• Dana L. Butler

A Quick Update (or, the one thing that’s more real than my fear)

It’s been in the 50’s and pouring down rain for 2 days in a row. Typically I would be head-over-heals for this kind of Autumn weather (boots, flannel, sweaters — you know the drill). But hauling my two littles around in the rain is no small feat. It wears me out at every level.

Isaac’s anxiety has improved in the last few weeks, y’all. It’s a breath of fresh air and a reprieve for us all, to have him not so continually paralyzed by irrational fear. Anxiety is most certainly still an issue, but it’s less extreme and less frequent now, and I couldn’t be more thankful.

And with the anxiety a little more at bay, we’re able to see Isaac’s other needs with more clarity.

Isaac has processing struggles. Have I told you that?

The frequent need to give him the same instruction literally 10-20 times in order for it to register in his mind — it’s one of many reasons that being out and about with him {especially in the rain} can bring me to the end of myself faster than I don’t know what.

And his slow processing speed is just one of a number of “special needs” that I feel aren’t being adequately addressed by simply diagnosing and treating his anxiety.

We are, as of today, officially beginning what will be a months-long (possibly up to a full year) process of obtaining a more thorough evaluation for Isaac through the very reputable child development department of our local children’s hospital.


Headaches are a thing for me. They have been for a long time. What I’m seeing lately though is the direct correlation between my headaches and my stress level. My body often reacts instantly, outside of my control, to stressors, even in moments when I don’t necessarily feel stressed at an emotional level.

So I’ve started physical therapy, in part to help train my body and mind to respond differently to stress.

This is a piece of how Jesus is meeting my needs and sustaining my heart in this season. I’m thankful, but this re-training of my brain — it’s a process, and not a quick one.


I told a dear friend this morning that I’m overwhelmed, and possibly even a little depressed, by the reality of what this next evaluation process will look like for Isaac, and for us.

Particularly, there will be mountains of paperwork, and said mountains will be insanely time-consuming. And not just time-consuming, but they will take everything out of me at an emotional level. It is draining and terrifying in the deepest, realest sense — combing through question after question about Isaac’s development and his needs, and facing the reality of every detail and nuance of his strengths, delays, and deficits.

And yet–

The Lord is my shepherd.

Y’all, I can’t — I mean, can. not. — get out of Psalm 23 these days. He is my shepherd. No matter what comes. I will fear no evil. Surely goodness and mercy will pursue me all the days of my life.

The fear and the uncertainty are big and real, y’all. But the tender kindness of the Shepherd? It’s more real. And it calms and comforts my heart again and again.

His goodness pursues me through all these unknowns. Holds me through all the grief because this was so. not. what I imagined that my son’s childhood would look like, and seeing my Isaac Boy hurt and feel overwhelmed and have low self-confidence wrenches my soul like I can’t begin to put into words.

Yet there they are again — the rod and staff of the Perfect Shepherd. He leads me beside still waters, makes me lie down in green pastures. He restores my soul.

Jesus, you restore my soul.

In the right now intensity of this season. In all its stresses and hurts and unanswered questions. You do. You restore me, re-establish me, shore me up inside.

Again, and again, and again.

And all this Shepherding? Jesus is committed to doing it for my boy, too. And I trust that He is, even if in ways I can’t see, doing just that.

Thank you guys for letting me update you briefly tonight, and thanks for your continued non-advicey 🙂 support. Truly. I appreciate it so much. Your prayers and encouragement. Your companionship in this place.

I love y’all a big ol’ massive heap. I mean, really. I do. So thankful for you all.

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