Friday, November 11, 2011

The Lives of the Casteels!

Hello Everyone!

We are so grateful that we have amazing friends and families such as all of you! Thank you all for your prayers and love being sent our way! We know we are still going because of these prayers and our love for Jesus. We would not have gotten this far without these two things. 

Selah Praise, our beautiful daughter, went to be with our maker, her Papa, just over two weeks ago. Our hearts have been breaking over and over again. There are rare minutes in the day when our minds are not reminded of her and our loss of her. We never thought this would ever happen to us. Our hearts have a new understanding of what it is to grieve. Our daughter that should be in my arms(this is my father heart speaking) is now in the arms of the one who knew her before I did. He is the one who thought of her and decided to make her in Shay's womb. 

We buried Selah November 1st. It was as beautiful as a funeral for your child could be. It was very small and in a beautiful part of the island. Our close friends were there with us to be support to us. It also happened to be the week that Shannon's sister and brother-in-law were scheduled to be here in Hawaii to teach. Diana, Shay's mom, was even flown here for two weeks to be with us. What a gift. 

This all occurred in the first two weeks of us being here. We firmly believe that we are supposed to be here. These circumstances would be the same if we were still in Charlotte or anywhere else. We know that the year(maybe more) we have dedicated here in Hawaii has some major victories coming against hell. Shay and I have many questions right now. Every question that you could imagine has entered our mind. Could we have changed this? Do we now believe the things we believed before this happened? Is God good?

As hard as it is for me to say now, He is good. I have to continue to believe this or there is no reason for me to serve Him. I would rather serve him than anything else because I know He is real. How do I know He is real? Because everything before this I have seen Him in. I know that He will show up in so many ways now and in the future.

So if any of you are praying for us to be okay, we will be. If any of you are wondering if we are leaving Hawaii, we are not. If you are wondering if Shay and I will have more kids, we will never stop! If any of you are questioning the goodness and kindness of God, like I am, He is both. If any of you are wondering why we still believe, it is because we knew Him before we lost anything and in Him we have gained it all. He and I both gained a daughter, I will just have to wait longer to see her. I told the devil the day I was holding her in my arms, believing for a miracle, that he would regret the day that this all happened. Did my miracle come? No, but I have to choose to believe for the next one. It is a choice.

We did step away from our commitments at the base for two weeks but are now, slowly but surely, returning to the reason we are here. While we have been shaken, we were first founded on a rock. Though our faith is being tested, we know His is not and He will not deny Himself! We are going to see and be a part of what the Lord is doing and is going to do here at Youth With A Mission in Kona!

The devil has not won and will not win.

Selah is with Jesus! What a better place than this!

Selah Praise, this is her name to let the Lord know that we will continue to pause and praise His name. It was also to remind the devil that even though she is not with us, we will continue to pause and praise the Lord over and over.

Thank you again for all of your prayers!

Blake, Shay, Shiloh, Arrow and Selah