Thursday, October 10, 2013


~ Written 10-9-13

If you are reading this, it means I have had to post it.
If I had to post it, it means that we have had to say goodbye to
one very special young lady.

Our dear Corban Grace.
She was born 14 years ago in a flurry of first grandchild excitement,
though we all knew, her arrival was coming too soon.
She was born at 30 weeks, and doctors did not expect her to make it
through the first night... boy did she prove them wrong.

Corban had genetic issues, and other birth defects that
challenged virtually every system and organ in her little body...
yet she fought.
She lived. She grew. She made it.

Until today.

I could write pages about her, and the funny things she did.
Like the time period when her middle finger stayed extended
in a stiff manner that made it look like she was flipping you off...
and I swear, that girl had PERFECT timing with that finger.

But today, I want to write about Corban's mom and dad.
Chris and Joy, my amazing sister in law, and her husband have given
Corban virtually round the clock care for every day of her fourteen years.

She had a feeding tube, and had to be kept on a strict schedule of when, how much,
and how fast she gets her food.
Medicines were given via the feeding tube multiple times a day. There were many medications
to keep up with, and dosages for each varied.
She had a diaper, and had to be changed or given a catheter throughout the day.
She needed to be bathed, dressed, held, played with, and watched constantly.

And did I mention? Corban can be a night owl... imagine doing all these things for your
child throughout the day AND still getting up with them at night?

With each passing year, as Corban grew, I watched my petite sister-in-law still pick her up, carry her, hold her. I could barely make it through an hour. My arms got tired, I got hot, Corban would want to bang her head against me. But I could give her back... Chris and Joy could not.

Here is what I want you to catch...
In all her 14 years of life.
All the diapers,
All the surgeries,
All the late nights,
All the feedings,
Do you know how many times I heard Joy complain?

Never. Not once.

Not an eye roll.
Not a sigh.
Not an angry word.
Not a "Why did God allow this?"

She was totally entitled to be frustrated, tired, on edge, grumpy, bitter, and angry.
Instead, she chose, quite ironically... Joy. Her very name embodied the way she parented.
I am not suggesting there was never a time she didn't struggle, what I am saying is, she chose to walk this life with the circumstances she was given, and did so with grace, confidence, and faith, as did Chris.

I am proud to call these two tireless servants my family.
They showed unconditional love, and taught us much by their example.
They truly know what it means to be the hands and feet of Jesus...

Do we?
Is there a special child in your life you could serve?
A parent who might need a hand?
Find one. Love them. Help them. Encourage them. Walk along side them.

** Thank you to all the friends and family who came to be with us today. Chris stood up and shared, sang, and praised God in the midst of his sorrow. He and Joy are a testimony to the peace the Lord can give in the midst of the most trying of times. What a blessing they are to those who know and love them.** 


  1. Absolutely! I was always inspired by them - and still am in awe!

  2. Anonymous6:34 PM

    Beautifully written.....My heart and prayers are with you and the entire family. Joy and Chris and inspiring people. We miss you all!

  3. Anonymous6:35 PM

    Beautifully written.....My heart and prayers are with you and the entire family. Joy and Chris and inspiring people. We miss you all!
    Special needs children are gifts from God.....

    Dede Van Zandt

  4. Heard this today from Julie. Amazing testimony. Praying for your whole family to be comforted by Jesus today.

  5. Praying for you all. Love and hugs to Chris and Joy.

  6. I had many of these thoughts today! What an incredible life they allowed her to live even though it was difficult and not alwAys easy! Thank you Chris and joy for your testimony and example of unconditional love! Praying for you!

  7. Matt and Audrey kept us posted on how Corban was doing. Our prayers and hearts go out to you and Chris and the whole family. They are amazing one could ever do all they did and with so much grace. God Bless. Charlotte and Wayne Mizelle (Matt's mom in Boone).

  8. Beautiful. We are keeping all of you in our prayers.

  9. Beautiful. We are keeping all of you in our prayers.

  10. Well put, Jude. We have been praying for all of you. So glad Corban is healthy and happy. Look forward to seeing her again one day.

  11. Love this. Their witness and unending grace, love, patience and pursuit has touched more lives then they might ever know. Thinking of Corban this night- free to worship, play, sing, dance, and express every ounce of devotion to the King.

  12. a blessing to know this family unconditional love is defined by this family

  13. What a beautiful name. I hope she's sticking up that middle finger at you guys from heaven.

  14. So beautifully written. Our love and prayers are with all.

  15. Anonymous10:29 AM

    Beautiful! I met Joy and Coran once or twice and the love Joy showed to everyone was so awesome. Your family are in my prayers and thoughts.

  16. Beautiful and inspiring. Corban knew that when she chose this family to be the one to carry her through the journey that she would be well taken care of and loved with the most unconditional love available. Families that are given these Earth bound Angels to care for them for their short time here are the most special families around. The challenges are tough but the rewards are beyond what words can express. When our special children take flight from being physically bound here they are welcomed back to their Spiritual families that welcome them back home with open arms and are free from what challenged them here. They are perfect in every sense of perfect and continue to be with us even though they are not in human form. You will know when she is near. You are and always will be loved beyond words from the heart of Corban.

    Jo Tanner
    (Jackson Ray's grandmother)

  17. Thanks for that Jude. Corban's nails are even painted in that awesome picture I am sure you took. My little girl has been begging me to paint her nails for a week now. And I haven't done it, bc I didn't have time. Well, if this isn't conviction, I don't know what is. Thanks again.

  18. Anonymous9:05 PM

    thank's for your information and i really like your post

  19. I had a friend who went through a scare early in her pregnancy; they thought perhaps her second daughter would be born with some genetic defects. We prayed very hard and thank God, she's beautiful and normal (according to the rest of the world). But I remember telling my friend that if indeed her baby was born needing more than we expected to have to give, well that's because God chose the best parents possible for a little girl who would need them. And it sounds to me like Corban Grace got the best parents imaginable - as much as she was a gift to her parents, they too were a gift to her. Sending prayers for strength and comfort and healing your way...