January 1, 2014.
We had absolutely no idea what was going on with Ally and Bailey Grace.
We didn’t know whether they had some “simple” developmental delays that were going to improve overtime; or a life-threatening illness that would cause them to leave us as soon as they joined us.
Yet, I felt a stirring. A stirring in my heart to share with the world our story. A pressing on my soul to flesh out many of the details of the circumstances and mainly, the work that the Lord was doing in our own spirits. My biggest hang-up with it all was that really, we didn’t exactly know what was going on. We didn’t know where it was all headed.
So why did I begin to share?
He knew, and I began to believe with a zealous fervency that stepping out in faith and allowing others to see God work in the midst of our own mess is a beautiful, beautiful thing. I began to see that it is when we lay out our own weakness, questions, unknowns and doubts that His strength and sovereignty is most displayed.
Therein lied the beginning of His Hands, His Feet, His Heart.
June 20, 2019.
For a few weeks, I have felt the same pressing I felt back in 2014. When I changed the name to Seeds and Leaven, I wondered if the name change within this new season was the thing God was asking for. I recent days I have been quite sure that really, His desire is more for my vulnerability to take a front seat again. I have squirmed away from it because of some of the same reasons I had reluctance 5 years ago.
I don’t want all the questions.
All the knowledge out there.
All the opinions of those who see a snippet but don’t have the full picture.
I am pretty confident however, that these logics are simply that- logical.
As I have been reminded of the work HE has done through the authenticity of the past few years, however; I have felt the push to step out in faith yet again and let His writing of the story that’s already been written be an encouragement to those around us.
This view of Bailey Grace has been all too familiar in recent days.
After a couple years of (some) known and (some) unknown suffering, we have recently come to the conclusion alongside our medical team that it seems these changes in demeanor, seizures, and so on are most likely correlated with progression of disease.
She certainly has some good moments, even good days at times; but it seems these are happening farther and fewer in between.
We have prayerfully begun to make a lot of choices that many of you are all too familiar with. Choices about what’s more important to us- quantity or quality. Choices about what best serves Bailey Grace rather than what our own hearts wish was true. It is much easier to contemplate these things when it’s a hypothetical situation rather than a semi-reality in front of you.
And here’s the thing:
We just don’t know and we won’t know until the days continue to pass.
What in the world do you do while waiting around to see if your precious child is dying?
For I know the plans I have for you…- Jeremiah 29:11a
Seems like a cliché thing to write in a time like this, right?
One the things I love about God’s Word is that there is always more complexity to find. In different seasons and in different ways God often reveals new truths to us in ways only He could.
This week, this verse from Jeremiah kept coming to my mind. As James’s English has improved, he loves to be the one to pray at night. Earlier in the week, as he prayed, I believe God laid it on his heart to pray in this way:
God, you know everything. We don’t know. James doesn’t know, mommy and daddy don’t know, Ally and Bailey Grace don’t know, but You know.
For I know the plans I have for you…
The One who wrote the story in His perfect wisdom absolutely knows the exact ways that every chapter of our lives is being laid out. He doesn’t go with us as a sidekick, anxiously awaiting alongside us for how everything is going to go down. No. He intimately invites us to participate in the beautiful, greater story that He has already seen fully displayed in all its glory.
It’s all pointing to Him.
So while we wait for Him to unveil the days- the beautiful, perfect, best planned out days- that He has ordained, we do a lot of this:
We embrace the moments where Bailey Grace is able to be present, and then, we accept the moments where she is not as His very best for us in that very time. We pray to trust the sovereignty of a God who never leaves and never forsakes. We take thoughts captive and don’t invite the Enemy to make our minds a playground for his lies. We attempt to reach out to those around us to remind us of truths that can feel shaky in the midst of hard.
And most of all we believe.
We believe in a God who is perfect in all of His ways. Who is absolutely the Blessed Controller of all things. Whose promises are sure.
All the days of our lives were written before yet one came to be. (Psalm 139:16)
I do not know what happens next but I know the One who does and that changes everything.
He is good.
At all times.
In all things.
No matter what.
To Him be all the glory.