Many of my brides and friends will often ask, “do I really need a second shooter?” Essentially, the answer is no, but there are many benefits to having a second shooter.
Drew & Savanah couldn’t be any sweeter. Drew is an Air Force pilot and Savanah is an Air Force Public Affairs officer.
We’re slowly getting settled here in Grand Rapids, Michigan. We officially closed on our house in South Carolina last Friday and pretty soon, I guess we’ll become Michiganders.
The Fort family probably looks like your average American family, but there’s more to them than what meets the eye. I know Daniel through working with him at Chick-fil-A. I’ll be honest, when I first met him and the first few months of working with him, I didn’t like him. He was outspoken, loud, and hot headed. I’ve since learned that what I thought was somewhat annoying is really just passion. Daniel is very passionate about his job and working with kids. He not only cares about his own success, but the success of others. Roughly a year ago, Daniel and his family were expecting a little one to join their family, unfortunately, they were never able to bring him home. They named him Gabriel Jase Fort. The Forts explained the meaning behind his name and shared their personal testimony with family and friends.
Gabriel:(Hebrew)- man of God, God’s able-bodied one, God is my strength.
We acknowledge Gabe as a creation of Yahweh, the only true God, & him as able-bodied to do. Romans 8:37-39- “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[a] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” ALL that God has ordained & purposed for him.Hebrews 13.21. We also recognize God as the source of Gabe’s, Michelle’s, and mine strength both now and forever. Isaiah 40.27-31
Jase:(Greek)- to heal; a healing.
We give honor & praise to God for His power to heal. Whether he chooses to heal & deliver Gabe to our arms, or to redeem Him and bring him a spiritual birth and call Gabe homeward. We also praise God for the healing he will bring to us through this challenging process & most importantly of our souls through the forgiveness through Christ! 2 Chronicles 7.14-15, Jeremiah 33.6-9
Fort:(French)- one who lives by a fortress; a strong or brave person
Our family lives by the mighty fortress that is our God. And the Lord offers strength and bravery to those who live in the shadow of his mercy & grace. Psalm 18.1-2
“Gabe” has some genetic complications causing the placenta and umbilical cord to perform below standard levels and Gabe to grow slower than the natural growth progress. God has given Gabe all of his organs, limbs, fingers, toes, & a healthy heart. However, he was measuring 2-5weeks behind his stage of pregnancy. Our doctor has explained several potential chromosomal abnormalities as the cause but with him, we have decided not to test to determine, specifically, the issue because taking life away from that which God has ordained is not in our hands. Our doctor has full confidence that Gabe’s issue cannot be treated until delivered, so knowing the exact issue does not change the prognosis. Right now, Gabe’s chances of making it full term are nil, and barring a miracle from the Lord, even a pre-term delivery is unlikely. We believe and KNOW fully of God’s capability to heal, but also of his SOVEREIGNTY & WISDOM to perhaps have other purposes. And GOD WILL BE GLORIFIED, regardless!
On January 15, 2014 Gabriel Jase Fort went home to be with the Lord. Below is an excerpt that the Fort family shared with family and friends through e-mail.
“I need to share that this past Wednesday we learned that God rescued Gabriel Jase Fort from all the many challenges he could face and has restored him with a new body and received him into His loving arms in heaven. We see this as a blessing for Gabe in so many ways. He shall NEVER know or experience what it’s like to feel pain, discomfort, hurt, disappointment, wrath, injustice, unfairness, hatred, denial, disappointment, discouragement, or anything other than the goodness and perfection of the Holy Father. Gabe will never have to know the challenge of living in a world tainted by our sins. God actively and engagingly knit Gabriel Jase together with His own powerful, yet delicate hands in the PERFECT form that God desired for Gabe, and numbered His days exactly as they were to be to achieve God’s purpose for his LIFE! Furthermore, Gabe’s name means “God’s able-bodied one” because he IS ABLE and WILL achieve the purpose He was given by God, because God will be glorified by Gabe’s story.
This is not to say that this circumstance will not come with heartache & sorrow. However, it will also include HEALING (Jase in Greek / yĕshuw`ah as Hebrew) for us as well. And even if it didn’t, we hold to the promise that any of the suffering we do endure in this process doesn’t even compare to the GOOD God will create in your lives, and others that hear this story and read the truth of these scripture promises. We are willing to endure these sufferings in order that your lives may be strengthened or maybe even turned 180degrees and redirected to your Creator God through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. For God ALLOWS us SUFFERING man SO THAT we ENTER HIS FREEDOM & REDEMPTION of our bodies. So that, as we suffer we can be strong because we know that God’s perfect plan will be revealed in his perfect timing. And when we do experience our times of weakness, we don’t know what to pray for, but the Holy Spirit carries us through so that GOD WORKS FOR THE GOOD OF ALL WHO LOVE HIM! So choose, you who read this, to LOVE GOD in order to EXPERIENCE HIS GOODNESS!
As we travel through this journey, we will receive strength and be able to finish this out in a way that others will see as odd. But that is ONLY DUE TO GOD’S GRACE to make us more than conquerors. NO MATTER WHAT you are experiencing in your life, the Forts are here to tell you the TRUTH: GOD & HIS LOVE IS ALWAYS PRESENT WITH YOU! There is NOWHERE you can go, and NOTHING that can SEPARATE you from the LOVE OF GOD!”
1 I love you, Lord, my strength.2 The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I’m sure many would have assumed that they would be mad at God or become distant, but instead they embraced their testimony, remained faithful, and had a new outlook on life. That’s when my perspective of Daniel changed. Instead of feeling sorry for them, I was actually a little jealous that they could remain so faithful and obedient to God after going through something so difficult. Over the past few months, I’ve been able to speak to Daniel and even received some personal advice on life, work, and my relationship with God. I’m quite thankful for this new found friendship and glad that we could set our differences aside. I hope that their story will reach someone who needs it.