Tag Archives: sharon brani

You’ll Never Know Until You Step Out Of The Boat

39224_13957sunriseWhat brought Peter to the place where he stepped out of his boat that day so long ago?

What stirs a person to leave all and go as a missionary to a foreign land?

Hudson Taylor to China.

Amy Carmichael to India.

George Mueller to risk all and open a home for orphans.

And how about you?

Fear  weakens in the face of faith in Someone bigger and stronger.

David experienced it as he looked at Goliath that day so long ago.

George Mueller knew that he was weak and without the resources.

But His God? Why Mueller was convinced that his God was greater than any obstacle.

Faith trumped reason and practicality.

Fear says no

but faith says yes.

Fear says sit back in your boat

or you will perish.

But faith continues to call us out of our comfort zone and into His Purpose.

Ten years ago after that time of walking the beach

I said yes to adopting again.

Yes, to  beginning that lengthy process filled with so many unknowns.

I knew to expect the unexpected. I had adopted once from Russia.

So I made some calls and started working on my homestudy.

Within a few months I had everything ready to travel to Ukraine.

Longing for my second daughter. Carried as it were on wings of a prayer.

Stepping out of the boat more difficult as I knew I’d have to leave my oldest child at home.

We talked

and prayed.

Her faith was strong.

“Go and get her, Mommy,” she said as I placed a special necklace around her neck.

“When you look at this

remember that I am thinking of you, honey and I am coming home.”

Faith strengthened us as we embraced

and then parted.

His Call was to get out of the boat and to follow Him to the unknown.

What if………

Peppering my mind with terrible thoughts, fear tugged and pulled me back.

But there was another Pull that drew me forward.

As I gazed upon His Love and remembered His Faithfulness

I stepped forward. Boarded the plane. Spent three weeks in Ukraine

And almost

Yes almost adopted a little two year old.

Blond hair, sweet……

But like a vapor was gone before I knew what had gone wrong.

God, where are you when everything falls apart? Broken dreams; shattered hopes.

You called

but now my arms are empty.

“Not empty, my daughter” I sensed Him gently saying “filled more with Me.”

Yes, I was focused on adopting another child

but God was teaching me to know and trust Him at an even deeper level.

My broken heart bowed before Him that day in Kiev and placed itself at His Feet.

Whatever your Will, I trust you.

Out of the boat and into His Will.

Out of my pain and into His Peace.

Out of my emptiness and into His Fullness.

But I needed to get out of the boat to discover the vastness of His Blessings.

And there was more up ahead.





Leaning In


Life has the most unexpected moments. One day my girls and I are shivering together wishing the heater would create more heat. The next day it is so warm that our coats are thrown off, the windows are raised and we all pile in the car for ice cream cones.

In January.

No matter how we  try to figure out things, life is predictably unpredictable.

Maybe that’s why it is an adventure.

Or a discovery.

Or a maze.

Or a walk in the fog.

You think you are going in one direction when all of a sudden the doors bang shut and you find yourself back at the beginning.


How do you deal with the unexpected twists and turns of life?

I am learning to give thanks. Even though many times I just don’t understand.


Years ago I sat in my small room in Kiev staring at all the pink baby clothes on my bed.

Pants. Dresses. Jacket and hat. But no child. No, the adoption failed and I was left in my heartbreak to readjust and prepare to return to the states with empty arms.

It seemed cruel at the time. I didn’t understand. But adoption is always an unknown.

I knew that. I didn’t know why.


What I know now though is that I had not yet met my little girl.

It was another year until I finally found sweet Jenny in Russia. There is no doubt in my mind that she was meant for me.


When the way seems dark and confusing. And you struggle with the  unexpected changes

Remember that He is always working behind the scenes.

Saturday-the day after Good Friday and the day before Easter Sunday.

It appeared like nothing was happening. Nothing.

But there was. God was at work for you and for me.

He always is. Love keeps reaching.

That is why I thank Him whether I understand it or not. One day I might. If it still matters. But for now, I’ll lean into the waves and ride them.

Ice cream in January.



The Key To Joy


I watched as the water flowed over the rocks making a delightful song of laughter.

Splashing, playful, joy-filled glee as the water rippled on its way.


I noticed a bird fly overhead and pondered the seemingly effortless way it soared. Free. Light. Graceful.  Riding the wind.


And then I turned and gazed at the little girl walking beside her Mommy.

Hand in hand. Safe. Secure. Smiling.


The water, the bird, and a small child.

Each finding their own way in our world. Each showing the way to a life of peace and joy.

Surrender to the moment. Relax and give way. Our hand in His.

Trusting. One step at a time.


God watches over each one of His own. Guiding, protecting, providing for each need.

A life without worry. The way we were meant to live.

It spoke to me this morning. His Heart to mine.

Now my heart to yours.