The Garden

Something was wrong with my baby. My beautiful healthy 3 year old daughter was losing her skills.

My husband Mike and I took Jackie to doctor after doctor, but none could explain her condition “very puzzling” they would say.

 Jackie began to talk less and by after 5 had stopped completely.  At age 7 she no longer walked or swallowed. The doctors search for a diagnosis – let alone a cure – seemed to be in vain.

We thought we had found the cause of our problems when we realized our house had been treated with a toxic chemical. We moved out and into my in-laws 2 bedroom home. My entire family – Mike, our four children, and I – shared one bedroom.

 Our situation became even more bleak when my husband lost his business, and with it our health insurance. Then our youngest son, Corey began to show the same symptoms as Jackie.

In the midst of our hardships I attended a Bible study. I refused to share my needs. I didn’t return but deep inside I knew those women had something I didn’t.  Taken from my story written in 1992 “A Disabled Child Brought Life to our Family.”

The Lord had my attention! Growing up all I wanted to be was a wife and a mother. Jackie was born Christmas Day 1976 – my present from the Lord. Because of her life, my searching for answers because of the disease, and the disease that took her life I came to know the Lord.

A poem by Edna Massimilla. Edna had a daughter with Down Syndrome and wrote this poem to emphasize that every creation is for a purpose. This poem helped me but I found out time and time again it was only by His grace I could do a special job for the Him.

How does a parent face being told your 2 children have a fatal disease? This is my journey of how by His grace I made it though.

That day in the garden was the beginning of a relationship with the Lord. I knew because I knew He was with me.  I grew up going to a church, going to Sunday School, and being confirmed but my head knowledge hadn’t touched my heart. Yes, even if I wasn’t in the garden I could meet with the Lord.  5 minutes in that back staircase will do! That pile of dirty clothes on the basement floor that I would collapse on in prayer would leave me feeling refreshed and strengthened. I learned that by writing in my journal my; thoughts, prayers, deepest needs, questions – answers came! Not of my own but The Lord strengthening me with ability to do what needed to be done.  Things like I never thought I could do- like placing a feeding tube. I would hear an inner voice and knew because I knew it was God – I was not alone. Answers came through scriptures I was learning.

We are all at different places on our journey on earth. I challenge you to search the Lord while He may be found.  Life throws hard things at us – but don’t let them harden your heart.

Hebrews 3:7 Therefore as the Holy Spirit says “Today if you will hear His voice do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion in the days of trial in the wilderness. “

Find that quiet place that “garden” wherever that may be for you. Seek Him by reading His Word.


One response to “The Garden”

  1. Thank you for sharing the beauty found in the hardest places. What a picture of how God comes down to meet us in our need and reveals that He is all we need.


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