written by Tim Carey
"Nothing is impossible with you, nothing is impossible. You hold my world in your hands."
I heard these lyrics running through my head as the prayer team at church laid hands on my beautiful two month old little girl who was scheduled for open heart surgery in a couple of days. With tears running down my face, I could feel an overwhelming sense of peace wash over me. My little girl, Madison, was already a miracle for making it this far. This fact wasn't lost on me as we waited for her surgery.
Five months into my wife's pregnancy the doctors became very concerned by what they saw on the ultrasound. Madison had stopped growing and was only half the size of her twin brother Jacob. Doctors told us they weren't sure if she would survive the pregnancy. This also put Jacob's life in jeopardy. We asked for everyone at church to pray for our family. God answered that prayer and Madison miraculously started to grow. When Madison was born, she weighed 3 pounds and Jacob weighed 5 pounds 8 ounces. Because of her weight, Madison had to stay in the NICU until the doctors felt that she was completely healthy. My wife, Andrea, and I were so relieved and thankful. Unfortunately, it was short lived.
After a few weeks in the NICU, abnormalities were found with Madison's heartbeat. Tests revealed a life threatening heart condition that would require surgery. We were devastated and filled with fear and uncertainty. It was at that point, through the prayer done before her surgery, God turned our fear into peace. During the church service, I felt God saying there's nothing to fear, she's in my hands now and I'm not letting her go. I felt an enormous sense of peace and carried that same peace with me while in the waiting room during her 5 hour surgery. We just knew everything was going to be OK.
Madison's surgery went perfectly and she came home 7 days later. God healed our little girl and she has never had a single setback. I can't describe the peace we felt that day. It was beyond our understanding. All I know is God was there to comfort us on the most difficult day we've ever had to face. This wouldn't be the last time we would have to rely on God's peace to get us through a trial.
A couple of years after Madison's surgery, became, more and more concerned that our son, Jacob, wasn't reaching any of the milestones at the same rate that Madison was. We also noticed that he exhibited abnormal behavior and would never make eye contact with us. Our parental instinct kicked in and we knew something was wrong. We took him to a children's hospital and after hours of testing our fears were confirmed. Jacob was diagnosed with Autism. Once again, we were devastated. We had so many questions and had no clue how to be special needs parents. But, once again, God's peace washed us. We started to accept and cherish Jacob for who he was rather than who he wasn't. I'd by lying to say there haven't been challenges along the way, but we wouldn't change a thing about him! He is truly a gift from God. Both of our kids are!
The past 6 years have been the best and hardest of our lives, but God was with us every step of the way. He has always been the peace in the midst of our chaos. He is the calm in our storm. The hope in the midst of despair. He is truly our rock. One of my favorite Bible verses is John 16:33. It's Jesus saying, "In this world you will have trouble, but take heart, I've overcome the world." I love this because Jesus never promised a perfect life with perfect circumstances. He promised that we'll have trouble, but we can overcome because He first overcame! Through his strength we can overcome anything. God didn't change our circumstances, but He completely changed our outlook on our circumstances. Everything that we've gone through has made us better people and better parents. It has also helped us better understand our Heavenly Father. We couldn't understand how he could love us unconditionally until he gave us children to love unconditionally. We couldn't understand how he could love a lost child, until we almost lost our child. There isn't anything our kids could do that would keep us from loving them, and that is exactly the same way our Heavenly Father feels about all of us.
Tim Carey with his lovely wife Andrea and two beautiful children, Madison and Jacob.