As I sit snuggled in my favorite Alabama sweatshirt, a hot cup of creamer with a bit of coffee, my pup curled up beside me, the sunlight bringing the Cooper Cottage to life while also exposing a bit of dust in quite a few places, missing my hubby while he is away at work and counting down the hours until he comes through the door, I am quite distracted by a picture of a beautiful baby boy with big eyes and a sweet, sweet, sweet smile. As I look at his picture while surrounded by “stones of remembrance” throughout our “Peace Place”, I hear the sweet Spirit of my God say to my soul, “Never forget”.
Never forget those dark days full of questions, doubts, fear, anxiety, brokenness, loneliness, shame, guilt, jealousy, anger. Never forget how words said to you, though unintentional, still hurt. Never forget the lies that were believed. Never forget the tears and the 2:00 A.M. voices in your head. Never forget.
My Heavenly Father was and remains WITH ME. He is sovereign over ALL things. His ways are greater. He works ALL things for my good and for His glory. He sees me and intimately pursues me. He is able and always faithful. He is my peace, the Giver of grace. He is my hope and my ultimate and only answer. He is where I find complete fulfillment and ultimate JOY.
REMEMBER… Because His Spirit lives within me. Because His love never fails. And because His Word is alive.
“And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers[a] in harmony with God’s own will.” Romans 8:26-27
“She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.” Proverbs 31:25
“The Lord is my strength and my shield.” Psalm 28:7
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
“She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.” Proverbs 31:26
“Don’t worry about anything, instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.” Philippians 4:6-8
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not onto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your path.” Proverbs 3:5-6
“You are beautiful for you are fearfully and wonderfully made.” Psalm 139:14
“Be strong. Be Brave. Be fearless. You are never alone.” Joshua 1:9
“Mightier than the waves of the sea is His love for you.” Psalm 93:4
“Perhaps this is the moment for which you have been created.” Esther 4:14
“And in Christ you have been brought to fullness.” Colossians 2:10
“Declare over yourself: ‘God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind.’” 2 Timothy 1:7
“For I know the plans I have for you.” Jeremiah 29:11
“The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:14
“I will never leave you or forsake you.” Joshua 1:5
“You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way.” Song of Solomon 4:7
As I glance back over to the picture of our "gift of grace", our beautiful baby boy with his big, dark eyes smiling back at me, I am humbled how God has used his little life to already teach me so much about Him and His heart. ONLY. OUR. GOD. can take our sorrow and turn it into a song - a song of gratitude for what He has done as a result of the darkest of days.
We continue on this incredible, messy, scary, beautiful journey of adoption each day singing our song… OUT. LOUD… along with “our village” - a tribe of over 500 people from 28 different states and 5 countries! THANK YOU to everyone who has had a part in bringing our little loves home. MUCH progress has been made in a very short amount of time, and we are daily checking things off of the list and are looking forward to the countdown to Colombia... then, Haiti! You are SO loved, little Valentines!
Respond... in gratitude and worship.
Then, join with others on their journey and together, sing OUT LOUD the songs that were written in the secret places of sorrow or shame by a God that restores, rescues and redeems.
"...that's what love does. It pursues blindly, unflinchingly and without end." - Love Does