In our brokenness, we often feel unseen, unloved, unwanted by God and others. I realized all this planted needed was a couple of stakes to help it stand, some nourishment, and to be brought into the light. So it is with those who might be hiding in pain around us, or you yourself.
Rather than a pat-myself-on-the-back moment, this was a stoop-lower opportunity. I was acutely aware that feeding Mary or offering someone dignity through a smile or learning their name or advocating for the homeless is really not about charity or me changing the world as much as it is about obedience to the gospel.
As sisters in Christ, isn’t there power in sharing our stories with one another? Isn’t God glorified when we share our journeys of redemption with those that are still looking for freedom? Yes, boldness and massive amounts of vulnerability are required to share your past struggles with present listeners, but there is grace and freedom that comes with your words.
After about two-and-a-half months of resenting my neighbors, I felt a gentle nudge: Hey, so remember all that basic, Gospel 101 stuff about loving your neighbor as yourself? Yes, of course I remember. But surely that command didn’t refer to THESE neighbors. They are here illegally. Can’t I just stick to loving the other sweet neighbors across the street, instead? They’re much easier to love.
When we take a long, hard look at what the Bible says about forgiveness, it messes with our rights, our emotions, our temptation to hold on to anger, and our victim mentality. Suddenly, our if’s, and’s, and but’s are reduced to excuses in the face of a Father who forgave us in all of our own versions of betrayal and wrongdoing.
This year my family has faced the most beautiful and painful season of our lives. My husband was diagnosed with stage four melanoma cancer in May. The news came like a sucker-punch to the gut, but it was no surprise to God. In the weeks that followed, we experienced God’s presence and provision in the most profound way and I began to understand how critical community is to our lives.
Why did God call me to start my family through adoption? Why did He call me to start a nonprofit that mobilizes the church to live out James 1:27, ” True devotion to God is caring for orphans and widows in their distress”? He delights to see the adopted church be His hands and feet– to bring more into the family of God.