As we have completed the holiday season and launch ourselves into 2014 there are two words that would give an accurate description of the pulse of our household…Blessed and Grateful.
Even before Isaac joined our family God had already taken us on a path of complete reliance and surrender when we were blessed with Matthew. As we look back a the year before Matthew was born it is clear that God had a plan in mind when we experienced some financial difficulties and Kevin took a “responsible” job, stepping aside from self-employment for what we thought would be a brief time. That was 14 years ago. What began as a job, God used to move us from an already strong faith into a transformation of being broken and being rebuilt…it is clear to us now that he was preparing us for a special journey of faith, a journey that would include our church family and beyond.
Many of you reading this blog post have been a part of our journey of being broken and rebuilt. Whether through prayer, helping with caregiving, financial help, providing transportation (literally, in giving us a car), helping with yard work, house work or just sitting with us as we waited out a surgery or hospital stay. I wish I could say that we have been diligent in thanking each of you personally. We are learning that it is a progression of being blessed, feeling grateful and then giving thanks. As we have gone from one crisis to another, we have been woefully short on the giving thanks end of things to individuals. I know ultimately we give thanks to God, and we do…but it does not excuse us from thanking those He works through. Your gestures of selflessness extend way beyond our own family and serve as a continued witness of how God’s people care for each other. THANK YOU.
Our recent holiday months were not without trials. Isaac spent a week in the hospital after experiencing some respiratory distress. We found that he had a slight pneumonia that he was able to fight through and recover from quickly. As we adjusted to “hospital crisis mode” I sat in a dark hospital room listening to the ventilator helping Isaac breathe just a few days before Christmas. I could not help myself…I started to asking that familiar question of why? Why are we going through this again? I had recently picked up several books. The one I grabbed on the top on my way to the hospital was a book called The Red Sea Rules The Same God Who Led You In Will Lead You Out by Author Robert J. Morgan Rule number two helped me put my whining aside:
Be more concerned for God’s glory than for your relief Robert J. Morgan, The Red Sea Rules
As I read on the chapter there were stories about facing the storms, about how the same God who led you in will lead you out, how His grace is sufficient…all things that sound oh so familiar in our journey. Once again, I found myself being blessed, feeling grateful and then giving thanks.
It can be hard to explain to people when they read about our story and what we have faced and will face in raising two boys with a rare genetic disorder. How can we remain so positive? How do we face each day, each setback or illness? Paul explains how I feel much better than my words can:
I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me, But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weakness, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:7-10
We are strong and His power is made perfect primarily because we embrace the fact that we are weak. We do not have all the answers, we do not try to manipulate the outcomes. We accept that this has been and will continue to be a difficult journey. I am not sure I would say we delight in weakness, in difficulties. I would say that we accept them and know that His grace is sufficient in allowing us to be blessed by weakness and difficulties, be grateful for them and then give thanks.
Our ministry has become sharing the blessings that come from living an abundant life even through the trials. There is not a trial we face where God has not placed a person in our path that needed inspiration, help or hearing the Good News of an abundant, blessed life in Christ. You may share our story. We welcome any chance to share our story to groups of any size. Use the links below to share or the tabs above to learn about how we can share with your group. There is also a spot at the top, right of this page to become a part of our prayer team and to receive blog updates.