It amazes me that it has only been a month since Joel’s last MRI. God has been really stretching Ryan and I this month. We love to just sit and talk about all of the incredible ways God has been faithful to us this last year, and when we do that we always feel peace and joy!
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There have been a lot of times though, when we worry that maybe we have declared Joel’s healing too soon, or we just struggle to accept that God has really answered all of our prayers. We did not expect it to be so hard to receive the things we were asking God to give us for so long. We are amazed that every day is still such a journey of faith because there was nothing about the last MRI that medically proved we have overcome, but something just dramatically shifted for us spiritually that day when we realized that God has again and again overcome bad news for us and made a way where it seemed like there was no way!
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God has been so faithful that is hard for us to fully receive it because we feel so unqualified to receive such a great gift! We melt every time we look at Joel, because we realize that we have been blessed more than we deserve! Last week in a bible study on Revelation I read this at the end of Revelation Chapter 2 verse 10 “Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown.” I see Joel’s life as our victor’s crown. I am always so happy to share photos and videos of Joel as he continues to grow because I believe that Joel’s life is your victor’s crown too. All of you, who have prayed for Joel, have been faithful for Joel, who could not be faithful for himself. You were faithful to the point of death. You did not give up praying for Joel even when they told us he would die, and now he lives! Praise God! It hits me new all the time that they said my son would be dead or dying now, and he is living!
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Another aspect of this that we have struggled with is “Why Joel?” We know God’s promises are true, but we also know that we live in a fallen world where many people that know and fervently believe God’s promises do not see them realized in their circumstances in the ways that they expect. There is something a little like survivor’s guilt that comes upon us sometimes because we know how imperfect we are, and we know the heartbreak of disease and fear of death for anyone still struggling against it through faith. We know that the things we have gained have been through the community of faith that God has surrounded us with from the very first moments of this ordeal! Still, I have struggled with how to answer the “Why Joel” question, even if Ryan and I are the only ones who are asking it. Tonight at a prayer night, an amazing Woman of God shared this section of scripture with our group, and for me it answered the “Why Joel” question.
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Titus 3: 5-6 “But when the kindness and love of God our Saviour appeared, He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by His grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.”
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God’s amazing gift of life for Joel continues to raise up even more questions in my spirit than Joel’s battle with cancer did, but God has been faithful to answer my questions, to stretch out my expectations of how great God is, and to expand within me my trust that if through circumstances I can not predict, the battle for Joel’s life is not finished yet, God will be even bigger in the future than He has already been for us. This is a truly beautiful season for our family, made even more beautiful, I think, by the small complexities of the questions only God can answer.
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(And even though I wanted to end on that statement, as I re-read what I wrote, something in my spirit said, “God will be bigger in the future than He has already been for us, without any qualifications, not only if Joel has something more to struggle through, even if all we see from here on out is life and life more abundantly, God will just keep getting bigger to us forever!”)

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