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When the bus hits.

IMG_0084Not really looking, I just stepped into the street. I didn’t see the bus coming. My eyes looked up just as it plowed me over. As I saw my body begin to explode I snapped to reality from my daydream.

I sat on the pretty gold wingback chair, staring out the window at the playground on the artic tundra.

Cold rain fell, as it did nearly everyday after she was taken.

Tears fell down my face.

That’s what has happened. I whispered to God. I stepped out in faith and I’ve been hit by a bus of heartache. I trusted you that this would happen the way you said.

This morbid picture began to reverse, like an old VCR rewinding through a movie. Suddenly I was back on the pavement about to step out.

“That’s what you think happened. No, this is what happened” I felt Him whisper.

I stepped out again. The bus hit me. My body stayed intact and my heart exploded and spread to the corners of the nation.

“What you think has destroyed you has expanded your heart.” 

I stood in that mental picture God was revealing to me and saw my heart scattered all over. And in the moment I knew it was not broken in sadness, it had been multiplied during the explosion.

In that vision I could see that my capacity to love had widened and my ability to meet the needs of others was increased.

My journal was nearby and I quickly wrote down what I had seen in my mind’s eye. While it didn’t bring me excessive comfort right then, I had enough wisdom to know this would carry me through the coming weeks.

It reminds me of a verse that God gave me years ago when I was in a bad car accident, and they are the words that Joseph spoke at the end of his life with the hindsight to see God’s redeeming work, even though he was sold into slavery, falsely accused and served jail time.

He said:

“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”

Genesis 50:20

What was meant for evil in his life he was able to confidently say God used for the saving of many lives!

Dear one, I know the road is hard. I recognize you may be facing something so mammoth it feels impossible to see how this can ever be turned for good. But this is God’s heart for you today:

What you think has destroyed you has expanded you.

The trial that you face is increasing your ability to forgive. It’s widening your scope of compassion and deepening your capacity to love in a way you thought you never could.

And though it hurts more than anyone else can properly understand, if you continue to keep yourself open to Jesus and allow him access to your heart, he WILL use this to impact the lives of more people than would have been if you hadn’t walked through this.

Please, don’t harden your heart in this challenge.

What you feel has destroyed you is actually expanding you.

Surrender it. Don’t hold on to it. Don’t try to understand it. Don’t aim to rationalize it. The enemy may have intended to throw a big ole wrench into your life, BUT God. But for the grace of God Almighty, your trial would have been purposeless, and instead he makes it a powerful platform to display his power and his goodness.

Let it sink deep. This pain is expanding you. You do not go through anything that he cannot use.

I pray this knowledge comforts you, as it has comforted me.

We’re coming out on top.

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Radical Motherhood

I think I’ve made it through the worst.

The worst of the flashbacks, the bad dreams, the gut wrenching pain, the shock and the inability to grasp that what I believed in my heart would happen did not come to pass.

If you are unfamiliar with our adoption journey that left us broken-hearted, you can start reading here.

I believe for the first time I am understanding what James is talking about when he says

…when it seems as though you are facing nothing but difficulties see it as an invaluable opportunity to experience the greatest joy that you can! For you know that when your faith is tested it stirs up power within you to endure all things. And then as your endurance grows even stronger it will release perfection into every part of your being until there is nothing missing and nothing lacking.

James 1:2-4

I’ve said these words before in a little trial and it seemed easy to believe. But to come out the other side of this heart ache with eyes to see that God is redeeming our hearts and deepening us in grace is nothing short of the power of Jesus. Apart from him, I couldn’t even get off the ground and dry my eyes.

I will say that I believe without a doubt that we followed every prompting of the Holy Spirit and we were obedient in every aspect when we went to Nunavut. And this great test of my faith has produced some life changing revelations.

God allowed me to spend my first eight days, when we were waiting for baby to be born and before my husband arrived, in the heart of the struggle in the city. At first I was terrified to leave my place and then God promised to protect me and give me courage because there were things I needed to see.

So I went alone, with no cell service, out into the world. As I walked to the grocery store I was angrily sneered at by someone saying: So you’ve decided to come up here and see what real life is. My heart raced. He wasn’t interested in my answer so I walked on.

I stopped at the RCMP to ask if there was anything I should know while I staying there since the newspapers were full of stories of how crime had skyrocketed, especially rape.

They told me the biggest thing was not to stay down by the water. I thanked them for the advice and walked back to my condo, about ten steps from the water.

Across the street from me was the burnt shell of a truck, destroyed from a domestic dispute a few days before that ended in lighting each others vehicles on fire.

Each day I wanted to hide, and each day I ventured out again.

More than anything I wanted to hear people’s stories. I sought them out as best I could.

I sobbed when we saw a baby on a mother’s back, wearing only a tee-shirt in the cold rain. She tried to stand up but was too drunk to do so and nearly fell right on top of him. This was too common.

I met people who are working to help change the social landscape. Each one in their own way moved with compassion by what they see around them, whether they grew up in it and now aim to help, or whether coming in from the outside. Many struggling to cope with the devastation they deal with on a daily basis.

Every single one willing to sacrifice comfort to see hope restored.

I listened to as many of the children’s stories as I could. Multiple ones with a murdered parent, others severely neglected, others in a sense orphaned to alcoholism.

Each child beautiful. Each one longing for their home to be safe.

This simple truth has become the bright diamond in this fire of disappointment.

Children crave home. They want home. They need home. I can provide home.

Coming back to my own home, I am not the same. I am wrecked for family and ruined for the cause of the home, our place of peace.IMG_8420

I have moved beyond accepting my responsibility as a mother to receiving a call to radical motherhood.

A type of motherhood with the heartbeat prayer: let your kingdom come in my home as it is in heaven.

A radical motherhood that is not perfect, but sold out to the cause of raising kids who know they are loved by Jesus, and by their parents.

A radical motherhood that will actively sacrifice time, energy, sleep, career, appearance, status, finances, and basically any other thing that gets in the way of cultivating a peaceful, loving, Christ-centered home.

A radical motherhood that makes room for more. For me, that’s more babies. More laundry. More cooking. More prayers. More stories. More hugs. More songs. More mess. God bring me more.

A radical motherhood that does not stop with ones own children, but whose brave heart bursts open, expanded to those who have not been loved as her own have been.

Home is where our hearts grow.  I saw the effects of so many children without home and it compelled me to commit to doing it wildly well. I repeat, not perfect, but on purpose.

I’m not talking about homeschooling, I had committed to doing that before this revelation.

I’m not talking about staying home full-time. I own a brick and mortar business, I can’t call myself a stay at home mom.

I’m talking about a heart that is so surrendered to the glorious call of mothering that this responsibility can and will trump all others when it needs to, because no one on this planet needs me more than them. 

Stepping into the grace of radical motherhood draws out a confidence that is driven by a deep trust that Jesus has called you and me for such a time as this and we are anointed to be MOM.

May you explode with confidence that you are called and equipped for the task at hand. You are powerful to step out in brave love and your mothering is changing the world.

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