Wednesday, February 23, 2011

His Word Sent Out!

Isaiah 65:24
"Before they call, I will answer.
While they are still speaking I will hear them."

Last Tuesday after Ansley's neurology appointment, we didn't really talk much walking back out to the car. There really wasn't anything to say. We knew exactly how the other was feeling, so we mostly processed internally until we got Ansley buckled in and were sitting side by side in the front seats. Rob broke the silence first by asking me how I was feeling. In short, not good.

As we had expected, her neurologist was quite amazed at Ansley progress and (*note*) how she had shattered every expectation of what her brain would have been capable of at that point. And... well, that's the pretty picture of the appointment. The rest went downhill pretty quickly. In the ten minutes he observed Ansley, she was quiet as a mouse, so he mentioned that he disagreed with the fact that she had 20-50 words (as indicated on her evaluation sheet we brought from her therapist). He went on to talk about the preschool evaluation our county does at age three, and he anticipated her having special needs/delays for language. He went into further detail of what he anticipated her verbal abilities to be in the future and spoke words over her that took life away from her. There is a lot more he said, and frankly it's not entirely neccessary to go into it , but it reminded us a lot of our October 1st appointment when we got her MRI results. It threatened to steal our hope and take away our fight to keep believing in this call that God has placed on our hearts. It hurt, badly.

We very often relate this journey (with Ansley) to a mountain range. We climb through the treacherous conditions until the Lord delivers Ansley to a mountain top. The scenery is blow- your- mind- breathtaking standing on top of those answered (impossible) prayers. It's inevitable, however, when we get to the top that we see the rest of the mountain range in front of us and before we know, we have been shoved down the other side of the mountain and land right back in the mud and darkness of the valley. However, it has been our experience that the Lord reveals Himself and His presence most intensely in the dark places. Psalm 34 says he is "close to the brokenhearted and SAVES those who are crushed in spirit." He has never failed to lift our feet out of that miserable mud and mire and stand us up on the mighty rock of His truth. He continues to gift us with the faith to continue believing. He allows us to be brought down low so that His power can displayed and the GLORY of His splendor revealed when His mighty hand lifts us up.

(This is already getting lengthy, but seriously... you have to read what happened the rest of the day. You have to see how He sent His Word out answered our cries for help before the words even escaped our lips. )

As we sat talking in the car, a few tears came, some frustrated processing ensued... but ultimately, Rob put his hand on my knee and said, "Let's pray." I absentmindedly glanced down at the clock. 10:49 a.m.

Rob had to head back to work, and shortly after arriving home, he texted me to check my email. He had sent me a message of encouragement and hope that the Lord was rising up in him. It really is true that when I am weak, Rob is strong and vice versa.

I really feel God's strength rising up in me. I can feel prayers. This is the journey God has called us to (though we would give anything to trade it in). Scary, and we definitely feel powerless. But this is why God has put us here- So ONLY HE can save us. So ONLY HE can get the credit. If (Ansley's neurologist) says, "Yeah, I think she will be fine. She will go to kindergarten and live a normal life," then there is no deliverance, no mountains cast into the sea, no miracle. We must be fools for Christ's sake. This is the verse that I came across this morning:

"Then Asa called to the LORD his God and said, “LORD, there is no one like you to help the powerless against the mighty. Help us, LORD our God, for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this vast army. LORD, you are our God; do not let mere mortals prevail against you.” (2 Chron. 14:11)

We are powerless, we know this. But there is no one like our God! to help the powerless against the mighty. We call for help, for we rely on God and in His name and for His glory we continually feel called to come against the vast army of microcephaly and delays. Then we wait:

"The LORD struck down the Cushites before Asa and Judah. The Cushites fled, and Asa and his army pursued them as far as Gerar. Such a great number of Cushites fell that they could not recover; they were crushed before the LORD and his forces. (2 Chron. 14:12-13)

I pray that God would strike down microcephaly, that delays and obstacles would flee, fall, and not recover. That God would CRUSH what is in front of us.

Love you.


Hope Rising.

Our faith 'bursting into bloom" just as we pray for her brain to do. (Isaiah 35)

Darkness being SHUT OUT by LIGHT.

While I had my email open, I noticed a Facebook message from a longtime friend, (and newly wed!!)Erica. We have known each other since middle school and were roommates our freshmen year in college. She is just the most beautiful, godly woman and such a FUN girl! Prepare yourself for the gorgeousness of this girl...

She told me that "for whatever reason" God had me and my family on her heart and she wanted to see how we were doing. (Reason coming...) She then shared with me that she has the gift of prophecy and how it had manifested itself many times in her life. She told me she had a dream about me that she wanted to share and didn't know what it would mean to me, but hoped it was encouraging.

(I have never had a prophetic message shared over me before so later that night I dug and dug through scripture and was so encouraged by all that I found.)

I got her permission to share the dream, so here it is...

"In my dream, I was sitting with you in a car at night in the Kroger parking lot right across from ***** High School. I was telling you that you were touching so many people with your boldness and courage in your faith. I told you that you don’t even have a clue about how many people that you have affected with the way that you have lived your life and honored God. I told you that you are impacting the world and then I started to cry. I was saying to you that you don’t even realize how your strength has been so encouraging to me and how your hope in God has been such a light to the world. Girl, you are a spiritual force to be reckoned with. Then I started to say to you that God was going to do something HUGE in your life…HUGE! I kept saying that to you. I said, Jordan it won’t just be in this life, but it is also in the life to come. Then at the end of the dream you were talking about the most important aspects of your faith. You got to your very last point and I somehow knew what you were going to say and we said together, “TRUST GOD.” And the dream ended. "

I was already trembling and crying at this point when Erica went on to say...

"Usually when I have a spiritual dream I wake up in the spirit, with the spirit of God around me. I was still halfway asleep because it was very early this morning, but I remember specifically getting a spiritual sense that you were/are having an incredible impact on the Kingdom of God. I saw you entering Heaven and only then realizing the great impact that you had on the world. It was because you are allowing Christ to shine through you in ways that most people never dare—that is a recipe for a world changer. I have no idea what else God is going to do through you Jordan, but I could definitely see you writing books in the future continuing to share the things that God has done in your life. "

There are a few aspects of this dream relating to our life, that Lord willing one day I can share with you, but for privacy issues cannot yet. With trembling hands, I forwarded the message to Rob and text him to IMMEDIATELY check his email. We were both completely speechless. Stunned. I had been so low and the way the Lord sent His word out to us through Erica just absolutely blew us away... then Isaiah 65:24 (at the top) immediately came to mind. And I wondered, "What time did Erica send this message?" I grabbed the laptop and opened Facebook as fast as I could. 10:49. Which means, as we walked in silence back to the car and sat silently hurting, the Lord was sending His word our through her fingertips before we even called for it. And when we went before Him in a desperate plea for deliverance and a renewal of hope, AT THAT VERY MOMENT, 10:49, while we were still speaking.... He heard us.

Job 5:18
"For he wounds, but he also binds up; he injures, but his hands also heal. "

My beautiful Jesus.

How he delights in rescuing his children.

Friday, February 18, 2011

An Encounter

This past Saturday, I was able to attend an all day women's conference held at a local church. I had heard the speaker at our church's moms group a few years back, so I knew it was going to be an awesome experience. I told Rob the night before that I was just desperate to hear the Lord speak to me. I knew that I would walk away with pages full of insightful bits of wisdom and encouragement to my heart and soul as a woman, but I needed to hear from Him... specifically to me.

Unless you are new here, you know the burdens of my heart. Those deep places of pain that He leads me through. Grieving the loss of my womb has been more difficult than I knew to expect, even though we had known it was coming for quite some time. And while we're there, let me just say... I KNOW how richly I have been blessed to conceive and birth my two beautiful children. I KNOW what an immeasureable gift that is that many do not receive. That being said, we were not ready to close that door. And of course, the journey we have been marching, trudging, crawling, skipping and leaping through with our sweet sweet. How's that for an up and down?!

Before I tell you what He POURED out over me that Saturday, I have to give you a smidge of background. I'm about 99% sure I've never mentioned on here before that Rob and I have been leading a college community group through our church for the past two years. When I was nearing the end of my pregnancy with Ansley, we were really trying to find a place where we could serve together, as a married couple. We had no clue what to expect walking into it, but it has been the most incredible blessing. We absolutely LOVE it!! So anyway, two weeks before the conference, we were talking with our group about generational sin and the earthly inheritance we receive within our own families. What scripture says about it, how has it played a role in your life... etc. The week before the conference, we talked about our spiritual inheritance. What scripture says about the life we receive in Christ and etc. We got into small groups and posed the question, "What part of your life do you think inhibits you from full acceptance of your inheritance through Christ?" (I can't remember the exact question, but it was something along those lines.) I ended up with two guys, Jack and Danny, and when it was my turn to share, I said I thought that sometimes I really do not accept or realize the fullness and the depth of God's love for me. I tried to explain it terms of parenthood. I gave the example of pulling Zachary in and saying, "Hey, buddy I love you. Do you know how much Mommy loves you?" And him quickly responding, "Oh yea, I do. Can we build a tower?" It sinks into his heart, just as God's love does for me, but how quick am I to say, "Oh, Lord of course I know how much you love me. But seriously, do you see how hard "this or that" is?" How I so often want to figure things out when the moments of pain creep in, rather just resting and soaking in the light of His banner of love over me.

So, back to Saturday. We were nearing the final session of the conference. As I sat flipping through my notes, I had that flitter of a thought that while so much had been affirmed and lifted in my heart through the worship and speaking, I still had not heard that still, small voice. As the speaker began talking, she explained that the worship team was going to play, and that one at a time, we were all going to walk forward and have our feet washed by the volunteer team. I have done this before back in college at the ministry I was involved with, so I was actually pretty excited about it. She was talking about how much the Lord delights in speaking to his children and to ask and prepare for the Lord to speak into our hearts. Tears immediately started streaming down my face, because I knew this was the moment I had been waiting all day for. They told us that after the feet washing another woman from the volunteer team was going to pray over us with no information other than our name.

As I sat waiting for my turn, I feverishly wrote a prayer in my journal. I was so eager with anticipation because I knew the spirit of the Lord would move in those women to speak to me. I KNEW and I could not wait to hear from Him! When I began inching closer in line, I watched the sweet women as they poured water over the feet of their sisters and held their feet as they prayed over them. They looked up and often wiped tears of love off their faces. When it was finally my turn, I sat down, tissues ready. Seriously, as excited as I was, I couldn't have prepared for the moment if I had known what was coming.

By this point in the day, I'm pretty sure I had cried any trace left of mascara off my eyes because my emotions had been so strong all day as I let the Lord wash healing over my heavy heart. I was trembling because I could just feel the Holy Spirit and I knew it was going to be beautiful. I watched as she squeezed the white washcloth over my feet and waited. She smiled up at me and when the skin of her hands touched the skin of my feet, it wasn't three seconds before she began shaking and trembling. In a mere moment, she was full on sobbing. I'm talking shoulders shaking, "ugly cry" sobbing. Though no words were spoken, I'm pretty sure I have never heard from the Lord in such a passionate way. Scripture says that we are the hands and feet of Jesus to other. In that moment, when the spirit in her touched me, she knew my burdens. I watched as she she went from gently touching to my feet, to gripping my ankles until she had her face on my feet desperately grabbing onto me. I was so overwhelmed I truly could hardly catch my breath. She was in the exact position that I get into in my living room floor when it is all too much. I just fall, face down and desperately try to grip onto Jesus to carry me. In that moment of His love being poured out in such beautiful display, he said to me:

"This is where I have been all along. Those moments when you can't breathe and the darkness feels suffocating and you lay there desperately trying to cling to my feet, I am right there at yours DOING THE EXACT SAME THING TO YOU."

Clinging, fighting, weeping with you, sharing in your sorrows and desperate to cling to you so that you know the presence of My Love. The presence of His Love over me in that moment was more intense that I have ever known and it was the deepest and most beautiful display of His love I have ever experienced. I smiled and wept as I was prayed over and heard her pray for healing and that the Lord would reveal how GOOD His plans are for me. Breathtaking Love.

Song of Solomon 2:4
"He has taken me to the banquet hall,
and his banner over me is love."
As far as Little Miss news goes...Ansley's neurology appointment that had gotten cancelled for snow is coming up on Tuesday. Beyond excited! I know the Lord will reveal the depths of His power and mercy over her once more. By the by... yesterday during therapy (SO thankful I had a witness to this), she said (as clear as day), "Go, Dog, Go!!" I cried. Shocker. I was overwhelmed and shared with her therapist the scripture in Jeremiah that we have prayed and claimed for her. She just smiled as I shared that Lord has absolutely reached out to touch her lips and put words in them in spite of what her brain is able to do. All glory to our Mighty Lord!!!! Our God is a God who SAVES!!!!!!!!!!!!
Jeremiah 1:6-9
"Ah, Sovereign LORD," I said, "I do not know how to speak; I am only a child." But the LORD said to me, "Do not say, 'I am only a child.' You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afradi of them, for I am with you and will rescue you," declares the LORD. Then the LORD reached out his hand and touched (Ansley's) mouth and said to (her), "Now I have put words in your mouth."

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

1st Ebenezer Anniversary

We went out to a celebratory dinner that night to celebrate and wanted to do the same this year, but my car is in the shop getting a tune-up : ( Meanwhile, girlfriend is getting some major new toothage and has chewed through 4 pacifiers in the past two weeks. The pacis stay in her crib for sleeping only, so we dont have major drama, but naptime today was no bliss I'll tell ya that! I wasn't planning on taking them away this early, but we are not going to just chew through dollar bills every night while we sleep!!

Anywaaay, that February 1st appointment of last year was our first Ebenezer. Dan had sent us the verse and idea to make that an Ebenezer for our family to remember and celebrate. It was the first time the Lord really revealed the depth of the glory and power He was pouring out over Ansley. It was a confirmation of the call Rob and I KNEW we had received, in spite of everything, and often almost everyone around us, telling us otherwise.

I will never stop being the 'persistent widow' (Luke 18). Do we control our circumstances? No. Does prayer change things? Yes. So often throughout the new testament when Jesus heals, he asks if the person believes he is able and oftentimes follows up by saying something to the effect of "your faith has healed you." All I know is that my lack of faith will not inhibit healing. Sometimes I hesitate to share fully. Which, I know you may be thinking.."uhh, thats a little scary" because I share pretty much all of my heart with you all. The Lord continues to gift us with increasing faith. Some days easier than others, BUT... We believe that the power of the blood of Jesus Christ will fully restore and redeem our angel girl's brain. That is not unrealistic, denial or fill in the blank reason for protecting ourselves from disappointment... that is faith. Belief, with NO doubt.

James 1:6 But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind."

God is sovereign. The end.


Just a little Ebenzer Day fun...

Stumbled upon our little stinker like this. I seriously want to burst with joy when I see her like this. Being all curious, climby and mischevious. I have praaayed for mischief. The LORD is so faithful and good.

She struck again.
Poor baby.

The kids are obsessed with playing upstairs.
I say the word and they beeline to the gate to head up.
Laughing at and playing peek-a-boo with herself.

While this monkey jumped on the bed!
(Our camera is about to kick it... sorry these are blurry.)

A good day, indeed.