I had an epiphany today.

Have you ever stood in church, head bowed, praying so hard that God USE you.  That he make you a tool for his will?  That he will show you your true purpose.

I have many times.  I always expected that answer to come in the form of  "Sunday school teacher, sing in the choir, welcome team, etc, etc."  Don't get me wrong - all amazing jobs, but they never have came to me.

Today I realized that sometimes God answers this prayer through a storm.  He gives you the biggest storm of your life and calms you through it, and how you react is how he uses you.

I realized he is using me & has been for some time.  He handed us a diagnosis of Down Syndrome & heart defect for our sweet child.  He watched us mourn, he watched us fall apart, he watched us put back the pieces, he watched us bring her into the world, he watched us fall in love with her, he watched us hand her over for surgery afraid to lose her, and he held our hands as we waited for her to heal up and head home.

It was a storm.  It was brutal to my heart at times.  The memories make me cry, and some of the thoughts I had during that time make me ashamed of myself.  BUT through that storm I praised him.  I knew he knew what he was doing and I knew he knew what was best for our family, and did he ever.

She is the perfect child, the child we wanted so badly.  Even when society sees her as imperfect & pities us for they know no better - I pity them because they don't have a child like her.  We are blessed!

Through this journey he grew our faith so we could be his tools.  If you can survive through the worst you can sure as heck appreciate his best!!  

Now I get to pray for friends going on the same journey I was on.  I get emails & I get to encourage these other women & Moms who have breaking hearts like mine once was.  I have made friends with women I would never otherwise know.  I can look into the eyes of another family and have an instant connection because they too know the blessings in our lives.

It's amazing how God has been using me, and how I have been blatantly unaware that I was his tool & have been for some time for a unique purpose.  I advocate for special needs, I pray for heart hero children, I donate money to bring home orphans (orphans merely because they have Down Syndrome), I mourn hard when someone in this community has a loss, I cry happy tears when someone shares something amazing.  

My heart has been changed for the better.  He has used this storm to shape me into a better woman, into a better Mom, into a better Christian.

So when you get handed a storm, praise him.  Just praise him.  You never know where he is going to lead you, but you do know that his will, his plans will be the best.