Tuesday, September 9, 2014

My Time with Baby Obed & The Brown Family & UPDATES!!

"And He took a child, and set him in the midst of them:
and when He had taken him in His arms, he said unto them,
Whosoever shall receive one of such children in My name, receiveth Me:
and whosoever shall receive Me, receiveth not Me, but Him that sent Me."
Mark 9:36-37

God has been doing some amazing things in our lives lately.
I feel like I need to get alone with Him some place private,
so I can do some cold, hard soul-searching
and take some time to stand back and try to process and absorb the reality of it all.

We are now on the heels of a trip that has included our coming face-to-face 
with some who have become very precious and special to our hearts...and to yours, too.

Anyone who has been following Homespun Devotions has surely discerned
the deep concern I have in my heart for little Baby Obed, born on July 15th,
 and the Brown Children, who were involved in a tragic car accident on August 2nd.

Up until a few days ago,
I had never personally met any of these children.

All of that has now changed....
and so have I...for the better and forever, I think.

Only God could have orchestrated a way that we could meet
face-to-face....with Baby Obed and the Brown Family,
and only He could have made it all happen within a three day span!!

It all started back in July when God began planting the seeds in the minds and hearts
 of my dear cousin, Julie and I, to have a family reunion, like we had last year.
That seed quickly blossomed into a real possibility, then developed into real plan-making.
The way He orchestrated the details were just beyond anything we could ever have done on our own.

After the plans were in place, and we had started letting everyone know,
I opened my email one day to find two recent pictures of Makeya Brown,
the little six year old girl who was left paralyzed in the Brown family car accident.

As I looked at the photos, I began to cry, as God spoke to my heart,
"You could go see those children while you are in Ohio for the family reunion."

I sat there...jaws dropped and tears flowing,
as I realized I would only be 80 some miles away from them!!

We immediately began making plans to fit this into our trip.
I just felt so strongly that God wanted us to do this.

The very next day, I got an email from Baby Obed's Daddy, Travis,
and at the end of his email he mentioned that they would like to meet up sometime.

Immediately, I heard God's voice again,
"You could meet them while you are in Ohio at the family reunion."

Another jaw-dropping, tear-filled moment.
Could it be?
That this could really be arranged?

I grabbed the phone and called my niece, Kim, who was hosting our reunion in her home,
I knew Baby Obed and his family live within driving distance from Kim,
and I had to know if this could actually happen.

"Do you think there is any way I could invite Baby Obed and his family to the reunion?"
I asked.

"YES!!!", Kim's voice sounded excited on the other end.
"I was already thinking about asking them!
I knew this would be the only way you could meet them."

Can I tell you how much joy filled my heart....in that moment?
I cannot...because it cannot be put into mere words.

This was a Divine-intervention miracle...into my own life.
To think that I could possibly meet the three children I have come to love and care about so deeply...
having never yet met!
And all within the same few days?
On the same out-of-state trip?
What were the chances that both of them were located within a proximity that made this doable?

I realized, with a new awareness just how far God's thoughts are above mine,
that only He could have done this.
That He has a plan much bigger and of a grander scale
than anything I could ever dream up on my own.

Ephesians 3:20....once again....resonated in my mind,
"Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think,
according to the power that worketh in us..."

"Okay, Lord, once again You amaze me."

I hung up the phone with Kim,
completely wrapped and absorbed in a freshly-applied awe of our amazing, beyond-awesome God,
and I hurriedly emailed Travis to let him know.
He wrote back right away and said they would like to come, 
if Baby Obed's doctor visit the Friday before went well.

The visit went well, but there was concern because Obed had lost 6 ounces of weight.
Prayers went up, and he gained 8 ounces overnight!!!
What a mighty God we serve!!

To have been given that sweet opportunity to be able to hold little Baby Obed in my arms
that day was unlike anything I can really describe in words.
As I stood there, holding on to this tiny, fragile miracle,
tears spilling from my eyes,
Travis and Karissa and their other children nearby,
it occurred to me that I was getting just a tiny taste and glimpse into 
how the prophetess, Anna must have felt as she waited in the Temple
and yearned to see the Christ-child, God's chosen Messiah.
At last, one day, she did.
"And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord,
and spake of Him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem."
Luke 2:38

I just have this burning desire to shout Baby Obed's message from the rooftops, so to speak...
to proclaim the goodness of our loving, all-powerful God all over this world!
Because He does still answer prayer.
He is still on His throne.
He is alive.
He's not dead, nor is He limited by any diagnosis or prediction of mankind.

Baby Obed is SO precious.
Oh, my...I could never express all that is in my heart about this,
but holding him that day was a God-given blessing that I will never forget.
YES, that is me holding him!  
You can see how tiny he is.
(What you don't want to see is my teary eyes and red, splotchy face....
I could hardly hold back the tears while holding him...
hence, no photo of me here!)

He is experiencing jaundice, and he is showing signs of some fluid retention,
which is requiring medication, but the doctor is still saying the surgery will not have to happen for a few more months.
As I held him, it hit me how difficult it would be for him to have to undergo the intrusion of surgery.
It is just heartbreaking to think he may have to go through this.

Dear friends, please continue to pray with me that God will speak the word and heal this little fellow.
I still believe He can do this with no surgery required!
I also know that if He does allow the surgery to take place,
He will be there in that operating room, guiding the surgeon's hands,
giving wisdom and understanding to all who are involved,
and holding little Obed close to His heart, in the process.

I know it is not up to me, and I am certainly not in control,
nor can I dictate or demand the direction of God's choices.
But, I would just prefer that God would be the One Who does this solely on His Own.
Please keep praying with me, will you?

We SO enjoyed our visit with him and his precious family.
Meeting them and sharing those moments was a Divine gift....handed to me....
by the hands of a loving God Who knew how much this meant to me.

And, in the process, Zach made a new and wonderful friend named Jacob,
who just happens to be Baby Obed's 13 year old big brother!

I know God is not yet finished with the unfolding of this miracle.
In fact, I believe it has just begun.
There is more to come....I just know it.
Stay tuned!!

(To read past posts on Baby Obed,
click these links....
Baby Obed #1,
 Baby Obed #2,
and Baby Obed #3,
and Baby Obed #4.)

Just three days later, through another Divine-intervention miracle,
I was able to meet Steven, Shyla, Makeya, and Max Brown!

Driving to the hospital that day, I really didn't know what to expect.
It is one thing to read about their story and pray for them...from a distance.
It is quite another to come face to face with the stark reality of it all.
It somehow felt surreal to me,
to get off the ninth floor elevator and walk until I found the room number and sign that said,
"Makeya Brown",
to see her there, seated in her little wheelchair, as her mama, Shyla, fed her cake,
and her therapist massaged her paralyzed legs.
To get on the elevator with Shyla, so we could go to the 2nd floor to see Max in ICU,
to find myself finally standing there by Max's bedside,
seeing the little fellow with my own, two eyes,
and feeling the overwhelming sense of what has happened to him washing over my senses.

Before seeing him in the hospital the other day,
the only mental images I had of Max were these...the ones I have so often shared with you here...

...this healthy-looking, bouncing boy,
resting in his Daddy, Steven's arms,

and this happy baby boy seated on his Daddy's knee,
surrounded by his Mama and three siblings,
such a sweet, picture-perfect, little family.

THIS is the Max I expected to see the other day.
I don't know what I was thinking.
I have read every update sent to me,
I have broken down and cried over them multiple times,
I knew the inside details of the wreck and the horrifying severity of his injuries.
But, I was not prepared for what met my eyes as I walked with Shyla down the seemingly never-ending, winding hall, past all of the glass doors and pitiful-looking children behind them,
until finally we reached the right doors, and I followed Shyla into Max's room.

Oh, dear, precious Lord!
I was so taken aback.
So unprepared for the dramatic change in the little bright-eyed boy I had seen in the pictures!

And to realize how tiny he is!
There are so many tubes...
the trach, the feeding tube, and I don't know what all else.
I kept standing there thinking, "He is so, SO little!"

It just broke my heart to stand there, next to Shyla,
and listen to her talking to her medically-sedated baby boy...just like everything is normal with them.
To watch her continually stroke his fine, blonde hair,
and point out to me where the 15 stitches were just removed from his head,
to hear her tell me how much more swollen his head had been compared to what it is now,
to talk about how she always called him her little monkey,
to show me where the paralysis starts...about midway down his spine,
to watch as his tiny hand subconsciously curled tightly around his mama's finger,
to watch her lean forward and kiss his forehead...over and over and over...
telling him how much she loved him.

Max can move his hands and arms, which is a blessing,
but the doctors say the paralysis that begins right below the area of his mid-spine is permanent.
But, they are just doctors.
They are not without limits.
Thankfully, the God we serve and pray to faithfully, is...without limits.

Standing there, next to Max's bed, I asked Shyla if I could pray.
She said yes.
It was a precious time for me....
to have that opportunity to call upon our Heavenly Father,
while touching one of His treasured, wounded angels here on this earth.
I begged Him to heal Max.
To let him walk again.
I know it is a lot to ask.
The realization was not lost to me.
But, I asked anyway.

Steven and Shyla are two of the most loving, dedicated, loyal parents I have ever seen.
Both of them stay there...in that hospital....nearly 24/7....
going from Makeya's room to Max's, 
then repeating the process over and over and over.
It is one thing to have to endure the grief and anguish already heaped down upon them 
when they lost their little 5 year old son, Quinton, instantly, in the wreck.
It is one thing to have to leave the bedsides of Max and Makeya to attend Quinton's funeral,
only to rush straight back afterwards.
It is one thing to have one child in the hospital paralyzed and unable to walk.
But, to have gone through all of these scenarios,
and end up with not one, but two paralyzed children there,
in separate rooms, on different floors of that children's hospital,
is nearly beyond all human endurance.

It really touched me to see the way both Steven and Shyla interact
with Makeya and her new "normal".
She still has such a long way to go, and they are so patient with her,
even though there is a deep, sad tiredness in their eyes.
She seems to be getting used to her little wheelchair,
and while we were visiting she told her Mama, she wanted to go somewhere.
So, as I was leaving, I walked with them downstairs, so they could take her to the gift shop.
She can use both of her arms, with some difficulty, and even feed herself some.
She is definitely making good progress.
She has started having some feeling in her feet...
first, it was just when they were tickled,
but now she is moving her toes even when they aren't being touched!
She tells Shyla, "They're waking up, Mommy!"
Shyla tells me that the hospital's goal in having Makeya out of rehab and moved into the Ronald McDonald House is slated for sometime towards the end of September.

Quinton's name came up often in our conversation.
The pain in both Steven's and Shyla's eyes at the mere mention of him was difficult to watch.
Though I tried to be strong, I could not hold back the tears that sprung to my eyes
in automatic-knee jerk reaction to the grief I saw in theirs.

I wanted to add a couple of recent updates written by Shyla and her Mom....

"They had to change Max's trach, the one they had on him was too big, and it was leaking air...so they had to put a smaller one on him, so he is still doing good....Makeya says she is feeling sick....think she might be getting the stomach virus..they have already started feeding Max through his feeding tube...please continue to pray

Max is already shocking the docs with the numbers on the vent and how fast they r going down. Max has had his best night since he has been here. Prayers are working plz continue.

It amazes me how much Keya can do already. The way science talks she should have to depend on someone for the rest of her life. But she has proved science does not have the last say. The doctor came and talked to us yesterday and told us that after looking over her case he expected to come in here and tell us that she would have to depend on someone for the rest of her life. But when he came and looked at her and saw that she can do things with her hands that she should not be able to do, that when she turned 18 she could go off to college, get an apartment of her own and she would only have to depend on herself. It saddens me to think my baby girl may not need me later in the future but I am so glad that she will be able to depend on herself even though mommy will still be there to help. Keya will still be able to have kids and be the best mommy she can be. That is one thing Keya always wanted when she got older (30 or 40 years down the road lol) to be a mommy and I was so glad to hear that one day she can be. Keya has already proved the doctors wrong and I believe Max will do the same. He is already shocking them with the numbers on the vent and how low they have already been able to drop them. Doctors can tell you one thing but God ALWAYS has the last say. Never forget that. Plz continue the prayers they are working."

Shyla prefers that there be no photos posted of Max, until a later time.

She is, however, permitting me to post one Kevin took of her and Steven, along with Makeya in her wheelchair, on their way to the hospital gift shop the other day.

And these were the two photos of Makeya that God used 
to prompt me to go visit them during our recent trip.

Please continue to pray hard for this dear family.
God is definitely hearing and answering,
and we are believing Him to do even greater things for them.
Again, stay tuned and watch what amazing things our God can do!!!

If  anyone would like to send the Brown family a card of encouragement,
please contact me, and I will provide the mailing address to you, individually.

If anyone would like to make a monetary donation to this family,
there are two ways to donate.
1.  An account has been set up for this purpose at a local bank.

Please mail donations to:

Citizen's Deposit Bank & Trust
P. O. Box 9
Vanceburg, KY  41179
Please write "For Brown Family" on the memo line of check.
2.  You may donate online by clicking HERE.

Most of all, please continue to lift them to our Heavenly Father in prayer.

(To read previous posts about the Brown Family,
 and 3RD UPDATE,


  1. You will know that I have few words for this post. It's hard to type when your eyes are filled with tears. And yet, I have to say, not all of them are sad. For there are good things in this post, too. Answers to prayers. Miracles measured in progress and surprises. Beauty in a young girl's smile.

    I continue to be so touched by the stories of these three children - Obed, Max, and Makeya. I see in them the tragedy of a broken world in which terrible things can happen to innocent ones. And yet, I see a God that provides incredible strength in the midst of the most trying circumstances. I see a God who reaches people with comfort and peace. I see a God of unending and boundless love.

    I see God.

    Thank you for sharing about your visit with these dearest people. May God continue to work in every situation. I'm praying for medical science to stand amazed at the work of the Great Physician as He works miraculous healing. And I am praying for the work that He will continue to do in your life as you interact with these families.

    The story isn't finished yet...


    1. YES, dear friend, there are some happy tears that came from these wonderful meetings. I am still in awe that God allowed me to have those precious moments holding Baby Obed AND with the dear Brown family. Only He could do what was done in this. Yes, let us keep praying for God to work His wonders and confound the wise in the medical field. That every, single person who witnesses these miracles will HAVE to stand back in amazement at the power of our awesome, Almighty GOD! Thank you so much for your dear prayers, support, friendship, and encouragement. You mean so much to me! God bless you....no, the story isn't over, and I look forward to watching it unfold together. :)

  2. I was checking your site daily to get an update on these special people and wondering why nothing was being posted! I'm so glad He orchestrated the events so that you were able to meet and pray with both of these families! God is good, all the time!

    Our God is without limits!

    Outside of these updates, I am thankful I have come across your blog. What a blessing your devotions are to me personally. Thank-you for allowing Him to touch and witness to so many people!

    1. Oh, Michelle!! Your words brought me to tears! Thank you ever so much! I am so sorry it has taken me so long to do the update...and I am so grateful for your continued concern and prayers for these dear ones. I so appreciate your visit today. You really blessed me. :)

  3. Wow, 2 things struck me most, as I read this today. Number one, you are both so right that God has the final say. It DOESN'T matter what the doctors say. God created the world, the people...everything! He CAN heal someone, 100%, despite the "odds".

    And the second thing, if I may, is how much compassion you have. I cannot sit here and think of one other person who cares about others so much. (Which is really sad, but factual.) I never hear you complain. You always put others first. You are the type of person I wish I could be. :) I hope you'll post this, because I'm sure others agree. The world needs more people like you. :)

    1. Oh, sweet friend! I am SO deeply moved and touched by your words! I just had to cry...I feel very unworthy of such kindness, and truly there is nothing good in me. JESUS makes all the difference, and He is truly all the world to me. I could never express how much you consistently encourage and bless me. I am so grateful to have you in my life. God bless you!

  4. So glad to see an update. I love how he orchestrated all of this and you were able to spend time with these people. How blessed they must have been by your presence!

    1. I love how He orchestrated it, too. I still am amazed at the way He did it all. Oh, He is a faithful GOD, Who is so good to all. I am truly the one who was blessed...I will never forget those precious moments....to God be the glory!!

  5. Thank you for the update Cheryl. These children and parents too remain in my prayers always. All that Makeya has been through and she still has a smile that could light up any room is a miracle in its self. And to Max: Come on sweetie, you can pull through this. You've already exceeded the drs expectations. Prove those drs wrong!

    1. God is surely working...I just know He is going to do great things through this dear family's tragedy! Thank you for your consistent prayers and love for the Browns.

  6. I am so glad that God sent you to see these two families. He is an amazing Lord! You are a special and precious lady, and I pray that God will use you in amazing way to touch others.
    God bless.

    1. Oh, Chris! Your words were so dear to me right now. Thank you ever so much. You are a consistent blessing to me, and I can't thank you enough! God bless you!!

  7. Thank you for the update! I am in awe as to how all of this was orchestrated. I have been thinking about you a lot lately. I hope all is well :)


    1. I have been thinking of you so much, too!!! I have meant to head over to your place so many times, and it seems like things have been so busy, I just hadn't made it there lately. It is amazing how God brings us to each other's minds when we are going through difficult places....I think of you so often in prayer and pray for you and Daniel. I know God is working behind the scenes and in ways that we don't see. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers...I have been very ill again....so keep up the prayers, if you think of me. :) Much love to you, sweet friend.

  8. This story just brings me to tears everytime I read it! God is faithful and I love how it was said that God has the last word! He can heal as He wills! May God bless you for sharing!

    1. Yes, praise His name! We are believing HIM for the healing of all three of these little ones!! He is able! Thank you so much for stopping by and for leaving encouragement behind. :)

  9. I have had to wipe tears away as I read this... what a wonderful update on both families... thank you for keeping them before us so that we can keep them before the Father. What brave families.... what a great God we serve. Thank you.

    1. Bless your heart! You have such a kind, caring, compassionate spirit. I can't thank you enough for the prayers you have prayed and continue to pray for these dear ones. God bless you!

  10. Wow, what stories! I'll definitely be keeping these families in my prayers and thanking God for the miracles He has worked.

    1. Thank you so much for your prayers, Chantel! Truly God is hearing, and He is working!!!

  11. I am so glad things worked out so you could fit this in with your reunion trip. Thank you for sharing your story with us here at “Tell Me a Story.” http://letmetelluastory.blogspot.com/

    1. Me, too, Hazel!! Only God could have orchestrated it all...I stand in awe of our mighty God!! Thanks for stopping by and for the link-up!!

  12. What an amazing story. So touching, thank you for sharing. I will now be praying!!

    1. Thank you so much, Bailley!! I am grateful for your visit and your prayers. God bless you!!

  13. Cheryl, words are hard to come by after posts like this. All I can really say is there is such a profound spilling over of love, awe, sorrow and hope rising from this story. Jesus is here. Thank you for wearing your heart on the pages of your blog. And praying now. xoxo

    1. Oh, Amber! Your words of encouragement are always so precious to me! Thank you for your dear, sweet comments, and for being the consistent encourager you are to me. Much love to you, sweet friend.

  14. This is my first time hearing of this. Thanks for posting this. My prayers are with this family.

    1. Thank you so very much, Trish! Your prayers and concern are so appreciated. So thankful for your visit today!

  15. Thanks Cheryl for your faithfulness in posting about Baby Obed and the Brown Family. You are doing such a good job in sharing about them so that people can pray.

    1. Thank you for your prayers, Judith! My heart is so burdened for these dear ones...so thankful Jesus has broad shoulders and can carry our load, no matter how heavy it gets.

  16. Cheryl, This was one of the most read posts from last week's link up. I featured it this week! So many prayers have been sent up for these two families. I am glad that you have been faithful to keep us updated.
    God bless
    So Much at Home

    1. Thank you SO much, Chris!! It blessed me so much to know this! I appreciate you and the mention on your blog. God bless you!! Much love to you and your family.