I was born January 1974 in Barbourville, KY; the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains & the Cumberland Gap. In 2005 moved to Nashville, TN where my family and I resided for 10 years. Then we packed up the wagons and went west now living in Dallas, TX.
I started this journey in 1996 pursuing full time music evangelism. From the beginnings in a small, rural town of Barbourville, KY, music and the church have always been a part of who I am. I was singing at the age of 3 and playing the piano at 4, but at 14 I realized that a life long 'church goer' wouldn't make you a 'Heaven goer'! That is where I began my walk with the Lord.
Sometimes it's a challenge to walk in the path that God has before us. Why, because life happens. We are real people living in a real world with real problems. I know what it's like to be a teenager and diagnosed with bipolar disorder and wrestle with depression, anxiety, fear, and hopelessness. However, I always knew God had a plan, but I questioned where He was. I was exhausted by other's comments '…God knows what's going on…God's going to take care of this…' at which I would then mentally process a reply, 'If God really knew what was going on then why hasn't he done something!'
Mary and Martha felt the same way after they sent for Jesus to come and heal their brother Lazarus. It appeared Jesus was 4 days late. Lazarus had died. But, when you have the Resurrection in your presence 'it's all good'! You may think Jesus is late but His watch is not broken. And I suppose you can say He showed up right on time for me, too!
A final thought for those of you who may struggle with this and similar disorders; in addition to seeking God, please seek out professional counseling and medical treatment. I did both!
On another note, I married a TEXAN! That's not a big deal unless you are from Texas! In 2005 Melissa and I signed the line 'for better or worse, in sickness and health'. You know the phrases. It's when life happens words must become actions. Case in point during 2008, with Melissa about 5 months pregnant, we were told our little girl would be born with Down's syndrome. While all children, regardless of how they are 'packaged', are a gift from God, the roller coaster of emotions was set into motion. We opted for a second opinion and the test indicated the 'markers' or indicators for Down's syndrome had more than tripled. Take note that one of the markers for Down's syndrome are excessive folds of skin on the back of the neck. We saw all the markers with our own eyes but asked for one last option, an amniocentesis. At this time we were asked if the test came back positive if we were considering terminating the pregnancy.
Over our adult lives we had been critical and perhaps judgmental of those who had chosen to end pregnancies for whatever reason. This was not an option for us. But, let me tell you the anguish of processing those moments was difficult. Our Faith was in test but not in question.
After the third test and a two week wait, the results were in. It was 'all good'! The doctors thought they made a mistake but we know God intervened!
Now remember those excessive folds of skin on the back of the neck? When Emme Blu was born, two weeks early, she weighed 9 lbs. 13oz. The excessive folds were FAT! Praise the Lord for FAT!
Within days of that big delivery, I felt something wasn't right with her cranium and parental instincts kicked in pretty fast for this first time dad. At 4 days old we brought that to the attention of her pediatrician. Instantly, we were referred to a plastics and neurosurgeon. She had Metopic Craniosynostosis. In simpler terms she did not have a 'soft spot' in the middle suture that goes from the forehead to the crown. It had already closed and calcified, therefore surgery was necessary. At 5 1/2 months old Emme had a craniofacial reconstruction.
The first morning post-op when I walked into the hospital room I did not recognize Emme. Her head had swollen twice its normal size and my heart was torn out of my chest. But after nine days at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital, we brought home a healthy happy baby girl. She is now 5 years old and you can see from the picture above, she's beautiful.
I know this is a bit lengthy but I want you to see not what we've been through, but what God has done! There is no pity where there is praise! There is no helplessness when there is Hope! And there is no fear where there is faith!
My final thought is simple. The will of God will not lead you where the grace of God can't keep you.
Read more on metopic suture synostosis: About Craniosynostosis
Read more on bipolar disorder: Introduction to Bipolar Disorder