Adoption,  Discouragement,  Faith,  Family,  Grief and Loss,  Health,  Heart,  Hope,  Parenting,  Special Needs,  Strength

Throw Me a Lifejacket – Part Two

By @PatDoneyNBC5 on @Deenamadams

This is part two of my son-in-law, Pat’s, story about my adopted grandson, Hudson. If you missed part one, read it here first.

Today’s post picks up where Jesus instantly calmed the storm while on the sea with his fearful disciples.

CLICK TO TWEET: Throw Me a Lifejacket – When Faith Collides With a Storm – Part Two. By @PatDoneyNBC5 on @Deenamadams. A story of hope amid a devastating diagnosis.

What that moment felt like to the observers on the boat would probably have been hard to describe. I imagine them looking around at one another trying to see if their eyes had deceived them. 

The story says they were afraid, asking who this man was who was able to get the wind and waves to obey Him. He had saved their lives when they were certain death was approaching.  

And in that moment, instead of saying “you’re welcome,” or reinforcing that they were actually in a terrible situation, Jesus simply says, “Why were you afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

I know what I would be thinking if I was one of the guys standing there.  “Why was I afraid? Um, because I was about to drown! Did you not see the waves, wind, thunder and lightning? Did you not feel the water rising on our feet on deck? I was about to die and never see the people I love most ever again, and you want to know why I was afraid?”

The storm had taken Jesus’s friends to the brink of survival and yet, He must have known it was an obstacle they could handle, even if they didn’t.  

It was a great reminder the God who is powerful enough to create the oceans, galaxies, trees, and the beating heart in our chest is also able to understand the big picture much more than people with brains about the size of a junior football. 

That can be a reality that’s hard to swallow sometimes, but it’s also comforting to remember no storm ever exists without the One able to stop it at any moment being aware of the wind and waves. 

Nearly four years after Hudson’s diagnosis, Sheleena and I still have nights we ask questions of why we and Hudson were given the difficult challenges he faces daily. It’s hard to understand why the incredible son we love so much has to work so hard to use his left hand. Why, at four-years-old, he is unable to speak or fully use his legs.  

And yet, even with his inability to vocalize words, the lessons he teaches me through the day-to-day fight are blasted in my direction as if screamed through a megaphone. 

His positivity is infectious. Everyone loves Hudson. He has friends who know and love him deeply even though they’ve never heard his voice.

His smile and laugh are able to capture the affection of people in the room, and often gets me to switch the TV from sports to his favorite cartoon show because his smile and laugh are so convincing.  

He is incredible and, for the record, absolutely brilliant. 

At two-years-old he began operating a communication device that uses his eyesight to speak to us. Simply, whatever he looks at on the tablet screen for more than a half a second is spoken by a voice we have chosen that now is, for us, Hudson’s voice. I have asked many times to switch it to an Australian accent, but that idea continues to be shot down by Sheleena. Think of how great it would be to hear my son call me “mate!”  

Regardless, the technology has completely changed our lives. For a little boy who is fully “there” mentally, trapped in a body that won’t allow him to speak the words he so desperately wants to share, this device has opened doors we thought would never be possible. 

Helping Hudson fly past preconceived limitations has almost become a new hobby for the family.

And while I sometimes still find myself angry at the situation and asking God “why,” I know the years that have passed have helped make progress.  

The storm caused that. 

And even though I still ask God every day to make this storm disappear, I’m confident He has reasons that go beyond my understanding. I’m holding on to that even as the waves crash and the wind blows.  

Because if the definition of our “storm” is Hudson, throw me a lifejacket. I am all in and would be if I had the choice to do it over again.

Even though life is hard some days, my son is absolutely worth the fight. 

About the Author:

Huntington Beach native, Pat Doney, is married to his best friend, Sheleena. They have two amazing children—Barlow and Hudson—and love living in North Texas.

Before moving to Texas in 2013, he worked as a reporter/anchor in Virginia, South Carolina, Arkansas, and Kentucky. Pat is the NBC Dallas weekend sports anchor and reporter and serves as the host of NBC 5’s Big Game Friday high school football show, while consistently covering the Dallas Cowboys, Texas Rangers, Dallas Stars and Dallas Mavericks.

During his twelve years as a sports reporter, Pat has won three Edward R. Murrow awards and is a three-time Emmy award winner, including for his coverage of the Sochi Olympics. 

He’s a Jesus follower with a passion for storytelling. 

E-mail Pat | Follow Pat on Twitter | Like Pat on Facebook | Find Pat on Instagram

A note from Deena: I hope you’ve enjoyed the story about my precious grandson, Hudson. He’s such a gift to our family. I’d like to share a song with you that meant a lot to me when we received Hudson’s diagnosis, and still does today. I pray it ministers to your soul.

Join the conversation. Have you found joy and spiritual growth through a difficult storm? How have you seen God work in and around you to provide hope when life circumstances seem hopeless? What aspect of Pat’s story about Hudson’s journey inspires you or gives you hope?

As a Jesus girl for more than thirty years, Deena Adams understands how important hope is to daily life, which fuels her passion to inspire others through hope-filled fiction based on true to life stories. She is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency and is a multi-award-winning writer, an active ACFW member, and ACFW Virginia president. Connect with Deena through her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.