Being re-upholstered

I had an unexpected interaction with a man named Oscar today. I met him a few years ago through a fabric store recommendation for a person who could help re-upholster some chairs and pillows. Since then, he’s re-upholstered a glider, four barstools (twice) and six pillows (twice). Most recently, he fixed Reagan’s fabric, fold up high chair. Her chunky little body busted the seams…and it wouldn’t be a big deal but this is the high chair we use when we go to the beach, to the hospital, on vacation…basically it comes with us for a lot of reasons and to a lot of places. Oscar finished the high chair last week and I finally had a chance to pick it up from his office today.

Oscar asked if I brought Reagan b/c he wanted to pray for her.

Reagan in a hat

Oh. Wow. No, sorry Oscar, I don’t have Reagan with me. He told me he wanted to pray for her to be able to do normal things, like walking and running. He was so adamant that she would do these things and that God was going to heal her. We chatted for about 30 minutes and during that time, he said a lot of things that felt like a divine imparting of information.

Say your prayers and requests out loud, Anne-Marie. Some people are afraid to pray aloud b/c they don’t want the Devil to know what they’re thinking, but when you pray in Jesus’ name and you pray for healing upon your daughter, God’s army will help to carry out those orders. God has an army of angels who will surround you and your daughter, and they will carry out orders from The Lord. — I’ve never heard anyone say something like that. It was powerful to hear and to receive.

I am reminded of the story of Daniel and Michael the archangel. Daniel prayed for three weeks after receiving a vision that was very troubling to him. An angel was sent to to Daniel on the first day that he prayed, but that angel battled the prince of Persia and was detained, Michael the archangel had to come and help. Verses are below but this link is super helpful in understanding the scope of the story.


Daniel 10:12-14: “Don’t be afraid, Daniel,’ he told me, ‘because from the first day that you committed yourself to understand and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard. I’ve come in answer to your prayers.  However, the prince of the kingdom of Persia opposed me for 21 days. Then all of a sudden, Michael, one of the chief angels, came to assist me! I had been detained there near the kings of Persia. Now I’ve come to help you understand what will happen to your people in the days to come, because the vision pertains to those days.”


Oscar went on to discuss the boy who had seizures from the Bible. Here are the verses.


Jesus heals an epileptic boy

14-16 When they returned to the crowds again a man came and knelt in front of Jesus. “Lord, do have pity on my son,” he said, “for he is a lunatic and is in a terrible state. He is always falling into the fire or into the water. I did bring him to your disciples but they couldn’t cure him.”

17 “You really are an unbelieving and difficult people,” Jesus returned. “How long must I be with you, and how long must I put up with you? Bring him here to me!”

18 Then Jesus reprimanded the evil spirit and it went out of the boy, who was cured from that moment.

19 Afterwards the disciples approached Jesus privately and asked, “Why weren’t we able to get rid of it?”

20-21 “Because you have so little faith,” replied Jesus. “I assure you that if you have as much faith as a grain of mustard-seed you can say to this hill, ‘Up you get and move over there!’ and it will move—you will find nothing is impossible.” “However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting”


Oscar said: People in the Bible had seizures Anne-Marie…those are not of God, they are from evil spirits. Maybe due to a generational curse, maybe sin in your life…

Or maybe, I interjected, maybe it’s neither of those things and brought up the man in the Bible who was healed of blindness. The Pharisees asked who sinned, the blind man or someone in his family, when it was neither, he was afflicted with blindness just for Jesus to walk up one day and heal him in front of everyone.

Yes Anne-Marie, Reagan could be like the man in the Bible who was blind, your daughter suffers for God to be glorified when she is healed. Healed fully and completely.

[Did I mention this guy is a sewer? A furniture re-upholsterer. I just came to pick up a high chair]

That was really difficult to hear. Did our sin invite this in or the sins of Reagan’s birth family? Or is it for reasons similar to the blind man in the Bible? Do I believe there’s an evil spirit inside of her like the boy in the Bible b/c she had seizures in the hospital? God I hope not. And, it’s an answer to prayer that she hasn’t had a seizure in over a year. There is certainly an affliction though. We all have afflictions, what happened to Reagan is more recognizable b/c it’s visible and it’s physical. In Heaven we are made whole, but we can be made whole here on Earth b/c we have access to Jesus’ healing power. There is a reason for what is happening to Reagan; God has a purpose for everything and doesn’t do anything in vain. I know God uses circumstances in our lives to change our hearts to be more fully devoted to him. He uses difficulty in our lives for his glory all the time, that’s pretty much the theme of the Bible.

I’m reading Max Lucado’s book called The Story. It’s the Bible told as one continuous story. I just finished reading about Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt. There were big huge miracles, the Red Sea parting to name a memorable one. Oscar and I discussed this very story. And I told him even the Israelites complained when FOOD was falling from the sky. They didn’t like that kind of food, they wanted something else, they wanted the food they had in Egypt, wishing for their former lives as slaves! Oscar said, “Back then, they didn’t have the Holy Spirit, it only came when God came and revealed himself to them. Now, we have access to God’s spirit all the time. The power that God showed in parting the Red Sea and in performing miracles in the Old Testament, and in healing the blind man and countless others in the New Testament is available to you now. Keep praying, keep asking for more and stretch your prayers more.”

I showed Oscar a video of Reagan walking at UCF in her walker over the weekend b/c I said, “that’s a miracle right there! The amount of brain damage she has…the Dr.’s said she’d never…”

More prayer, Anne-Marie. Prayers for her running like a normal kid.

I’ve never met someone who spoke with such authority and conviction over the healing of Reagan. He told me Reagan would be unrecognizable when she is healed b/c she will be running and walking and people will be directed to the Lord b/c of her healing.

Sometimes I think God places people in your life to help intervene or to help you to keep pressing on. I pray Oscar will help guide us in praying the right words for Reagan, we are taking Reagan to him for prayer. I wish I could say that our doors have been knocked down from people within the church to pray for Reagan with such fervency, but Oscar is the only one. I told Rob that I’ve felt like we were kind of flying blind in asking God for these big huge miracles. But we are doing it and asking for it…however, our hearts and our spirit, felt a fading (at least for me) and I just began resolving myself to our reality (maybe she won’t be healed, we will have to wait for Heaven). But I have a renewed passion to pray for Reagan and to pray for her healing b/c God is not done with her. He’s not done with her story. More prayer…more prayer.

We can’t do this alone, we invite all of your prayers and we thank you for them.

This is our life. Welcome.

We’ve had some pretty great weekends recently. Of course our life is not Instagram perfect, staged and always lovely, I’ll never pretend for a moment that it is, but we’ve stretched our boundaries, moved our comfort zone further out and have started exploring the world a bit more with Reagan.

Last weekend we went to the splash pad in our neighborhood. Reagan hated it. But it was a HUGE step for us (me especially) just to go. We went super early so no one was there yet. My issue with splash pads is all the kids are running and walking. When I drive out of my neighborhood, I see the parents just hanging out and talking to each other while their kids play with one another and splash about like it’s the best thing ever.

But for us, its’ a struggle. For every photo you see of Reagan standing, there are bunches of these.

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It is very much a struggle to always stand.

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She needs us to help her. She needs to hold on, and there’s nothing to hold onto at the splash pad except for us. With every new experience, I have to constantly fight through how the experience is different, process it as it’s happening, and then be OK with the fact that our experiences look different from the worlds, and from yours in all likelihood. It happens in split second moments, and then it’s re-processed throughout the day. Wow, we did a splash pad. It’s OK…it’s OK. It’s different, it’s real life, it’s OK. We can do it, we DID do it.

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Then, we went to the mall. But it wasn’t just any mall trip.

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We did the kind of mall trip that elicits stares. I have to admit, I WAS THAT PERSON who stared and can I tell you, that being on the receiving end of those stares is W E I R D. A group of young girls, like seven years old and under, walked by and stared at Reagan, and then turned when they passed us to continue staring. I don’t think I would expect much more from young kids…I mean, it’s probably something they’re not used to seeing. It’s up to those in their life to make a teaching opportunity of the situation. Hopefully they did. Not everyone was like that though, some people engaged us, but it was a totally different experience putting her in a walker vs. having her in her stroller. I felt treated differently, I felt those long pity stares at Reagan vs. every other time I’ve gone somewhere with her. In her stroller, all people say is how beautiful she is. This time, it felt like all people could see was her walker and not the awesome beautiful girl inside of it. She is not her walker. I can already see the next stage of struggles brewing…and as she grows, the differences will become more obvious. But you know what?

It’s OK…it’s OK. It’s different, it’s real life, it’s OK. We can do it, we DID do it.

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Going out is tough. I feel like we’re pioneers never knowing what we will encounter. And chances are, people with children who are differently abled might feel the same way. I can probably count on one hand the number of kids I’ve seen out in public, in a walker like Reagan. B/c it’s hard and that’s real life and it’s just easier to stay in, even though it’s equally as tough. Rob pushes me to do these things. He says: “sure, it’s hard. Maybe Reagan will only walk three stores, but maybe in six months she’ll walk the entire length of the mall and back. Just b/c it’s tough on us doesn’t mean we don’t give her those experiences.” [gulp] He’s right.

So we keep doing these things, not knowing if it’s hard b/c she’s two or b/c of all the other stuff.

At brunch the other day I’m pretty sure we were dealing with a typical two year old.

brunch
Get this girl a pair of uneven parallel bars because her form is AMAZING!

I can tell we’re headed into a new season…it’s just starting. Walkers out in public, brunch handstands, special needs parents at the splash pad. This is our life. Welcome.