A special thank you to our former blog followers for being patient as we transition to a new format. If you are interested in reading any previous blogs from the last three years, they can still be viewed at https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/malachicarroll
Later this week I will have the opportunity to share Malachi’s story with a local church. As I have been praying and preparing for the day the Lord has been showing me some amazing things and allowing me to view portions of our story in a different light. I can’t wait to share these with you, but I would like to wait until next week after I have had time to thoroughly sort out my thoughts.
Reminiscing on Malachi’s story can be a dangerous task for this momma as it forces me to re-live things I had hoped to have forgotten. While we have overcome so many obstacles in three years, we have also experienced a heart wrenching sorrow that can only be felt by families dealing with medically fragile children. I hate being able to remember times that I had to prepare my heart for Malachi’s passing. In those moments I had to lay eyes on my son, not confident that I would see him alive again. It makes my chest ache just thinking about it.
But God did bring our Malachi through, and he has surpassed all of the expectations that the medical world had for his life. Yes, he has severe delays and is affected physically. We are told by charts that he functions at a 6 months level mentally. the ventricles of his brain have been damaged beyond medical repair and much of his brain matter is gone. But Jake and I put zero stock into those reports as we know that we have a wild, silly, three year old boy on our hands…with a BIG personality.
Lately Malachi has spent most of his days doing his absolute best to get into things. He cannot move his legs except at the hip joint, and his hands have very limited function as he is often tight fisted so you wouldn’t imagine that he could be as mischievous as he often is. Tonight, for example, while I worked on the dishes he managed to open the pantry and push his small chair (on wheels) from the kitchen to the living room. He was very proud of the achievement, and so were we! If mommy tells him not to color on the table, he will use his little elbows to slide the paper away and get to that table yet again. He is also in a destructive phase where he likes to knock everything within reach onto the ground to hear it “thud”.
Ephesians 3:20-21 “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”
One of the struggles that Jake and I have as parents to a special needs little boy is how do we teach him about God? In so many ways we feel that he has spent more time with heavenly beings than we can even grasp. I firmly believe that angels surrounded our little warrior during his rough start in life. But we still feel that even though the challenge is greater, it is our duty to raise him to love and know the Lord. We have been working on a repetitive prayer before meals that Malachi can participate in, and this week he has been independently saying the word “God” when we pray. This has been such a special milestone to us, and simply hearing those sweet lips utter such a magnificent name is so valuable to us. We also sing A LOT of praise and worship in our home!
Malachi’s language continues to improve and his words are starting to sound more clear. He is still working on mentally attaching words to their meanings, but he is daily getting better with this. If I say “juice” he will pucker his lips, expecting sour apple juice. But our most humorous moments from this week have come each morning as Malachi wakes up calling his favorite dog, Gunner.
Each and every day we are finding something new and amazing that Malachi can do. But as I read Ephesians 3:20-21 I find myself feeling foolish for being so amazed at the works of God. OF COURSE Malachi can do these amazing things in spite of his severe brain damage. OF COURSE God is doing more than we can imagine in Malachi’s life and body. And all we are to do is give Him the glory….and thank Him for showing His power through Malachi’s life.
I absolutely love the story of the blind man found in John 9. The disciples come across a man who was blind from birth, and they asked Jesus why the man was born that way. Jesus replied “This happened so that the works of God might be displayed in Him.” Jesus then healed the man completely. What a powerful reminder that sometimes God uses people like my Malachi to show the rest of the world what He is capable of doing.
Please keep Malachi in your prayers this week. Pray that his brain continues to reconnect and communicate correctly with his body. Pray that his stomach issues subside so that a new level of independence can be reached for our family. Pray that his body and brain get the much needed sleep they require, in spite of the abnormal brain spikes and seizures. Pray that God will continue to do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine in the life of Malachi.
Jake, Leah, and Malachi