God's Brave Women - Marisa's Story
I watch my 5-year-old boy with awe and wonder. He uses his short fingers to communicate through sign language, all of which we have learned alongside one another. He would let me sing the “Wheels on the Bus” and read We’re Going on a Bear Hunt repeatedly all day long, his current favorites. He loves to watch Wheel of Fortune, and he squeals with excitement when Mickey and Minnie make their guest appearances during Disney week. My little chef asks me to bake and crack eggs almost every day! He goes to kindergarten with his non-disabled peers and knows all his letters and sounds. His smile lights up any room, a grin from ear to ear. Our boy brings joy to all who know him, and we are blessed to call him our own.
Over five years ago, God called us on an adventure. One we never would’ve chosen or imagined, but one we have learned to embrace and love. This journey has drawn us into a deeper relationship with one another and our Heavenly Father. If you haven’t had the opportunity to check out the poem “Welcome to Holland” by Emily Perl Kingsley, please do because these words resonated with me. When we dreamed of having a family we had all these expectations, but God had something different in mind.
The Bible says, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those to love Him.” (1 Corinth. 2:9) When we were halfway through our pregnancy, we received a prenatal diagnosis that our son would be born with multiple heart defects and Down syndrome. From the day we received his diagnosis, we had unanswered questions and did the only thing we knew to do… we turned to the Lord on behalf of our precious boy, Beau Maverick. I remember it so clearly. My husband gently reminded me in the weeks following that Beau belongs to the Lord. So, from the very beginning this has been our open-handed posture and prayer. Over and over again we came to God saying, “Lord, guide us and equip us to be his parents for as many days or years as you entrust him to us. He belongs to you. Use his precious little life to bring glory to Your name.” It is still our prayer today.
"Some people say the Lord will only give you what you can handle, but we’ve come to learn that it is actually the opposite... In reality, God will give you MORE than you can handle so you can rely on Him to see you through."
After Beau’s premature arrival, weighing in at 3lb 9oz, he spent many months of his first year in the hospital. God sat with us through sleepless nights at Beau’s bedside and hours spent in waiting rooms during surgeries. He tenderly whispered into our souls that He was in control… that we were not alone. Some people say the Lord will only give you what you can handle, but we’ve come to learn that it is actually the opposite! John 9:3 says, “But this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in him (a man who was born blind).” In reality, God will give you MORE than you can handle so you can rely on Him to see you through. He sustained us on the days when we weren’t sure we could handle much more. And He provided strength when we needed it most. One of the verses that has spoken to my heart regarding this truth is Isaiah 41:10. “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” We have felt the embrace of our God. And we have seen how our boy’s life continually reflects God’s glory, grace and love.
During these past five years, Beau has added additional diagnoses under the “umbrella” of Down syndrome. He has endured more surgeries, unsuccessful IV pokes, sedated procedures, sleep studies, swallow studies, therapy sessions, and hospital stays than anyone should ever have to bear. He is truly a little warrior and bounces back from each with a smile. Without hesitation, I can say my son is the bravest person I have ever known. I have coined the term “nurse-mom” because I have learned to manage a daily load of medications, feeding pump schedules and doctors’ appointments with specialists (most of whom I didn’t even know existed). I’ve even learned to give him weekly antibody injections. In the process of raising my courageous boy, the Lord has, in turn, given me courage as well.
"We rest assured knowing He has gone before us, so we can follow Him and trust in His promises along the way."
God called us to a lifetime of reliance on Him, and He has walked ahead of us each step of the way. We rest assured knowing He has gone before us, so we can follow Him and trust in His promises along the way. With each new diagnosis Beau receives, it is an opportunity to continually surrender Beau to the Lord and believe that He will sustain him, strengthen us all, and show Himself faithful in the process. People continually tell us, “I don’t know how you do it!” And we simply reply... With the strength of the Lord.
Our BEAUtiful boy is In His Hands.
Marisa Muhs is a wife, mother and Daughter of the King. She has been married to her husband, Andrew, for ten years and has been blessed with two beautiful children, Beau and Scarlette. They currently live in Norfolk, Virginia, where her husband serves in the United States Navy. Marisa stays at home with their kids, while simultaneously maintaining a side business consulting for Pampered Chef. She is a homebody who loves reading, crafting and doing puzzles. You can also find her enjoying nature walks in botanical gardens. You can read more about their family’s story in her not-so-recently-updated blog @babymuhs.blogspot.com