“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
by Chad Dearey
On a day that should mark the celebration of many fathers, many are internalizing this day with pain, confusion, regret, and abandonment. Many sons and daughters are the casualty of a broken home where the dad physically, emotionally, or spiritually checked out. Many look back at their childhood and can only remember the pain. Many fathers are struggling today because they aren’t the father that they hoped to be. They have tried time and time again to become a better man but they are inevitably left with disappointment because they fail in their role. The hardest part is that these men were never taught how to be a father. The greatest gift that was bestowed upon these men was turned over to television, to peers, to the mothers, to any vacuum that would suck the attention of this broken son or daughter.
But You, Daddy, You stepped in. You said no more. You destroyed the veil. The separation that was upon us was torn into two. You delivered to us a Savior. One that gave us unrestricted access to You and Your Fatherhood. You told us that you would never leave us, never forsake us. You promised us. And unlike any man, You have remained true. You saw that we needed a Comforter, a Guide, a lasting Gift and you gave us the Holy Spirit. Thank you Daddy for this day. I celebrate who You are, the life that You have given and the promise of what is to come.
I speak to all of the daughters out there who didn’t have a true Dad. It was not your fault. Your broken pieces can be easily be mended by one touch. Peace, restoration and a sense of belonging are yours today. You have a new Daddy, and every empty memory of your past will be replaced by the joy of another day with your true Daddy.
Men- I speak to you. You have what it takes. You may have failed. You may have turned out distant like your father, but it isn’t too late. Study your Daddy and learn His love. Learn His acceptance, His pleasure, His delight. Your value is not measured in what you do, what you have done, what occupation you have, or how much money you have made. He takes pleasure in you today because you are His. He heals all past wounds now, binds every lie that the enemy has spoken and frees you today from regret. Understand that you will fail and fail again if you continue to work this out on your own. There is a grace that is available so that you can quit striving, working, and fixing only to end up empty-handed. Today this grace is yours.
Young men – your identity is now in Christ. You are important, you are cherished, and you are a mighty man in the making. Today marks the day when your Daddy enters your life healing the scars from your emotional, physical and spiritual pains.
Daddies who are running the race, who are rewarding their children with the true love of our Daddy – thank you, thank you, thank you. You have given much. You have decided that your legacy is more important than your lusts. You have decided to step over from being a male to being a man. You have shown your children that your wife is to be cherished, respected and pursued. You have shown your wife that she can see a daddy who is present and who is laying himself down daily for the glory of lasting treasures. Do not let up, do not slow down, there is a lasting crown that is waiting for you.
The difference between a good dad and a great dad is measured by the degree to which he points his family to Christ. Daddy, I want to be a great dad.