Faith, Grace, Hope, Pain and suffering, parenting


I’m crying UNCLE on 2016!

Can I just say I’m over it? It seems I enter every year with great expectations, waiting for God to totally blow my mind with good things.

So far, I’m still waiting…

Let’s review the last six months. My oldest had surgery in December. A very painful surgery. My kids lost their dad unexpectedly in April. I was sick the entire month of May.

Last week, my kids watched as they rolled me away into surgery. I can’t imagine the fear they faced knowing they had just lost their dad. Yes, it was a routine surgery, but I am certain there was a huge amount of anxiety rushing through their minds.

(On the bright side, my surgery was just three days before Blake’s birthday. The first thing I said post-op was, “I need someone to get Blake a birthday cake Friday.” The boy had FOUR birthday cakes: ice cream cake, white cake, cookie cake, and cheesecake! He hit the jackpot!)

Friday morning, as I was still moving very slowly from surgery, Blake calls me to his sister’s room. I was in no hurry…wouldn’t really matter if I was since I can barely walk.

“Mom,” he said, “you need to hurry. I think she’s having a seizure or something.”

I got to my daughter’s room to find Cassie lying in bed, grunting and drooling everywhere. She was unresponsive to my voice and to my attempts to awaken her. She just kept grunting. Drooling. Rolling around in bed. Pupils fully dilated.

I sent my son after my parents. My phone was somewhere in the house, but not where I needed it. My mom and I knelt by her bed, praying and attempting to calm her while my dad called 911.

My background is that of neuro nurse. I’ve taken care of seizing patients before, but nothing compares to watching your own child in a full blown tonic-clonic seizure. Can I just say there is no fear like that of seeing your child ill, helpless? Wondering what is going to happen. Wondering if she will pull out of it. Wondering how your other children are going to handle yet another loss, another traumatic event. Wondering how you will pay yet ANOTHER $5000 deductible.

So many fears. So many worries. And yet the only thing that matters in the moment is that precious life in the bed before you, that precious life you brought into the world.

Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, Cassie began to come around. With slurred speech, she began to ask about my sister-in-law. She asked why she was making that noise. With everyone gathered around her, she asked who was hurt, what was going on.

By the time the paramedics arrived, she was responding. She knew the date, where she was, everyone gathered around her. She was still struggling with her speech, but she was improving every moment.

We loaded her on the ambulance, and I rode beside her. Holding her hand. Comforting her. Explaining all the monitors. Helping her understand exactly what was happening. I sent out text messages to those I could think of, begging for prayers. Neighbors saw the ambulance and stopped to check on us.

After several hours in the emergency room, blood and urine tests, CT scan of the head, we found…nothing. She was back to normal.

But I’m not sure I will ever be back to normal.

It’s possible it could be a once in a lifetime seizure. Perhaps brought on by stress (we’ve had our share this year). Perhaps brought on by lack of sleep (she’s been playing hard this summer).

But how do you go to sleep at night after an event such as this one? What if it happens again? What if she’s in her room on one end of the house and I don’t hear her? What if she goes unresponsive again and can’t call for help? What if?

The questions and fears are unending. The visions, forever imprinted on our minds, haunt us. We struggle—once again—to return to a sense of normalcy, whatever that may look like.


You will keep in perfect peace
    all who trust in you,
all whose thoughts are fixed on you!
Isaiah 26:3


It seems every event in my life brings me right back to this truth: Keep my thoughts focused on Him.

The waves crash around me. The storm rages. The winds howl.

“Stay focused on me,” He calls.

My eyes wander to the pain and the loss, to the hurt and rejection. I wonder how I can ever lead my kids back to a place of healing, of wholeness. I worry about them, their future.

“Stop worrying. Seek my face. Focus on all of the blessings I’ve poured out on you,” He gently reminds me.

I worry about mounting medical bills. I struggle with the reality that every time I think I might get ahead, something happens and knocks me back down. With three teenagers and college only a few years away, I’m facing the most expensive years of raising kids and I bear the entire load of providing financially.

“I am your Jehovah Jireh. Remember how I carefully provided for your every need, every step of this journey?”

The burden is heavy, the future so uncertain. I wonder how I will stand up under the weight.

“Cast your cares on me because I care for you.”

Yes, this year (and a great number of recent years) has been tough! I’m finished…ready for a break. I find myself wondering how, when I will see the blessings of the Lord poured out, the answers to my prayers.

And yet, when I change my perspective, I realize how many incredible blessings are in my life. I see the hand of my Savior, guiding and protecting. I recognize His sovereignty that protected my precious daughter in her time of need. I know He somehow arranged every detail—my daughter was home instead of at a friend’s house as planned, my son was up early and heard her, and so many other details—to keep her safe and pull her out of it.

I know He has provided for me in the past, and I know He won’t stop now. He is trustworthy. He is faithful.

And when I remember His goodness and His grace and His character, when I focus on Him instead of the storm raging around me, He keeps me in perfect peace.



34 thoughts on “Uncle!!!!”

  1. My heart breaks for you, but rejoices with your trust. “Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him.” Praying for you and your family.


  2. Dear Dena,

    I have been following your blog posts for a while.
    This is the first time I’ll be replying however.
    I know the feeling of “…where are You, oh my God?” But we will continue to hope & trust in His goodness, for He never fails. When we pass through flood waters, we will never drown. When we go through great trouble, surely He has promised to be with us through it all. When we walk through the fires of oppression, we will not be burned up. The flames will not consume us (Isa. 43:2). He will never bring to shame those who trust in Him (Isa. 49:23).
    “Your sun shall never set; nor shall your moon go down – for the Lord will be your everlasting light; and the days of your mourning all will end” Isa 60:20.
    I would like you to know that I breathed up a prayer on your account after reading this post, & even now, I’ll be praying earnestly for you & your family.
    So help me God.
    It is well.
    Love in Christ Jesus.


  3. Yep, there’s only one way to get through this. I have no doubt blessing will come, but when I do not know. I pray your daughter will be well!


  4. Dena, the Lord gave me a scripture for you immediately after reading this: Deuteronomy 33:27. As I began reading Matthew Henry’s commentary, this was also do you: “Those who make God their habitation, shall have all the comforts and benefits of a habitation in Him (Ps. 91:1)”
    This season in yours and your children’s life will be foundational to your future. As always, I admire your warrior spirit and will walk with you to see your victories and your breakthroughs. God bless you sister in Christ.


  5. Life is very unrelenting at times, long stretches of time. I am always repeating to myself that God has got it. He knows the outcome. It isn’t easy, and sometimes not comforting, but He will not let us out of his sight. Prayers for your daughter for a full recovery. 🙂


  6. Dena you have Power over all the power of the enemy! Take control, use the Host of Heaven which God gave us to war on our behalf! I declare everyday to for the Host to protect my family and I! Here are some great declarations to get the Host in motion!

    Father you said whatever we declare and decree you will establish for us and so:

    Father, I Declare and Decree the following for my family and I:

    I invite the Host of Heaven to come and war on our behalf! Host of Heaven destroy the enemy anywhere in near or around my
    family and I. Destroy any plots or plans they have for us. Destroy any platforms they are operating from. Send them to a dry
    place! Go now Army of God!

    I take power over all the power of the enemy attacking my family member with infirmity with sickness
    with disease and I command the the Host of Heaven to go in there and pull down the strong holds being
    built around my family member tormenting them or doing anything to them! I will not tolerate darkness in our home all
    darkness is to be dismantled and removed now! it is my right and joint heir for Jesus Christ he did it in hell on the third day
    and then he gave us that right and privilege I am going to start doing it. I am wanting revelation. I want something that is
    going to change my life right now and my family’s life right now. I choose to impact this earth for you in this kingdom time I
    want to be a an example of someone who loves you who sold out to you and I give you permission to use me
    anyway you want so start downloading!

    Father you are our physician who promised you would place none of these diseases upon us you are our
    healer you are our deliverer you are our way maker you are our miracle worker they are from the enemy
    but you are the Almighty God can release us from these illnesses and make us whole
    Scripture says we have the last word!

    Every morning before u get out of bed and open your mouth say:

    Father I ask for and receive double grace this day for abundant life for my family and I.

    Father live through me and every word I speak, every move I make would be Him through me and that
    includes my job as parent. I pray every morning that He would parent through me and He would guide
    my every interaction with my children. I pray that He would be the perfect Heavenly Father to my

    Father you are the most high God!
    I want your presence in our homes!
    I want you to invade every family member’s life we have.

    I invite heaven to invade our homes
    I invite the Holy Spirit and give him permission to come and invade our homes
    I declare sickness and disease have to leave our homes
    I declare our mental sharpness and mental wholeness is coming to our family
    I declare the enemy has no right in us or around us we do not tolerate the enemy taking control in our
    lives we kick u out!

    Father, Your will be done in our lives as it is in heaven
    We don’t serve the curse!
    The healing power of God is working in us right now


  7. Do not tolerate the enemy in you and your family’s lives! You have Power over ALL the power of the enemy!


  8. Praying for you and your precious children. Your ministry has been a blessing to me and I am praying for God’s blessing, provision, mercy and protection for all of you.


  9. I’m so sorry about your daughter…that must have been so hard!! Whew…sometimes life just has way too much to bear!!
    Father…we pray for times of refreshing…restoration…healing …financial provision…..deliverance from evil for Dena and her precious family. Come swiftly with your mercy, power, new strength and comfort!!


  10. My prayers are with you and your family 🙏🏻 You are a inspiration to many for the endurance and perseverance you display in you struggles with life 🙏🏻👌🏻


  11. Dena,

    I know it seems like when it rains it pours. My ex-husband who was living out of state, now has Traumatic Brain Injury from a motorcycle accident. So no child support, but I know God will provide as long as I am a faithful steward with what I have. I keep my mind set on God and on things above and cast my cares on Him who cares for us.


    1. Yes! Keep your eyes on Him! I keep hearing God say, “Just hold on…I’ve got this!” It’s in the struggles we learn to trust Him. Love your faith, and praying God makes a way for you!


  12. I had this in my email unread for the past few weeks. I guess today was the appropriate day to read it, as it has Blessed me today. the storm around me hurts with the one I love who has all but said that my love for him is stressing him out with all he’s going through. This testimony has confirmed what has already been instructed to me, which is to continue to pray, love from afar and let Him do the Work He has already started, and keep Standing. Cast me cares upon Him. Wow!


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