Oh my heart.
You haven’t heard from me for some time.
Well–you can trust when I don’t write, it’s NOT because I’m being quiet…because if you know me–quiet is one thing I’ve never been. When I’ve been gone too long, it’s just because we’ve let our feet sink in deep and our hands are full…and so are our hearts.
The story we have just lived is nearly identical to the story we walked with a precious Ukrainian orphan over 3 years ago. If you missed that…oh my gracious–y’all God writes THE BEST stories…so put down that fiction piece and read what God did that summer right here. It will BLOW your mind reading from start to finish. But you must start in the beginning…before we had fallen in love–when we were just available and following Jesus by just saying, “Okay. If you want us to–we are will open our home and trust you.” The rest of the story is MIND-BLOWING. It left me emotionally spent…not because it doesn’t turn out miraculous…well–because it does. We were spent because we went in not expecting to fall in love. And–well we did. We actually became so invested that when we realized God wasn’t calling us to adopt that we actually contemplated moving to Ukraine if we had to in order to keep her safe. Only He didn’t. Instead–He did the miraculous unimaginable.
After that–I was on my knees. Thankful. In awe. And amazed that we got to be a part of something so beautiful. And just with our yes…to simply be available. BUT had we not said yes…I’m quite sure someone else would have. Because God has a plan and purpose for each person. Psalms says NOTHING can thwart God’s plans. If we hadn’t followed, we would have simply missed getting to see Him work and getting to be on the front lines of a miracle. The one thing I did ask God after that was this: “Please just never ask us to do that again Lord. Falling in love with someone…and then not being called–instead being called to be the BRIDGE…the ones used in a miracle to link where they are supposed to be to their final destination…oh Lord–use US Lord for the final destination!!! The bridge is beautiful–YES, but the bridge is hard when you have a momma’s heart. So, Lord–thank you for this beautiful journey that I will forgive hold sacred and treasure–but just please not again. I want that to be my ONE sacred “bridge” miracle that I hold on to forever.”
So here we find ourselves again. Only this time we have fallen in love with not one–but a handful of amazing kids. The story is long–and too sacred to blog…but just as amazing and powerful as the one we were a part of before. Once again we have gotten to be a voice for the voiceless–then to SEE voice actually given and heard…and now my home is full of these children waiting…once again to move into their forever family’s home this weekend.
Our children have played together for over a year at our church, but this summer is when everything really changed. Their precious, single mom in the Hispanic community our church pours into turned for the worse with cancer–and it quickly became evident that a plan should be in place. Months later we were brought into the plan and asked to open our home forever to some of these children. So much happened and has happened that is just too holy and precious to share–but as we said yes…the Lord spoke clear to my heart about what He has joined together. We quickly realized God was asking us to advocate for all 5 children to be together–and as we fell in love with them…we were open to them coming here. Only…we felt God was asking us to again–be a BRIDGE. His voice was clear. And I confess–my heart didn’t want to hear that part at first–JUST BE A BRIDGE.
I’m not a very good middle mom or “bridge”. Standing at the end of the driveway being the one waving good-bye…no I’m not good at that. Who is good at that…right? What a calling to be the mom behind the wheel driving to adventure–but how holy to get to be the bridge too.
So bridge it was–and we prayed. We made ONE phone call. ONE. God placed one family on my heart to call..not thinking THEY were “the family” that would jump right up and say yes–to bringing home 5. After all, they also have 5 littles ones already in their home. I called them because they are the family I always call when I know a little one who needs a home. They lead one of the largest foster and adoption support networks in Georgia–and I think the world of them and know how well connected they are to other adoption families with great big hearts for children. We called—we shared. Then they called back. And to our surprise–God was calling THEM.
I couldn’t have picked a better family. I always laugh during this saying, if anything were to happen to me–I’d trust Martha to raise all my babies. She walks closely with Jesus–and so does Andy. I never thought in a million years that was why God had placed THEM on my heart. But I’m so thankful I called–and even more thankful to watch these precious ones go live with a family we think the world of.
It’s funny now to think back…how at first my hands wanted to hold on–my fingers wanted to hold tight. And still–my heart wants this time of being the bridge to stretch out–oh it’s been SO sweet. On Friday we get to back bags, pray for great big things in their futures and once again–how sweet of God to choose a family we know…so we will get to continue to be a part of their lives. I’m once again so grateful. What are the chances you get to be in the middle not once but twice in your life…I guess it’s just a simple yes–and being available. I’m so thankful we listened.
Created for Care prepared me to be this bridge…a piece of the puzzle I’m so honored to get to be…and kind of like fostering one that I didn’t realize my heart was created with the capacity to just love more and more and more and more. This journey again…now leaves me saying…“Jesus, thank you for using me. You know if you would have said GO to us–we would have. You know we wanted to. Thank you for giving us strength and direction to be still and be a voice for You. How precious this has been. Here are our hands. You can bring more and do this again if it’s Your will. The bridge–we embrace that role…how beautiful it is to be.”
The last few months have once again changed us…and our children. Our hearts are softer, our marriage more committed and our home has been fuller. We have walked with other families in this and watched them love deep and wide–willing to do anything for these kids–and our church community has been strengthened–but in some way broken too as letting go is always hard to do. What would it look like for a church to help with placement before foster care–and we have seen the body of Christ in beautiful ways. And each such a special part. Each yes has been blessed–taken risks–and it’s been hard, but good–with His hand over it all. And I am thankful.
We have sat in through a funeral together, memorials, tears and held hard things. We have shared hearts and listened a lot–and played more football in the front yard than you can imagine. We have broken bread and carved pumpkins and worshipped side by side. This bridge is meeting the other side–and passing the torch to the greatest adventure of all…family forever.
If you would like to follow the rest of their story and be a part of supporting the most amazing kids in history as they being a new life…you can read my precious friend’s blog with such great faith here.
It’s amazing now to see their community surround and support them–and I’m once again over the moon that we will get to continue to be a part of their lives after they are home. I love seeing the excitement and momentum build in their community–and being on “the other side” you see the ashes…you walked with them in them…so reading the excitement in blogs or posts of those who haven’t met them but are so excited to meet them has a strange feeling I’ve only experienced once before. But oh how beautiful it is! How beautiful it is to have walked together and to have been called even into the ashes. I think some times we think for God to use us it has to be the BIG things…like adopting or being the one driving away. The little things–are really some times big things. You walk in willing for anything–and you walk out amazed that you just had a piece…a beautiful piece for a time. This was our prayer for a family for all 5 children–and how thankful we are that they have said yes WITH GOD’S CALL!!! As they trust the Lord with raising 10 children, will you pray for them? Will you pray if He might use you to support or encourage them?
Maybe He wants to use YOU as a bridge in some way—right now. You’re small yes to whatever He is asking may be more life-changing than you can imagine. I challenge you to just say yes when He calls and if it’s being a bridge–stand sound and firm while those who need a place to cross can be sheltered and lifted up as they cross. Ask Him to be your strength and trust Him in the calling He has just for you. Truly God writes the best stories…and there’s more beauty to share around the corner with this one! So much beauty ahead!!!