The story behind how Jeremiah Joe Coffee got its name is a personal one. Our oldest daughter, Madison, came into our lives in the fall of 1995. She was everything, and more than what we hoped for—beautiful, smart, happy…and ours. As Madison entered toddlerhood, we began noticing developmental concerns. The short story is that we learned that Madison had a neurological disorder that resulted in various intellectual disabilities.
DeWayne and I struggled with what this meant for her and for our family. We entered a season of grief. Our dreams and hopes for her were shattered. In this season, a verse from Jeremiah (29:11), posed a problem for me: “I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans to prosper you, not harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”
Did God really have a plan—a good plan for Madison? How was she to prosper or even have a prospect of hope or a good future? In a conversation with friends, I mentioned that one of the things that will make heaven ‘heaven’ for me is that Madison will be whole. One friend in that circle posed the idea that maybe Madison will be no different in heaven, but maybe it will be us who are different. Maybe then, we will be able to see the perfection she is.
Since then, our days with Madison have not been without struggle or heartbreak, but they also have not been without purpose or hope. It really is a slice of heaven to share a laugh or dance with Madison. Our love for Madison and our relationship with her has changed our worldview. More than any other person, she has taught us more about ourselves, our marriage, people, what is important and what is not so important. She models love, pure emotion, persistence, and forgiveness. And she is always looking forward to her next adventure.
Because of the impact of Madison in our lives and because of the hope of the verse in Jeremiah, we chose to use it in the name of our stores. At a minimum, it is a reminder of this life-view that Madison continues to teach us. Every person has something to contribute. Every person—no matter their circumstance, their resume, their bank account, their history—is of less value than any other. Our family has had a front-row seat in the lesson that God knows us, His plans are to prosper us, and that all of us—no matter the person, or circumstance—has a hope and a future.