Sunday, July 28, 2013

Hope and a Future

This is the room that our daughter has been sleeping in for the past 13 months. In fact, as I write this, that's where she is. This picture is bleak, sad, and rather depressing. This picture is what makes our so far more than 100 day wait for our LOA (letter of approval) from China so difficult. This picture makes me want to cry. However, this picture is also one of hope, redemption, and love.

This is where our Lily is coming from. This does not define who she is, or who she will be, but only her circumstances at this moment in time. This is merely her starting point.

Some parents who have adopted from Lily's orphanage have said it's rather gloomy and grim, without many toys or smiling faces. Some say that they felt their children were truly loved and taken care of while they were there. Either way, it is not the same as being part of a loving family. It falls far short of the ideal. But it allows so much room for God to redeem our daughter. Right now she doesn't know what she's missing. She doesn't understand that she's supposed to be loved better than she is. In fact, she might be really upset when we come to take her from the only home she's ever known. She can't see the other side. She doesn't know what true love feels like. She only knows this bleak, white room with a wooden mat in a metal bed. And to her, that is safe and familiar. That is home.

A few years from know she will know the love of a mom, a dad, and two siblings. She will have a bright, cheerful bedroom with a soft bed. She will have toys and books and food readily available to her. The time at her orphanage will probably not even be a memory. She will be redeemed as a daughter.

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

God has great plans for our daughter. He is giving her a hope and a future. While every day of this wait seems unnecessary and excruciatingly long, the end result will be the same. She will come home to us. She will know true love. She will have hope and a future. She will be redeemed. And the beauty of it is, she doesn't even know it's coming!

Lily is like us - we don't recognize our need for redemption. Our lives are familiar, and we are perfectly happy living them our way. We don't know that there is anything better than our own bleak, white rooms with wooden mats in our beds. It is only when we have truly experienced God's love and the hope that comes from Him that we realize our need. Then we see what we have been missing. We see the potential of what our lives can be like, and we never want to go back to the way it was before: familiar, but falling far short of the ideal.

Please join me in praying for our sweet Lily as she sits on the other side of this redemption. Pray that our LOA comes soon and that we would be able to bring her home. Pray for us as we transition into becoming a family of 5 and for all the hiccups and obstacles that will come our way as a result. And in turn, I pray that you experience the true love, hope and redemption that come from following after God.

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