If you normally read our blog, you know that our posts are normally letters to our son, AJ. Today is a little different. Today is to say Thank You to a couple of very dear friends of ours.
Josh and Angela,
We know we've talked about it and thanked you in person, but we wanted this post to be in our "blog book" for AJ. We want him to always know and remember who you are and how much you mean to us.
It was on a Sunday morning. It was Autumn of 2008. We made our way to our seats, in the back, not wanting to disturb anyone. I felt a tap on my shoulder and turned around to see a beautiful woman smiling at me. We introduced ourselves. She asked about our sweet Anthony. Hearing the care and genuine love in her voice, we felt completely at ease answering her questions. Before she returned to her seat, we exchanged email and phone numbers. Within a couple of weeks, we were all together with other friends having a wonderful breakfast. That was the start of a great friendship.
Fast forward to Summer 2011... we were beyond blessed to have found our son, AJ, through Reece's Rainbow Adoption Ministry. As I've talked about in previous posts, we were blessed beyond anything we could ever comprehend to find that the little boy who had stolen our hearts had been given a very large adoption grant. A grant so large, it meant we only had to come up with the initial 5-6K or so to get the ball rolling, so to speak. Amazing, the heart of God, isn't it?
Then came the phone call. One phone call from our friends, Josh and Angela. In the soft hearted way that is Josh, we listened intently and heard these words. "I know you guys are fully funded. But I can't help to think that there will be unknown and uncertain medical expenses when AJ comes home. The Lord has put your family and AJ on my heart and told me to raise money for you. I'm going to do it by running a 50K in San Francisco...." Chris had to take over the conversation at this point. I was crying too hard to speak. We had been blessed over and over and over again throughout this entire process. I found myself, once more, on my knees at the provision of our Almighty God.
Josh was starting his training. He was blogging about it. He was talking to family, friends, businesses. He was handing out fliers. He was setting up a Give Forward website. It was quite amazing to say the least. We are still humbled at the goal that the Lord set before him. Josh was determined to listen to the voice of Jesus and follow through in his obedience. Josh did this not only for us, but to be pleasing to the Lord- first and foremost.
We had the opportunity to spend some quiet time with Josh before his race. We were able to ask and see how his training was going and pray over him. The training was good. The training was hard. At times the training was cold, rainy, and painful. Blisters, sore joints, and bruised toenails carried him to the big day, December 3. (The man even painted RUN 4 AJ on his battered toes to remind him who this was for!)
We were able to keep tabs on Josh via his darling wife, Angela. We clung to text messages and face book updates! 7 hours and 45 minutes. What does that amount of time mean to us anyway? A work day, perhaps? Not for Josh. That was the time he spent fighting his way up and over numerous hills throughout the race course in San Francisco for the Northface Endurance Challenge. Now, I have run for 2hours and 34minutes pushing my Anthony through FLAT terrain in the Cedar Valley trail system for a grand total of 13.1 miles! That, my friends, was tough enough and nowhere near a full work day of running through the small "mountain range" known as the San Franscisco bay area. Needless to say, the Lord not only broke Josh's heart for us. Josh's body was broken as well. We remain in awe of the love you've shown to us. That feeling, will never ever go away.
So, to our dear buddy Josh- THANKS MAN! You so totally rock. Your feet are quite possibly what I imagine Shrek's to resemble, but we STILL love and adore every inch of who you are. We love you!
And, to our dear friend, Angela- Thank you. Thank you for all of the time that you were home alone with the kiddos so your hubby could get his training run in. Thank you for your updates. Thank you for your prayers. Thank you for following along without doubt or question to the Lord's vision for your husband. Thank you for packing the kids for a trip to California so your hubby could concentrate on the giant he had yet to look in the eye. You are truly beautiful, inside and out. I'm pretty sure you have better looking feet than your hubbs too. We love you!
Chris, Leann, The A-Man, and Sweet AJ