Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Forever Changed

This is how Zander feels about being in our family forever :-)

We feel the same way! We are filled with joy knowing that it has been cemented in the eyes of the law what we felt in our hearts from Day 1: He is our son. We have loved him, we have nurtured him, we have nursed him back to health, we have cried over how sick he has been...and rejoiced in how far he has come. He makes us laugh, he makes our hearts soar and we are eternally grateful for his biological parents who made the selfless decision to let us be his forever family.

I have so many emotions that swell within my heart. However, there is one that comes up often: a sense of almost panic that this might not have been our story. If events hadn't occurred that led us to open our hearts to foster care, to adoption, to saying "Yes" at the exact time we did, Zander wouldn't be with us. I CANNOT IMAGINE our lives without him. He is shaping each of us into the people that God wants us to be. I've learned so much from him and my understanding of scripture where it speaks of us as being God's adopted sons and daughters, has deepened.

The circumstances that brought Zander into care are heartbreaking. The personal events that brought us to foster care and adoption are intermingled with pain and disappointment. Once Zander was with us, the ups and downs of the foster care system and the legal system were not without heartache YET the God we serve is a God of redemption. All of our lives have been redeemed; beauty has risen from the ashes.

There are so many ways that God calls us into God's redemptive work in this world. Sometimes we are too busy to notice and sometimes we say "No God, not right now" or "No God, there is no way I could do what you are asking of me." What are we missing out on? What is being delayed through our fears or stubbornness to step out in faith? I'm not just talking about foster care and adoption but every day events where God nudges you to say a kind word, to extend grace to someone you rather not, to give of your resources or time to a person or organization, to be bold and share your testimony of how God has worked in your life, etc.

Spend some time reflecting on your day or week. Where do you feel like God showed up for you? Were there times that you felt God's nudging? How did you respond? Spend time talking with God, giving thanks for the opportunities to be Christ's hands and feet in this world; ask for forgiveness for the times you ignored God or flat out said "No." Allow God's grace to wash over you and free you for joyful obedience in the days and weeks to come.

I'm so glad we said "Yes" to God. We are all forever changed. But I know there are times when I have said "No" to other things that God gave me nudges about. May we all be attentive to God who shows up in new and unexpected ways throughout our lives and gives us the awesome privilege to be in ministry together.