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.
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.
"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.