This is the next in the series about ordinary people who are doing extraordinary things. I am calling this series Leaps of Faith.
Imagine if you will, both you and your spouse, in this case husband, are busy preparing for a festive occasion- your daughter’s 3rd birthday party. Your daughter is away for the night sleeping at her grandparents. Your husband comes in from taking out the trash, out of breath and white as a ghost. He says he does not feel good. What would you do? Would you take him to the doctor or dismiss him? Luckily, the subject of my next leaps of faith profile knew something was wrong and immediately took her husband to immediate care. They sent her immediately to the hospital and after a long ordeal- the final diagnosis- Congestive Heart Failure.
As I have said before God has lead me to some uncharted territory with this series. But this story has hit a little too close to home. You see my family has a history of cardiomyopathy. We have struggled with it for years. My grandmother died of congestive heart failure. I myself was born without part of the tricuspid valve in my heart. But this story is not about me- it is about the wonderful young lady that God put in my path for this series.
Jessica Daly is one of my new favorite friends. We met over lunch one day and what was supposed to be a short (maybe hour lunch) turned into several hours. Good thing I had the afternoon free.
Since the day her husband was diagnosed, Jessica has been the primary breadwinner and caregiver for her family. For the first three years after her husband was diagnosed she did everything for her husband because he was still recovering. He could not do anything for himself. Just in the past two years she has stopped doing all that. Imagine trying to hold down a fulltime job and take care of a sick family member. She said she got through these trying times by praying a lot. And because of this she developed a more personal relationship with God. She knew that nobody could help her except for Him. She began to realize that instead of being mad at the doctors and nurses she began to pray for them. She saw how they were tools that God used. She now prays for them to have guidance and knowledge.
At this point, Jessica said she felt so alone. Both sets of parents and her sister did help her out- but no one truly understood what she was going through. During a conversation at work, she found that there was going to be a caregivers conference. She was so excited- she could not believe that she could go to something that was catered just for caregivers needs. A conference she thought would be all for the caregiver, their needs: emotional and physical.
However when she arrived she soon realized that this conference was not what she thought it was. The conference was more informational than spiritual. The focus was on resources for those that they were caring for. She felt very disappointed. On the way back from the conference her husband asked her if she thought that maybe God was telling her she needed to start a ministry for caregivers. Because of all people, she had the firsthand experience in being a caregiver.
From that question a wonderful ministry was formed. She started out with a blog and website. Then she wrote a book about her experience called Brian’s Update (She told me that one of her high school dreams was to write a book, she never thought that God would make her dreams come true with this situation.) Look for the review of this book later this week. She has now branched out to speaking engagements. Did you know that one of her dreams was to travel as well? How awesome is it that God has used this situation to make her dreams come true.
Jessica admits at the beginning of the ministry she did not know what she was doing but God placed people in her path who did. She has found that you have to have an open mind about everything. And not to be afraid to ask for help and to ask questions.
Three years into her husband’s diagnosis, Jessica almost lost her daughter. A freak accident occurred and she said she did question God saying hey did you forget about the fact that I am dealing with Brian here. Luckily after a four month recovery times her daughter is back to normal. Jessica said with tears in her eyes that this was the time when she struggled the most. She said that she had to learn to be a caregiver to your child whom she said was worse than being a caregiver to her husband. At least, her husband could tell her what was wrong and what he needed. But her daughter was only six. A six year olds vocabulary is not as advanced. Jessica says that her daughter Taylor is very adaptable. And that from ages of three to seven she grew in the hospital. In fact, she thought vacations were going to the big hospital in Raleigh. This adaptability came in handy when Jessica heard the call of God. He kept sending her messages that said you are too comfortable and that I can’t do with you what I want while you are still here in this tiny town of Goldsboro. He kept pointing her to readings about Abraham. Jessica said she did not want to listen. In a conversation with her husband on night, her husband said that God was telling him the same thing. So the search begin to find a place to go. Her husband scoured job listings online and found that Liberty University in Virginia was looking for librarians. Jessica applied and less than a month ago Jessica, Brian and Taylor started on their new adventure. Can’t wait to see what wonderful things will happen in their lives.
Let me leave you with this thought from the book of Job.
“You have granted me life and favor, And Your care has preserved my spirit.
And these things You have hidden in Your heart;I know that this was with You”
Isn’t it amazing what we can do when we listen and rely on God for all our needs?