A Fresh Start and A Dream

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The forms and amount of information required seemed endless. The agency wanted to know everything.

“Medical History: have you ever been treated for…name of physician we can contact for verification.” My heart beat rapidly and my hands trembled as I wondered, would my past really prevent our dream from being fulfilled? But, there it was staring at me in black and white. My heart sank.

Fear. I was a hot-mess and full of it; afraid my struggles and sins of the past would forever determine my future (I never said fear was rational); fearful I’d always be viewed and labeled as an “anorexic” (as I had in the past by some). After all, others had been denied the right to adopt a child because of their past, will the same happen to us? Fear.

My husband, an encouraging, supportive partner spoke life into my heart, believing God would fulfill our dream to parent a child.

After filling out pages and pages of information, we turned it all in to our social worker and waited. And waited some more. Finally, we met with our social worker to finalize the home-study portion of the adoption process.

“By the way, we contacted your eating disorder counselor and were told the office moved. They no longer have your file and don’t know where it is. However, we see no problems with this.”

In that moment God whispered, “The past is in the past and remembered no more. You are free.”

God set me free – my past no longer an issue. Soon afterward, my husband and I became the proud parents to a beautiful baby boy!

Whatever struggles you’re going through, your past doesn’t determine your future. God wipes the “slate” clean and sets you free. He gives us a fresh start – every day, every hour, every minute. He never runs out of mercy and compassion. He loves you and me that much. ~

Tami

*Lamentations 3:22-23 says, “His (God) mercies (and compassions) are new every morning”
*Hebrews 10:17-18 says, “Their sins I remember no more”
*Psalm 103:12 says, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He (God) removed our sins from us.”

 

God Sees You

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{Sailing on the North Channel}

“…You are the God who sees me…” {Genesis 16:13}

Pat, pat, pat. The early morning drizzle and cold breeze accentuated my deep physical and emotional fatigue. Coughing and cold, I was trying to keep focused on de-rigging my sailboat after a long weekend of camping with family.

I kept replaying the scene over and over again…watching her use the baby things I loaned her and pushing her baby in my stroller – my heart breaking. Choking back tears, I silently cried, “God, what about me? It’s so painful watching her doing the very thing I desperately want – to mother another child.  So many roadblocks, drama, and stress, will this adoption work out? Is this even meant to be? I just don’t know anymore.” Pushing aside my pain, the most important thing was the well-being of the baby and what was best for him.

As my husband and I finished de-rigging our boat a stranger walked by. “Sounds like some R&R is needed,” he said. I froze. No words would come.  I nodded and smiled slightly, agreeing with him. I watched as the stranger, wearing a fisherman’s hat, climbed into his small boat, motoring away from the dock, disappearing into the distance. God whispered, “I see you. I see your pain. Come and rest with Me.”

Something happened when God whispered “I see you.” Like the child who says, “Mom, Dad, did you see me?” we no longer feel invisible, our pain no longer unnoticed by the One who loves us most.

“there is a God who sees you and He loves you very much.”

In her book, “The God Who Sees You” Tammy Maltby says, “God sees you. He sees your needs and yearns to fill them. He suffers beside you. He sees your weariness and offers you His strength.”

“God reveals himself in deeply personal ways” says Holley Gerth (“You’re Going to Be Okay”). “When stress comes into our lives, one of the most difficult parts can be feeling as if no one really sees…but there is One who promises His eyes are upon us. Even when we are in the desert and without hope, God sees. And it’s not just that He notices – it’s that He knows us. Deeply, intimately, completely.”

“When you are brokenhearted, I (God) am close to you (Psalm 34:18).” I felt God’s closeness, His presence, deeply and personally when He sent a stranger with a fisherman’s hat to remind me He sees, He cares, and gives rest for my weary soul – that’s grace.

Do you know Him? The One who sees you, your pain – the pain no one else sees, the pain you cover and hide because you’re afraid? Rest assured there is a God who sees you and He loves you so very much.~

I’d love to hear your thoughts, experiences, and stories. You can post a reply here, on Facebook, Twitter, or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you!

Tami
**all underlining and parenthesis are my emphasis.**

Missing

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“Those who know your name, trust you, God, because you have never
deserted those who seek your help.” (Psalm 9:10)

 

Something seemed a bit off with our new neighbor while we chatted that early spring evening, keeping a close watch as our kids rode their bikes up and down our neighborhood street. Glancing away for several seconds, listening, as my neighbor shared about her troubled life. Then, looking back in the direction of the kids, we no longer saw them. “Maybe they rode down to the other end of the street?” we wondered.

 

My husband, Steve, and I half-walked, half-ran down our street while calling out our son’s name. “Stay calm. Don’t panic. They’re fine,” I told myself, even though fear had its’ grip around my rapid-beating heart. Suddenly, we stopped. Sitting on the sidewalk, my son’s and his friend’s bikes, abandoned. The kids, no where in sight. My heart sank. It was a parents’ worst nightmare. My son was missing! Did they wander off with some other neighborhood kids? Or were they taken by some unsavory individual intent on harming them?

                                                 “Stay calm. Don’t panic. They’re fine.”

A panic and a dread like I’ve never known before hit me as though I had been sucker punched. We began searching, calling out my son’s name, as other neighbors joined us. With each step, each shout, fear’s grasp increased – the fear that my son was taken and harmed, a real possibility. Tears streaming, the only words I could muster, “Help. Please God, help.”

                                                              “Help. Please God, help.”

Continuing our search, the song “Home” by Philip Phillips  played in my head. “This is an odd time for a song,” I thought. Some of the words caught my attention: “Settle down, it’ll all be clear. Don’t pay no mind to the demons, they fill you with fear. The trouble – it might drag you down. If you get lost, you can always be found. Just know you’re not alone, ’cause I’m gonna make this place your home.”

A deep peace flowed through my body, from head to toe, replacing my fear with God’s assurance – He has His eye on my son, he’s safe, and we’ll find him (Philippians 4:7, “The peace of God reassures our hearts,” my paraphrase).

An agonizing two-hours later, with the help of some kind police officers, the kids were found – scared, but safe. I’d never been so happy! Tears of relief and a grateful heart, my son and I hugged tight, so tight I didn’t want to ever let him go, that is, until – “Mom, you’re squeezing me!”

God is so very personal. Just as He knows us, He wants us to know Him, and not just on a head-knowledge level, but on a heart-level. Our image of God transforms as we get to know Him and experience Him in our everyday lives through His peace, love, compassion,  and grace, building a closeness, an intimacy between us and God.

My son and his friend were physically lost, then found. What are you missing in your life? What are you searching for? Whatever it is, whatever you need, God wants to help you. He knows, He cares, and He loves you so very much. ~

Tami