God is Good but not because He healed Abby

After the great that has happened this week many people have proclaimed how good God is. We completely agree with them but not for the reasons they think.

God is good because He sent His son to die for us. He has given all mankind the opportunity to fellowship and spend eternity with Him. Thus not in hell. That is why God is good! Not because He did or didn’t do something (See The Will of God). This is the foundation for our faith and is the rock that should never change. His goodness can’t get greater. There is no extra credit if you are perfect to make you extra perfect. God is good.

As we have stated since our birth announcement, God is good not depending on what the circumstances around us look like. My heart breaks for all people (christian and non-christian) who tie there belief in God to the outcomes of life. That isn’t biblical and leads to very dark places and perverted versions of a religion. Not Christianity. If you are at that place where you are upset with God because of a loss, misfortune or life in general. Pray for God to give you His perspective and reason for the source of your pain. You are God’s child and there is nothing that you can do to bring Him closer to you than He already is. He wants you to bring that sorrow to Him. It breaks His heart to see you go through it and He has the perfect medicine for your ailments.

Prayer has been the most vital part of how Erika and I have been able to walk through all of this. We have tangibly felt God’s grace every single day. That grace is what has give us the perspective and fath to trust God, no matter the outcome. We have always known His goodness and arrived at the point where our belief in that goodness and love would never be shaken even if Abigial died. We are so very thankful for her life! Did we pray for Abigail’s healing every day? Yes, of course! We wanted our child to be healed. But we don’t think that 1 million prayers healed her. We don’t think prayers twist God’s arm to do so. If they did, then we (all Christians) would be responsible for all the bad things happening on the earth because we didn’t pray enough. Put that in your theological pipe and smoke it!
We believe those prayers softened our hearts to the Sprit of the Lord to prepare us for the journey ahead. Prayer is meant for us to have a clearer understanding of God’s plan and for Him to soften our hearts to His love, grace and mercy.

Does God hear our prayers? Of course! Does God answer prayers, yes but not always is the ways we want or expect. His answering of prayers depends on the heart of the person praying and if it aligns with the plans of God. The difficulty in this is that we don’t even know the true plans of our own heart, only God does. Is it ok to pray selfish prayers? Yes, God already knows your thinking them so speaking them to Him isn’t going to repulse or surprise Him. It’s the exact opposite! It brings you to a level of honesty in your relationship with Him that wasn’t there before. That veil has been pulled away from your relationship and God now has an opening to communicate with you.

“What happens if she dies?”

I’ve thought about that a lot over the past months. I’ve stared into the abyss of emotions of a child’s death. I would be heart broken beyond belief and would yell and scream at God but deep down I would know that He didn’t cause her death and He didn’t want all this to happen, but He had a reason to allow it to happen. What that was I many never have know but I know He does…

I wrote that many weeks ago before I knew what would happen. Now I have the just as many questions. Why is she alive? What makes her special? Why our family when so many others don’t getting the good news?

What I do know is that this will produce in me a thankfulness for my family, life, community and God greater than ever before. And I’ll need much more grace, love and mercy to find the answers. But in the end I may never know but I’m sure He does…

The Will of God

This is something that a lot of people have talked with us about lately. First off, God did not give this tumor to Abigail. We live in a fallen sinful world because of the original sin of Adam. Let’s make that clear. God did not give this tumor to Abigail. (If you want to discuss that further please message me)

“It is God’s will for Abigail to be healed. His will on earth as it is in Heaven…”

That could or couldn’t be true. Many people associate God with healing, especially of a defenseless child. They put their belief in the outcome rather than the Creator. When we correlate the sovereignty of God with the outcomes we want, God is now our vending machine. We want Him to do this and that in our lives. Weather that is to fix your marriage, get a promotion or heal a brain tumor in a child. In God’s eyes all of those things are the same. We make them different. He is able to fix every one of those situation in a breath, a whisper or a moment. He is able to do all of them without issue. When we pray just for healing we are limiting who we believe God to be and once again you are tying your belief in God to the selfish outcomes that you want. God doesn’t work that way and if you want God to work that way, go find another God. Contrary to the modern American Christian belief God will not always make your life easy or happy. He will not bless your because you’re a good and happy person that goes to church every week and has perfect hair, smile and family. If that is what you believe, I don’t know what God you are following but it’s not the God of the Bible. God’s will for you is not to have a 4/2 in suburbia with three kids a dog, suv and a smooth easy life. Once again, not the God of the Bible or Christianity.

God’s will is for all humanity to be connected to Him. When you truly confess that He is your Lord and Savior, you are His. You have given up your right to have whatever life you wanted. Many people don’t realize this when they first come into relationship with Christ within modern American Christianity. God purchased you with His son. Let that sink in…your soul was owned the devil. God purchased you with the life of His son. Plain and simple. When you truly open your heart to Him, you are now His property. Now some people might not like that terminology. I could water it down for you to make you feel better about yourself, but I won’t. Why? Because being property of God is better that all the “freedom” and riches in the world, combined. He loves is a never ending ocean of peace, joy and mercy. His path is straight and true. His thoughts for you are more than could ever been numbered. All He ever wants for you is the best.

“Wait, how can you say that God wants to best for you when you daughter has a brain tumor?”

Easily. I understand that my life or Abigail’s is not limited to this world. She is not here just for my enjoyment. She is God’s child first, mine second. The game of life doesn’t last for 80 years. The game of life is an eternity, that’s what God has us playing for. His will is for all souls to be in relationship with Him. As His child, Abigail is helping that cause. Because God’s will is to have everyone come into relationship with Him, and He is omniscient, which allows for Him to use us the best way He sees fit to bring all into relationship with Him. We have to have faith in His plan and if Abigail saves on soul from Hell, her life is worth it. I believe that to be true for all believers in Christ. His life was the greatest expression of love, peace and joy in human history. Yet is was riddled pain, suffering, and sacrifice to the point of death. Are you greater than Christ?

We pray for Abigail to be healed each and every day. That is the easy prayer. God can heal. Plain and simple. The more difficult prayer is that we ask for grace and understanding in the midst of this difficult situation, trusting that God has a plan. We will not twist God’s arm into healing her, if it isn’t a part of His eternal plan. I want my daughter to live. I couldn’t imagine her not being with us, but I know God has a plan that is greater than what I see and the pain we will walk through. His ocean of love is big enough to cover our pain…

One Life at a Time

We received this message from someone that has been following Abigail’s story. To God be all the glory! 

“Earlier this week I had the privilege of meeting with a young woman 22 years of old and 19 weeks along in her pregnancy. She found herself in the middle of a crisis pregnancy. The father of the baby left her, her parents gave her no support, and she had just had a doctor’s appointment in which she learned her baby boy did indeed most likely have Down Syndrome (3 indicators and a positive blood test). She was devastated. Scared. No terrified is a better word. The doctor recommended and I would say was “pushing” her to have an abortion.

And indeed she had an appointment already scheduled with Planned Parenthood scheduled for today, September 4 before we spoke. She was convinced that she couldn’t care for a baby with special needs, that it would be better for the baby to not be born because of various reasons. The bottom line: she is scared, doesn’t have support, and all the doctor said was abort the fetus. She had pictures of her son in her hands. Tears streamed down her face. So broken. So hurting. So afraid of the unknown.

I asked if I could share the story of Abigail Noelle. She looked at me funny but said, “Sure.” I shared with her Abigail’s story. I shared very openly what you wrote for the birth announcement that described the 18 week and 30 week appointments. I continued on to share that little Abigail would turn 4 weeks on Thursday. She was in shock.

I looked at her and said, “Abigail is still alive. Yes, her parents are in a great pain AND they also have joy in midst of it because they have their beautiful daughter in their arms. Had they aborted Abigail then she would not be here.”

Totally enthralled by the story and bawling at this point the young woman asked if it would be okay to see Abigail. Umm….of course its ok! So she saw multiple pictures of Abigail. She kept looking from Abigail’s pictures to her ultrasound picture. The battle for this baby boy was intense. After 30 minutes of talking she said, “I can’t kill my baby. Look at Abigail. She’s beautiful. She’s alive. She’s a miracle and here. I can’t kill my son.”

Then I held her. She wept the deep tears of a Momma. After praying together I asked if she was ready to cancel the abortion appointment. She said yes. I handed her the phone and she cancelled the appointment right then in front of me. She said, “My son will live and not die. I am his mother and will love him no matter what. I don’t know how I’m going to do this but I won’t kill him.”

I literally just left Panera and meeting with her. She is doing well. She saw the ABC story yesterday online and said, “Without Abigail I would have killed my son today. I love Abigail and her parents.”

And so I will work with her on getting her set up with services and walking her through the pregnancy and probably be there when baby boy comes BUT she chose life because of Abigail’s life.

God is a big big big God who uses everything for His good and glory.

I hate the pain that you are going through on this journey and I’m so thankful that you are sharing Abigail with the world. That is just one baby we know of that was saved from abortion. who knows how many more there are.”

Pain Hurts

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It always has and it always will. How we deal with pain is what’s the hardest. I have found that over the past three weeks I spend most of my time consoling other people on how to deal with there pain. Helping them to walk through the impending death of an infant. People are unable to wrap their heads around it or they choose to act like its not going to happen. Ignorance in this instance truly is bliss.

People love to talk. They think they have all the answers or have to best piece of advice for you. Unfortunately this isn’t true. Many kind-hearted people just don’t know how to act. Everyone will say something stupid, its gonna happen. Don’t worry about those comments they are easily overlooked. It’s when you know someone is saying something because they don’t know what to say and it gets worse and worse… and usually really awkward. For you and anyone that you may know that is going through a tough situation let me give you some tips.

Things to say:

“Man, that sucks.”

“We are here for you.”

“Let us know if you need anything.”

“We are praying for you.”

Be ok with silence. Let the person will talk about whatever they want to talk about. They are not looking to you for answers; they just need to get all the crazy thoughts out.

Things not to say:

“How are you feeling.” – If you ask this, be prepared to get the worst possible answer that you could ever imagine and don’t be angry with the person when they tell you. You asked the question…

“God has this!” – Is the sky blue? Of course He does. All things come through His hands to us. You might not want to know what the real outcome is and I don’t feel like getting into a theological discussion with you, unless I bring it up.

“We are sending you good energy” – Are you a power plant? Are you charging me for that energy?

To my friends that I have communicated with; You are great. I love each and every one of you dearly and you mean the world to me, more than you will ever know. But please don’t give me unsolicited advice on how to get through this situation, unless you have been through it. It just makes me angry, which I really don’t have the energy for, and that turns into apathy for our friendship. If you have a word of encouragement or God laid something on your heart PLEASE send a txt, email, voicemail, carrier pigeon…anything! What I need right now is not advice on how to handle the impending death of my daughter, (unless you have been through it) I need help making it through the day (literally). One day at a time. Please help me with that. If you can I will be grateful beyond words.

You must understand that in a situation where you know something bad is going to happen, you live expecting it. I know you cant always live our lives that way. Its weight is crushing to ones soul. So you must always press on and move forward. For the first two weeks of Abigail’s life I didn’t leave her side, I was always there knowing what could come at any moment. Now that we are prepared for a long haul I have started to venture our more and more. Once three to four hours hits, panic ensues. My heart races, breath gets short and body clinches in retching agony of being away from my sweet little girl. Why? Today could be her last day. That hour could be her last. This is the reality that I live in. A perpetual state of terrifying dismay of what is to come and what I might miss. Does this stop me from doing errands or work? It can’t. I don’t have that option. I am a man, the head of this house. With God’s guidance I will lead Erika, Audrey and Abigail through this. Whatever that looks like I will be obedient to what I have to do for my family. I will lay my life down for any of my girls and if that means hustling for more sales, getting a gallon of milk or traversing the earth to find something that will help them I will do it. No questions asked. Difficult times call for strong people. I am the strongest of them all, A Warrior for Christ

The Pebble

There is an ancient story that talks about the world being changed by the wings of a butterfly flapping or a pebble being dropped into a lake. Abigail is God’s pebble on this earth…

Her life has been less than three weeks but we can already see that her impact is great. People ask us “how do you do this”, “there’s no way we could make it through this situation”, I don’t believe that for a second. We are ordinary people, that love God. Our love hasn’t always been perfect, our hearts aren’t always pure but through this experience one thing has become crystal clear to us. God is grace, mercy and love. We haven’t asked for it, expected it or strived after it. It has always been there, at the same overwhelming level, but we were so shut off to it that we didn’t realize it. Those three things have been the only constants throughout this entire situation. Some people may wonder how we can have that perspective when our daughter has an inoperable brain tumor that will kill her. Very simply. We believe (and if you would like to further discuss this please message me and we can set up a time to talk) that God has a plan for every person on this earth. We are all created for a reason, not just to exist or live the 60-100 years on this earth. God has purposed all of us to be His reflection on this earth. In being that reflection, bringing people to Him that so they wont experience an eternity away from Him. Abigail has that same purpose. How God will use us to fulfill that purpose is not up to us. We are called to be obedient to the path placed before us for our lives. We have been placed in this situation for a reason and that reason is to steward Abigail while she is creating waves on this earth. She is God’s child, just as we are. He has entrusted us with her care, life and development of her soul.

You may laugh and scoff at that statement, as being a coping mechanism and using religion to cover up that pain of this tragedy. My response would be one of sadness, for you. If you haven’t felt the love of Christ as we have I understand that you would be skeptical. But once you know Him, you are forever changed. Are we sad, extremely. Does this hurt like nothing else that we have ever experienced, yes. But we have joy. A never ending joy. A joy because she wasn’t supposed to live this long and she has. We wanted moments and have gotten weeks. I can tell you my daughters mannerisms, faces and temperament. Things that I will remember forever, whether she lives to eight weeks or eighty years. Those moments I will always been thankful for.

Tragedy is a difficult thing. I have thought a lot about death lately. We get so focused on what could happen and not the present. People feel sad for us because we are going to lose our daughter but they don’t think about the people today that lost someone tragically. 80 people per day are killed in a car crash. Think of how many of those people are mothers, fathers, children. You always hear, “If only I knew, I would have done this or that with them…” Thankfully we do know! We have allowing this circumstance to change us into a family that lives in the moment. A moment of spontaneous dance party with Audrey, running through the rain, crying when sadness hits, or stopping to say “I love you.”

God’s little pebble is changing us in more ways than we could have ever imagined…