A year ago, I was in the process of canceling a flight to Florida. Some of my best friends/college teammates were on their way to spend a girls’ weekend together. I, however, was on Day 5 of the flu. Charlee was on day 7, Hattie was hitting day 6, and Hayes had used up as much breastmilk magic possible to bring up the rear on Day 3.
Taking care of your sick children while you feel like death, is not Florida. When you’re throwing up in the trash can while your child is throwing up in the toilet, suddenly that 90’s Saturday Night Live commercial for side-by-side toilets seems very practical.
Being a sick mom with sick babies for a week, as in seven measly days, was just about as close to actual Hell I recall ever being.
That, among a multitude of other reasons, is why the Millers’ story is so incomprehensible to me.
A few years ago I began tuning in to my friend Lacey’s Facebook posts chronicling her undiagnosed health issues. She had been having bizarre bouts of sickness, memory loss, pain. For weeks at a time she would be bedridden, unable to walk. Her sharing never implied panic or anger at her situation but rather always carried undertones of joy. My heart was immediately moved by her attitude – she was a mother of three, just as I was, and her body was failing her. Yet, even still, she joyfully pressed on.
And that’s just the beginning.
Her husband, Zeb, a purple-heart veteran, was simultaneously dealing with injuries he’d sustained during multiple deployments overseas. He was busy fighting both the side effects of war and the VA over treatment and care coverage (the 8-year back pay of which is still MIA). After he was honorably discharged, he continued his career in public service as a police officer until this past year when he went into a grand mal seizure (his second within a couple of weeks) while at work and was determined unable to return to work.
Double meanwhile, their three daughters were dealing with separate but equally alarming health issues of their own: Aspergers, seizures, swollen, rock-hard lymph nodes for 8 straight weeks, broken bones, serious infections, fevers, lesions, severe pain, concussions.
Between the five of them, they have seen the inside of an ER or OR over 25 times in the past couple of years alone.
Finally, in the Spring of 2016, Lacey and two of her daughters received a diagnosis: Lyme Disease. Relieved to have answers, to have a direction and a plan, they began treatments, which sounds like it might be the end of the story. It’s not.
The denials from their insurance claims soon began rolling in, citing Lyme Disease as not having a cure or official treatment guidelines, so treatment outside of the antibiotics (which weren’t working) were considered “experimental” and therefore not covered. With Zeb losing his steady income with the police force and thousands of dollars in bills piling high, they began searching for answers to a new question: how are we going to pay for this?
So this precious family of five recently decided to sell their home and most of their belongings and move into an RV on some family land.
“I think a lot of people have struggled to wrap their minds around what’s happened with our family recently, because it all seems like too much to make sense of,” Lacey told me, “Some things are related and some things are not, but the totality of them all happening within one family, in such a short time, seems like a mathematical improbability. We’ve experienced a load of hardships but have also been blessed with incredible opportunities for personal growth and a deeper connection with spirit.”
If you go to Lacey’s Facebook page you’ll find she is most certainly not wallowing in self-pity. Despite their overwhelming trials, the Millers continue to passionately serve and encourage others as they live out their family mantra: Love Heals.
And that’s my hope. That we could love the Millers so well that the financial burden of healing, or even just staying alive, would be lifted. That they could pursue that healing without wondering what sacrifices would need to be made in its wake.
First and foremost, we declare that we serve a God that hears the cries of those he loves. Will you stop reading right now and offer up a quick (or lengthy) prayer for the Miller family?
** For real, though. Right now. 🙂 We are not in the “‘I’m going to pray for you’ but not really” business. **
Awesome. Now that you’re back, here are a few other ways you can throw out some healing love:
Buy a T-Shirt
JD Doty of Harpo Graphics (home of the softest t-shirts in these here parts) designed a t-shirt specifically in support of the Miller family. All profits will go straight into their pockets and you’ll be reminded to pray for them every time you open your t-shirt drawer. Which, if you are anything like me, is daily.
**If PayPal button is not working, try a different browser. Let me know if it’s still giving you problems — jordanharrellwrites(at)gmail(dot)com.
Get a Raffle Ticket
If $25 isn’t in your price range right now (first of all, let’s be friends), how about $1? You can buy a virtual raffle ticket for the same price as a donut and I’ll save you the calories. Plus, you’ll be entered to win a prize package of some of my favorite things:
1.Where Did My Sweet Grandma Go by Lauren Flake — a sweet story for children on the loss of a loved one. 2.Love Heals t-shirt. 3.Personalized Stationery from TheWhiteInvite 4.TWO pairs of LuLaRoe’s Famous Leggings (one in each size — you keep one, give one to a friend) courtesy of Sarah Lang 5.Gorgeous Hand-Lettered Print by Love Nest Creative
ALL OF THESE SHOPS DONATED THESE ITEMS TO HELP RAISE MONEY FOR THE MILLERS. THEIR ITEMS ARE GENUINELY SOME OF MY FAVORITE THINGS (MANY OF THEM ARE ALSO MY FAVORITE PEOPLE).
To be entered to win, use the drop down menu and select the number of raffle tickets you want. 100% of the proceeds will go to the Millers AND you just might get something in the mail. Win, win.*1 ticket = 1 entry*
THE WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED FRIDAY, MARCH 31!
And of course, find the Millers on YouCaring to donate directly to their account. You can also follow the “Help the Millers” Facebook page for updates.
If you would be so inclined to share this fundraiser, please click the social media icon of your choice below. Thank you so much for loving well, and please continue to pray for complete healing for the Millers.