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I intend it for good (Genesis 50:20)

It's been awhile since I've opened up our webpage to write a true "blog post". I tend to default to our Join Team Blake facebook page for quick updates and posts and reserve this blog for longer, more contemplative posts. (If you haven't yet, please be sure to "like" our FB page!) It's easier to post photos and updates on FB because it's right there on my phone, but I realize not everyone has FB, so I am going to try and "blog" more as I've felt a very deep nagging lately, to write down everything that's been swirling through my head the last few months.

I write blog posts in my head almost daily, but finding the time to sit down and actually compose the message is my greatest challenge. Another equally daunting challenge, is the war within myself. You see, I am not by nature a "share everything for the world to see" kind of person. As a matter of fact, Ben and I both are rather private people. Now, if you follow me on Instagram or FB, this may come as a shock to you as I post pictures of our girls pretty much daily. But the truth of the matter is that we/I now feel obligated to share our life with you, mainly because we are dutifully pursuing awareness. Awareness of two main things; 1. Awareness of Rett Syndrome and, 2. Awareness of how God is working in our life to bring about good despite our daily challenges (of which there are plenty). Today's post is more about #2.

We love Blake something fierce, and we want to see her well (and Rett Syndrome cured), but most of all, we want God glorified through us and through her. We know that we are NOT the only ones facing difficulties in life -- everyone has/is/will. But, we also know that there is so much more beyond this temporal life. Perhaps, by sharing how God is undeniably working in our lives, we will be able to encourage others who are struggling to make sense of their own challenges and yearning to find purpose in this life. I do believe with all my heart that this is what God is asking of me right now: to share what He is doing through Blake. So, share I will.

I would love to write out EVERY single little thing that I haven't "gotten out" yet. But, I've got to share a little at a time. I've decided to start with this story because this verse, this promise, has become my battle cry... Genesis 50:20 - "You intended this for evil, but I intend it for good..."

I want to back up to 2013, to a day that He lead me to one of His promises through scripture. At the time, Blake was recovering from her very difficult surgery (read our story), and we were not seeing the improvements we were hoping for -- we were 8 months away from getting her Rett diagnosis, and unknowingly, she was still in the regression phase of Rett. I sent an email update out to friends and family on November 18, 2013 (about 2 months after her surgery). These are exerpts from that after-chiari-surgery email update in -- pay attention to the story in pink:

November 18, 2013

"Gen 50:20 - "You meant it for evil, but God intended it for good..."

Ill be honest, I was REALLY hoping that in my next update, I'd be able to say "She's cured!". But no. There have been positive results for sure, but not to the extent we were hoping for by now -- but I am also rather impatient. We know in time we'll continue to see improvement, but there are some leftover things we are working to recover in her and its going to take months to years. [......]

On the other hand, she is two and very strong willed -- all of this has affected her little system physically, mentally and emotionally and in turn we've been affected in the same ways. It's a roller coaster we've been on for over a year now and I think we all just want off. I wish it was that simple.

I am so very thankful God has allowed me the blessing of being a stay at home mom -- it's all I've ever wanted to be. While this past year has been the hardest year of my life, I am so blessed to have had the time to work with her and for her. While, I had hoped that the most difficult work would be over by this point, I'm realizing that's not the case. Life is just tough right now, and I'm mad about it. I'm mad, sad, frustrated, overwhelmed and just plain depressed. But there are still blessings and I know God is still working despite how I may "feel". I sat down the other day while the girls were asleep to "be still", but instead of talking or asking for something, I prayed, "Lord, I'm going to be still here in your presence, please speak to me." It didn't come in the form of an audible voice ,but a scripture came to mind and kept playing in my head again and again. "You meant this for evil, but I intended it for good." (Gen 50:20) I used the rest of their nap time to start an audio book a friend had given me by Max Lucado titled "You'll Get Through This" (I highly recommend it!) The theme of the first chapter was all about Joseph's story of struggle and faith and also centered around this same verse! Tell me God doesn't work in mysterious ways! So, this verse is my new hope and anchor. Lucado says in the first chapter, "It may not be quick and it won't be painless, but you'll get through this and God will reweave this mess for good" {My paraphrase} Ultimately, her road to full health is going to take time. My prayer is that God uses it all for good...and that maybe He'll hurry up for me just a teensy bit. When you are in a pit, you can only look up and that's what we are doing.

It's kind of hard for me to relive this moment in time -- these were dark days for me-- but, I also think it's very cool how God revealed a promise, a hope and an anchor to me in the midst of the darkness...even before the devastation of her Rett diagnosis (that came in July 2014). He promised me, that November day, that He was going to use all this for good if I would let Him. He would continue to drive this point home in the coming months (I'll tell more about this in future posts). At the time I WAS mad, sad, frustrated, overwhelmed and totally depressed and I didn't even know about the Rett yet. I realize now that I/we have experienced a lot of long-term grieving the past couple years -- and grief, I believe, is the worst emotion of all-- And our grief is slightly unique, in that it feels we've been grieving the loss of a child that is still sitting in our laps.........But y'all He has worked through it all, letting us know He is there every step of the way, blessing us in ways "abundantly more than anything we could ask or imagine" (Eph 3:20) He's brought me/us to a place of joy despite the difficulty and revealed so much about Blake to me -- what she is capable of and that she IS TOTALLY IN THERE AND UNDERSTANDS EVERYTHING AROUND HER. He's answered a whole lot of prayers and taught me/us SO MUCH! I'll share more in future posts...But, for now, suffice it to say, we definitely don't understand all of this, but we believe with all of our hearts that HE WILL USE THIS FOR GOOD!! We urge you to consider this verse too, in light of your own struggles. He has a plan, trust Him with it... even if you dont understand it.

Thank you Team Blake, for praying for us and for allowing Him to work through you guys to bless us. We are so grateful for you all!! Keep those prayers going please! I mean, just look at these smiles!!!

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