Morgan Cheek is a mother that has experienced the grief of losing her twin girls at ages 6 and 7 to a very rare neurological disease. The pain has been excruciating but through it all, she felt God’s amazing love and grace.
Morgan and her husband, Hugh, found out she was pregnant with twins a little over a year into their marriage. Hugh had just started medical school so they were a little overwhelmed and wondered how they’d juggle his school with the demands of having two babies. So Hugh started memorizing Psalm 139 which underscores how God knows our future and is intimately concerned with every detail of our lives. Little did they know that He was about to take them out of their comfort zone into His pruning zone.
When Bailey Grace and Ally Ruth were born, everything appeared normal for the first three or four months. But then, they started to notice some developmental delays. Doctors ran some tests and determined the girls may have an unknown genetic disorder. But subsequent tests during the next two years showed they had HECW2, a rare and often fatal disease that impacts only 50 people in the world. And Morgan and Hugh were the parents of two of them.
Seizures were common, and the girls were never able to talk or walk, but they could sure communicate with their eyes and light up a room with their smiles. Morgan and Hugh knew they were in for a very difficult road but they wanted to be used by God in the midst of this journey and have this bring glory to Him in some way. The medical challenges for the girls were staggering and completely draining on all of them, both physically and emotionally. But the parents did their best to listen for God’s direction every step along the way, knowing He was with them.
They kept relying on Psalm 139 for this assurance. In fact, Morgan even got “Psalm 139” tattooed on her foot so it was a constant reminder of His faithfulness.
In the midst of these medical challenges, they both felt God leading them to adopt, so in December of 2018, they brought home their son, James, who has cerebral palsy. He was seven and had lived in an orphanage in China for almost his entire life. It didn’t make sense for them to do this, especially adopting another child with special needs, but God made it obvious to them that this is what He wanted them to do.
In July, 2019, Bailey Grace went to be with the Lord, and they lost Ally Ruth in December of 2020. Their hearts broke and neither ever thought they could cry so often. But they found God is especially present with us during these painful times.
Morgan doesn’t want you to think she said, “sounds good, God” at every step along the way. She says she stomped her way to obedience since she found it difficult to understand it all. It has been completely devastating and debilitating. There is a lot of grief and suffering in the world but not many people take the time to see the grace in it.
Morgan started writing about their journey when the girls were first diagnosed on Instagram (@SeedsAndLeaven), and she continues today. She felt the Lord telling her to share her ups and downs. She tries to encourage people to see God in all the hard places of life, and to see the good in suffering, no matter what kind of challenge you may be experiencing. Her prayer is that the blog would stir a desire in your heart to look for God in all seasons of your life, in each and every detail.
God continues to remind Morgan and Hugh that He was always in this with them and that their lives are not about them, but about bringing glory to Him. That all of our lives may be messy but God is right there in all we do.