours EEG on Monday. Doctors are doing what they can to solve this. But even the smartest doctor cannot repair the damage in Judah’s brain.
But God can! I began to replay the miracles we’ve all read about. The man near the pool of Bethesda. He had dealt with his infirmity for THIRTY-EIGHT years! Much longer than Judah, but that wasn’t too hard for our God!
How about when Peter and John saw a man begging by the temple? He had been lame since birth! Much longer than our Judah! Yet he rose up and went walking and leaping and praising God!
How about the blind men? Their vision was far worse than Judah’s yet they received sight!
None of these things intimidated Jesus. None were too hard for Him. And neither is my Judah! Over and over these stories played in my mind. Over and over I replayed the many times He’s already done amazing works in Judah. When the doctors told us he may not live – he lived. When they told us he’ll be brain-dead, blind and deaf he exceeded their expectations. When these seizures did begin to occur, the neurologist said he was more amazed that Judah hadn’t been having them all along. Given the amount of damage in Judah’s brain any doctor would have assumed he had been having them for years. The miracle of Judah’s speech – that his favorite words are Jesus, Hallelujah, Holy, Glory! How alive his spirit is! That songs of praise and worship rise up out of his little spirit on a daily basis…
…And the confidence grew…and continues to grow….that truly, all it takes is one touch — Just one touch from my Jesus.
With a leap he stood upright and began to walk; and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. ~Acts 3:8
You know what a “white lie” is, right? It’s still a lie, yet we justify it as being “ok.” …Right?
How about a “white addiction?” I made it up, but bear with me here a minute…
If I was to say that I’ve been an addict much of my life, what would your mind gravitate towards? Would you immediately picture drugs and alcohol? I would. But I’ve never smoked or sipped alcohol…yet I have a pattern of years worth of addictions…
Are there addictions in life that we justify? ….and that even in our Christian circles we consider to be OK and safe and even normal? A “white addiction?”
An addiction to chocolate, or candy, or sugar in general….
An addiction to comfort foods…
An addiction to soda, especially Diet Coke…
An addiction to video games…
An addiction to Facebook… (Gasp!), or Pinterest!
An addiction to television shows, Netflix, movies…
A coffee addiction…
An addiction to the approval of others…
I could go on, but go ahead and insert here what you, yourself, have been addicted to. I’ve been addicted to each and every one of these ….no, wait, I haven’t… ha! not video games!! But the rest? Definitely, and I’m sure I could name some more.
And looking back I see a pattern – the height of these addictions was always during seasons I was not happy….seasons I was experiencing pain…seasons I was trying to avoid my present life…seasons I was running away. Sure I never left physically…but I ran away mentally and emotionally many times.
I was reflecting this evening on just how different my life feels right now….on the outside it probably doesn’t look much different… I still have 7 kids…I still homeschool…I still live in the same home, drive the same cars…. But I feel different. Yes my health has made a drastic turnaround, but more than that. “White addictions seem to be dropping off more and more….” Why? What is causing them to fall to the wayside one by one? It’s that I have purpose again…passion again…dreams again…mental clarity again…balance…
I don’t know why I have all this on my heart to share with you. But if my transparency will bless one person, it’s worth it.
Are you addicted? What are the “white addictions” in your life? Are you hooked on watching TV to live vicariously through what you see on the screen rather than live out your dreams in real life? Are you addicted to comfort foods? When experiencing pain do you run to the fridge? What are you running from? What are you trying to escape from?
There’s more to life than what you are currently experiencing. God has a plan, a great plan! A life for you that you will enjoy living. A life full of dreams and possibilities. A life you will not need to run away from. It may not always be easy, but it will definitely be worth it.
“God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.” Ephesians 3:20
He turns 4 tomorrow….. FOUR years old??! Seems like I made this 1st birthday slide show yesterday… 😦
These birthdays are bittersweet. We have so much to celebrate, yet they also are a reminder of skills that are lacking.
Happy Birthday, my sweet miracle boy ~ Judah Forrest James Dearey
Judah had 10 seizures last night……. 10!!
…we’ve had two hospital stays….tons of tests…tons of doctors….medicine with plenty of nasty side effects….and yet still, he had TEN! … in ONE night!
Know what?! It made me mad. And sad. But mainly mad…
I don’t like feeling like we took 10 steps back. I don’t like seeing my sweet boy go through this. I don’t like that we’ve spent so much time and energy and emotion in search for answers yet have none. I don’t like seeing Judah hurt, seeing Chad hurt, seeing my kids hurt…and I don’t like hurting myself quite frankly.
After throwing a pity party for far too long today I finally snuck away for some alone time with the Lord…Didn’t even know where to start but grabbed my Bible, plopped onto the bed, and opened it up. Out fell some loose papers I’ve saved over the years. They’re filled with prayers that have been prayed over us, promises spoken, notes I’ve saved, etc. What caught my eye was a page of ripped out notebook paper with my scribbled handwriting from 3 years ago.
“I want to hear the heart of God – know His thoughts toward me. I must obey His correction in my life. No running. No talking the talk. I want to be the real deal – heart burning for Him more than anything or anyone else. Fear of Him bigger than fear of any man! Desire for Him bigger than any desire for His benefits. I want to be addicted Him, His love, His friendship, His presence, His praise, his voice, His Word. Over-flowing out of the abundance of Jesus inside of me….”
You know what I was longing for?? Jesus. Just Him. His heart. His thoughts… Him…But these past couple weeks I’ve been longing for answers…longing for results….longing for a quick fix, as quickly as possible, like fix it yesterday already, God! And not finding the results. Not finding the answers. Coming up short, hurting, frustrated…trying so hard to simply trust like a little child again, yet really struggling.
I was reminded of an embarrassing fiasco from a couple months ago when I spent TWO weeks searching for my wedding ring. It consumed me. I was thinking about it constantly and looking for it everywhere. I knew I had lost it in our home so I tore our place apart looking for it. Every drawer, every cupboard, every couch cushion and it was nowhere to be found. And you know what is so embarrassing about this? IT’S NOT EVEN REAL!!! Good gravy!! I gave my real wedding ring away years ago! So here I was wasting my thoughts, energy, and time on a ring that holds no nostalgia, no precious memories, and certainly no eternal value…nothing! I could hop online and order another fake one for under fifty bucks. ha! Come on now, Krista. Get you act together!
Jeremiah 29:13 says “You will seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart.” Well, embarrassing as it is, I certainly know what it looks like to search for something with all of my heart…but have I really searched for Jesus with all of my heart? Or only His benefits? Or only his promises? Or only his healing for my boy?
My flesh wants to retreat. Wants to check out. Wants to say, “I’m done. It’s too hard. I don’t know how to stand any more, God! It’s taking SO long!” But today, my heart is longing to “throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles” (Heb 12:1) and do a search… not for a ring…not a google search for every remedy under the sun or every cause of seizures known to man. But a treasure hunt for something more…to begin anew with a search for just Jesus. Only Him. Nothing more, nothing less. With the confidence of Matthew 6:33 – “but seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.
Every so often I would catch a glimpse. It was only a brief moment. Sometimes during worship. Other times during prayer. Often, however, it came right in the midst of chaos as I’d frantically sprint through my daily duties of wiping bottoms, comforting tears, feeding babies, schooling big kids, cooking, cleaning, brushing, bathing…..
Dancing. Smiling. Arms wide open twirling and laughing and singing as I worshiped my Heavenly Father.
He was right there with me.
Smiling. Laughing. Loving….
…Last Fall, I was home alone with Judah and Malachi on a Wednesday evening while the rest of my family was at church. It wasn’t an easy night by any stretch of the imagination. Judah was crying in pain from gas in his tummy. Malachi was crying, wanting to be fed and held. I was crying throwing my own pity party wishing I was at church like everyone else. Wishing I could interact with people. Wishing I could serve in the church alongside my husband like I once did. Wishing we could be a “normal” family that could all attend church together without such a struggle. More than anything, wishing I could be in the presence of the Lord at the 7:30 prayer meeting…my favorite service.
I stepped away for a brief moment to grab a tissue and I cried out, “Lord!! When will I be free?!! This is too hard!! I can’t do this anymore!”
In my heart He gently whispered these words, “You don’t have to depend on seeing Judah’s complete healing to experience that kind of freedom.”
I stood motionless and processed those words, suddenly realizing I had inadvertently assumed that the joy and freedom I so desperately desired would only come if my circumstances were perfect. But that’s not how it works! The beauty of the victory we have in Christ is that we can experience joy and freedom despite our circumstances. When circumstances pound on us like a thunderstorm we can dance in the rain!
The Lord continued to work, using many things to bring me to that place of freedom. He led me to supplements my body desperately needed to restore balance to my hormones, thyroid, and adrenals.
And He spoke His word over my life and confirmed the vision I had seen by using my husband and a dear friend.
In December, while Chad was praying for me, the Lord gave him these words for me:
A few days passed before I heard from a friend, who knew nothing of my dream, who knew nothing of the word God spoke through Chad. She sent me this song that she had been singing over me: We Dance.
I look back to who I was just a short time ago and I hardly recognize myself. I had been bound by anxiety. Bound by flashbacks to Judah’s injury. Bound by fear. Bound with questions. I was constantly hurting inside over what happened to our life, to Judah’s life…
BUT GOD!!!!! Today, it is with thankfulness, grateful tears, and a heart full of joy and freedom that I can proclaim to you now –
My Father and I dance…
I twirl. He smiles.
Are my circumstances perfect? No. 🙂 But He healed my heart. Sealed it with His love.
There are still some storms in our lives, but now I dance in the rain…
Psalm 30:11 You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
What a weekend!!!
Two weekends ago, our runner through I Run 4 Siblings flew in from Rhode Island to surprise my children.
I remember driving to the airport that Friday afternoon thinking that this was either the most amazing thing I’ve ever done, or the craziest! After all, who invites a complete stranger into their home to spend the weekend with their children? The Deareys! That’s who!
Brooke didn’t feel like a stranger. For months we’ve been in contact through Facebook. We immediately had a connection and it’s been an easy adventure. She’s posted pictures and videos for my children to see. She’s honored them for the sacrifice they’ve made for their brother, Judah. And my children have enjoyed writing back to her as well. But to have her here in person felt completely surreal. Days later, it’s still soaking in.
Our weekend was precious. The kids seemed to do a million things with “Ms. Brooke” – they played games, bounced on the trampoline, read stories, played basketball, went swimming. It was non-stop action here at our home. 🙂
That Saturday she ran the half marathon at Holloway Park here in town. Before crossing the finish line she grabbed my children by the hand so they could cross with her. It’s a moment I will NEVER forget!!
Brooke may have arrived as a stranger, but she left as family. We love you, Mrs. Brooke! Thank you for impacting our family in such a profound way!
Matthew 25:40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
As you can see by the lack of posts on the blog, the past 6 months since Malachi’s arrival have been extremely busy. 🙂 Chad and I both came to the realization that we were totally experiencing Caregiver Burnout and needed to find help. We weren’t sure what kind of help we needed or what it would look like, but we began praying God would send it. We especially desired help on Sundays and Wednesdays so we could attend church together. In the past month two precious ladies have offered to help us. One offered to push Judah in his stroller on Sunday mornings so Chad and I can be together in the service. Another, who doesn’t even attend our church, offered to do the same thing on Wednesday evenings so I can come to church and attend the prayer meetings (I’ve only been able to attend 2 Wednesday night services in the past 6 months). It’s extremely out of my comfort zone to accept help like this; but at the same time it ministers to my heart and has been such a beautiful expression of God’s love to us. 🙂 Thank you, Father, for hearing and answering our prayers. And thank you, dear friends, for the many ways you all have been the hands and feet of Jesus to our family. We are grateful!
And in case I’m not back on this blog before the end of the year, the Dearey family wishes you a very MERRY CHRISTMAS!
“Lord, I LOVE him! I absolutely LOVE him!! I recognize that others may see an imperfect shell and see ‘disabilities’ but I don’t care about any of it. I just love him. I don’t need him to be perfect in order for me to feel love towards him. I really really love him…so much!”
…and in the quietness of my heart the Lord whispered back…
“And I LOVE YOU! I don’t need you to be perfect. I don’t see your disabilities. There’s nothing you can change to affect how much I love you. I just really really love you!”
“What marvelous love the Father has extended to us! Just look at it—we’re called children of God! That’s who we really are.” I John 3:1
Dearey children, you are the most precious gifts ever given to me. When I was a girl, a teenager, a young adult dreaming about my future I never could have dreamt I’d have children as amazing as you….and certainly didn’t know I’d be blessed with so many. 😉 You are more than I ever desired or hoped for! I know that God didn’t go out of His way to bring your mom and dad together from Minnesota and Washington just to give us a great marriage, but because he had seven children in mind that were destined to be born for such a time as this. The callings on your lives are great! His plans far exceed your expectations!
2.5 years ago our lives sure changed, didn’t they? Our family dynamics changed. Our relationships changed. Our faith was tested. Our priorities shifted. Today I want you to know that no matter how busy I may be or how crazy life may get, I see you…
I saw you when Judah was in the hospital. I saw your confusion. I heard your questions. And I appreciated your patience to let Mommy and Daddy wait until the right time to give you details.
I see you lay hands on Judah and speak healing over his body. I see you lay hands on his blanket, turning it into a prayer cloth. My heart swells with pride.
I see you coming out of your room at night asking to share your heart. We need that one-on-one time, sometimes, don’t we? It’s important you continue to share and ask questions.
I see your tears when you see other children Judah’s age and realize how much Judah needs to learn to “catch up.”
I see your servant hearts when you help us with Judah’s therapy, hyperbaric dives, feeding Judah, and filling his diaper bag for outings. I’m so thankful for your help!
I see you in church asking others for agreement in prayer for Judah’s complete healing.
I see your concern that something may happen to Malachi. He’ll be healthy and strong. No need to fear – trust the Lord! Malachi is a restoration gift from heaven.
I see you worship. I see you studying the Word. I see you praying. I know God is strengthening you.
I see you enjoying your brother…laughing when he’s silly, teaching him new words, snuggling him when he’s sleepy.
I see your tears when daddy or I leave for a weekend away in Gainesville. Our home isn’t the same when any of us are away.
I see you run Judah’s stinky diapers out for me with a happy attitude. You’ve never complained. 🙂
I see your sadness and frustration when it’s harder for us to plan outings, or field trips, or play dates because of Judah’s needs. I miss how easy it used to be to go out for lunch after church, or spend an afternoon at a park. We’ll be able to do all these things again soon. It’ll get easier.
I see you stay calm when mom and dad feel frazzled. You’ve forgiven us each of the many times we’ve asked for forgiveness for losing our patience and peace.
I see you out of the corner of my eye, listening and observing as Mommy shares her heart and sometimes tears with close friends and mentors…thank you for not interrupting. Mommy is getting stronger. I promise. 🙂
And kids, not only does Mommy see you and Daddy see you; but your heavenly Father sure sees you. He reminded me of this at our recent fundraiser. Each of you asked if you could participate in the raffle. I was hesitant at first, but then felt that it was important for you to feel a part of the special night. I was absolutely astonished when I saw each of you win the exact item you had your heart set on. All evening I pondered the fact that not only did God remind your Daddy and I that He sees us, He sees Judah, He sees our needs…but He definitely sees each of you as well and He blessed you with the desires of your heart that evening. I know He is so proud of each of you. You have already stored many treasures in heaven. 🙂
Josiah, Isaac, Ellianna, Rhema, Adonai, Judah and little Malachi in my tummy… I love you! It’s an honor to be your Mom!
“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.” Psalm 127:3