When You Stand Outside a Grave

When You Stand Outside a Grave

I kept thinking if I waited a little longer, I might have more words. But I’ve learned over the years, that most of the time, words don’t come (at least the right ones) until my fingers hit these keys.

One of our pastors said on Sunday, “Vulnerability always comes with a risk.” It’s true. For the last six years, I have met you here, pouring out my heart in the hopes that my vulnerability would lead to your transformation. Because vulnerability without transformation is only transparency. And there is enough of that in our world these days, we do not need any more useless opinions. It’s never been my heart to share our story for the simple fact of sharing our story. My heart over these years has been to share our story so that you can see what we’ve found in Papa God, you can find too. That your family, like mine, can experience His goodness and walk into deeper places in His heart. That you can be His intimate friends, too.

The risk involved in sharing our story is that not only have I invited you into the miraculous places in our lives where we’ve found the beauty and victory of the Lord, but it’s only fair for me to share with you the sorrow too. In all actuality, the miracles aren’t really miracles if you don’t know the degree of the impossibility before.


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When You Say Yes to an Older Child

When You Say Yes to an Older Child

“What is it like adopting an older child? Should we break birth order? Do you have any words of wisdom for bringing an older child into our home? How will it affect our children?”

These are the most asked questions that land in my inbox. And buddy, are they loaded. I never can respond with the fullness of what I want to say, and honestly, even trying to tackle this subject here is daunting. But I believe it is worth it. You know why?

Because somewhere out there, there’s a girl sitting in another foster home, being shuffled around again, with the only items she owns in a trash bag who really needs a Mama, a forever Mama, to tell her she’s beautiful, to tuck her in at night, and sit with her while she cries.

Somewhere out there is a boy, who sees all of the babies getting adopted, getting a chance to have a forever family, and he’s saying, “What about me?” He deserves a family too. He deserves to have a Mom and a Dad teach him to be a gentleman at the table, show up to his awards days at school, and sing over him as he falls asleep.

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A Baby and Ivy

Back in January, I felt God begin to whisper to me about a baby coming.  

Even though we’re still believing for healing in my womb, this was a surprise to me, because I felt this baby would be through adoption. And at that point, we knew we would be adopting our foster son this summer. We figured he would be our last adoption. 

But every morning, in the secret place with Him, I’d find myself writing about and praying for this baby. I didn’t know how this would come about because we certainly weren’t pursuing another adoption and we weren’t open to taking other foster children until several months after our oldest gets adopted. 

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But it doesn’t matter with God. He doesn’t need things in place perfectly for Him to move and do what He’s said He would do. He’s the one that brings the alignment, all we have to do is believe what He’s said. And wait. 

After all of these years of waiting, I’ve learned a thing or two. It’s not nearly as hard as it used to be. I’ve learned what to do in the waiting, to renew my mind, and focus on what I already have...Him. When you get lost in His gaze, waiting doesn’t feel like waiting.

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About two months ago, we got a text from a friend identifying a situation with an expectant mama wanting to pursue an adoption plan for her baby. In my spirit, as soon as I read her words, I felt Holy Spirit say, “This is the baby I’ve been telling you about.”

We met a week later and she chose us. So much of this story I wish I could share. But I’ve learned along the way that there is so much sacred in this journey of adoption. 

So much of this story since January has felt like we’re building a boat without seeing the rain. So many unknowns, so many moments of uncertainty.  So much aching. Not for us, mostly for the brokenness of adoption. The loss and trauma, sometimes can feel overwhelming.   

All all photos by Jenna Mills Photography  

All all photos by Jenna Mills Photography  

Several weeks ago, during worship on a Sunday morning, my heart was so heavy with “how.” How was all of this going to work out? How were we going to adopt two children this summer? How would we parent four children from vulnerable places? 

In my mind’s eye, I looked to the left of our sanctuary and saw ivy growing up the walls in the spirit. I asked Holy Spirit to help me understand what He was saying to me and I felt the urge to look up the meaning of ivy. (He’s been speaking to me through names so much lately.)

Ivy represents faithfulness. 

I felt the Father whisper over my heart that morning, “I’ll be faithful to you like I always have.”   

Walking with Jesus, isn’t safe to the natural eye. Life with Him looks reckless, foolish even. Worldly wisdom would say it’s crazy. The beaver in The Chronicles of Narnia said it best, “Course he’s not safe, but He’s good.” 

The last several months I’ve been walking through deep healing with Him. And it’s been extremely painful. There’s been so much He’s been doing in the ground, underneath where no one has seen. There’s parts of this story that would blow your mind and leave you in awe if I could share them.  

We’ve been out in the deep for a long time now, most of this year, drowning, sinking deeper and deeper into His heart. Oh it feels like drowning for sure. Some days I gasp for air, clinging onto my own self sufficiency. Other days it’s easier for me to lean back and breathe in His love. He’s teaching me to breathe underwater. There’s a place in God where that becomes natural. But I’m still learning that. 

All we have to cling to is His faithfulness. That no matter what the outcome, how the story ends, that we said yes and walked with Him through it. I want to be the one He knows He can trust. I want to be the one He knows my answer will always be yes! I want to be the one who believes every word out of His beautiful mouth. 

I want to follow Him with abandonment, sinking deep, drowning in His reckless love.  

But that comes with a cost.  

When I worship, most of the time, my hands are always open, palms up. It’s mainly a posture of surrender, saying to Him, “I want a heart that is fully yours.” But it’s also a position of receiving. We can’t receive if we hold on tightly to what we already have.  

When you look at it that way, there really isn’t a cost. Only upgrades. Only more. Oh how much He wants to give us, how much He wants to pour out heaven’s blessing on our lives! If we simply loosen our grip on what we think is best. 

He always has more.  

I don’t know what you’re walking through today, but I can tell you Friend, if you’ll open up your hands, loosen your grip, He’s waiting to pour out the blessings of heaven on your life.  

 “That I would see your faithfulness in all of the green. I can see the ivy growing through the walls. Cause you will stop at nothing to heal my broken soul.” The Garden by Kari Jobe

We would love for you to check out our T-shirt campaign for this adoption. There are four more days to grab a shirt. 

 https://www.bonfire.com/love-the-one/

Thank you for following along our journey. The way you have supported and loved our family throughout the years brings me to tears.