Month: November 2014

Before

Jeremiah 1:5a
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
And before you were born I consecrated you…”

 Adoption Awareness Month is too quickly drawing to a close—at least for me. There’s so much more that I want to write and share with you. But many of those sentiments will have to wait until November of next year. But on this Thanksgiving Day of 2014, I want to take a few moments to pen my sentiments to Trey (as I affectionately refer to any future child we may be blessed with). But I hope you’ll keep reading, because I think that the words will apply to all of us…

Dear Trey,

As I write these words, you aren’t even a twinkle in your birth mother’s eye. But you’ve been a twinkle in mine for quite some time, and for that long you’ve held a place in my heart. Even better, though, is the place that you’ve held in God’s heart and in His plan since the beginning of time. Jeremiah 1:5 begins, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you.” God also promises, “I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).

I don’t know you yet, but there are some things I do know:

You were planned.
You are loved.
You are precious.
You are priceless.
You are celebrated.
You have a purpose.

And in case you should ever wonder just how much you matter to your Heavenly Father, Psalm 139:13-18 sums it up:

 13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.

What stands out to me in all of this is the word before. And since God is already in the process of forming you, I am already in the process of praying for you. And, as is fitting for this Thanksgiving Day, I thank God in advance for who you will be and for all that He has planned for you. Never forget that you are dearly loved!

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Mine

Isaiah 43:1 (TLB)
“But now the Lord who created you, O Israel, says: Don’t be afraid, for I have ransomed you; I have called you by name; you are mine.”

Mine—that’s one of my favorite words. And I love the way it ties into the theme of adoption. Some people seem hesitant and nervous about the possibility of adoption. “I just don’t feel like I could love an adopted child as much as a biological one,” they say. But God says otherwise. The theme of adoption is woven throughout the entire Bible, but three passages stand out to me in relation to this fear.

Israel: The Old Testament foreshadows God’s plan for redemption through the story of Israel, His Chosen People, whom God adopted as His own. In Isaiah 43:1, God says to them, “I have called you by name; you are MINE.” The Israelites did nothing to earn this designation or God’s favor. In fact, they spent most of history turning their backs on God and His provision. Still, God was faithful in His love and provision. If you skip ahead to the Book of Revelation, you’ll see that God’s love for this Chosen People NEVER fails. It always perseveres.

Joseph: Both Matthew and Luke, in their respective Gospels, provide a genealogy of Christ—each leading back to King David. There are some differences in the lineages between the two accounts, and there are several potential explanations for those differences. Along the way, though, each acknowledges one man in particular: Joseph. As we all know, Joseph was Jesus’ adoptive father. And yet, Christ’s lineage is traced back through him, as though there were a biological connection. God clearly agrees with the claim once made by Garth Brooks, that “blood is thicker than water, but LOVE is thicker than blood.”

Jesus: The New Testament is littered with evidence of God’s love for us, and of our position as God’s adopted sons and daughters. John 1:12 assures believers that, “As many as received Him, to them he gave the right, the authority, to become the children of God, even to those who believe on His name.” Galatians 3:26 adds that we are “sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.” And Romans 8:17a (NLT) states that “since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory.” Never mind that Colossians 3:12 calls us “holy and dearly loved” by our Heavenly Father. I could certainly go on and on, but I think you get the picture.

So I have a lot of questions about adoption:

  • Will the timing work out?
  • Will the finances work out?
  • Will we qualify to adopt a child?

But one question that I never have to ask is whether or not I will be able to love an adopted child as much as I would a biological one. If we take God at His Word, which I do, then the answer is, most assuredly, “Yes!”

 

What God Has Purposed

I heard awhile back that our calling is where our talents and our burdens collide. But I think callings can still be shrouded in mystery and uncertainty. Certainly, God provides guidance through His Word, His Spirit, and His people. But, as I’ve said over and over, we—as mere mortals and finite beings—do not and cannot know the precise will of God. We move in what we hope is the right direction. We remind ourselves that “it’s easier to steer a moving ship.” We trust and pray that God will “order our steps” (Psalm 37:23; Proverbs 16:9)–that He will open and shut doors of opportunity, and schedule divine appointments—all in pursuit of an ever-elusive calling.

So, I have hopes and dreams that may or may not come to pass. One big one is the desire God has given me to adopt a child. I sense the great need among children to be deeply loved, and I feel that God has given me a “talent” for motherly love. I think our family would be a great place for an adopted child to find the love they need from us and from the Heavenly Father. I pray we would have the opportunity to provide that for one special, God-ordained child. But there are many logistics that need to fall into place in order for this dream to be fulfilled. The truth is, I don’t know if adoption is even in God’s will for us. He hasn’t given me that promise. But I find peace and comfort in what HAS been promised: that what GOD has purposed will come to pass (Isaiah 14), and that all things will work together for good (Romans 8:28) and for His glory (John 9:1-3). And that is more than enough!

Heaven Songs

November is Adoption Awareness Month! So over the next few weeks, I’ll be posting a series of entries related to adoption. And I can’t think of a better way to kick it off than by honoring the very first adopted person I ever knew, and on her birthday. So here’s to you, Mom, happy birthday! I love you!

Tj with Grandma A 6

John 14:2-3

In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.

When I was growing up, the local Christian radio station had a request and dedication show that aired every Saturday morning. My mom must have sent in a request or dedication almost every week. Then she would listen for three hours every Saturday so that she could record her songs and dedications. She made lots of mixed tapes over the years (yes, those were the days of cassette tapes).

But I especially remember a period of what must have been 6 months to a year, when every week, she wrote in requesting a song about heaven. Not only that, but she recruited her four best friends to do the same. And by the end of it all, she had three volumes of nothing but “heaven songs.” I distinctly recall one particular dedication:

“So many believers seem afraid of death. But I pray that they won’t be afraid—that they will look forward to it. Heaven is a reward–a real reward. And death is the only way to get there, until Jesus comes back. And although I don’t know what heaven will be like, I know that it will be wonderful.”

Now, I firmly believe that it was God who impressed upon me the incredible (and maybe slightly inordinate) longing that I have for heaven. But I also recognize and greatly appreciate my mom’s role, in that she fostered and encouraged that desire within me. I think it’s probably her greatest legacy so far. And I hope that I, too, will be able to pass on to my children the “heaven song” within my heart.