In the darkness of night

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

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Fake Diamonds

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.

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“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.

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“For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.” Habakkuk 2:3

Special Needs = Very Special Siblings

“Mom, you can read this if you won’t cry.”

I spun around from my lunch preparations in the kitchen to find Josiah handing me a paper he wrote for an English assignment.

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He had been asked to write a “description” and he chose to write about little Judah.

Here’s what he had to say:

“The baby this description is about is my baby brother, Judah.  Judah is more of a toddler.  He’s almost two.

Judah had a brain injury when he was five weeks old.  He was rushed to the hospital and the doctors didn’t give much hope to his survival.  But he lived!!  It would probably be easier to call him a toddler if it wasn’t for his brain injury. 

Many people have helped our family over the last year (like the therapists) and sometimes people we don’t even know!  We got a hyperbaric chamber through a fundraiser that we got more than enough help with and we have vision therapy every two weeks. 

Judah has been getting better every day thanks to God and everyone that helped.”

There are moments like these that I get a little glimpse into how my children are processing this journey.  For instance, while reading Josiah’s paper I realized for the first time that he was aware of the fact that had Judah not had a brain injury he’d be a toddler by now.  I kept my composure and held back tears, but inside my heart was breaking.  I don’t like that my children have had to walk through this.  It’s one thing to experience pain as an adult.  But my goodness!  They’re so young; yet they’re walking through a season that requires such strength, faith, perseverance, selflessness, and a lot of patience.

I cannot express fully how proud I am of my children and the strength they’ve shown these past 20 months. I’ve watched them treat Judah with such love and acceptance, as if nothing ever happened.  I’ve proudly observed them around the home as they’ve stepped up to the plate and helped Mommy and Daddy out more than ever before.  I’ve snuggled when they have needed a little extra one-on-one time and an opportunity to share their hearts.  I’ve listened as they’ve asked questions…and I’ve paused at times at a loss for words, admitting I was seeking answers to those very same questions.  I’ve cried with them as they’ve revisited the memories and admit they miss the way our lives used to be.  And I’ve smiled…as I’ve observed compassion in their hearts grow for other children that have special needs.

There’s a desire burning strong in our hearts to reach out and minister to other “special needs families.”  More and more we are realizing that the need is so much greater than merely reaching the child with special needs.  And it’s more than encouraging their parents.  It’s about reaching the entire family!  Where there is a child with special needs, there is most likely some very special siblings as well.

Josiah and Judah

Isaac praying over Judah

Ellianna and Judah

Rhema snuggles with Judah

Addie loves her baby brother

“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.’” – Matthew 25:40