As we are coming upon AJ's 1st (what?!?!) birthday, I can't help but think how our story has unfolded these past (almost) 3 years. From expecting the birth of our 3rd daughter...to preparing to celebrate our son's (son?!?) 1st birthday...to handing out hundreds (and soon to be thousands) of children's bibles in between. AND...this ministry has also allowed Josh & I to host a faith-based volleyball clinic, our SonShine Volleyball Clinic, which we are hoping to do again soon for a new group. I can't help but think these opportunities would not have come upon us without the events taking place like they have.--Who am I to think this?...but this is just what I feel the Holy Spirit laying on my heart.
Prior to being mocked, beaten, and suffering a slow, tormenting death on the cross, Jesus says, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me." I am currently in a 7 week study called "Seamless" by Angie Smith. We are on week 6 and she points out Scripture after Scripture showing detail after detail how many things had to take place in order for Jesus to end up on that cross. So many things could have happened for Him NOT to end up there. After asking his Father to "take this cup from me," Jesus states "yet not as I will, but as You will." God is able; there is NO doubt He could have kept His Son from suffering death on that cross, a death typically reserved for murderer's and thieves. But this was His will.--And for the sake of you & me, thank goodness it was.--While up there, Jesus took ALL my sin & ALL your sin with Him. Angie Smith states:
"For hours, He hung; the weight of all the sin of the world balanced between the narrow beams of wood." Wow.
After Avelyn was born, while she was in the NICU for those 'all too short' 16 days of her earthly life, I prayed constantly to God for Him to heal her, and I just KNEW He would. Now, I know He could, but for some reason or another, He chose not to. This has been a hard, HARD pill to swallow, and I still am not fully able to say "yet not as I will, but as You will," as Jesus did (leave this to our King and to those of the upmost, upmost faith). At the same time, I am also SO thankful to Him for pulling me through this, so I could see some positives come out of this tragedy - that He could have taken me out of. We have been blessed with our beautiful son, a son He has given us to care for on this earth. He has taken us on our Avelyn SonShine Journey--our Let Your Light Shine ministry.--It is such a blessing to see the bibles - that each of you has helped to provide - getting into the hands of as many children & families as possible. And it was such a blessing to share the gospel & our love for volleyball to young kids in our community. I thank Him for these opportunities and I pray He continues to provide them for us and take us through them.
And this must be said...it's not easy to store 2,500 bibles! I cannot sign off without giving a special thank you to the people @ the 3 locations that have agreed to do this, asking nothing in return; one of whom we have never even officially met yet; yes, it's true. May God Bless each of you. You (and He :) ) know who you are. Thank you!
Love & Hugs to you all. God Bless you, and thank you for keeping this ministry alive!!!