|We keep a “Celebration Tree” just inside our front door.
During Easter week, nests filled with chocolate eggs remind us of
and feelings of celebration.
|Easter morning the kids find “Peeps” sitting on chocolate eggs.|
|Miracle boys. Happy happy happy happy happy….mama.|
|Seriously no words can describe a mother’s love.|
It’s impossible to comprehend, but, there is an Adoptive FATHER in Heaven
Who’s love is even greater:
Easter is a time to remember.
For most of my childhood, Dad worked for an oil company in the Middle East.
I grew up in a country where Christians die for their faith.
The king had given foreigners permission to keep their faith-
with strict guidelines to keep it hidden.
People of any faith, besides the government mandated faith of the land,
often must choose between
denial of their faith and
horrific abuse and even death.
Yet, this time, when the song poured in through open windows to my room,
fear clenched my heart deeply-
like a dog capturing prey in his teeth and shanking it violently.
They had been shopping when police with machine guns ushered surrounding public towards the center of the small city. Never before had Mom and Dad seen such vast amounts of blood.
My family had seen streets stained with blood and bodies mutilated as examples of what happens to those who dare to walk outside the religious lines within the beautiful country we loved.
We did not live in fear, yet that incident caused fear to rush in like crashing waves from a broken dam.
The land and culture I loved demanded devotion I could not sincerely give.
I awoke shaken in the dark of night- too afraid to run or call for my parents.
“Fear not, for I will comfort you.”
Words of peace whispered into my mind, gently filling my heart- dispelling fear with awareness that Jesus was always with me.
I turned over and slept again- the most peaceful sleep ever.
Morning came quickly.
The descriptions of torture He endured are rarely shown on Easter movies-
the amount of blood that flowed is difficult to describe.
Did you know He was totally naked on that cross?
(He had no discrete loin cloth to hide his total nakedness)
Sexually exploited and on display
Did you know He was so disfigured, that he was described as unrecognizable as a human?
I was forever smitten by the love of Jesus-
the pain, suffering and shame He chose to endure for me so that I could be
ADOPTED into His family-
I knew He’d given his life for me-
He’d endured shame, grief, punishment, rejection for me-
long before I even knew of His existence.
That is our
Jesus came to die.
How did He handle knowledge of His future at the cross?
“I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and then can do no more.” Luke 12:4
When fear comes in,
LOOK UP TOWARDS HIS FACE.
HIS INCOMPREHENSIBLE, UNCONDITIONAL LOVE FOR US
He’s not detached, He suffered to be close to us in our suffering:
He is closer that a sibling.
Since he himself has gone through suffering and testing, he is able to help us….
When we are no longer afraid, we can be available to change the world.
Our three biological children each came easily- a gift we do not take lightly.
Each arrived following nine months of uncomfortable, often frightening pregnancy and a rough physical delivery. Done.
Our four children who came to our arms though adoption, did not come easily.
Our adoption pursuits, like nothing before, brought me to my knees, stripped me down and broke me into pieces. For the first time, clinical depression and anxiety attacks descended upon me. With each adoption, we had to be willing to love a child as our own- and then let that child go- if the courts decided- to a place where I could not protect them.
Mohale’s adoption drew out for two years- that felt like forever. Yet, we know many who have pursued longer and those who have lost beloved children to governmental politics.
Out of desperation, for the first time I clung to a bible story I previously avoided- the story of Abraham being willing to lay his son down on the altar in complete trust.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son.
so that whoever believes in him can have eternal life.”
In that context, I read how Jesus, described as “a man of suffering, acquainted with much grief” (Isaiah 53:3 ), hung on the cross after nearly 35 years of living to give His life away for us. From the cross, He declared His last words before giving up his breath…
IT IS FINISHED.
We have a new name and a
That Judge, slams his anvil down and declares
For God so loved<span class=”crossreference” data-cr=”#cen-NIV-26137A” data-link=”(A)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-family: “helvetica neue” , “verdana” , “helvetica” , “arial” , sans-serif; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”> the world that he gave<span class=”crossreference” data-cr=”#cen-NIV-26137B” data-link=”(B)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-family: “helvetica neue” , “verdana” , “helvetica” , “arial” , sans-serif; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”> his one and only Son, so that
believes<span class=”crossreference” data-cr=”#cen-NIV-26137D” data-link=”(D)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-family: “helvetica neue” , “verdana” , “helvetica” , “arial” , sans-serif; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”> in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.
The story of our adoption by our Heavenly Father:
Long before we knew of Him, He was pursuing us-
all the way to the flesh ripping, soul tearing, heart breaking bloody cross-
to secure our adoption as His children.
Before we even knew we needed Him-
and while we were horribly broken, victimized, betrayed, suffering, abandoned and making desperate mistakes,
He was pursuing our adoption as His children.
We did nothing to earn His love.
He loved and loves us perfectly-
in our imperfection.
” But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. 5 God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children.<span class=”footnote” data-fn=”#fen-NLT-29097b” data-link=”[b]” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>[b] 6 And because we<span class=”footnote” data-fn=”#fen-NLT-29098c” data-link=”[c]” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>[c] are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.”<span class=”footnote” data-fn=”#fen-NLT-29098d” data-link=”[d]” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>[d] 7 Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child.<span class=”footnote” data-fn=”#fen-NLT-29099e” data-link=”[e]” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>[e] And since you are his child, God has made you his heir.”
We did not earn His love and we cannot loose his love.
Your past does not define you.
HIS PERFECT LOVE DEFINES YOU:
Child of God
Hope and Freedom come from the Perfect One who chose to be shattered and destroyed, despised and cast out so that we could be healed and redeemed, held close and adopted
as His own cherished children.
He gave all to adopt you into His arms- as you are.
You are defined by the ONE who treasures you
and breathes purposeful BEAUTY into your cracks.
His redeeming, unconditional, cherishing, treasuring, healing love also gives the strength to set boundaries that prevent abuse and destruction of our hearts and the hearts of our children.
You are His treasure.
True love sets boundaries:
Tolerating unfaithfulness or abuse of yourself or your children is permitting abuse of God’s beloved children
HE longs to hear the sound of your voice.
You can be naked, guilty, scarred, broken, victimized, exposed and transparent before Him-
He is your beloved, unconditionally loving and redeeming you, always adoring you from the top of your head to the tips of your toes- inside and out, scars and all, desiring you, gentle with you and Whose love you cannot quench.
Without fear we can be imperfect, secure, transparent, real and a giver of
real love with no strings attached and less fear of the future.
with TRUE LOVE,
we can walk away from fear and legalism.
we can be available to lay our lives down and change the world.
No greater love…