Looking Back, Looking Ahead

I have black eyed peas in the crock pot and a whole mess of
collards I have to wash, cut, and cook before my family comes over to have our
traditional New Year’s Day meal. I have laundry to fold, bottles to wash and
make, and let’s face it, I HAVE to get out of these pajamas! I swore I would
not be one of “those moms,” but even in these last two weeks, I’ve learned a
lot of the things you say before babies changes when they get here. 🙂
As I was folding baby
clothes, and staring at my sweet little girl, I was thinking about her story,
God’s story. I was thinking about all the ways He has answered our prayers not
only from this year, but some I have prayed for a lifetime. Honestly, I am having
a hard time putting to words all He has done. His story is too good not to
share.  This was a post that I started
working on right after we met our birthmom. It was a night the enemy tried so desperately
to steal the joy of the good the Lord was doing. Let’s just say, he didn’t

“I know this sounds dramatic, but my heart is in a constant
cycle of turmoil. I really wish this wasn’t the case. And I wish even more so
that I could be braver, but I’m not. I am weak and easily swayed from what my
mind knows to how my heart feels. I am scared out of my mind. How can we love
this little girl so much already and we haven’t met her? What if she really
isn’t ours to love? I wish my faith was such that I could SIMPLY rest in
knowing that God is working all these things out for His glory and my good. I
KNOW this in my head, but every single second preaching this to my heart….doesn’t
feel like rest. I wish there wasn’t a struggle for me to doubt God’s promises
and His goodness. You would think after all God has brought me through I
wouldn’t fight to be in control. I hate that old self (or Circle 1 as our
pastor would say) behavior that I step back into sometimes.  It’s frustrating. But my feeble cries for
Daddy to help me and my efforts to trust Him are all He wants from me. And that
is a relief, because at this point in this journey, that’s all I have to offer.

I was praying tonight in the shower (it was more like
crying), and felt the Spirit reminding me of where He has brought us. It’s so
hard to see Him working in the middle of things. It’s easier to look back and
see His beautiful tapestry unfold, rather than to see all the knots and
crinkles in the strings in the present…so tonight instead of looking at the
knots, I’m choosing to look back at the tapestry…

The first day we met OUR birthmom was like a dream. I’ll
never forget it, November 8th. 
We didn’t sleep a wink the night before and picked out the perfect
bouquet of flowers to give her. When we first walked in, I immediately noticed
how beautiful she was. She had a glow about her that came straight from her
heart. We hugged immediately, like old friends. I knew we connected. After
somewhat of an awkward start to the conversation, we all three hit it off. She
loves Clemson, which was one of the things she loved about our book. Brandon
immediately liked her! She was athletic and enjoys sports. We have the same
favorite shows and both love to read.

Her personality is so calm and goes with the flow. I really
like people like this, because I am so high strung.  She reminded me of one of my dear friends,
Ashley. It was like I could see straight into her heart when I looked in her
eyes. You know those people? Just real, and sweet. She asked us a few questions
and then told us the reason she chose adoption for her baby.

She is a mother to children already and told us that she
could raise this child. She said that she knew it just wasn’t what is best for
her. She told us one of the main reasons she picked us was because of our
infertility. She said that we have prayed to be parents for so long and she
could give us something we couldn’t have ourselves. And we could give her
daughter a life she couldn’t give her at the time.

She asked us if we had chosen a name for the baby.  This was something very important to Brandon
and me. When God adopts us into His family, He gives us a new name and a new
heritage. We were open to just about anything in our adoption, but naming the
baby was something that we really wanted to do. After she asked us what we
would like to name her, I told her we had chosen a name, but we would really
like to know what she thought of it.

Selah Grace. We chose Selah because Selah means to praise.
You see it often in the Psalms. It is written after paragraphs to allow the
reader to pause and praise. After this long journey of becoming parents, every
time we would look at that sweet face, Selah just seemed appropriate. Grace
speaks for itself. We have nothing apart from God’s grace. It is His grace that
saves us and His grace that sustains us. There is absolutely nothing more
beautiful than the grace of the Father. It is His grace that has carried us
through this long journey.

At first we thought she didn’t like the name because she
started crying. But then she told us that Selah sounds much like Shelia. Shelia
was an aunt that she was extremely close to that passed away a few years ago.
Then she said, “Guess what my last name is?…..Grayson.” Are you for
real?!!!!! We all started crying, even the worker that was in the room with us.
You just cannot make these things up. God laid Selah Grace on our hearts many
years ago when we first started trying to become parents because He knew many
years down the road of our sweet birthmom’s story.”

I know the New Year is about looking forward to things
ahead. And that is good. Necessary even. But I’ve found it’s not a bad idea to
look behind either. So often the things ahead look too scary if we don’t stop
and look where we’ve been. When we look behind us we see the beautiful tapestry
of the Father’s handiwork. And when we look ahead, although we can’t always see
it, we know it will be nothing but beautiful too. I don’t know what you’re
looking forward to this year, or even where you’ve been, but I do know if
you’ve been adopted into the Kingdom, the Father has great things planned for
you this year. They might not feel great, they might look a little scary, but
His desire for you this year is that you would know Him more. You see, He is passionate
about you! He sings over you and delights in you. You are His beloved. All the things He does in your life is to point your heart to His, and tell a story about Him. I am ready
for the great things He has this year, because I know where He has brought me,
and let me tell you, it has been nothing but BEAUTIFUL!