Nick and I love our families so deeply, our church is part of a solid foundation of support we have as we go through this journey with Noah and now more than ever, I feel and see our Kairos family being another huge part of our lives but in a different way this time.
For months before each Kairos weekend we meet a few times to prepare and plan. These meetings are a blessed time of fellowship, preparation, prayer and planning. Many times we bring burdens and family needs with us and are able to share with each other, so that we may bear them together.
Galatians 6:2 - "carry each others burdens and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ."
This last weekend Nick went to reunion (monthly time with the guys at the Neal unit, for prayer, sharing, a lesson and fellowship). He came home telling me that they had a very sweet time of prayer for Noah during reunion and that there were many many brothers in white that would be lifting up our baby boy to the Father. Besides the fact that our kairos family here on the outside is praying, which is humbling and means so much, we have many brothers on the inside who are lifting up our baby. I know some of you out there are thinking, "seriously, prisoners? these rotten guys who deserve slop and nothing good are "praying" for your baby? ok, you enjoy that." I suppose you are right in some respects. They do deserve to be there. They committed wrong. They made conscious decisions to disobey and they are paying the price for those decisions. (and they know that full well) BUT, I do wrong. I've done wrong. I strive daily to try to not to do wrong and to follow Christ and there are men in the Neal unit who are doing the same thing. There are men who are solid men of God, who have met Christ while in that cell and are bringing other men to Christ and sharing the love of God in one of the darkest places. I am proud to call many of them my brothers and to have their prayers is a blessing. I just can't help but imagine Noah being lifted to the Father at all times during the day and night, since a lot of our brothers out there at the Neal unit have weird schedules. So when I might be asleep and not praying for Noah, someone else is. amazing)
The next leader for Kairos, which is in October (most likely the week or so after Noah is born), emailed the team and said that at the first meeting they had lifted Noah in prayer. The first part of the email, before any announcements or information, he mentioned our son. I couldn't help but let tears run down my face because I am not sure I have ever felt more humbled than to know that our family of brothers and sisters in Christ took time out of the meeting to lift up Noah and our family as we prepare. We have all prayed for each other, we pray for each other very much before each Kairos weekend and throughout the year as we all have needs come up, but for some reason, it's just different when it's you receiving the blessing. It is amazing that people would pray for us. we're so blessed.
I want to urge you as some of you wonder where you belong, what your purpose is, what could you possibly do for the Lord, if you even follow the Lord. There is a place for you in Kairos. No, you don't have to be an inmate in a TDCJ unit across texas. You can find a place in the body of Christ on a team of messed up, crooked and crazy folks who have found Jesus and rely on him daily for their provision, grace to get through, strength to endure and wisdom to make hard decisions. I challenge you to find your place in the body of Christ. Sometimes it is not easy. In fact, there will be times that the church hurts you, that you feel betrayed and think that some people don't belong in the body of Christ...and honestly none of us deserve it. BUT, when you extend grace, love beyond the mess and start to see what Christ sees, God does big things in your life. He gives you a family who you can count on, rain or shine, day or night, in happy times and in sad times, in life changing events and in the mundane. He allows you to be a part of something bigger than yourself, for more than your selfish wants. Whether you find a place to dig deeper in your church, whether you need to find a church, or whether you are just looking for a place to serve the Lord in a different capacity than you have before, be an active member of the body of Christ. Choose it. Live it. And before you know it, you will be blessed beyond measure and humbled beyond words to have support, love and prayers of people who know you would do the same for them. If some old, messed up, sometimes lonely men in a dark, cold place like prison, can find hope, family, love and empowerment in the body of Christ. I assure you; you can. You have to put forth a bit of effort, but God blesses that effort and will overwhelm you with blessings through it. You will have the opportunity to not only be blessed and be the recipient of many good things, you will be able to extend blessings, grace and love to many in the process.
Kairos in greek means "God's special time". There will be a point in Noah's life where he will understand all of this and the importance of the body of Christ and how they have already played a huge part in his life, even before he meets the world. I know He will learn to "listen, listen. love, love." as he has a whole army of believers, praying the way for him.
Also, thank you to all of you for your continued prayers. Our next dr appt in Fort Worth is July 5. I will be extending my travel a bit that week so I am not as fatigued as last time, with a lot of driving in one day. My ankles will appreciate it! :) Please pray for july 4-6 as I travel, staci and I travel, as we see the pediatric cardiologist at Cook Children's and as I see Dr. Howard, as he said we will be discussing a delivery day, etc. So far my blood pressure has been great, I have not gained much weight at all, (a miracle in itself hahaha) I have been resting well and staying active (how can I not with a 1yr old? haha) I am thankful for these things and ask for continued prayers as I get further along!
Thanks to all! much love!