If you read the blog or know me at all, you know Abby had seizures, our baby Eli was born 12 weeks early and is still in the hospital. What you may not know about is the amazing support we have received from our friends, family and community.
1. Prayers: From day 1 we have had an incredible number of people praying for us. It has been humbling, overwhelming, and has brought us more comfort than anything else could. We have even been told of people on different continents who are praying for us. It truly displays the incredible grace and love that the body of Christ has, that people who do not know us would stop and pray for us simply because they heard of our situation from a friend. I was told of several offices that stopped work to gather and pray for us. Students told us of classes that began in prayer for us. Like I said, it is overwhelming to me. Thank you for praying.
2. People ask about Eli: This might seem small, but it touches my heart. Everyone Abby and I meet asks us how Eli is doing and I think each one has been a sincere question, not a polite question that they feel obligated to ask. I appreciate that people care enough to ask. Abby has had some fun instances where she has bumped into people she has not seen since high school who ask about Eli. Thank you for asking.
3. Financial Support: People have been incredibly generous to us. Within days of the birth, there was a fund set up at First Southern Bank called the Baby Eli Wilkinson fund. Apparently anyone can walk into any First Southern Bank, ask for Aaron Wilkinson and this fund will come up and they can donate to it. I don't know who set it up, I don't know how anyone found out that it existed, but people have definitely been donating to it. Abby and I have deposited all the money people haven given us on Eli's behalf into this fund. Last time we checked there was $1815 in there. Wow. Praise God.
People have given us help in so many other ways: gifts cards to restaurants and gas cards have been a huge blessing. Abby and I now drive to the hospital in Lexington twice a day. The gas adds up and we often do not have the energy to cook, so the gas cards and restaurant cards have allowed us to, so far, do this without spending money. That is a HUGE blessing. We have also received Visa gift cards, Gap gift cards, Wal-Mart and Target cards, Babies-R-Us cards, and so much more. THANK YOU! Thank you for giving.
4. Support from Asbury University: I just have to say this; Asbury has treated us better than I could have ever imagined. This place has shown itself to be more than a place to work. It has really proven itself as a place of community. Abby's boss and my boss have been so nice, understanding, and generous. We have been contacted by two Vice Presidents and the President herself. All of our co-workers have pitched in and helped carry the load when we have needed to miss work. Human Resources went above and beyond to help explain our insurance, sick-time, vacation time, etc. Thank you Asbury, for being not just a place to work, but a community that cares about those who work here.
I just wanted people to know about all of this. It blesses my soul each time I think about it. Maybe it will bless yours as well.