Monday, July 21, 2014

BRL Status Update!

There has been so much going on and so many ways God has been whispering to me lately... and every time I have something I want to blog, I never get the chance to sit down and do it.  If only I could record the thoughts I need to write when they are on my heart and have someone else enter the text....

I've been pretty busy preparing for Rachel's Race.  I've been able to find a decent balance between race planning and family time... a balance between errands and playing.... a balance between heaven and earth.... it's not easy, but it feels good and was what God had challenged me to earlier this year.

I have managed to roll with punches fairly well this time around and even in just a few short months, God has shown me in different ways why certain things didn't work out or how He uses hard things to bring about better things.  I know that is vague, but if I told you all the ways, I'd be writing all night - and well, I have a race to work on! LOL.

I do want to share one thing though...  well, two things...

First, you all know about my bracelet right?  The one I made at the retreat that I went to after Rachel died?  My sister had come with me, which was really special.  This post HERE has the story of when it all started.  And this post HERE has a follow up in case you aren't familiar.  They are both good reads regardless, so if you're missing reading my posts, by all means... read those! :)

So, I've been wearing this bracelet, which is really gross looking and I don't care... for over 2 years now.  And the other still hangs on Rachel's grave.  Hers (which used to be mine) is now washed white from the rain and sun - and mine (which used to be hers) is now dingy like my original one was when I was wearing it.  But I can't stop wearing it.  It is too meaningful to me.

So about a week and a half ago, I lost my bracelet.  I realized it late at night when I went to take it off before bed.  I was upset and started to feel myself getting worked up about it, but just let it go.  I had this peace about it... a feeling that I would somehow find it again, even though I was pretty sure I lost it outside of my home.  And that if I didn't find it again, that God would lead me to something just as meaningful that I could share with Rachel somehow.

 Last Sunday at church, they were asking for help with VBS and I felt the Spirit nudge me to volunteer.  I had a little talk with God as this was happening about how incredibly busy I am right now, with the race less than 2 weeks away... I don't have time to be helping at VBS!   Matt took vacation this week so I would have more time to work on the race...  But I couldn't shake it and before I knew it, I was signing us up. We've never done this before so serving together as a family in this way was pretty exciting.

We pulled in this morning for our first day and when I got out of the van, I saw something in the dew soaked grass... I walked over and there it was... my bracelet!  Still there from last week!  Even more dingy and totally wet, I slipped it on my wrist with a big smile.  Total confirmation I was right where I was supposed to be.

When we got home, I had planned to go straight to work on race stuff... but before I knew it, I was making plans to go to my moms with the kids so they could swim.  (have I lost my mind?  Race day is coming whether I'm ready or not!!)  We packed the kids up and just as we went to leave, the postman came walking up - I leaned over and took the mail and the first thing I saw was a letter to Baby Rachel's Legacy from the IRS.....I squealed in excitement.... I had been replaying this long awaited moment in my head.  A daydream I guess you could say... since I mailed in my application in January.  I figured by now, no news was good news.... and I just kept seeing in my mind, me opening the letter and it saying we were approved.  I have prayed about it every day for the last few weeks.  I was hoping it would come before the race - and had a feeling it would be very close to the race!  And I guess I was right!

Matt didn't have the same sense of assurance and he was waiting hesitantly as I opened it.  Probably afraid of my disappointment if it was a 'no'.  I read the first line and started to cry.  I didn't even need to know the details.... I saw it... "We are pleased to inform you.... " and I knew!!!  We got approved!

I'm not sure I can put into words how hard this was for me.  In the first couple of years of grief, my mind was in such a fog, I couldn't make sense out of ANY of it.  I put it off for months... even at one point hired (and fired) a lawyer to do it for me.... But in God's perfect timing, when I finally was able to make sense out of it, He guided me through it and I am amazed that I got this approved without a snag... I prayed over that envelope like you wouldn't believe before I mailed it.  I heard it would only take 3 months, but could take 6 months or more if there was a problem.  It's been over 6 months and I remained confident that this letter would bring good news... and it has!  I'm SO thankful.... so thankful.  I didn't just have to put a lot of time and effort into this - I put my heart into it too.

Baby Rachel's Legacy is officially a 501c3 and that is retroactive as promised, back to January 2012!

I am so relieved... and proud... and honored... and excited... and emotional... and even broken again... for all that Rachel's life and death has prompted me to work towards.  This status is going to give us the ability to do so much more to minister to people who walk a similar path.  And my deepest prayer is that each and every person touched by Rachel's Legacy will be left with an overwhelming realization of what it means to hope in Jesus.  May His great and holy Name be glorified.

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