Thursday, January 27, 2011

The best is yet to come ...

Hope.  I've been thinking about hope over the last weeks.  I've been thinking about what I hope for, what others hope for and what happens when we don't get what we hope for.  Or, what happens when we do get what we hope for.

Over this last year, I've had the thought that "the best is yet to come" come to my mind several times.  And, as I look back at my life I know that there have been LOTS of "bests" already.  Really, I have a mom and dad that I know love me, grandparents that are amazing ... aunts, uncles, cousins that I have so many great memories with.  I have a better brother and sister-in-law than I could have ever asked for.  I have in-laws that have accepted me into their family and I'm so thankful to have them in my life.  I have a husband who has loved me through "thick and thin" and 5 children in our home that are the most awesome blessing I could have ever asked for.  I have awesome friends that I can not even begin to explain what they mean to me.  And now, we are in the process of bringing home the precious little boys that we have been waiting for.

I hope that we get a court date soon.  I hope that court passes while we are in Ethiopia.  I hope that the boys are doing okay where they are at right now.  I hope that there are not any hitches with getting a visa for these boys after we have passed court.  I hope that getting the visa is a quick and swift process.  I hope that their hearts are going to heal from the reasons that they have been separated from their family in Ethiopia.  I hope that their family in Ethiopia heals from not having these precious boys next to them.  Guess what ... none of that is in my control.

Then I think about the heart of the orphan.  What does the orphan hope for?  A mom?  A dad?  Food?  Love?  Shelter?

What about the young girl who is sold into human trafficking?  Where is her hope - maybe in a rescue?  Maybe in someone to love her for who she is?

I think about those living in marriages or relationships that seem to be destructive or that are dangerous.  What is hope then?

Then I think about those living with illness and disease?  What is the hope in ...  A cure?  Medicine?  A Doctor to see?  Money to buy the needed medical supplies?

There are just some questions that will not be answered on this side of eternity ... some things that just do not make sense and that I can not understand.  But, what happens when the things that we hope for don't come true?  What happens when the orphan dies with out a mom or the young girl isn't rescued from human trafficking.  What happens when a marriage or relationship never gets better or a cure isn't found?  Our family has walked through many things in life that I would have never hoped would have happened.  Illness and disease, death of family members, broken hearts, bad choices, relationships that are strained... and at times, I feel like I have lost hope. Things at times just seem hopeless.

Through this journey of adoption, I have learned many things.  One is that adoption is not unfamiliar to God.  We all have an adoption story - or we all could have an adoption story.  I am so thankful that that my Heavenly Father has chosen me. He has adopted me. I'm thankful that I accepted that call to be adopted into His family.  I'm also so thankful that He doesn't limit those that He invites into His family - we are all welcome!  And, what I find even more neat, is that he does it for His pleasure and will; He really wants me - He really wants you!

"For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he[a] predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will" Ephesians 1:4-5 NIV

So, as I again think about hope, my hope is in Jesus Christ.  He has adopted me, and with Him in my life there is hope overflowing.  It is my prayer that God uses me to show HIS hope to those that cross my path whether that be an orphan, my family, those I meet while I'm grocery shopping ... whether that be someone across the world from me, or right next door.

I have a friend who gave me this cup.

It was sitting on my desk at our office and I opened it up this week.  I am so blessed to know this amazing lady.  She has taught me much about being positive, working hard and knowing where to have your priorities.

It was again a reminder that "best is yet to come".  It brought me such hope!  I don't know what the future holds, but I know it is going to be awesome.  I also know it won't be without struggles here on earth.  But, I know my story will end in heaven because I was adopted ... which really will be the best there ever could be!

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."  Jeremiah 29:11