A Sea of Angry Waves and Jesus

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Hospice, they told us this would happen. With children who are dying, their health goes up and down and our emotions would go right with it. It has been a constant need for adjustment with accepting the truth of what the latest ‘norm’ for Zekey is, what he is able to do and feel and express but the latest is by far the most difficult.

I had just posted a video on Instagram of my sweet Zekey-boy on one of the best days he has had in awhile. It was just me, Zekey and Bexley on a Sunday morning and he was full of joy and peace. I wanted to capture it for myself and for all of you. I thought maybe this would mean we could go on the make-a-wish trip with him that is coming up in May – a trip that would help bring so much healing for my other kids especially. This would be their last ‘horrah!” with their brother. (I’ll give more details, soon and how you can join in helping us with that!) But…

Twenty minutes after that video was taken, he started down a path that has been full of intense body jerks (myoclonic jerks) where his body isn’t able to rest unless he gets valium and morphine to calm him. Even with those meds, given every 1-2 hours depending, we have to hold him down or hold him tightly in order to let his body fall asleep and get the rest he needs. He also has a cold and isn’t able to clear his throat which could lead to pneumonia and this is the most common cause for death in these kinds of diseases.

Just last week Andy and I were talking about how these constant changes make us feel. I told him I feel as though I’m on a ship in an angry ocean and the only place, literally, that I can look for stability and comfort is Jesus (stories where God uses Zekey’s story for redemption in your lives is always a bonus, too). Nothing else satisfies. Nothing else gets me through.

Not everyone is going though this kind of suffering as we, and some in the world deal with much more but we all live in this broken world and will not be fully satisfied until our new home, heaven comes down.

Do you ever get to that place of desperation for Jesus where you finally realize nothing else can satisfy? Maybe you are in the thick of mothering little ones, maybe you’ve lost a job, a loved one. Friendships and or relationships are taking a turn for the worse. Maybe your addiction, you’re realizing, continues to not satisfy and you want something true and pure and holy that can fill that God shaped hole in your heart. Whatever it is making you realize this, it usually means you are so deep in the valley, you can only look up.

But, it’s a great place to be in our relationship with Jesus, realizing our desperation for Him. This is the blessing in the suffering. The closeness of our Heavenly Father.

After I told Andy that life feels like we are on an angry ocean, I later pictured Peter in Matthew 14:22-34 where the only thing keeping him from drowning in the water, the waves and wind engulfing him, was to keep his eyes on Jesus.

This is where I am. When I let anything grab my attention, other than Jesus, I start on a path of spiraling downward. The wind and waves of death and loss laugh in my face. Eternity? I have full peace where Zeke will go and all the wholeness I will not know until my day comes, but the death and the ‘no more Zekey to hold’ makes me crumble.

So, I find safety in Jesus. I find rest in Him. I find freedom to cry out and beg for mercy and peace and rest.

These same things are offered to all of us. These are the kinds of things Jesus provides in the midst of our chaos. No matter how deep you are in the valley,no matter how high the waves are around you, you can find Jesus there.

#prayforzekey

 

30 Comments

  • Reply March 19, 2014

    Melody Harris

    My heart continues to break, my tears continue to fall for little Zekey and you and Andy. And of course I continue to pray for the mercy of our Lord and Savior to intercede as I know all who love you do. I am thankful for your faith and the strength it gives you to go on day by day, minute by minute. Much love and prayers sent always.

    • Reply March 20, 2014

      bree

      Aunt Melody,

      Thank you for your love and prayers and always encouraging. Love and blessings to you!

  • Reply March 19, 2014

    Rachel

    “And I will call upon your name
    And keep my eyes above the waves
    When oceans rise, my soul will rest in your embrace
    For I am yours, and you are mine”
    As I prayed for you guys I could picture you and Andy and the kids all holding zekey – and giant Jesus arms wrapped around all of you.
    “For whatever you do for the least of these – you do for me”
    When you hold zekey – you are Jesus to him.
    Love you guys

    • Reply March 20, 2014

      bree

      Rachel,

      Thank you so much for praying. Love to you

  • Reply March 19, 2014

    Aunt Jan

    You are SO much better on the angry seas WITH Jesus than safely on the shore without Him.
    I cannot even pretend to imagine what all of you are going through. I DO pray for all of you, your parents and siblings. May each of you feel a peace that passes all understanding. Loving you always.

    • Reply March 20, 2014

      bree

      Aunt Jan,

      Amen. Thank you for your prayers. Love to you

  • Reply March 19, 2014

    Andrea Baugher

    My tears fall for you and your family, Breena. I pray for His will to be done, and that while you wait for this terrible storm to subside, you feel His hand holding yours tightly. May comfort, peace, and courage fill you all by His mighty Spirit.

    • Reply March 20, 2014

      bree

      Andrea,

      Thank you for your prayers. love and blessings to you

  • Reply March 19, 2014

    Sara Powers

    Oh, how the pain is indescribable for you all. I love your line about how when you are so low in the valley there is only one way to look – up (quite paraphrased, obviously). But that you are glorifying our Lord Jesus Christ in your myriad of suffering is such a light and hope in a world that would otherwise tell you to that you are defeated. Keep looking up and I will keep praying for that hope that doesn’t disappoint, for the comfort in the pain, and precious moments you see Jesus.

    • Reply March 20, 2014

      bree

      Sara,

      Thank you so much for that encouragement. It helps to keep us going, truly. And your prayers – they mean the world. Thank you for reaching out. Love and blessing to you

  • Reply March 19, 2014

    Brenda

    praying-(God you brings you to mind)
    for a very real, and strong presence of the Holy Spirit to carry each of you – That you know (that you know) He is with you- especially Zeke.

    • Reply March 20, 2014

      bree

      Brenda,

      Amen. He is very near to us and what a gift! Blessings.

  • Reply March 20, 2014

    Sarah P.

    oh Breena. You are an encouragement in the midst of your heartache. I cry for you and Zeke and all the pain you have to endure. Keep looking at Jesus, I will keep praying with you. love,Sarah

    • Reply March 20, 2014

      bree

      Sarah,

      Thank you for your encouragement and prayers. So blessed by them. Love to you

  • Reply March 20, 2014

    Toni

    “But, it’s a great place to be in our relationship with Jesus, realizing our desperation for Him. This is the blessing in the suffering. The closeness of our Heavenly Father.”
    So so wise Breena. Prayers for wisdom, peace, and guidance.

    • Reply March 20, 2014

      bree

      Toni,

      Thank you for your prayers. Love to you

  • Reply March 20, 2014

    Janet

    Breena, your message is beautiful, even when life isn’t. Continuing to pray for all!

    • Reply March 20, 2014

      bree

      Janet,

      Thank you so much for praying. truly. blessings

  • Reply March 20, 2014

    Bethany

    Three days ago I found your blog. Your story. Three days you’ve weighed heavily on my heart. A stranger on earth but a sister in the Lord, I pleaded with God today, in tears and love, to make His presence palpable in your family- in you. I pray that God would spare you from this loss…

    And if Jesus calls Zekey home, it is because “In Your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for Zekey, when as yet there was none of them.” (Psalm 139:16) God is sovereign. He cannot be understood. Only trusted. God formed Zekey and knew him before you knew him. By His sovereign grace, the almighty God appointed each day of Zekey’s life, no more, no less.

    And if, for a short time, you are separated from your son, I pray that the pain of missing him will be wholly met with the only true comfort and peace- the kind we can’t comprehend. That His peace would soothe your hurting heart and the assurance of embracing your precious and perfectly whole Zekey AND your loving Savior all in one sweet day would be as real to you as the pain in this earthly life. “Death is the end of dying. Life is wrestling and struggling, but death is the end of the conflict. Death is REST and VICTORY. Life is longing, sighing, crying, wasting away, and desiring. Heaven is enjoying, possessing, and delighting one’s self in God. Our death day will be the loss of all losses. Death is the beginning of our best days.” -Charles Spurgeon

    On that glorious day you will know WHY God took Zekey home before you. (I Corinthians 13:12) You will know the mysteries of God. And maybe in the presence of Jesus and immortality and no “time”, the “why” won’t even matter.

    In the meantime, when it all seems so unfair and cruel, may the peace that transcends such mortal thoughts and emotions wash over you and soothe your beautiful spirit.

    Glory be to God,
    Bethany

    • Reply March 20, 2014

      bree

      Bethany,

      “a stranger but a sister in the Lord.” amen. That is one of the beautiful things we witness through all of this. We see The Body more for what it is meant to be…a real family – God’s family.

      I don’t wonder ‘why’. I know through stories of redemption that God has brought on people through Zekey’s story, just a small glimpse as to what God is doing. And to know, there’s so much I have yet to hear or stories I may not hear until heaven. This world is broken, sinful and that is why disease is here. God is taking this terrible disease and making good, that’s what He does.

      Thank you for praying! That is the best thing people can do for us. I never get sick of hearing of the prayers being poured out on behalf of our family and Zekey. God bless

  • Reply March 20, 2014

    April Rum

    Love you Breena and your previous family. And never ceasing to pray for you. For peace, comfort, and joy. I always find those 3 words in my prayer for all of you. Lord Jesus, give Zeke and his mommy, daddy, brother, and sisters, and all other loved ones, Your peace, Your joy, and Your comfort in this time and always.

    • Reply March 20, 2014

      bree

      April,

      Thank you for your prayers – they bring much comfort. love and blessings to you

  • Reply March 20, 2014

    Mike Sares

    Still praying for you and for Zekey from across the waves of the Atlantic.

    • Reply March 20, 2014

      bree

      Mike,

      So appreciate your prayers. And I’m jealous that you are across the pond 😉 Blessings

  • Reply March 20, 2014

    Teri Acton

    Breena, my words fail me. I can’t express things any more eloquently than the way Bethany did. We are still praying for you and your family has been heavy on my heart. Thank you for sharing with us all the many ways God is your comfort in this journey and for giving all the glory to Him.((hugs))

    • Reply March 20, 2014

      bree

      Oh, sweet Teri,

      There is no need to be eloquent:) It doesn’t bring more comfort but prayer is powerful and I’m so thankful that you are doing that! God is giving us more than we need to get through. Blessing and love to you

  • Reply March 20, 2014

    Dianne Nelson

    Do not be of the world. Be as you are doing—focus on Jesus who is our Savior. He is holding Zekey and all of you in his arms. Remember his tears are even bigger than ours. Let Jesus absorb your pain and hold all of you under his wing. Praying, praying for all of you. Dianne, Kristi Rumschlag’s mom

  • Reply March 21, 2014

    Elaine

    I am not eloquent, and I only come from across Wildwood park, but your grief is in my gut and heart and head. I am praying

  • Reply March 22, 2014

    Amanda

    Breena,
    Thinking of and praying for you, Andy, and your beautiful children. Every day, as a matter of fact. Loving you in Columbus. Amanda

  • Reply March 24, 2014

    Gretchen Saffles

    Bree, this blog post blessed me and broke me. I can’t imagine what your family is going through, but praise the Lord Jesus is with you. I pray for His peace to wash over you at every moment of the day. I pray for His joy to surprise you in the hardest moments. I pray for His faithfulness to give you hope when hope seems far off. I pray the waves calm and are still for a long enough moment for you and your husband to find relief. You are a beautiful picture of a woman who hopes in God. John Piper said “The deepest root of Christian womanhood is hope in God.” You are rooted deep, sister. I am praying for you!

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