A couple months ago I sent a text message to my friend Carrie.
“Headed to the hospital with my twin. Please pray.”
The text I got back simply said,
And I felt it.


This Sunday, Brandon had the opportunity to go before the church and share about his upcoming deployment to Iraq.

(The church is quite large, and we have not had the opportunity to get to know as many people as we would like.)

Rhema was unable to sit still in the service, so she and I were upstairs in the “cry room” when Brandon was speaking. The cry room was filled with mothers and small children fussing and cooing. I did not know any of the women in the room very well. When one of the mothers realized that Brandon was speaking, she jumped up and turned up the volume so that we could hear him. It was hard to concentrate on what he was saying, but I could tell that he was getting a little choked up as he talked about Rhema and Hope.

I stood so I could hear him better. One of the mothers walked over and stood beside me.

When Brandon finished, the pastor asked the congregation, “Are you willing to stand with this family and support and pray for them?”

I heard over three hundred voices answer with a resounding “Yes.”

I gasped. Not many days ago I was feeling a tad overwhelmed, and suddenly I had a multitude (there’s a Bible word for you) of real, tangible help. 

Our pastor continued, “Let’s pray a prayer of protection over Brandon and his family now.”

The next thing I knew there were hands on my shoulders. Babies were left to play on the floor, while their mothers stood around me. In the midst of that chaotic playroom, women I did not even know stood with me, shed tears and prayed for my family. It’s difficult to put into words what their simple kindness meant to me.

I felt it again. Covered.

After the service ended, we were overwhelmed with the outpouring of love and support. There were offers for free babysitting, and offers to cook meals, do laundry, run errands and do “anything else I could think of.”  Friends have formed “support team” and will come once a week just to be an extra set of hands.

I had to laugh. Trust God to set me up with even more help than I could imagine! I know that He has put people in my life who will faithfully be there whenever and however I may need them. I continue to be amazed at His marvelous provision. How very blessed am I.

There is a teenaged boy in our church named Cole. He has autism and reminds me of Reid. These are the kids that parents like me just love to watch. They have such a purity of spirit. They inspire me. They cause me to hope. I want my girls to grow up to be just like them.

Cole’s father approached us and asked if Cole could take a picture with Brandon.
“He likes to have a picture of who he is praying for,” his father explained. It was all Cole’s idea. So his father snapped a photo.

Then Cole told us he wanted to pray for us.

Rhema was squirming, and I had been struggling with her all morning. I was hungry. I was hot – 90 degrees with no AC in the building and I was sweating like a pig. I did not know what to do with all the love and attention, and I had the urge to pull a Rhema and run like the wind. But nothing in the world could have dragged me away in that moment.

Cole put his hands together and bowed his head. With halting words, he prayed with all his heart,

“Dear, dear, dear, dear, dear God…”

He petitioned the God of the Universe to take care of us, and I’m certain that God was all ears.

Surely many can understand when I say that it was the most sincere, most eloquent prayer I have ever heard.

I felt completely, lavishly… covered.

28 thoughts on “Covered

  1. Jeneil, you and your family are indeed covered. The Lord has hemmed you in, before and behind (reference Psalm 139:5). How glorious to dwell in the the shelter of the Most High God (reference Psalm 91:1)!

    Thinking of you, and praying for you. 🙂

  2. Never doubt God! He has sent you all of this help, now just make sure you take it. Please don’t try to do it all yourself.

    And don’t forget that all of your friends out here in blogland have you covered too!

    Thanks for another wonderful post and a reminder that God will provide for all of our needs.

  3. Thanks for this. Lianna gave me your blog address a couple months ago and it has blessed me in enormous ways. I go to NSCBC and take care of Cole with my husband, Brian. He is such a treasure. I’m so glad he was a blessing to you. Because of the swarm on Sunday I thought I’d wait, but want you to know that I’d love to help you in any way you need it. I’ll reintroduce myself next week at church. 🙂

  4. Believing with you, Jeneil, that God will use this overwhelming situation at home and in Iraq…for His Glory and your amazement…at how His plans and timing are always “more than you could ask or imagine”. It may be a hindsight deal, you know? But God’s the same yesterday, today and forever, right? My husband “toured” Dec06 to Mar08, and I can relate to that “married-single mom” feeling. And ‘how could anything good come out of this’? feeling…And ‘how can i be brave’ feeling? One day at a time, with His “amazing Grace”…you will…again. Like Kendall sings, we are all “wrenches”, saved by grace.

    You’ll see.

  5. Sis, please know that you and all your loved ones are covered here as well. You are always in my heart and in my prayers.

  6. Our Lord indeed is awesome! I’ve been praying these things for you and am overwhelmed to hear already He is answering! It builds my faith to pray and then hear how He responds.

  7. It was amazing to hear all those voices affirm that you and your family will be in their prayers. You are an amazing writer and your husband was so poised, dignified, humble and human it brought many to tears.

    I’m enjoying getting to know you and our amazing God better– to help both of us along on our motherhood journey. I always feel refreshed, renewed and restored when leaving NSCBC on Sunday. Please let me know if I can help in any way. Sarah Conway

  8. Don’t shy away from the help. I am the first to want to be completely independent, but Jeneil God sent these people to help you for a reason.

    And Jeneil you are in my prayers. I know saying this time without Brandon will be difficult is a understatement. I know I am across the country but, in spirit I am with you. Know that there is another person out there who cares about your little family.

  9. God’s faithfulness. Tears and goose bumps. Praise God for a supporting church close to you. Praise God for Cole’s family to be a source of hope. Praise God for Cole’s heart. Praise God for being God and working in ways we cant even begin to comprehend.
    Neily, take the help. Don’t stop God’s blessing “river”. I know you don’t always like it, but Heavenly Daddy is taking care of you and the girl and comforting Brandon. Soak it all in.
    I love you more than words and pray for you continually to the Almighty, Sovereign God.

  10. Neally,

    I too am experiencing God’s covering. It gives me a such peace to know that we are under the covering of the most High God. Psalm 139:13 “For thou has possessed my reins, thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb”. Just think…..God has been COVERING us since the moment of our conception!!

    Know that your sister down in Arkansas is covering you in prayers right now. Love you!!

  11. Pingback: All that I have « Autism In a Word

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