Thursday, December 1, 2016

Share Your Story this Season

I never imagined myself at a church like Hill City Church, but we are thankful that the Lord led us here, because he knew! It truly is a safe place to explore your faith, ask you questions and embrace the love of a community of people who love God, love people and delight in serving Him and others.

This past week we kicked off our first advent season message and I had an opportunity to share a part of the #TeamBolton story (link to full message below). Many of you prayed and supported us throughout our journey over the last 5 years. The series is called 'You're Worth It'.  I wasn't sure how it would all come together, but the team did an amazing job!!! As this piece was shared Sunday, there were moments of true reflection. I cried softly as I was reminded of so many people and their hearts to bless us and it turned into a sob (shoulder shakes and all) and there was not a tissue in sight.  I'll leave that there, it was not pretty.  A visitor shared with me he thought we were all going to drown in my tears before it was done...ok it wasn't that bad, but those were tears of fullness in my heart. Sometimes we don't know why we go through certain things, but this was a great reminder of how we need to trust God even in things we don't fully understand. When you fight to get up each day and keep one foot in front of the other, when you find a reason to smile, although you are hurting, or better yet...when God places someone in your life, your day, your path to bless you large or small, it allows us to experience the fullness of God's love.  It give us hope. I do believe God is always with and around us, he shows himself through creation, through people, words, songs, occurrences and kind gestures.

There is one point during the taping, we were asked to share why we thought we were worth it.  I had to pause, took several minutes trying to formulate a response and instead I found tears and a deep sense of pain and hurt for others...whose prayers were the same as ours, but whose stories ended very differently. Also for the many people in our prayer rotation that are dealing with issues that consume them with grief, pain and uncertainty.  As John shared in the message on Sunday...God never said our lives would be without pain and suffering.  He also did not say that 'this' was the best, but that we are living for what 'will' be the best.  A life with Christ (especially in our lowest places) provides an opportunity for love, hope, grace, joy and peace.

Right now you may not be going through anything, be thankful, but seek out opportunities to help others who are. We are so thankful and grateful for the love, support, thoughts and prayers you gave to us during one of the most difficult times of our lives.

Love God, Love People....Pass it On! 

Oh and if you are in the RVA area you should come visit us at Hill City Church one Sunday...actually you have 5 opportunities to come hang out on Christmas Eve.  Check us out at (Message Link)

Monday, June 20, 2016

Glory Glory - Survivorship

Five years ago on this very day we were scheduled to be admitted to Children's Hospital of Richmond @ VCU for our first bone marrow transplant. That date ended up being pushed back because one of Jalen's test came back questioning the potential of a virus in his system.  Today, five years later, after some final baseline testing, Mireya has been released to survivorship.  We've been waiting for this day for many months.  Our Medical Team hinted, you're never 'fully' released, but is it a blessing to finally reach this milestone in our journey.

In true #TeamBolton fashion a dance party and celebration will be had. Thank you so much for your continued thoughts, prayers, love and has strengthened and encouraged us along the way. We are trusting and believing that all the potential risks, complications or latent effects of chemotherapy and the extremely toxic medications will not be a issue for her in the future.  The best of what God has is yet to come!!!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

A Touching #TeamBolton Facebook Memory

Facebook reminded me of these photos today and it stopped me in my tracks. This was Mireya's 4th birthday, all she wanted to do was go to Kings Dominion because she had never been. Just weeks earlier she had been hospitalized for about 3 weeks due to low counts and unexplainable bruising.
We had yet to determine a diagnosis because at the time only one cell line was in mass destructo. Reya had just received a transfusion the day before to help her platelets bounce back and diminish the amount of bruising present all over her body and in her mouth.
I remember this day so vividly, we knew she wasn't well enough to endure a lot, but we went anyway because we had to be back at the hospital within a day or two for more extensive testing. We enjoyed this day like we had nothing to face. It was the last fun day we had together before our lives were forever changed by a almost three year battle with life threatening illness. It is so hard to watch your child endure something you cannot fix or change. Praying today for so many families....those grieving, those battling and those preparing to fight.