Thursday, October 16, 2014

Day 16: Brave

Click here to see all the posts in this 31 day series! Thank you!

Yesterday I ended my post saying “I have peace this morning from all of your prayers and I look forward to sharing with you tomorrow how God provided for us all day.” Well, guess who was faithful yet again?

Since He’s been revealing Himself so obviously, which I believe He has always done but I am just learning to keep my eyes open and ready for it, I am not as shocked anymore when it happens. Instead I am excited and so very grateful.

As I told you yesterday, the day was filled with “triggers.” However, so many of you faithfully prayed for us that peace followed us each step of the way.

I had never been to the Lowell branch of Arkansas Children’s Hospital. It’s so beautifully painted in vibrant, colorful scenes with many toys for the children as we sat in the waiting room. We had to be diligent in focusing our minds on Jesus and not worrying for the many precious children and parents in the room. No one wants to be there.

The door swung open and the nurse called Jett’s name and we immediately recognized each other. I could have cried right then for God providing her beautiful, smiling face. We don’t know each well enough for me to gush about how much it helped our hearts to have her be the one to take us to the examination room and so cheerfully play with Jett as she took down his vitals. One day, I’ll tell her though. : )

The cardiologist came in and did a great job of explaining what is going on with Jett’s sweet heart and what we can expect. Our two greatest prayers for that appointment were answered. Jett was so brave and the doctor noticed my sister’s adorable belly and recommended the surgery happen as soon as possible rather than December. PRAISE GOD. They will get a phone call next week letting them know the date. He said to expect to be in Little Rock around a week and then Jett can return to regular activities almost immediately with a super cool scar under his arm.

I squeezed on Jett as much as he would let me (not too much, he’s 5 after all) and headed off to my next “divine appointment.”

My adorable little boys were at Mother’s Day Out at our church being taken care of by dear friends so I was letting them stay until it was time for Ethan’s ENT appointment. I picked up my friend Nellie and realized we had an hour to spare, and since I have learned quite a bit about self-care on “trigger” days, we settled on comfort food from Stone Mill Bakery for lunch.

As we settled into our table I voiced the question that bugs me constantly on days full of stress. “Why would God let this happen?” We just let the question hang in the air knowing there is not a quick, easy answer for that one. We prayed over our food and almost immediately Libby, a mutual friend of ours, showed up in the almost empty, tiny bakery. There God was again. She came over and Nellie laughed because Libby had just texted her wondering how she was doing and Nellie said she was with me but didn’t tell her where we were. If you know me then you know I had to refrain from shaking Libby at my wonder at God’s providence! (Well, I might have grabbed her arm hard enough to take her off balance, you know Elaine from “Seinfeld?” Yeah I tend to push people around when I am excited!) Libby said she was praying about whom to have lunch with and she had invited a friend she had not seen in a while. She spotted her and left the table. I told Nellie how awesome it was for God to have her show up here for us!
Nellie checks her phone and God had sent her an email to answer the question I posed as we sat down. Okay it wasn’t from, but it was very close! It was from (in)courage and it was “The Call to Brave.”The author referenced Gideon (again for me!) but instead of the message I took away from it the first time, she said this:                                                                                                                                                                        
“The story of Gideon that is found in Judges Chapters 6-8 chronicles an ordinary man called to be brave by extraordinary God. Gideon replied with every excuse there could be:
If you’re with us, why is this happening?
Why have you abandoned us?
My clan is the weakest.
I am the least in my family.
God’s response to Gideon is the same response He gives us today…
Go in the strength you have.
I will be with you.
Do not be afraid.
You are mighty.
Now that sounds like a firm foundation if ever there was one! My prayer is that I learn to stand on this foundation trusting that if God has called me to it, He will equip me for it. He calls me brave and He calls you brave.”

Oh man, “if God has called me to it, He will equip me for it.” I may need to tattoo this on my arm. Have I not found this to be true time and time again? Have I not used “God will provide” as my mantra for almost 6 years now?

As we finished our lunch we said goodbye to Libby and I was shocked (okay, I guess I am still surprised by God) to know her friend, Sarah! We recognized each other, but it had been years since our paths had crossed. It was such a fun conversation explaining how I knew Libby through my husband Tyler and how I knew Nellie because she obeyed one day at church shortly after the accident and told me she would be a helper for me and my babies. Then Sarah and I realized we had other connections that God has recently provided me, which also connected my sister’s story to us!
We left there and I was in awe at how God used those ladies to have me remember out loud many of the HUGE provisions God has given me since college up until this very day. He used people to equip me. He sure is making it clear how important community is for our well-being and to further His message of love and redemption.

Let’s help us remember today and always: If God calls us to it, He will equip us through it. We are in this together, friends.

(ps Ethan’s appointment went great. He will have tubes placed in his ears on October 30th. We ask for continued prayers for Jett, please!)

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