He’s the Potter

Isaiah 64:8-9 NLT
[8] And yet, O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, and you are the potter. We all are formed by your hand. [9] Don’t be so angry with us, LORD. Please don’t remember our sins forever. Look at us, we pray, and see that we are all your people.

We’re living in a timeframe where our culture wants us to choose death over life. The Creator of Life, our God made life; life for each individual with a purpose. Ephesians 2: 8 -10 reminds us, that we, each human, are His masterpiece created for something amazing, and yet our culture confuses this purpose with a prompt to put our needs before the amazing gift of life. Forgive us, Lord, for being callous about the right to choose ( life or death) for a child in the womb.

There are many of us called to be parents through adoption and it is an amazing gift! Making a difference in the life of a child with love, compassion, teaching, and discovery of the amazing world is precious. I loved the times my kids asked questions about nature, “where do thunder and lightning come from?” butterflies, “How does that pretty butterfly sleep in the cocoon?”, and even a praying mantis, ” it looks so weird, Mom, will it pinch me?”. It gave me the blessing of slowing down and sharing awe at the Creator’s unique bugs, animals, skies, birds, and environments. Being a mom has been a true honor; one that I don’t take lightly, I love their birthmothers, and I treasure our three blessings from God.

I see confusion, anxiety, and fear in the minds of young adults and teens because of the recent decisions of Roe v. Wade. God wants us to choose Him, He wants us to choose life and to live a life of abundance. He wants us to decide to follow His instructions and value life.

I have heard, “It is so hard to be pro-life around friends or family?” I know people who regret their abortions due to medical unhealthy babies and rape. (There can be emotional and spiritual healing from post-abortive personal and group programs). God can use the hard experiences of our lives for teaching. A child can be a messenger for God with an amazing voice that can change the world. It is an emotionally charged topic. It is not a problem for our times alone but occurred thousands of years ago.

Even in the Bible, multiple situations of the battle of life and death are discussed. Genesis; the first book of the Bible tells us the story of Moses, who was saved from death by the Pharoah when his own daughter found the baby Moses floating in a basket on the river. It is a story of adoption and reconciliation. Moses rose to be God’s leader of the Israelites, with his birth family when he was an adult. His physical environment and biological status were the stepping stones to God’s purpose in Moses’ life. When we step out of the way, the Lord can make amazing things out of hard times.

Life is tough and has challenges, some as a consequence of our sins and some because of the evil in our world. Jesus said, (John 16:33) “in this world, you will have trouble but I’ve overcome the world”. God said He would never leave or forsake us.

Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

We have to love like Jesus and that means supporting people who are in an unplanned pregnancy that means loving a single parent by providing tangible resources, time, financial support; perhaps babysitting capabilities, or even taking them out to eat. Be open to whatever it is that the Lord lays on your heart.

But God wants us to love his people. He wants us to value the life of each individual created in the image of Him. He is the king of my heart. He wants to be the king of yours. The question is will you let Him? He sees all things.

The enemy ( Satan) doesn’t want you to choose life instead he wants you to choose death which brings along with it anxiety, shame, guilt, depression, along with anger, and can lead to cycles of unhealthy decisions and relationships. Mental Health and substance abuse can be a way of trying to cope with regret and sadness. I have seen this personally in others that I love.

Joy the Lord is our strength. I think our walk with Jesus can provide us with amazing miracles and opportunities around us when we choose life. We learn to trust God as our provider and our walk with Jesus gets stronger. It is trusting Him over our own abilities. For our family, having semiopen or open communication by phone, in correspondences: letters, email, and even in person for family gatherings has been a mingling of two sets of families. Our goal is to love our child as the Lord would guide our families.

There’s a song from Kutless: “The King of my Heart”, that really spoke to me this morning. May the lyrics wash over you like Living Water, Peace giving conformations that God is in the business of life, not death. Let Him be the wind beneath your sails, the anchor in the waves because He’s waiting for you to let Him.

King of my Heart by Kutless

He is good and He will never let you down when you trust Him for your life and the lives of your family! There is no other source to hold onto but God!

God so loves

Photo by Tom Fisk on Pexels.com

There was a time in my life when God was not the focus, instead, it was about a checklist. I felt I was a good person, not one to cause conflict, and did the Christmas and Easter church thing.

However, I felt an empty space in my heart. I had a solid career as a mentor emergency trauma nurse and trained paramedics. My husband and I joined the land of mortgages, a solid career I loved, our first dog, with an expectation of a baby.

Screech went the brakes for this standard list of western expectations. Infertility without a cause and I had no control of my barren body which drove me to seek Jesus.

I had my final infertility treatment and took a memorable trip out of state. After a near-death experience on a Colorado rafting trip, I saw life from a different vantage point. I wore a crash helmet and tightly zipped life vest as the guides gave instructions on body position should a tourist end up in the frigid, springtime, mountain river. I was thrown from the raft at a point in the river called Cardiac Corner ( Class 4 – 5 rapids).

As my body and head were crashing into boulders and trees skirting the river and I was stuck in the swells and sucking water, I cried out to the Lord. I felt as if I would drown, but almost as soon as I called out Jesus, help me! I felt a warmth surround my body, even though my hands especially my fingers were bluish and numb, I felt no pain. I felt the river was a metaphor for life. Would I trust God with the details and take a ride in the rapids or crash and die?

I chose to trust God, rest in what felt like the huge, warm hand of God, and lived. My husband and I relocated to Colorado within six months. My first Colorado friend took me to my first Bible Study. The book of Romans 5 showed me a new beginning and I learned after dedicating my life to Jesus that I will let Him drive my future plans.

One of my favorite scripture Romans 5: 1- 8 was an epiphany.

Romans 5:1-11 NLT
[1] Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. [2] Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.

[3] We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. [4] And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. [5] And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. [6] When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. [7] Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. [8] But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.

I no longer saw my infertility as a failure instead I saw the need to trust God with everything. After infertility procedures, giving myself shots, waiting on God while caring for children at work in illness and trauma, relocating, and subsequently, the unknown of adoption. I realized I wanted to be a mom and trust the Lord to orchestrate the details.

After a decade of marriage, our first child came to her forever home through adoption six weeks after I accepted Jesus. All three of our children are amazing gifts from God who know more about Jesus as children than I did.

“God so loves”, a song by We the Kingdom brings a vision of joy, and diversity of many beautiful children created in the Image of God. I hope you enjoy it as I did when I saw the band play it live.

I hope you are inspired to realize God so loves. That is the first step of faith in an unknown God. I had to flip out of a white water raft to come to this amazing realization. What will it take for you?

Are you weary? He will strengthen you. You may feel unworthy of His love, He knows but loves you anyway. Bring all your failures. He will direct your life journey. God so loves.

Modern Day Well: the Coffee shop

Photo by Anna Tukhfatullina Food Photographer/Stylist on Pexels.com

Whether we realize it or not, most families have been touched by abortion. It is a controversial topic bringing many families to division. That is the enemies plan, to divide families physically, emotionally, psychologically and especially spiritually. It is something no one wants to talk about, I know personally.

World view says, “My body, my rules, government should not tell me what to do.” I get this concept a woman should be able to make informed decisions on anything that effects her body, be it, COVID vaccines, a life from conception, need for surgery, etc. Hear me out on the topic of unplanned pregnancy and being a servant for Jesus, please read to the end of this blog.

There is no grey zone, the truth is God created life between a man and a woman at conception. God gave women the beautiful gift of incubator; protector of an embryo to birth. It is a wonderful gift. It isn’t about convenience, time is not right, or I have different plans. The embryo is life. It doesn’t have a choice it is at the mercy of a mother’s decision.

To choose life or death, is a huge choice with many ramifications. Pro or con. A women must live with her choice the rest of her life. Many ramifications cause some women and men to go radio silent, they do not want to discuss their choice and as a result there can be isolation and despair.

I have served a community of women from preteen to middle age in unplanned pregnancy. I have witnessed the tears, the frustrations of a potential life change, shame, poverty, and the heavy burden of choice to parent, to place for adoption or to abort. It is not a decision made lightly.

The post-abortion regret can lead many women ( and yes, men too) to depression, anxiety, addictions, suicide and walking away from their faith in God. It is a dark, lonely path. How does one grieve when people may not be aware of the loss?

They are so alone, so at the mercy of isolation, grief, ( yes it is a loss, even if it was a personal decision), regret, shame and even feeling hate/death of self. This mindset leaves them vulnerable to the enemy. I have spent time listening, consoling, and praying with many women and some men. Someone on the outside of this choice, may not fully understand.

What the world sees as just a clump of tissues, a quick fix, I have seen as a life journey of mental health and spiritual crisis of unforgiveness for self or from Christian woman and men who aren’t reflecting the mercy and grace of Jesus.

Instead of coming alongside our sisters and brothers, post-abortive women/men may have regret, shame, grief. They may feel out of the circle of forgiveness, they may feel Jesus will never love them again and that no grace or mercy is possible. Post-abortive women may feel judgement, and shunning from other women who had not been in their shoes.

We are all sinners who need Jesus!!! It can be you, be the women in crisis, it can be members of the couples families who are on the sidelines with this heart wrenching decision. It is a hidden thorn. It may not be discussed.

Abortion choices remain in the shadows sometimes for decades. We must not judge. We must love. Loss is loss for all. Only in seeking Jesus, His forgiveness, grace, mercy and love can there be healing and hope. We can not take the steps to Jesus for another we can just pray for their walk.

How can we better reflect the love, mercy, and grace of Jesus to post-abortive women, men and their families?

We can love like Jesus. We can pray for their grief and loss when we are aware, and pray that they would return to their first love, Jesus. We can reach out and hug not avoid. Again, We do not walk in their shoes!!

We can come alongside them if they let us. We must put down condemnation. We are not to point fingers.

Consider the Samaritan women at the well, Jesus came to her to speak truth of His Living Water. He comes to the thirsty and the lost. The things of this world do not satisfy the empty spaces. Only Jesus can.

John 4 :1 - 26     Jesus knew the Pharisees had heard that he was baptizing and making more disciples than John 2 (though Jesus himself didn’t baptize them—his disciples did). 3 So he left Judea and returned to Galilee.

4 He had to go through Samaria on the way. 5 Eventually he came to the Samaritan village of Sychar, near the field that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there; and Jesus, tired from the long walk, sat wearily beside the well about noontime. 7 Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Please give me a drink.” 8 He was alone at the time because his disciples had gone into the village to buy some food.

9 The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans. She said to Jesus, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?”

10 Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.”

11 “But sir, you don’t have a rope or a bucket,” she said, “and this well is very deep. Where would you get this living water? 12 And besides, do you think you’re greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us this well? How can you offer better water than he and his sons and his animals enjoyed?”

13 Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. 14 But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.”

15 “Please, sir,” the woman said, “give me this water! Then I’ll never be thirsty again, and I won’t have to come here to get water.”

16 “Go and get your husband,” Jesus told her.

17 “I don’t have a husband,” the woman replied.

Jesus said, “You’re right! You don’t have a husband— 18 for you have had five husbands, and you aren’t even married to the man you’re living with now. You certainly spoke the truth!”

19 “Sir,” the woman said, “you must be a prophet. 20 So tell me, why is it that you Jews insist that Jerusalem is the only place of worship, while we Samaritans claim it is here at Mount Gerizim, where our ancestors worshiped?”

21 Jesus replied, “Believe me, dear woman, the time is coming when it will no longer matter whether you worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans know very little about the one you worship, while we Jews know all about him, for salvation comes through the Jews. 23 But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. 24 For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”

25 The woman said, “I know the Messiah is coming—the one who is called Christ. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”

26 Then Jesus told her, “I am the Messiah!”

Samaritans and Jewish people did not communicate in those days. It was forbidden. But Jesus, the Messiah, showed a loving personal God who knew all His people and wanted a relationship with each one. He wants to know each of us personally.

Who knows that you might be led to intersect with a women or man who has post-abortive regret. They may need a friend to listen, to bring Jesus alive to their empty spaces. It could be you!! Be ready to love. Listen, speak truth in love or just be quiet, ask Jesus for the steps of grace, mercy and forgiveness that may not come naturally. If you are not feeling called to a friendship. Prayer is powerful. Maybe some other person will be called to minister more personally. We all need love and Jesus. James 5: 16 says the earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. By the way, we are not perfect only Jesus can cover the multitude of our sins.

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Other ways we can help women / men in unplanned pregnancy:

Those who choose to parent should see your active faith as the hands and feet of Jesus. We can help single women in tangible ways, making the choice to parent is a life long journey, financially, emotionally, spiritually. We can be Titus women who support another woman with our time, our ability to help with goods needed, our listening ear, our parenting advice when asked, wherever the Lord sends us. These women need to feel love, our words of encouragement along with mentorship could bless the mom and generations to come. Single moms and dads are under a lot of stress they need help. When the Lord prompts we must seek to serve these parents.

Those who choose to place their child in adoption should be supported in their sacrifice. Placing a child in another home is hard but heartfelt knowing your child walks in this world and you may not be near is grief and loss. You can read more about this in my free E-Book, ” Healing through Sacrifice”, available on my blog site. It is written with insight from multiple birth-family wisdom. We can pray and support those who chose adoption. They felt the inner stirrings of life, they pondered their ability to parent. In many situations, they felt strongly to place their child’s future before their own. It took love, sacrifice, and a determination beyond what most of us can imagine.

I am amazed with our family through adoption and the strength of our birth-families. Our birth families are precious, they chose my husband and I to parent. I love them and words can’t express my humility at the journey of our families in open adoption.

God is intertwined to bind us together. Meet someone at the well near you, it could be a coffee shop :), step out of your comfort zone. Let Jesus draw more of His people to His thirst quenching power, love, grace and mercy. Let Him use your actions for His glory. God is love!

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Who Does He say you are?

 Psalm 139: 13 - 14
13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
    and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
    Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.

Whether you feel the message of these lyrics or not, The Lord is for you not against you. I am blessed with three children from adoption. Sometimes when they are processing through their adoption story they need to be reminded that first and foremost, they are a Child of God. God knew them from conception. They are created for a purpose, He made them uniquely so others can see the beauty and plans of God. I hope this song with lyrics by Hillsong Worship encourages you. Walk in the knowledge that You are Created for a beautiful purpose. Let His love fill you with hope.