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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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. 


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.


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. 


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

The One He Loves


Growing up, my elementary best friend was our pastor’s daughter of a very large church. Everyone knew who she was and treated her special because of it. My best friend all throughout middle and high school had the best dad ever. He was a very prestigious and well known businessman in our area. He taught me what it meant to be respected by men, and he was the first inkling of what it could be like to be fully loved by a father. He taught me how to wash cars and that I should be treated like a princess. I’m so thankful for him.

But he wasn’t my dad. And if I’m honest, there were so many times I wished he was.  

A few months ago I had a dream that wrecked me to my core. It changed me forever. I’ll never be the same.  


In the dream, I was at our church that we attend now. Everyone was scurrying around, you could hear the buzz among everyone, because Tim Tebow was there. I remember not being too impressed. 

I have this thing with famous people. They put their pants on just like I do every morning, they’re normal people just like me, so I don’t get too worked up about them. It’s not to say the anointing on their life shouldn’t be honored, it definitely should. But for those famous people that are Believers, it’s just that, an anointing from God. He’s the famous one. 

Back to the dream, I walked in church and was running late (shocker). The only seat that was available in the entire church was the one behind Tim Tebow to the left. I sat down in the seat ready for worship. 

And Tim Tebow turned around to me and started talking, doting on me, saying all of the nicest things. He was treating me so special. I started to cry because what he was saying was so kind, but I had seen this before.  

He thought I was our pastor’s daughter.  

It was a compliment. I love our pastor, and feel very much like he’s a spiritual father to me. 

“Wait, wait, I’m so sorry. I think you’ve misunderstood. I’m not the pastor’s daughter,” I said.  

“I know, but your Papa’s. Your Papa’s daughter.” he replied.

In the dream, I ran to the back of the church where I normally worship and laid down on my face, sobbing, completely undone.   


I woke up from the dream crying. And every time I remember this dream, even as I’m writing this, my heart swells and my eyes fill up with tears. 

I remember Papa God whispering to my heart that favor follows me because I’m His. That I’m a big deal, because I’m His daughter.  

My best friend’s dad was great, but He doesn’t hold a candle to the Father I’ve found in God. That dream positioned my heart to not only receive from Him more fully but receive from others too. It marked me in a way that I’ll never be the same. 

I’ve been thinking a lot about John, the beloved. So many people poke fun at him, because he wrote those words about himself, “the one that Jesus loved.” But the more I think on it, the more I think we might could learn from him. 

John’s identity was fully established by being loved by God. The deeper I go into the heart of the Father, the more I’m learning that His love changes everything. And the greatest part of me, is that I belong to Him. 

I’m my Father’s daughter, the one that He loves.  

This dream I shared is yours too. You’re the one in the story with extra favor, that is spoken highly of, and doted on. Because if you are in Christ Jesus, you’re only identity, you’re true identity is established in the love of God. 

You’re the Father’s daughter, the one that He loves.