Soaking Up The Son

Josh Kelley has had it on his brain to take Shuai to the beach since the warm weather hit Tennessee.  We received the news from our cardiologist that things did not look hopeful just one day after landing  in the US with Shuai in tow so of course the urge to take his boy to the beach just increased the warmer the weather grew.  I mentioned before how we sat in limbo for a few weeks as specialists in the pediatric cardiology field reviewed his case trying to see what they could come up with.  Once we knew we we’re headed to Ann Arbor and the exact date Josh’s mind was made up.  He booked us a trip to the beach just days later and here we are.  I do not typically do spontaneous well, but that Josh Kelley…well he’s a gem.

We had about 6 days between when he booked the trip and when we left.  When we get back we’ll have just a few days before we leave for Ann Arbor.  We knew we needed to talk to the kids about Everett and his surgery, but didn’t want to while at the beach and didn’t want to right before we left for Michigan, so just a few days ago we sat them down and had the tough conversation.  They already knew his little heart was not functioning well.  They see him take all his meds three times a day.  They see him sweat so easily and so often.  They see his heavy breathing and how he rarely runs or exerts himself.  They see his sweet purple lips, fingers and toes.  They knew he needed surgery and soon.  We sat them down and we’re very honest with them about all the possible outcomes of this initial surgery for Everett.  We owed it to them…not to worry them…but to not blindside them if something does goes wrong.

It was not an easy conversation at all and they all just cried their eyes out.  We talked about all the possible outcomes and how thankful we were to have such an amazing surgeon working on Everett.  We talked about how so many people are praying for Everett and our family.  We talked about having hope in Jesus and knowing that He loves Everett more than we ever could.  We talked about how even if something does go wrong, that does not change who God is…that does not change His love for us and Everett or His goodness.  We talked about how sometimes really sad things just happen because we live in a fallen world.  We made sure they could ask questions and share their thoughts any time they felt like it.

Harper immediately asked if Everett’s best friend was going to be here before surgery and the answer was no he isn’t.  She shared how she just wished they would wait for surgery until they could see each other again and until Everett’s birthday…he’s a July baby.  Hudson’s first comment was “But what will we do if he does die?”  To which we just said we didn’t know, but we knew we’d still love each other and be here for each other and stressed that God would still be His mighty, good self…that God would not change based on the outcome of Everett’s surgery.  Solomon is our kid who typically keeps his emotions to himself so to see him cry was pretty sad.  Everett really likes minions and Solomon stammered while saying, “Maybe we…can take him…to…the new Minion movie.”  Poor boy choked up and burst into tears in my chest by the end of his sentence.  Then Harper through more tears said, “It doesn’t come out until the 30th.” (Ev’s surgery is on the 28th)  They we’re both crying, but Josh and I wanted to die with laughter.  They we’re the sweetest.

Two days later we loaded up in the car and headed to the beach.  It’s what we all needed.  I might not have the words to really say to God right now, other than my tiny prayers of few words, but I know He’s here.  I still see His goodness everywhere and I feel Him warm like the sun.  I look at Josh Kelley…his love, his intentionality, his tears & grief over our sick child…and I see Jesus.  I look at our kids…their unique qualities, their fierce love for one another, their resilience…and I see Jesus.  I hear from so many people who are praying over Everett…his heart and body…and our family and I see Jesus.

Josh booked the Airbnb place we’re staying on such a whim.  It was shockingly inexpensive and a crazy short walk down the cutest lush green path to the beach and pool.  We got here and we haven’t stopped laughing about the questionable facilities we’re staying in.  It’s, ummmm, how should we put this…well, kind of run down and gross 🙂  You guys, the laughter has been so hard and so real and I see Jesus right there in that as well.  Josh is the most easy going, non picky person and last night he mentioned us changing places.  Hahahahaha.  We’re not though and today Josh said the place was growing on him.  Laughter ensued again.

We arrived yesterday afternoon and immediately headed to the beach.  It was dinnertime, but we didn’t care.  We needed to see that vast beautiful ocean and remember exactly Who holds us so tightly.  As we walked up the boarded walk way and first saw the ocean I cried.  I was holding Shuai’s hand and was totally having a moment.  Then he yelled out, “Hey, the wave pool.”  We laughed so hard.  I see Jesus in this boy.  Only an insanely good Father would give us the gift of this child.  Only an insanely good Father would create such wonders to behold in a child.  Only an insanely good Father would think Josh Kelley and myself good enough to parent such precious kiddos.  Gah.  We are surely the luckiest.

So if you need us we’ll be covered in sand, taking in the amazing little humans who call us Mom & Dad, seeing God’s goodness everywhere and soaking up the Son!

Thank you again and again for praying with us and for us.


  1. Kim Wayman says:

    Praying continually for Everett, his medical team and all of those who will administer his care in Ann Arbor. Praying to for his Mommy and Daddy and precious brothers and sisters.

  2. More prayers coming from Illinois and Pennsylvania.

  3. Christie grant says:

    Enjoy all that beachy sand, water and sun along with the smiles, just being together. Love ya’ll

  4. Jen averitt says:

    I see Jesus in all of you. So many prayers! ❤️

  5. Please enjoy every second. Sandra Ezelle talked to me the other day. Her done Caleb is the one after Colby pic in the Broken Hearts page. She said please please let her know anything they can do for you she will. I told her your going to Ann Arbor. I can not even imagine how you feel. All I can do is fervently pray and call upon those I know who are around the world praying. I tear just thinking of this child so I know he is impressed upon my heart.

  6. Debbie Fisher says:

    this needed a ’tissue alert’ warning. what a precious post. the way you speak to us, it’s as if you are in my living room sharing your heart. i’ve never met you and feel like i know you. i too have been praying for your sweet family. i am praying for healing and now for you ALL to enjoy the new minion movie together some time soon.

  7. I am SO so thankful for you. Jesus knew I needed you at this exact moment.

  8. Candice taylor says:

    I have followed your blog for a while, but this is my first time to comment. You and your family are such an inspiration of faith and unconditional love. I shared your story with my Moms in Prayer group, and we are all praying for your sweet boy’s surgery. We’re also praying for you and the rest of your family. Thank you for sharing your story and your faith in Christ.

  9. Marianne cupples says:

    Enjoy all of God’s goodness! Praying continually!

  10. Char Beasley says:

    I’m with you when you said, “We talked about having hope in Jesus and knowing that He loves Everett more than we ever could. We talked about how even if something does go wrong, that does not change who God is…that does not change His love for us and Everett or His goodness. We talked about how sometimes really sad things just happen because we live in a fallen world.”
    God can always, ALWAYS use Everett’s story for good — that’s the business He is in. Whether our Tyler Beasley lived or died was always in God’s Hands — He may not have caused it, but He is always in control. I am praying so hard for your family and God answers prayers.

  11. Melinda says:

    So many prayers…. thankfulness for your time together and prayers for healing in the days to come. Continue to bask in His Sonshine!

  12. Dawn birdsong says:

    Gosh, your words are always the sweetest and it’s like we can almost see your love(ly) and hurting heart on the screen. Prayers for you and your family. We are all “rooting” for your precious boy!

  13. Praying and praising Him for His mighty presence in the hardest of journeys.

  14. Jenni Carlisle says:

    As I’ve been praying I keep trying to imagine what I would do if I was in your situation & I come up with nothing. But this post is perfection, exactly what you should have done…that Josh Kelley is a good one. You both are, and the way you handeling this season points to exactly why you are the perfect parents/family for Everett. Praying, always praying.

  15. Meriah Henderson says:

    So many prayers coming your way.

  16. Dru wilson says:

    I am a friend of one of your friends and she has been sharing your story with our Bible study group. We are all praying for you and for Everett. You are such an inspiration. Thank you for pointing us all to Jesus through such difficulty.

  17. Laura, there are just no words to tell you how much I love you and your family. To tell you how much I appreciate your authenticity and that you are sharing your journey with the world. No words I can say that you don’t already know. God is so good – all the time. We are praying for all of you. I have so many of my prayer warrior friends praying for you as well. Enjoy your time at the beach.

  18. DARlyn Harris says:

    This morning at my sister’s kitchen table we prayed for your family. My niece heard of your story from Karen Harris, my daughter-in-love.
    God has chosen you and yours to show the world God’s faithfulness through it all! We are praying

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