Turning Points

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I’m beginning the Beth Moore study on James. In one of the homework assignments, she asks us to make a timeline of a “period of years in your own life that proved very strategic in your journey toward Christ or with Him.” (page 26, James: Mercy Triumphs) I decided to jot down the major turning points in my faith from salvation to present, and I thought I’d share some of the timeline with you.

1991 Salvation! I was 10 years old. I don’t remember the date, but it was the biggest decision of my life. It was the day my hope was found! Hallelujah!!

October 19, 1996 This is the day Aaron and I started dating. I know not many people can say this kind of event was a turning point in their faith, but I can. I vividly remember talking with my best friend about the possibility of dating Aaron. My 15-year-old self knew that saying ‘yes’ to dating Aaron was equivalent to saying ‘yes’ to spending the rest of my life with him. Looking back, I realize that I was actually saying YES to God’s plan and NO to my plan. Therefore, this was a major turning point in my walk with God.

day one

December 1998 My first mission trip. Aaron and I went to the Dominican Republic with a church group. Our lives have never been the same, for this experience gave us the heart for missions that we have today. (This picture was taken on our second trip to the DR.)

Dominican Republic

2000 At some point during college (I’m not sure if it was 2000), Aaron and I made the decision to turn down the Air Force. All worldly wisdom told us to have Aaron join the Air Force so that they would pay for medical school. However, we strongly felt God telling us to NOT join the Air Force. While we still don’t understand the decision, we see this as a turning point in our relationship as a couple with God. This was the first time we forsook the world’s wisdom for God’s guidance together.

College

June 14, 2003 Aaron and I got married. It was a beautiful ceremony where Aaron and I pledged our holy convenant to one another, and to God. (This is the only wedding picture I could find on the computer…It doesn’t quite depict the holy occasion…but oh well. We had fun too!)

Cake Eating

2005 We said ‘yes’ to trusting God with the match. We wanted to go one place for residency, but God clearly called us to the Lehigh Valley. It wasn’t a comfortable decision for us, but it turned out to be great!

January 18, 2006 We became parents! Noah Douglas was born, and our hearts grew 3 sizes (at least)!

Noah Douglas

February 20, 2006 Aaron’s father, Douglas, died. We learn that God’s timing is PERFECT.

August 6, 2008 Jacob is born!

Jacob Walker

2009 We said ‘yes’ to fellowship. Again, we didn’t really want to extend Aaron’s training, but we felt like God ordained this next step. We later found out that the fellowship made the next step possible. God is trustworthy!!

July 24, 2010 Levi is born!

Levi Stephen

2011 We said ‘yes’ to the Post-Residency Program. (This was the next step I was referring to in the 2009 event.) We applied, interviewed and accepted the 2-year term in medical missions. Very exciting, but very scary!!

January 22, 2012 Hannah is born!

Hannah Mae

2012 We discern that God is calling us to Tenwek Hospital in Kenya. This decision was a difficult decision to make because it actually aligned with our desires…That had NOT been the trend in previous turning points, so we were hesitant to trust what we thought God was telling us. We are thankful for the people who allowed the Holy Spirit to speak through them.

January 29, 2013 We move to Kenya!!!!

Moving to Kenya!

March 14, 2013 Hannah dies. After a few days, we leave Kenya to bring our baby girl back to the States. Saddest days of my life, and yet I have hope. My heart may have a hole but the remainder of my heart overflows with love from and toward God.

Giving Hannah back to God

April 30, 2013-May 5, 2013 Yes, I realize that these dates are in the future, but I know these are pivotal days. We fly back to Kenya on Tuesday, April 30. We’ll arrive in Nairobi, Kenya on Wednesday and then stay in the city until Sunday. On Sunday, May 5, we travel to Tenwek and must walk into our home…without Hannah. While these days will be difficult for sure, we see them as integral parts of our healing process. AND we see the act of returning to our mission as a stand against Satan.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” (Hebrews 12:1-3)

May 5, 2003 – ??? These are the days, weeks, months and years that lay ahead. It’s when we’ll need to find our new normal, when we must face the empty booster seat at the dining room table, when we must visit Hannah’s room filled with all her stuff, when we must make more big decisions. My eyes fill with tears and my stomach turns in knots just thinking of it, but my faith is strong. I know God’s hand has been and always will be leading us, leading not only Aaron and I but also our children. Please continue to pray for us as we continue to face many more turning points in our lives. “Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help given by the Spirit of Jesus Christ, what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance.” (Philippians 3:18b-19)

We return to Tenwek

“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to hav taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:12-14)

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11 responses »

  1. I love you dear friend. As Aaron and Hur held up Moses’ arms in battle, we hold you up in prayer. Wish I could be there for you as you return to Tenwek to hold you up physically, but many people here will be praying for your family. We love you all and know that God will continue to sustain you in the days ahead! So good to talk with you the other day! Hope we can talk with you again when you get settled back into Kenyan life..ohhhh, how I long for that life…

    Anna

    • I have never met you or your beautiful family but I know some who love you and I have been following your story. Thank you for sharing your heart and life as I know that even through the pain it is healing, not only you but those who read it. I marked on my calendar to pray for all of you as you return to Kenya. It occurred to me that the people of Kenya..the women and mothers who are Kenyan.know what it is to lose those so close to them. May they surround you and your family and help to bring you strength through what they know about our loving Father. He is our healer.
      Ruth

  2. I don’t’ know you personally but your story gives me hope that God still overcomes through a changing world that he is ever steadfast, present and the same now as he was then. I realize through my own tragedies in the past few years that it is God that remains the same for a reason, he knew that while our lives would constantly change sometimes for the good and sometimes breaking the most inner core of our hearts, he knew we would need something that stayed the same and he is. Praise God and blessing to you and your family, the strength that you show in your new photo with your boys shows the character of God to put on the face of strength even when you feel your weakest,and may he continually offer you his lap to rest in when you feel your weakest. You are a beautiful family, I cherish you, this blog and your heart to share your stories!

  3. so many memories to think back on….and so many yet to come. my heart and prayers go out to you continually. I am saddened to see you go, but excited to see all that God has planned for you all….

  4. I found your blog via a friend, and I wanted to tell you that your faith and courage speak to my heart. I would that the Lord would give me as great a faith in Him, but dread the cost. Thank you for paying the cost, and for sharing your heart. – Heidi

  5. Everyone that has been touched by your life story will continue to pray and lift you up to make you strong for the LORD’s work.

  6. What a beautiful timeline! I love the early pic of you and Aaron LOL Thank you for allowing us to have a glimpse into your life. We will continue to pray for your family in the days that “lay ahead” . I hope the boys travel well for you over the next few days and you all arrive safely back to your home. May Gods faithfulness continue to lead you beside still waters and restore your soul may the challenges that lay ahead for you be faced knowing the loving arms of the Father are around you tightly. For as a mother comforts her child , so The Lord comforts you! Isaiah 66 :13
    With much love …..G

  7. I have been praying for your family and will continue to do so. My family and I are ministering in Kenya as well and my four little ones are very close to the same age as your four. I’m praying for strength and continued hope as you face each day. May our Father cover you with His love as you face each struggle and trial, whether big or small. May He draw you to Himself as you mourn the loss of Hannah and as you grieve. May His goodness fill your hearts and minds, may His truths always be before you. May your boys grow in their understanding of God’s love for them as they love and miss their sister.

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