This past Sunday, Brett and Katie Gleason shared about God's faithfulness to them as expressed through their community group. Here is what they shared:
We are the Gleasons. We have five precious children, ten and under. The first four came the old fashioned way and our youngest came through the difficult and amazing journey of international adoption. Our little guy has been home for 15 months and during that time we have walked through some very messy, difficult and yet beautiful moments.
We would both agree that this last year and half has been one of the hardest seasons we have ever walked through, but during that time we have experienced the Lord’s faithfulness and care like never before. One of the biggest ways that we have experienced God’s love for us is through our community group, and our friends here at Cornerstone. They waited and prayed with us through the adoption process, and when it was time to go to China they were just as excited as we were to bring him home! They were there with us at the airport when we became a family of 7, and they remained by our sides during the hard months that followed.
The day after we brought Kai home from China we received difficult and devastating news. Something very traumatic had happened while we were gone and our world felt upside down. We were exhausted, jet lagged, and trying to bond with our new son. We felt completely overwhelmed with emotion. Our community group poured into our lives in such an amazing way. They provided meals for us, they cried with us, prayed with us and reminded us of God’s truth when we were too weak to even open our Bibles. We had precious friends that sacrificed their date nights to come cry and pray with us. We had one friend who showed up at our door and just said “how can I help you tonight.” She ended up helping me organize our homeschool work for the week because I couldn’t think straight.
Katie very openly shared her struggles with her friends & the community group during this time. For those of you who know me, you are aware I shared very little. Our community group leader Chris Koboldt faithfully met with me to care for me during this time. I am so grateful and thankful that he did. I needed to be poured into in order to lead my wife and our five children during this tough season.
When we adopted Kai we knew that he had developmental delays, but we were hopeful that he would come home and catch right up. But over the course of several months we slowly faced the reality that he was struggling and there was something more serious going on. We sought out specialists, had Kai evaluated, and met with a handful of social workers and psychologists. During this season of unknowns and waiting for answers our community group never grew tired of serving us. The ladies in the group babysat while I ran Kai to appointments. They continued bringing meals. And they texted me often during the week to let me know that I was not alone.
Two months ago Kai was diagnosed with Autism. We were heartbroken, and relieved, and so thankful to have our community group by our sides to help us process. We know that these trials were not the first hardships we had ever faced, and we are aware they certainly won’t be the last. But we feel confident that God is so faithful. His promises are true, and He promises that through our trials we are never alone.