Tuesday, April 7, 2015


A few months back a friend of mine lost her son. The ache was felt by so many. There were too many losses. He was the baby of promise. However, he was born too soon. His momma had lost so much, so many babies. I cried for her. I prayed for her in the night hours. And then I heard his name, Emanuel.

"God with us."

I cried even more. What faith! It rebuked and inspired me all at once.

And I knew God had given us a gift, a reminder that He is indeed always and forever with us. Emanuel.

Tragedy does not negate the gift. Death does not erase life.

God used that tragedy to encourage my heart in ways I am still comprehending. When I was scared of our coming adoptions I would remember Emanuel and with every remembrance I was reminded "God with us." It is a present statement, always evolving and never changing.

I was asked at one point if I was ready to bring the girls home and I told them the truth, no. No, I wasn't ready. I was only ready for the step I was on, which at the time was fighting paperwork problems. I wasn't ready for them yet. But I would be. Emanuel, God was with me, is with me, will be with me.

And as I struggle through the busy parts of the day with too many things to get done I remember He is with me in my triumph and in my failure. As I fill my calendar with doctors appointments, and deal with the outfall of our first Sunday in church, and clean skin infections God whispers the name to me again, Emanuel.

I say the name often as I claim the promise of what it means. And I cry out to Him, "You are here, aren't you? God, help me, right here and now. Be Emanuel. Be with me now."

Lauren Daigle's Song "Light of the World" has played on repeat many times in the last few months.
"Behold your King. 
 Behold Messiah.
 Glory to the Light of the World." 

Somewhere in the middle of this life, in the middle of changing diapers, in the middle of my failures, I pray that my heart will behold His presence. Will you behold Him with me today? Find Him in the midst of the ugly details of your day. He is weaving His story of grace and mercy and redemption.

Perhaps, you have recently experienced tragedy beyond comprehension, or are walking in that valley even right now, claim Him for who He is, Emanuel. He is with you even in this tragedy, even in your weakest moments, in your anger, in your doubt, He remains Emanuel.

It was a tragedy that left hearts hopeless and filled with longing and aching. But God has used the life of one baby boy to inspire me each day to take one more step forward, knowing that He is with me.

God with us.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015


He is my refuge, my ever constant help, my anchor in the storm. He keeps my feet from slipping, He sets me in the high places. He saves me.

And I stand in awe of what He is doing in my heart. 

Two months ago I would have said I wasn't prepared for today, had I known what today would bring to me. I would have turned and run the other way. And I would have missed it.

I would have missed the shouts of Hallelujah, the giggles in the middle of the night. I would have missed learning how to feel the wind in my fingers, and how the sun draws me into its warmth. I would have missed snipping bottle tops, rocking for hours, singing songs to silly tunes. 

Had you told me what I would have missed I still would have wanted to run away if I had known what I know today. 

But God is greater then my weakness.

He set a love in my heart for these girls that is fierce and lovely, and cannot be explained. 

I know what is before me and I know that the road is crazy, ridiculously difficult and with each turn I won't know what is coming. 

But I love them.
I love them.

I don't like to even say the words "regardless of." 
No, I just love them. 

To me they are not:

  • Dandy Walker
  • Small pituitary
  • Growth hormone deficiency
  • Globally delayed
  • Cognitively impaired
  • Malnourished
  • Non verbal
  • Blind
They are just my daughters. 

And it reminded me of how God has loved me, just me, not who I am becoming or what I have done, just me. 

He is teaching me every single day just what I am to Him. 
I am his daughter, His orphaned daughter. 

And He is my Father, my Abba. His love for me is not conditioned on my daily devotions, my worship of Him, my sacrifices to Him. 

It exists because He has chosen to love me, unconditionally, to remove my sins and place them so far away I could never find them again if I spend every waking moment looking.

He really does love me.