Heart for the Disabled #4: Misty, Cody & Natalie

  • Jan. 11, 2018
  • #9314

This Valentine's Day, bless the life of a family with two special needs children by sending a card or favorite Bible verse.

Misty and family

Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada; welcome to “Heart for the Disabled.”

All this week I’ve been sharing stories of families with special needs — moms and dads and disabled kids who really need the encouragement of Christ. And oh my goodness, you have helped me give that encouragement as you’ve written and sent in your notes, Valentine’s cards, and sent in gift cards and letters. For those of you who haven’t yet written, I have a family today who really needs an uplifting word.

Misty and her husband Larry* are parents to 13-year-old Cody and 11-year-old Natalie. It sounds like an ideal family, until you realize that both Cody and Natalie have been diagnosed with autism, cerebral palsy, developmental and intellectual disabilities, orthopedic problems, and learning disabilities. Cody and Natalie are sweet children, but with all these disabilities they have, they are also non-verbal. Yes, they are able to walk, but both children must be constantly and closely monitored as they can fall very easily. One bright spot in all this is that Cody is learning to use a speech device, which is huge. Any small improvement is celebrated in this family. Any bit of good news is always welcomed with gratitude and humility. Why? Well, with so many disabling conditions, life with Cody and Natalie is exceedingly hard.

For instance, it’s always Misty who brings her children to Family Retreat. Her husband Larry* just isn’t able to make it due to work. So, Misty brings along her mother, Rosemary, who always goes the extra mile to help her daughter and grandchildren. Misty and Rosemary are so very, very grateful for the many volunteers at Family Retreat who pitch in and lend a hand, making all the work so much easier, because although Natalie and Cody are the definition of joy, they do require constant supervision for their own safety.

When you think of the fatigue and the constant 24/7 non-stop caregiving, it’s a true blessing to watch Misty and her mother. They are always smiling, always looking on the bright side, and always going the extra mile for Natalie and Cody. They are radiant with the joy of the Lord. But as parents, Larry* and Misty need your encouragement. It’s the dead of winter right now, and the glow of Family Retreat is far behind them. Every day with every mealtime; every morning and evening routine; every afternoon activity and every go-to-bed routine is a constant challenge. Just brushing Natalie and Cody’s teeth; just helping this 13-year-old and 11-year old with their toileting routines, well, as I said, it’s constant 24/7.

So friend, here is a family who would very much appreciate an encouraging reminder from God's Word. I know that God can use your words, your favorite scriptures, maybe the words to your favorite hymn or poem. I don’t need to tell you—let the Holy Spirit tell you what to write, and when you do, remember to pray for Larry* and Misty and their children. Oh, and don’t forget Grandmom Rosemary, too. Send your encouragements to Larry* and Misty in the mail to Joni and Friends, Post Office Box 3333, Agoura Hills, California 91376.  If you’ve missed any details, you can always go to my radio page at joniandfriends.org and catch them all, plus see a photo. We’re even posting it on our Facebook page. I know your note of encouragement will really bless the hearts of this family. So, write today to Joni and Friends, Post Office Box 3333, Agoura Hills, California 91376. From all of us at Joni and Friends “Thank you for having a heart of the disabled.” Thanks for listening today on Joni and Friends. 

* Correction: In the audio file, Misty's husband is incorrectly named "Clinton." The correct name is Larry.

© Joni and Friends

 

 

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