A thank you just isn't good enough in a case like this. We have been overwhelmed at the outpouring of support from our family, friends, and community. Of course, we are talking about the T-Shirt sales to benefit Carter and his upcoming surgeries. The generosity of God's people was not only seen in the T-Shirt sales, but in other generous donations and acts of kindness. Saying that we are grateful, appreciative, or thankful is a HUGE understatement. So, here is our attempt at saying Thank you.
Knowing that Carter would be having multiple surgeries and lengthy stays at Johns Hopkins, in Baltimore, MD, Meagan and I knew there would be financial and logistical difficulties to overcome. However, there was never a feeling of doubt, worry, or anxiousness about how we would deal with all of that. With our faith in God we knew that his plan is always perfect and that He would show us how to handle the situation.
About a month ago, sometime in March, our Sunday School teacher, John Dickerson, approached us with an idea that our class had to raise money to help with the financial burdens of our upcoming trips. The class decided that a T-Shirt sale to benefit Carter would be the route they would take. Melissa Banks and Laura Clark headed up the project and Melissa designed the shirt. When John approached us with the idea, 200 shirts was the initial goal with a lofty goal of 500 shirts. We believed that it would be an incredible feat to sell 200 and just out of this world if we sold 500. I don't know why we as humans ever put limits on what our God with unlimited power can do, but we do. Only through the help of the Lord the project was a huge success. Over 3,000 shirts have been sold. As much as we would like to thank everyone involved in this project we know that it is only through God that this happened and was successful. All Praise and Glory to our Lord God Almighty for having His hands all over and in this fundraiser and for First Baptist Church of Florence, especially our Sunday School Class.
To God: We are so thankful and unworthy. Please, continue to use us and Carter in whatever way you have planned. We know there are many people in this world with causes greater than ours, so let us be doers of your will and lights in this world. Your unworthy children...Amen!
To Our Sunday School Class: I don't know that words can express it, but we are so thankful to have you not only as leaders of this project, but to have you as brothers and sisters. You have overwhelmed us time and time again with your prayers, your cooking, your gifts, countless other ways of support, and now your hard work in this project. Y'all have adopted us as not just people to say hey to on Sunday mornings or in the local stores, but as your own family. I don't know that it is possible to truly understand how we feel until you are in a similar situation, but know that we love y'all and we would not see the fruits of God's love without you. You are all special to our family. We love you and thank you.
Many people outside of our wonderful church have been more than supportive and helpful. A special thank you goes out to Rankin County School District and particularly Brandon Elementary School. BES has bent over backwards in the T-Shirt selling effort. A large portion of the shirts were sold through the school. Several students even emptied their piggy banks and brought in the savings to my class room and said “We want to help out Carter”. It's hard to crack the shell on this hard-egg, but several times over the past few weeks fighting back tears has been the biggest battle in my class. Students have written letters of encouragement and prayer, my class has raised money on their own, and the Brandon High Key Club made a large donation to Carter. We never know why God does the things he does, but placing me in the Brandon community has been a blessing to me. It isn't the financial support that has been the biggest blessing, either. Seeing that the world cares, that there are so many good people, and the biggest blessing that God CAN DO ANYTHING! Never did we doubt this, but we continue to get to see His work from the front row seats. Thank you to Brandon Elementary and the whole Brandon Community.
As impossible as it may be, we want to tell all 3,000 and counting people who have purchased a shirt, “Thank you”. It is absolutely astonishing to know that there will be over 3,000 people wearing a shirt that was designed to Praise God and help our son at the same time. It is going to be an awesome feeling when we are out and about and we see someone we may not know wearing the shirt. Although we may not know you personally, we know that you are our brother or sister. Your helpfulness, kindness, generosity, and support towards our family is greatly appreciated. We know that you are a big part of God's plan for our son and our family. Thank you for allowing God to work through you.
Of course this would not be complete without showing our gratitude for everyone at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. We especially want to thank those who have personally taken care of Carter and Meagan. The Wiser and Batson Hospitals have become a very familiar place to us. Your warm smiles, kind words, and prayers have helped make difficult times much easier to handle. You, too, have been a part of God's plan for our son and our family. We appreciate what each and every one of you do. We do not know how we would have made it without your help through our NICU stay, numerous doctor's visits, and post-op care. We have seen God work through Carter and through many of you. Thank you so much.
Each and every person that has said a prayer for Carter or us, said a kind word, read the blog, bought a T-Shirt, donated your time, money, or cooking, helped with the fund-raiser, or in any way helped with anything we thank you. We know that there has been a countless number of hours spent doing these things. It isn't possible to measure your kindness or hard work, but we thank you. The most important thing we want everyone to take away from this is the lesson God taught us. No matter how much hard work goes in to anything none of this would be possible with Him. Just as we humans often do, we put limits on things, such as a number on the amount of T-Shirts sold But our God has no limits and shows us he is in control and he is the God of all. Thank you again and God bless you all.... Jesus looked at them and said “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26
Here are a few pictures of very sweet gifts we have recieved.