November's Over - Now What?

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November was National Adoption Awareness Month and I have LOVED reading all the stories that have been highlighted these last few weeks. But now that December is here, the work in orphan care and prevention must continue even after the spotlight is gone.

I want to encourage you to continue reading about Adoption and Foster Care and how to support adoptive families. In order to help, here are some articles that I think are really valuable to the conversation surrounding adoption. Some were written by friends, others by me, but hopefully all of them will help you in learning more about adoption. The last few links are to videos produced by an organization I highly respect called BraveLove - if you click on nothing else, at least watch these videos.

More Than a Political Stance: Adoption and the Pro-Life Cause

18 Things Adoptive Parents Think You Should Know About the Process

Don’t Protect Yourself from Adoption

3 Ways Your Church Can Participate in Orphan Care and Prevention

What Adoption Has Taught Me

How Birth Moms Display The Father’s Love

When God Opened My Eyes: The Grace of Exposure and the Need for Orphan Care

How Foster Care Became a Priority Just in Time

3 Joys & 3 Difficulties in Our Adoption

Bittersweet Reflections on our Call To Adopt

The Beauty and Brokenness of Our Adoption

Adoption Myths (video)

UnWanted (video)

Together We Are Motherhood (video)

My hope is that this list will be a blessing to you and help motivate you to help continue the work year-round!

Blessings,

Brittany

Posted on November 30, 2018 .

When Good Men Fall

When Good Men Fall

This week has been a hard week for many in the denomination that I’ve grown to love. More good men have stepped down from ministry due to moral failure. It's not the first, nor will it be the last, but each time it triggers an old wound that takes me to my knees. 

I woke up Monday to a text conversation that shook me to my core. Anxiety filled my bones, my heart sank, and tears streamed down my cheeks. I was physically sick over what I had read. I talked to a few close confidants and decided to give myself a day. Take the day away from social media. Take the day to grieve however I needed. Just take a day to remember, reflect, and wallow a bit. But then the sun would set like it always does, and when a new day would dawn His faithfulness would too.  

Tuesday came and it was time to put my hand to the plow and reflect my maker. The work of grief and redemption is hard work, but it’s also holy.

I woke up and looked at my worn-out Bible, with its frayed seams and broken binding; such a faithful old friend. I didn’t open it, I just stood there staring at it, thinking about the Gospel story in its entirety. I was reminded how it’s in these hard moments when Christ's restorative work takes my breath away. And as I sat there thinking about the greatest story ever known to man, I couldn't get over the people God chose to use in this world's redemptive plan:

Moses, Abraham, David, Rahab, Saul/Paul, Peter, and many more like them.

Our hodgepodge heroes of the faith were prostitutes, liars, doubters, adulterers, and murderers (just to name a few). Not to mention, when Jesus walked this earth He ate with tax collectors, suspect women, and sinners, people like you and me. And when the Pharisees, the religious rule-followers, rolled their eyes about the company He kept, Jesus replied, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick… I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”

You see, when one of our good men falls it’s easy to doubt if they were ever good at all. It’s easy to get angry, point fingers, and allow a seed of self-righteousness take root. But brothers and sisters, that Pharisaical mindset is futile. Give yourself time to be wounded, but a right view of sin knows that none of us are good at all. A right theology of sin and redemption knows that this side of glory, we are all broken people in need of a great Savior and until Christ comes again we are all susceptible to Satan’s lies.

When good men fall, we don’t stand on pedestals, being thankful that we’re unlike them. We recognize that we’re all in equal standing at the foot of the cross and that Jesus didn’t come to save the righteous; he came for the messed-up sinners in need of a great physician.

When our leaders, our coworkers, our church members fall, we sit with them at the feet of Jesus, relishing in the good news that we serve a God who loves a repentant heart. YAHWEH is a God who forgives, heals, and redeems. And if our YAHWEH is big enough to redeem mankind in its entirety, He can heal the brokenness that is so pervasive in our relationships, churches, denominations, and our own hearts.

When good men fall, we remind ourselves that none of us are good enough and that our righteousness, every good deed we can muster, is as filthy rags. When Scripture says, “You shall be holy, for I am holy,” we recognize that the holiness that we proclaim is Christ’s, not our own! 

When good men fall we proclaim the Good News that it doesn’t matter how bad, how ugly, how devastating your world gets, our God is a Redeemer. He is faithful like the setting sun, and His mercies are new every morning. He turns mourning into laughter, and makes beauty out of the ashes of our lives. And redemption has always been His plan from the beginning of time. 

So, when good men fall, we remind ourselves of truth on these darks days. We retell the greatest story ever known to man. We speak redemption over our wounds and theirs. We do the hard and holy work of repentance and restoration because it is an outpouring of our shared redemption story. We put our hands to the plow and let love drive our every word and deed. And years later, when the work of repentance and forgiveness and love and justice and redemption have had their way with our hearts, I can promise you that you will be able to stand like Joseph and proclaim, “You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good.” Even when a good man falls. 

Posted on May 23, 2018 .

Fall :: My Season of Remembrance

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It’s undeniably fall, even here in Texas. The trees are losing their leaves, mornings are crisp, and the holidays are right around the corner. 

It has always been my favorite time of year, but ever since my life fell apart the fall has held a special place in my heart. You see, one fall in particular brought more than just a change of weather; it changed me entirely

A few years ago I woke up one cool morning with a splitting headache and the realization that the prior day wasn’t a nightmare; it was my new reality. Grief took a seat at our family’s table and was there to stay for a while. Heartache became the norm, and I couldn’t quite find my footing. It seemed as if everything in life was falling apart and the weather and trees were simply following suit. 

But that’s the beauty of fall.

Leaves are shed, the weather changes, and with every passing day I was changing too. And the fumbling that fall brought was what the Lord used to help me find my footing in Him. God was using the furnace of suffering to forge a new me and as fall turned into winter, I became bare-boned and raw before the Lord. And that was exactly where He wanted me. The people-pleasing girl who danced throughout the summer was learning to sit quietly before a Holy God who ordained both the summers and winters in life. 

And the falls, well… He ordained those too. 

It was the fall that taught me that both sorrow and joy could coexist and that holidays were meant to be celebrated in both seasons of great joy and deep sorrow. It was the stripping of the leaves that showed me that sometimes less was better than more, and depth was more valuable than breadth. And the cool air that took my first mornings’ breath away reminded me that my hope was not here in earthly joys, but in an eternal one. Fall taught me it was okay to not always be okay, and that the Lord who ordained every celebration, also ordained every heartache. And just as quickly as one season begins, it will also come to an end. 

The fall took so much away, and winter was cold and barren, yet spring couldn’t come and fully be enjoyed without those two difficult seasons. Never have I loved a Springtime more than the one that followed such a cold and stripping season. 

Years later, this sweet season both stings and brings an immense amount of comfort. And that is why it is still my favorite. I look at the changing season and am reminded that this side of glory both sorrow and joy commingle together to create a beautiful story of redemption. I sip the cider, let the cool air chill my cheeks, and I am comforted knowing that we serve a King who ordains every season, every change, & He cares about every leaf that falls. He ordains every valley and every mountain, and He oversees abundance and scarcity. And as I sit here with scars that will always remind me of the fall, I’m warmed by a resilient faith that was forged in that glorious season. For the healing that gave birth to those scars is evidence that our God redeems and restores. 

Fall is my season of remembrance. Look what the Lord has done and is constantly redeeming. 

The leaves may change and your life might fall apart, but “The steadfast love of the Lord NEVER ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23 ESV

Wishing you a Happy Fall and all that it entails. Praying that as the season changes, you do too and you find comfort in a Redeemer who never does. Because even on the coldest of days, the journey is still worth it all.

 

Posted on September 22, 2017 .