Willa’s inspirational parents share their story to help others.

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Painting 44 was created for my friend Ashley Jamison’s cute little living room. Ashley chose to participate in the 52 Things of Beauty Project by nominating her friends Mark and Sarah Wilson as “Beautiful Givers”. Mark and Sarah have a daughter that has struggled with health issues. Ashley, along with many others who read their story admire their bravery, honesty, vulnerablily and inspiration provided through their page Lessons Learned from a Brain Injured Child.

On August 7, 2017, their daughter Willa was diagnosed with an extremely rare genetic disease called Adenylosuccinate Lyase (or ADSL deficiency). They chose to create a page to help inspire others dealing with feelings of the unknown. They realize everyone experiences these feelings about our health, our children, our future. So they created a platform to share in a beautiful way. Here is a short excerpt from their page…

       “This is also our chance to share Willa’s life with those we love so dearly, beautiful people from all over the US who are not able to be with us physically as we continue on this journey.

A lot changed for our family on that day. Our day to day didn’t. Willa didn’t. Rowe didn’t. But we lost that glimmer of hope that this was something she’d grow out of. We lost hope that we were ever going to have that “normal” family. I lost hope that I would go back to work. I lost hope that therapy would not be my norm. I lost hope that I would get to help Willa put on her wedding dress.  

As the days and weeks have passed, I have found new joys and learned so much about the expectations we set on ourselves. I get to see the face of Jesus every day in this child. I get to see His mercies with her and with refining me every day. I get to see grace in my marriage where there was very little before. I see appreciation for the messes and things that used to make me growl under my breath. I have learned that expectations are man-made and made to be broken. It is only when you can adapt to their brokenness that you have succeeded. I struggle daily with the idea that comparison is the stealer of joy. I have learned that I have been letting Satan attack my family, my marriage, and my mind for far too long. I am broken and weary. The one thing that stops me in my tracks and pushes me forward is knowing that I serve a God that has watched his child suffer. He has seen His child die. I will witness these very things. And I am not alone.  

For today we move forward. We have a diagnosis, and I am forever grateful for that. I am terrified. I am humbled that God chose us to walk this path. And I am joyful that I get to love on my sweet angel for as long as I possibly can.  

Mark has said it before, but we truly cannot thank you all enough for everything you have prayed and sacrificed on our behalf. We are so very blessed! 

I’ve never personally met Mark or Sarah but their words have moved me to tears. What incredible faith and perspective they have! If you want to help Mark and Sarah by giving they have a Go Fund Me page. But more than anything, I hope we can all encourage them by giving time in prayer. Praying for them to continue to have strength and peace.  Praying for them to continue to have courage to help others through this difficult time. Please know Mark and Sarah, you have inspired so many already! Painting 45 will be yours and sent out to you this week! Thank you for giving in a beautiful way!

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Thanks for taking the time to read!

-Lauren

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