Monday, May 30, 2011

Low Tide

Jordan and I were talking the other day about this very, very different season of life that God has brought us into (at least for the time being). The last two and a half years have been marked by unbelievable struggle, sadness, desperation...and yes, deliverance. We have spent so much time facedown on the floor--bruised, battered, and broken. Sleepless nights, endless questions, appointment after appointment, Dad's funeral, and on, and on. It seemed like every time we got our footing, something else would knock us off of our feet. Jordan thought up the perfect analogy of what the last couple years have been like: We talked about how our life has felt like a rocky beach-head. Wave after wave, crashing into us: Dad's cancer, Ct Scan, Neurologist, MRI, Dad's unsuccessful surgery, Developmental delays, Muscular issues, Physical therapy, intense feeding issues, a fever that led to a 4 night stay at Children's hospital, fine motor delays, Occupational Therapy, more delays, Dad heading home to heaven, vision issues, glasses and on and on... Everytime we survived the latest wave, the next one would come crashing into us. Over, and over, and over, for two and a half years. Then, very poetically, Jordan kind of laughed and said to me: "I think for the first time in two and half years, the tide has gone down." So true... There are still waves, but they are much shallower, smaller, and less daunting.

Before publishing this post, I read a cool verse this morning that made me think of God's faithfulness to us on this journey over the past couple years. I thought I'd share it: "I made the sand a boundary for the sea, an everlasting barrier it cannot cross. The waves may roll, but they cannot prevail; they may roar, but they cannot cross it." (Jer. 5:22, NIV) It was really an awesome moment to think about how we compared our difficult and devastating past two years to waves crashing into us--yet the waves cannot prevail, they cannot cross the barrier the Lord has established! He has faithfully kept the waves from going one millimeter beyond His sovereign plan. Though there were definitely times we felt like we were drowning...looking back we can see that He was always sustaining us, always rescueing us, always keeping the roaring waves at bay. Praise God.

For the last couple months we almost don't know what to do with ourselves. We find ourselves bracing for impact when sea around us is surprisingly calm. Ansley is doing AMAZING! She is speaking--clear, understandable, two and three word sentences! She is putting her own thoughts together in words (versus repeating known phrases). Just yesterday, she picked up a ball and brought it over to her brother and said: "Zac-a-wee phrow it." Or, running over to the fridge and saying: "Wan milk pease." IT IS AMAZING! Still, today, each of her words is sweet music to our ears...since we spent a solid year and a half wondering if she would ever be able to speak at all. We all cried at her first birthday because against every estimation and every specialist's prediction, Ansley was age-appropriate. Here we are, one year later, speechless as we head into her second birthday with a fully age-appropriate two year old! How great is our God!

So, we find ourselves in what feels like unchartered territory. We almost don't know what to do with life being this...easy. To be honest, it is a little uncomfortable for us. We spent so long living in such a desolate and desperate state, that moving through these calmer waters almost feels a little weird. We have posted so little recently because we are truly at a loss of words. Amazed at what Christ has done, soaking up the goodness of His compassion and mercy on Ansley and us, but above all, we are humbled that He would do SO MUCH for our daughter. But, as we have enjoyed the countless blessings that God has graciously chosen to bestow upon us, we were convicted of two things.

1. We have been called to continue telling Ansley's story. It's kind of funny--you would think it would be easy to talk about how great everything is going versus the struggle, but it isn't. It is hard to get on our blog and say: "Look at how awesome everything is going." Part of that is the cunning of our enemy who want this story untold, and then there are issues of pride, but there is also a sensitivity to how many people we have met along the way who are hurting in deep places. However, we have been called to tell the story of God's limitless power to redeem and restore to anyone who will listen. So, we will rest and enjoy this very wonderful season of seeing Ansley's development soar through Christ's power.

2. We must fight against the tendecy to forget all that we learned in the heat of battle. So often in the Bible, God told His people that as soon as the going gets will forget Me. (Hos. 13:6) We don't want this to happen to us. We don't want to regress to who we were three years ago. Please pray for us in this manner: That things going well would not cause us to shift the car into neutral and coast (which is always our tendency). It's a weird balance. On the one hand, we need to enjoy all God's blessings poured out in our life, but on the other, we can't let this season weaken our resolve to pray passionately.

***Hey, it's Jordan. Im hijacking Rob's post to tell you a few quick things. I am about to start a "Summer Adventures Series" to chronicle everything we do this summer. As most of you know, Rob is a teacher, so summer is an incredibly FUN time for our family.
Second, it's that time of the year again! Birthday season is upon us and I will be giving yall your invitation for our celebration very soon!
Oh, and also... THANK YOU so, so much for all of your sweet emails and facebook messages after my last post. They meant so much to me and were so encouraging!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Acting Foolish?

We are overwhelmed by His graciousness, by the mercy of his hand lifted, by his POWER poured out, by his answers of YES to our pleas...

I haven't posted in ages, because everytime I sit to write I cannot find the words. I sat down just last night and just deleted all of it. It just can't adequately express the cry of our hearts.

There has been a lot of criticism and opposition in the past two years, but I have to be honest... our care and concern with it becomes less and less. Does it affect us? Yes, we are human afterall. But, we do not stand accountable to anyone's opinion of whether or not we are taking God's word out of context, misusing it to get what we want or just being unrealistic. We stand accountable to our King who has called us to "not fear, only BELIEVE." From minute one we have praised our LORD who has given and taken away. We surrender to his sovereignty always, but I believe God desires his people to live in a way that portrays belief that His WORD IS TRUE and that He is as big and powerful as he says he is. I believe he desires us to risk everything for the sake of the glory of the name of Jesus Christ. I don't believe he desires us to pray in a way that protects ourselves from looking wrong if he doesn't answer the way we want or in the way we think he operates. I believe he desires us to take him at his word and live and pray accordingly. For HIS purposes and for HIS glory. Sometimes that is miserably difficult, but we are called to REJOICE in him and that doesn't always equal happiness.

I remember talking to Dan early on about some fears I had with starting a public blog. The main one being fearing people would just think we were being foolish to believe in the way we felt the Lord leading us to (and that has certainly happened!). He gave me a verse that continues to encourage us in 1 Corinthians about being "fools for Christ's sake." He encouraged us that when the opposition comes, and assured it would, that God gave Rob and I, as Ansley's parents, the faith in Christ to carry out the call he placed on our hearts. He encouraged us to block out anyone else's opinion that contradicted God's word. It has certainly been hard, as it is meant to be, but the mercy with which He has chosen to answer our specific prayers and display his strength and power in Ansley... worth it all a million times over. Worth the eye rolling, worth the blank stares, worth the annoyance, worth the ridicule. "FOOLISH" behavior the sake of GLORY. WORTH IT.

Meanwhile, SUMMER has just begun, and its gonna be a good one!

I said smile regular, and this is what I got. My (ALMOST 5 YEAR OLD!!!) boy, and my word I love him, he is a NUT!

p.s. this came with a roar

And... girlfriend's most fav activity. "Hand, hand....wawa ON!!!"
So, we choose to BELIEVE. We will continue to "act foolishly", because it's for GLORY and because He said so!
...and double p.s. Whenever I put foolish in quotations, Im not referring to anything someone said to us, Im referencing the 1 Corinthians passage of being "fools for Christ's sake.

(And FOR REAL, my blogger has a mind of its own! Sorry, I cant get the spacing to work right for the life of me!!)