God Speaks a Better Word
(Please listen to Jeffie’s story by clicking the white play button at the top of this post. You can read the transcript of the story below.)
Probably my first encounter With God was when I was 15. Both my grandparents were killed in a plane crash, tragically. And if you’re under a teaching or a thought process that makes you think God allowed this or caused this, but then you also believe He’s good–You kind of wrestle with the two. Like, I don’t fully understand. Well, it turned out a week after the plane crash, the FAA had surveyed the plane area and everything had burned. It was a twin engine plane, everything had burned. But the FAA found my grandmother’s Bible and not one word had burned. Everything had burned but her Bible and for my 15 year old heart, what I heard God say is, heaven and earth will pass away, but My word will not, it will be sustained. And so I saw the Lord start doing things like that. I didn’t have a theology, probably to understand it all. But, it was really cool because the grandmother that passed away, I was named after. Her maiden name was Jeffie Jones and I ended up marrying Chris Jones and ended up getting her full name. Which is really cool, just how God brings things full circle.
I do believe what the Lord spoke to me is just, “The power of My word will be sustained throughout the ages.” And so I just, even as a little girl, it was impactful to me. Fast forward 10 years, I’m having to face another tragedy, and it looked different, but pain is pain when you have to reconcile God. ‘I believe who You say You are in the Word, but my circumstances don’t look like what I know You to be.’ We met when we were 17, married when we were 23, and then had our first when we were 26 and got pregnant easily. We were so excited. I was overjoyed to be a mom. That was kind of what I had always envisioned my life looking like, is having kids and being a mom. So the only difference was I saw like three little girls, I didn’t see three little boys. I just assumed I’d be a girl mom.
When we first had Noah, my oldest, everything went great with the pregnancy and it came time to deliver. I don’t really know how to explain this, and in the natural and like the medical form, that when Noah was born, it felt like not a physical pain; it was, it was another realm. I felt like a sword had gone through my middle. Like there was almost an assault to my spirit. And at the same time Noah was being born, my dad, who I love and adore, had a seizure outside the room. So as my first real encounter, encounter with the spirit realm. Recognizing there is a lot that goes on, that we’re so unaware of the real assault to life. Because obviously you have to think every time that a baby’s born, life is coming in. Of course the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy. I think we went into parenthood kind of, I don’t want to say lackdaisically, but I just assumed everything would be easy. I just assumed we’d have a healthy baby and we would be your typical family. Noah born and a lot of things just didn’t seem right from the first 18 months. I just knew something wasn’t right with Noah.
By the time Sam was born, I realized something wasn’t right with Noah. I kept bringing it up to my doctors and they’re like, he’ll be fine. He’ll be fine. It wasn’t until he was closer to two years old, two and a half years old, that we found out he was diagnosed with something called Fragile X Syndrome. Fragile X syndrome is on the X chromosome. It leads to mental impairments, autistic like behaviors, a third of children with Fragile X Syndrome have autism as well. So that kind of helped to have some sort of diagnosis. We found out about Noah when he was two and a half. When my husband came home that day to tell me about the diagnosis, I can remember…It’s kind of like anything, there’s just this, when you’re waiting for a call or you’re waiting to hear something, there’s that tendency to be so double minded. Like, I don’t–I want to believe it’s not, but I also kind of sense it is and having to wrestle with all of that. I remember Chris, my husband, grabbed me to tell me the news. It was the day before Thanksgiving. And as he held me I heard, clearer than I have heard anything in my life, the Lord say, “But My cross isn’t fragile.” And as He said those words, ‘My cross isn’t fragile,’ it’s almost like the Lord said, Here’s a better word. This might be the diagnosis, but I have a better word. My cross isn’t fragile. And it’s almost like God allowed me to stand on that anchor, as a better word than what, you know, the Fragile X piece. I really do believe that [word] sustained me and has sustained me our entire journey because what He paid for on the cross is finished. He has purchased and paid for restored DNA. And as crazy and as wild as that might seem in the natural, and to medical professionals, I’m like, “It’s what my God does. He gives us new DNA, He gives us new identity.”
So we’d gone to this geneticist and as we went into the office that day, he said, Well, you have a 50/50 chance every time of having a baby, that they too will have Fragile X Syndrome. So what we could do is, we could, we could take your embryo and we could basically mess with it. For us, I felt the Lord say, I am God and you’re not. Trust Me in this process. But I sensed deeply the Lord wanted us to trust Him with a third baby. So one morning, my husband and I were in his study and we were on our knees and just praying and saying, “God, we trust You.” The thing that I kept thinking about as we were in this process was He opened wombs in scripture and He closed them. My prayer was, “Lord, just close our womb if we’re not supposed to have any more.” I didn’t, that was just the most, it just seemed like the most natural prayer to pray for me at that time. But I remember we got on our knees that morning and we go to put Noah, our oldest, on the school bus. He was in a special school when he was like three or four. The bus driver goes, “Well, where’s Elijah?” And I was like, “Oh, we only have two boys, Noah and Sam.” And he said, “Well, Elijah is coming.” And I was like, Oh, and I was like, wow.
Two weeks later, I found out I was pregnant. And I knew it was Elijah that was coming. It’s almost like God Himself had sent a messenger. I mean, that’s what He did in Scripture, right? He would send messengers to say, Hey, don’t be afraid. This is going to happen and he’s coming. So we found out Elijah was coming and my pregnancy with Elijah was a lot of wrestling. It was I mean, I know You spoke him. I know You gave us a word. But still it’s just that you’re living in the world and in the flesh. But I did hear God say something as I carried Elijah–”That I would experience His love like I’ve never experienced before.” And in my mind, I thought, well that means he’s going to be okay. That means we’re not going to have to deal with any heartache or another diagnosis and not two boys with special needs. That’s just what I assumed it would be.
Fast forward, we have Elijah on February 2, 2010. On the day he’s born, there’s an article in the Dallas Morning newspaper, all on Fragile X. The Whole Health Journal is about Fragile X syndrome, the scientists behind Fragile X, and how they found it. And I’m like, “Lord, what are you saying?” Because we didn’t know. We didn’t know if he had it, if he didn’t. So there’s, again, there’s that element of mystery where you’re like, I know there’s purpose and there’s design, but I’m struggling understanding it all. That first year of life, we didn’t find out. We didn’t want to know. We just wanted to enjoy him as an infant and all that God had given us in Elijah. He was just such an easy baby. Talk about the difference between no and allegedly Just an immense amount of grace on Elijah. On that first year life especially. He wasn’t your typical, like, he just never cried. He’d let us hold him, let me nurse him. He was just an easy baby. So at about a year, I knew something wasn’t right. I knew things were adding up. I had a dear friend tell me, I thought this was really good wisdom; she said, “Jeffie, God will not give you grace for vain imaginations, He’ll give you grace for your reality.” Because in my mind, I was imagining, oh, my goodness, what if I have two? And, you know, I think that’s what the enemy loves you to do, go down that road of fear and intimidation. Like, What what will I do if there’s two? Like, how am I going to deal with it?
I heard, clearer than I have heard anything in my life, the Lord say, “But My cross isn’t fragile.” it’s almost like the Lord said, Here’s a better word. This might be the diagnosis, but I have a better word.
I remember my husband coming home, having to give me the news again. He said, “Jeffie, I just got a call from the doctor and he in fact does have–he has it too.” I said, “Okay, can you just give me a minute?” Because I think in a way my heart had been prepared. I remember laying on my closet floor, and I asked God, I said, “God, it feels like You’re crushing me.” Because I didn’t understand. I’m like, “This baby, I did it in faith and I trusted and You told me he was coming. And I was like, “it feels like I’m being crushed.” I grabbed my Bible and I said, “Will You just give me a word?” and I opened it. The first thing I saw was Romans 16:20. It says, ‘The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.’ And just like the word, My cross isn’t fragile. His word came in the form of the written word, that came off the page into my heart and said, “You’re not going to be crushed. Your enemy’s going to be crushed under your feet by My peace, because I am the Prince of Peace.”
What I’ve learned in our walk, in our journey, is that when we agree with God, there’s a supernatural peace. He’s given, I believe, my husband and I both, the grace to come into agreement with what He said and to live really–I mean, the picture I saw in Romans 16:20 is he’s under our feet when we live in peace. He came to give us perfect peace and Shalom and, you know, order to the chaos. I asked the Lord too, because I think it’s okay to ask questions. I think there’s an opportunity and mystery to lean in and say, “Can You tell me more? I don’t understand.” Instead of that accusing voice that would accuse God’s heart. And I said, “Why two? Why both? Why, why Noah and Elijah?” And He said, “They’ll serve as two witnesses of what I’m like, and they’ll service two witnesses that My cross isn’t fragile, and the identity your identity has been changed because of the cross. When I said it is finished, it is finished.”
I found out after naming them, because again, I felt the Lord name Noah and Elijah specifically. In the Hebrew, the “ah” in both of their names means God’s breath; like, He breathes into. And, you know, He’s just been speaking to me a lot about Ezekiel 37. When He asked Ezekiel, “Ezekiel can these bones live?” Ezekiel says, “I don’t know God. You do.” And He said, Well prophesy. Prophesy over those bones and tell them to live. And I believe my husband and I are in an opportunity where we get to prophesy to fragile things and tell them to be strong in Jesus’ name. I believe we’re going to see a testimony that will be a demonstration of what He’s like and really the power of the gospel. That He came and literally gave us new DNA. When He said, “It is finished.”, there’s a great exchange that took place and it’s no longer a little bit of the old and some new. It is completely new creations. I love that their names even are Noah and Elijah, because I just think about what Noah carried as, as a man who experienced the promises of God. And looked crazy for believing what he believed for for so long. And then you have Elijah, who it says in Malachi, the spirit of Elijah will reconcile the hearts of fathers back to their children and children back to their father. And I believe that people need to see how good He is. They need to see what He’s like. They need to see in a physical demonstration because Jesus would always speak in stories. He’s like, this is what I’m like. If you could see past the physical and see what I’m telling you. I’m giving you a picture of my nature and what I’m like.
I’ve heard the saying sometimes that ‘you can see the breadcrumbs of your destiny and your childhood.’ So if you look back on your childhood, and you see things, even if you didn’t fully understand them, you can see kind of breadcrumbs of destiny. I even feel like my grandparents’ death when I was 15 and not understanding the mystery of that, leaning into the fact that God’s word was right there. His truth is right there. And it’s like, I can say with joy, and with so much hope in my heart today, that His Word has sustained me. The rhema word of His promises has sustained me and my husband and the promises He’s spoken over both Noah and Elijah. I do believe that they’ll serve as witnesses and until then we just wait with hope. You know there’s a Hebrew word for wait that means “to be entwined as one with.’ I believe as we’re waiting for the physical manifestation of the promise, God has given us an opportunity too to be entwined as one with Him. I feel like I know Him more now than I ever have and it’s just such a gift.