I've finally found a chance to sit and write... these moments don't come around too often, so I want to pour out as much as I can in this moment. Continuing on from the previous post... I continue to sit and ponder as I go back and think about all that has taken place over the past several weeks. I sit here and I think about all that God has allowed my family to experience during this time and all that He has done in and through us as individuals and as a family to advance His kingdom... really and truly it's humbling. Why me? Why our family? I have racked my brain day in and day out trying to figure out why in the world He would use us. Yet again, just as I said in my previous post, my answer is all of 2 words, His love. He looked deep within our family and saw the desires of our heart, individually and as a family. He saw our love for those broken and without a home...our love for those walking in the will of God, but need a home to walk into. He saw those desires and He allowed them to be fulfilled. In less than 2 months of moving to Birmingham we went from a family of 5 to a family of 7... Gareth and Seth lived with us for 4 months... a month ago Sarah moved in... and today, Lauren moved in... Have any of these opportunities/experiences been anything like we thought they would be?! Absolutely not... yes, they've been hard at times yet they've also been far greater than we ever could've imagined! Some days are exciting and wonderful, while others are harder than ever and make me want to yank my hair out, but at the end of the day I know that we, as a family, are smack dab in the middle of His will, and there's no where else I'd rather be. In the midst of every "hair-yankin'-out" moment the love of my King has never failed to become greater than ever in that exact moment. It truly is because of His love that my family and I are able to be used in the way that we have over the past several weeks and even months. As I sit and ponder all that has taken place I still am unable to fully wrap my mind around it all. God is definitely stretching me and preparing me for the days to come. The past several weeks have definitely been super hard at times, and it’s in those moments that I begin to see Him and what He’s doing in a whole new way, an even more real and beautiful way. My family and I are an extremely close family. With that said, having to ‘share’ my mom and dad has been extremely hard at times, but seeing what God has done in and through them as parents, not only to us as their own children, but to Gareth, Seth, and Sarah as well, has been beyond amazing! In the past several weeks I have seen my parents dig deep within them and their amazing Godly spirits and pour forth some of the most amazing parenting skills ever… and yet again, it’s all because of His love. Because of His love they are able to pour into us along with Gareth, Seth, Sarah, and now Lauren with pure, beautiful love.
Taking a slight turn, and focusing on 2 weeks ago in particular… God moved beautifully that week, as He tends to do every week. I had the wonderful opportunity to sell merch for our pastor, David Nasser, during the week of the Gatlinburg Xtreme Conference. To be quite honest, the first day I was there, setting everything up, I was nervous like crazy, but yet again, my precious Jesus had it all planned out and was ready to take care of me. During that week I was able to reconnect with some amazing long-lost friends. It was so precious getting to see them again, after being away for at least 10 years. As if that wasn’t enough… each day had a morning and evening session, and Skillet was the main group for 3 of the evening sessions. My little area for selling merch just so happened to be set up right beside Skillet’s merch tables. With that said, I had the amazing opportunity of meeting Tate Olsen, a super precious person that happens to be the cellist for Skillet. He also takes care of all of their merch. You may be wondering what’s so great and wonderful about meeting the cellist for Skillet?! Well, let me just say, Tate is super wonderful… He made sure I had everything I needed throughout the week, and not to mention, God has gifted him like crazy when it comes to the cello! Between my long-lost friends that I reconnected with and precious Tate, they all took care of me so wonderfully while I was there, and I absolutely cannot thank my Jesus enough for them and their precious hearts! Thank you SO much Hamner and McIntosh famjams and thank you TONS too, Tate! And just when I thought that was all for the week, I received a text around 3am on New Year’s Day to find out that Sarah had just accepted Christ! Yet again, another illustration of His love, and beautifully amazing it truly is. If we were/are supposed to be a family of 7 instead of 5 solely for the sake of Sarah accepting Christ, then it is worth every single “hair-yankin’-out” moment that has been and will come as the days pass.
So, as you can see (or read in this case)… our sweet Jesus has been up to a ton in the Elmore household over the past several weeks and even months. As a family and even individually we have been blessed beyond anything imaginable, and we have had the amazing opportunity to see His hand at work within our own home. I pray that you would see at least a glimpse of all that He’s doing in and through our family, solely for His glory and for His kingdom!
I pray that God would begin to use YOU to shake the nations, beginning within your home and family. I pray that you would be broken, not by the words in this blog, but by the power of His Spirit. I pray that your heart would beat in perfect rhythm to the heartbeat of our King. I pray that you would become an open and willing vessel, longing to be used solely for His glory and the advancement of His kingdom. I pray that you would experience the work of His hands around you daily. I pray that you would see His face and His love in a totally new and refreshing way, beginning even now. I declare and claim every ounce of all of this in Jesus’ name and by the power of His Holy Spirit! –AMEN!