What is your idea of freedom? Of victory? Of broken chains?
Do we create our own definitions, outlining them in our own man made version of permanent ink? Or do we see what God is writing in our story and recognize that victory may look different?
When I became a Mama to a little one with physical, mental, and emotional health issues, I struggled. I struggled in all the natural ways one would think. The doctors, the concerns, the medications … the workload. But I also struggled with grief and with God.
I was adamant that God would not free my child physically from the orphanage that controlled her every moment to leave her in mental and emotional bondage.
Would adoption bring freedom?
I worked endlessly and prayed without ceasing for God to free my child from the emotional bondage causing her and us pain.
I pushed beyond what my mind and body could handle. Not stopping to breathe. It was as if I were fighting time.
Because healing was in the next treatment. Freedom around the next corner.
But I never stopped to think maybe … just maybe freedom and victory were within my daughter, only they didn’t fit my definition.
Maybe God was freeing her from inner turmoil in His way. Maybe freedom looks different than I’d ever dreamed.
I didn’t know she knew Jesus. I didn’t know if my prayers were heard, much less answered. Did the words of “Jesus Loves Me” penetrate her soul? I’d sung it at least 1000 times …
Then one day, long before she spoke more than a handful of English words, she fell down scraping her knee. With voracious screams heard by many far and wide, this child of mine cried, “Jesus, help me!”
She called on Him. She already knew Him.
After all, it was Him keeping her alive those 5 years before we got to her. It was Him she knew long before she knew Mama and Daddy.
The truth is, friends, it still hurts and I still struggle. Why would God not want our girl to live a healthy life and have the opportunity to work, love, marry, and live independently? It’s an answer I may never know. But I do know He loves His child. I know He is active in her life and in her heart. And I believe His freedom and victory will shine through her story.
Sharing our story.
I had the opportunity to sit down and talk with the lovely Cherie Shedore of Homespark where I shared our adoption story. It’s the story of the long long road that brought our daughter home. And the story of the very difficult transition into life after we became a family of five. A family deeply loving a little one with special needs, but drowning in the magnitude of grief.
Friends, I am absolutely an advocate of adoption. I passionately believe we are all called to play some role in caring for the orphan. Whether it’s prayer, financial support, physical support of another adoptive family, or choosing adoption for ourselves, God calls all of us to care for the least of these.
But following God is never easy. Therefore adoption isn’t either. It’s not a gentle road free of bumps and bruises. It’s hard. It’s messy. And it’s filled with grief.
A grief that molds you more into what God knows is in you. A grief that gives an unprecedented view of the God who saves and the God whose mercies are fresh every morning.
[bctt tweet=”#Adoption isn’t easy but it reveals a God of #mercy #hope and #love. #podcast #grief @homespark” username=”lori_schumaker”]
Walking through this story in detail triggered surprise emotions. Emotions of grief, yet deeply felt emotions of gratitude for the road God has given us to travel. Gratitude for our daughter. For our boys. For our marriage. And for what our family is today. I pray you are encouraged to placeyour hope in Christ and believe that His love is unfailing. He fights for you and He will never leave you.
Click here to hear our story at Cherie Shedore’s Spark Stories Podcast ? Or, if you have an iTunes account, click here to go directly there! I urge you to subscribe to her podcast while you are there. Her soothing voice and great big heart will encourage you and give you hope!
Plus, she has an awesome giveaway in progress right now that you do not want to miss!
This week, I fell in love with my sweet friend, Lauren Gaskill’s post, 7 Verses for When You Feel All Alone. There were so many times I felt all alone throughout the years before and after our adoption. It’s something even those who dearly loved me could not fully grasp. My hope in Christ was what got me through. His Word spoke truth to me when the enemy wanted to convince me I was all alone and I was certainly not enough. Lauren’s situation is different than mine, but God’s truth breathes comfort into all our situations. May Lauren’s words bless, encourage, and remind you that you are not alone. God is with with you. Always.
Last week there were over 50 links connected to #MomentsofHope! Over 50 beautiful, heartfelt, encouraging, and hope-filled posts! Sweet friends, I know what goes into writing each of those. It’s a passion deep in our hearts God has given us to share His hope. It’s a privilege and joy. And it is a labor of love. I treasure your hearts and I treasure you. Thank you for sharing the hope of Christ here in this space!
And, just so you know …
I’m so glad you’re here. ?
[bctt tweet=”#SparkStory Podcast:Our Adoption Story & the God Who Saves…Come join us today at #MomentsofHope #linkup #adoption @Homespark” username=”lori_schumaker”]
Note: You can now link 2 posts that resonate with HOPE up each week. However, as much as it grieves my heart, I won’t be able to stop by each and every post anymore. So far, I have done that every week, but I have found that after the link-up began growing (a definite praise, of course!) it has been so difficult for me to keep up everything and still be Mama! So, friends, I am praying you will have grace for me and know my heart is with you and I will stop by as many as possible because I absolutely LOVE doing it! But speaking of that delicate line of good enough? Yeah … I’m going to need to practice it here!
What I ask of you:
1. Share up to 2 URLs (to a blog post, not the actual blog) that resonates with the topic of HOPE. Anything that gives us hope for tomorrow. Hope for victory. The little things and the big. Anything that inspires us to lean into Jesus and let Him carry us through.
2. Important: If you don’t have a blog post or podcast that resonates with HOPE, join in other ways as you pray and encourage others with a comment or a prayer.
3. Please leave a comment on the link just before yours. Would you love on them well? Encourage them in their efforts to share the hope of Jesus. If you have time, stop by more than one sweet writer’s little corner of the blog world!
4. Of course, I would love it if you would follow me via my blog and/or social media channels! Signing up for my blog gets access to the Library of Hope along with post updates and freebies, plus I get to know you a little better!
5. If this gives you hope, would you consider sharing it with others to give them hope, too?
6. Please either grab the #MomentsofHope button found here or link back to me to encourage new linkers.
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