Thursday, June 28, 2007

Marching Forward

One of my favorite passages of Scripture is found in Romans 8:28-39.  This is a paraphrased version highlighting some of my favorite verses:

"And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." (vs 28)
"If God is for us, who is against us?" (vs 31)
"But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (vs 37-39).

Here is what I discovered today as I was considering this powerful passage:

We are all called. We all have a purpose. We have been marked by God to become like Christ. It's a becoming, a choice, a life we accept or reject. God is not a respecter of persons and desires all of us to be justified and glorified.

God is for me. He is FOR ME. Cheering for me. Rooting for me. Encouraging me. Loving me.

Sometimes He asks us to do the hard stuff. Look at what He asked His Son to do? (FOR ME by the way.) How deep was His love for His only Son? How painful was it to allow His Son to die? But, God knew the big picture. He asked Jesus to go through the hard stuff so that we might live life with freedom, joy and hope.

God understands my big picture. It can't be easy for Him to see the tears and the pain. It can't be easy for Him to see me walk through turmoil and suffering. But, if I can keep my eyes focused on the big picture I am reminded that He knows best.

What can separate me from God's love? Nothing. Not yesterday. Not today. And not tomorrow. Not my current circumstances. Not tomorrow's either. Not life. Not death. Not heartache. Not happiness. Not broken promises. Not unfulfilled dreams. Not anger. Not shaking fists. Not tears. Not a lack of joy. Absolutely nothing can separate me from God's love. Nothing I do or say can make Him love me any less. His love is always available. I can drink it in. Anytime. Anyplace. 

In closing...I guess it's pretty simple.  Keep remembering the big picture. The victory has already been won.  We are more than conquerors in Christ.

Friday, June 15, 2007

A Heartache too Familiar

I have to start out by saying that this blog entry seems a bit harder to write. I find myself in an all too familiar spot.  Grief, loss and tears have become a way of life it seems these past few years.   

Sam and I have just experienced another season of grief.  This one seems harder than the others.  Probably because of the time and resources we poured into trying to get pregnant this time. The 'getting pregnant' part was a success.  The 'staying pregnant' part was unsuccessful.  

I feel like David probably did when he was writing his Psalms.  I feel like I could write my own psalm that cries out to the Lord saying:

Answer me in my time of distress
Take away the grief
Wash my tears and see the cry of my heart
Send your mercy and grace
Lean your ear towards me
Have you forgotten the promises you have made?

But, just like David, I can't end with the anguish and despair.  I have to end my Psalm as David models. So with my hands high in the air, this is what I exclaim:

Yet, even still I will praise You
I will bless your name and call you faithful
I will celebrate and rejoice in the days to come
I will lift my eyes to You and seek Your face
I will declare that God is good all the time.


Saturday, June 2, 2007

The Beginning

March 2007

[Our wedding day was August 12, 2000]

Sam and I have had a pretty amazing marriage. We love each other with great intensity. We are each others biggest fans in life. We believe in one another. We support one another. We are the best of friends.

It would be great if I could say life has been bliss. That things turned out exactly how we had hoped. But I would be lying to you.

The last few years (about four to be exact) have been "the best of times and the worst of times."

It amazes me that even while going through trials, God can give you life's best. Sam and I have had the opportunity to do things we had only dreamed of. Travel has become one of our passions. From the West Coast to the Caribbean we have spent unforgettable vacations with friends, family and each other. We have been blessed beyond belief with success in business, a beautiful home, health and happiness. The last four years have been some of the best!

The last four years have also been some of the worst. Nobody told us starting a family would be so much work. We have experienced heartache. Grief and loss. Dreams crushed and hopes dashed.

But, let me just interrupt this train of thought to claim, "I judge God faithful." No matter what we go through, I know God had His best in store for us. I know He has an incredible story He wants us to share. I know He will provide a way.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Long, Long Ago

It is hard to know where to even begin. This story - the story of becoming parents - is long, detailed, exhausting, and yet exhilarating. God has woven an incredible tapestry. I don't think anyone will be able to read this story and not realize there is a God. And that God, MY God, is faithful until the very end.

I need to start at the beginning. And the beginning is more than eleven years ago. I was only a sophomore in high school. A scared sophomore once I found out I was pregnant. Yes, for those of you who don't know my story...surprise!

Soon after I discovered I was pregnant, I realized I had two options - to parent or to place this baby with a loving, adoptive home. I chose the route of open adoption and placed my son, Michael (who turns 12 in June '08), with an amazing family. I wanted him to have everything I couldn't provide him at the age of sixteen. I wanted him to have a loving, stable home. I wanted him to have experiences in his life that I couldn't give him at that time.

Rocke, Dee and big sister Morgan (age 4 at the time of the adoption) were an answer to prayer. I had looked through lots of profiles and just could not find one that clicked. Well, after reading Rocke and Dee's, I remember tossing it on the coffee table and saying, "this is too perfect. I need to meet these guys." After grilling them (literally, Dee told me later it was like being on a job interview) I decided my son belonged with them. God had provided.

Over the years, I have remained close with Rocke and Dee. We catch up over long lunches, they send me pictures, notes and videos so I can be a part of Michael's life. It has been an incredible experience. Perfect in every way. More than I could have ever hoped or imagined.

Sam has also had the opportunity to share this experience with me. We have known each other since we were fourteen so when we started dating it was no surprise to him, or his family, that I was a birthmom.

Sam has embraced this part of my life. In more ways than I could have ever asked of a husband and best friend. When we get cards in the mail, he can't wait to rip them open with me to read the note and look at the pictures. He says he can't wait to be able to throw the football with Michael, attend a graduation and even his wedding someday! I am so grateful I have someone to share these moments with.

I am so glad that it is now Our Story.

And that is how it began...