Tag Archives: faith

Just Imagining

I remember the first time I heard the song I Can Only Imagine years ago.

Actually 1999.

It moved me to tears thinking of what I would see in heaven. One day.

Being with the Lord.

Walking by His side.

Forever in His Glory.

Joy filled my heart just trying to imagine it.

Then in 2009 my beloved mom went home to be with the Lord and at her request

I Can Only Imagine was played at her funeral.

Tears.  Thinking of her walking those streets with the Lord.

Surrounded by His Glory.

Hope filled my heart as I thought of being with my mom again

and together being with the Lord. One day.

The song brought comfort to my aching heart.

Recently I saw the movie I Can Only Imagine and was moved to tears

as the story of redemption and forgiveness and hope unfolded.

Have you seen it?

This story that touched me deeply. I wept through the whole movie.

My heart feeling the pain of the son who was emotionally and physically abused. Overflowing with emotion for his father who inspired him to write the song.

Remembering….

Reflecting……

Simply hurting.

What a powerful reminder that forgiveness heals.

Forgiveness restores.

And forgiveness is possible.

How about you?

Do you struggle as you remember a loved one who is no longer here?

Daily dealing with grief and loss?

Daily feeling the emptiness of life without them?

And how about forgiveness—

Do you or someone you know need that story, that clear reminder that forgiveness

changes lives…even if that person is long since gone.

Breathe in the hope of forgiveness and grace.

Let it seep into those aching places of your soul and begin a work of healing.

Yes, it’s a song and a movie worth experiencing.

Let me know if you’ve seen it and how it was for you.

And together let’s imagine what it will be like…

one day.

 

 

The Sweetest Christmas Story – part 6

Back in the states the days dragged

as I waited to hear the dates for my return to Russia.

This was one of a number of things that was different on this second adoption.

But slowly the time moved forward.

I prayed and wondered knowing full well that not every adoption goes through.

Would I finally be able to return for Jenny?

I wondered.

But about the third week in January I received my invitation to complete the adoption.

Joy overflowing.

Between making arrangements for my oldest to stay behind,

getting airline tickets and working out details for my brother-in-law to go with me,

time passed quickly.

I remember those moments of packing my suitcase.

At the last minute I packed a pair of small pink shoes-

shoes that I had purchased in Kiev a few years earlier-

shoes that held so much promise and joy

that suddenly ended in a failed adoption.

Holding those shoes for a long second, I wondered.

Would they possibly fit my soon to be adopted Russian princess?

How strange that would be I thought as I placed them in the suitcase

and zipped it closed.

But hearts don’t easily close, do they?

No at least not mine.

The previous unexpected loss had taught me many things

among which was to hold all things loosely

 

and with a prayer to do that I grabbed my bags and walked out of the room.

I held my daughter extra long that day as I prepared to leave for one more trip.

All too soon I was thousands of miles above in the skies

on my way to Russia.

Again.

I love the country, the birthplace of my daughters.

The people I stayed with and met were always friendly and kind.

But it was far away and I longed to come home

this time with a toddler in my arms.

We arrived in Moscow right on time,

made it through security and we soon were on our way to Kostroma.

Snow covered the land and I marveled at the beauty as we rode along.

Many hours later we arrived at the hotel where we stayed for a few nights.

Looking back the details of each day have faded

but one shines brightly among the fog.

The day I stepped back into the orphanage

and I lifted my eyes and saw Jenny.

Sweet and small.

Shyly glancing down at the floor to then suddenly look up and meet my eyes.

Did she recognize me? There was no indication of that.

All that mattered was that she was there and that we were together.

We spent a few hours each day playing and sipping tea.

And then one day I reached for those pink shoes buried deep in my suitcase

and put them in my bag to take to the orphanage.

For Jenny.

She sat that day on the carpeted floor while I took off her brown shoes

and watched with interest as I put first one shoe

and then the other one

on her feet.

She looked up at me with the slightest smile

as if she knew

that they were for her. She stood to her feet and walked around the room.

A perfect fit.

Yes, bought two years earlier in another country

and kept to remember that time

They now fit those little feet like they were made for her.

How marvelous that our Lord cares about all the details.

Nothing is too small for Him.

Shoes that I had previously wept over

were now the shoes that I rejoiced over.

Our God Who knows all our disappointments and unanswered questions

Who knows our heartbreaks and painful losses

heals each one in His time.

He continues to make all things beautiful in His Time.

Has He done that for you?

Do you know this God of Love Who cares deeply for you?

Soon I would be walking out of the orphanage with my precious sweet daughter

but first there was the court date.

That had a twist of humor all its own.

The Sweetest Christmas Story —part 3

With a burst of excitement the long waited adoption of Jenny took off.

Tickets were bought. Suitcases packed and before I knew it I was flying to Moscow.

Looking back today many years later I marvel at how smoothly it all came together.

But as always

when it’s right…it’s right.

It was difficult to sleep on the long flight to Moscow.

Memories of my first adoption came to mind

but no matter how you get a child

each time is different- each experience is laced with the sacred fingerprints of God.

After exiting the uneventful flight I connected with my Russian facilitator,

grabbed my luggage and got in his car.

Today I smile remembering the scene –

a cold late afternoon in December riding along on my way to Kostroma

talking as if we’d known each other for years.

The hours passed quickly as I watched the snow falling.

Would we make it all the way to the orphanage?

“Da”, he nodded. Nothing would keep us from making it to the orphanage.

But late in the night the mounting snow caused me increasing concern.

I’ll never forget the moments when we stopped at a small, rustic restaurant

that seemed in the middle of nowhere.

It was almost  like walking into a children’s fairytale.

Deep snow abounded outside

but inside there was music and laughter and colored lights of Christmas.

A warm fire was blazing in the fireplace and we sat and ordered a simple meal.

At that moment

although halfway around the world from all things familiar

I was at home.

The peace that God gave was real and it was as if He graced me with an evening of wonder.

But all too quickly we headed out into the wintry scene and continued the drive to Kostroma.

Our conversation slowed as we both tried to see through the snow.

I marveled that he managed to follow the narrow two lane road.

In the early hours of morning we drove into Kostroma .

I found my way to a hotel room and freshened up

as I prepared to meet my soon to be adopted little girl.

Then suddenly I found myself sitting in a big room at the orphanage.

Alone. Waiting. Waiting some more.

Then  I heard a sound and turned my head as the door opened.

There stood the tiniest little girl.

I caught my breath

and looked up into the face of my facilitator.

“She’s so small.”

And she was.

Born very premature weighing 1 ½ pounds she was a survivor now at two.

I held out my arms and scooped her into them.

We often speak of love at first sight

and this was my second time when that was my experience.

A mother knows her child. There is no other explanation for it.

Suddenly my heart that had waited so very long for this little one

was overflowing with joy.

But there would be more hurdles to cross before I could bring her home.

And I will tell you about the importance of one orange.