I can make you a promise that at some point during the time of typing this blog post, there will be tears streaming down my face. You won't be able to see them, but they will be here soon. These are not tears of sadness. They are tears of awe and joy that come quickly when I think of what God has allowed me to see and to be a tiny part of for the last 2 months.
To witness, first-hand, God so dramatically and specifically pour out His love upon the life of an individual and to see how that unstoppable, furious, deep, grace-saturated love can begin the process of transformation in that person's life has amazed and humbled and changed me.
(Here are the tears, already...I told you it wouldn't take long).
To see how God chooses to work through so many different people from so many different places in life, people who might not agree on very much otherwise, to change the story for one person, and to change the hearts and perspectives of countless others, including me, has given me renewed hope and encouragement.
(Still crying, just in case you were wondering).
To realize, as I look back on the events of our lives and those we know of our new son from halfway across the world, and see how God has brought us, the most unlikely people to find one another, together as a family, has helped me to see once again that God's plans for us are so much better than those we could ever make for ourselves, and to see that despite the brokenness and pain in this world, He can bring hope and healing.
(Taking me longer than it should to type this, because I keep wiping my tears).
So, when people tell me they want to know how "all of this" happened (in other words, "what in the world brought you to a place where you wanted to bring a teenage boy from Ukraine into your home?"), a few words and a brief explanation just don't seem adequate. If you know me very well, you are probably chuckling at this statement, because everyone who knows me at all will tell you a few words are never adequate for me. But I believe this story really does matter. Not because I am part of it. Not because I love this young man so very much. Not because our family is growing by one more. It matters because it is a story that only God could write, a story that I believe can remind all of us how much He really does love us in ways that we cannot even fathom. And that when we experience his redemptive, wild, and total love, there is no possible way we stay the same. We don't change because of guilt, or lists of rules, others' expectations, religious rituals, or any other outward motivation. We are changed because we were made to be loved that way, by the One who made us. The other loves and passions we pursue to fill that longing will never be enough. The real love of our Father is not a Valentine's Day, Hallmark card, teddy bears and chocolate kind of love. It is fierce and real and overwhelming. And as the words to one of my favorite songs says, it is "waking hearts to life". I pray that you have experienced that kind of love in your life. If not, I hope you will continue to follow as I share this story. Maybe God will show you more about who He is and who you are as you do.
I realize I have provided no details of this story yet. Notice that the post title ends in "Part One". This is because I knew it would take me one post just to begin telling the story. I hope you will subscribe to the blog so you can read Part Two in the next week or so. I am thankful you have read this far and our entire family is grateful for your support, encouragement and prayers as we continue this journey.
Until he is home,