One Year Later

One Year Later

calendar A year ago, today, I was a very different person. I struggled with fear and with what people thought about me.  I worried constantly about doing enough, being enough, finding enough to be truly happy. The abundant life, the peace, the joy I was promised seemed elusive. Things were, you know, fine. But I didn’t feel full of purpose. I had dreams that didn’t seem to make sense, and I felt a bit resigned to an ordinary existence.

And then I stumbled across a crazy, far-fetched opportunity: invite a child into my home for four weeks. Open up my heart to a child without a mother and show her love. Step out of my comfort zone to show care for someone without comfort. Dig down deep to the bedrock of my beliefs to see if I trusted God enough to make this happen. Challenge my perception of the world, of my God, of myself.

Well, they don’t exactly advertise life transformation on the New Horizons for Children website.  But when I started to read about how you could host an orphan in your home for four weeks at Christmas, I was immediately hooked. I read through that entire website–every page, every link–in one night. I was overwhelmed with fear but also with excitement. I KNEW this was something that God brought to my attention. He hadn’t given me a fascination with Eastern Europe for nothing. I was the children who had written a research paper on the fall of the Russian Romanov dynasty in sixth grade, after all. I had the chance to travel to Russia twice in high school and in college on missions trips.

And God had been awakening my heart to the needs of the people in the former USSR ever since. Two years before, I bawled my eyes out while reading Adopted for Life–of two little boys being carried out of their orphanage into the sunlight for the very first time in their lives. Their new parents tried to reassure them they would be safe and cared for, but they knew nothing but the dirt and stench and neglect in a Soviet-style institution. The year after that, I sat in the women’s conference at church, hearing about the horrors of human trafficking, astonishingly prevalent in Eastern Europe.

And ever since that day, one year ago today, that God showed me how to make a difference in the world, I have been different. I can honestly say that in this last year, I have prayed more prayers, fasted more meals, dug deeper into Scripture, and experienced more miracles than I ever have in my life. I found a divine purpose in my life: to change the world by changing the life of a girl from the other side of the world.

Now, a new chapter lies before us: another step, a greater challenge. Although fear and worry threaten to overwhelm me at times, I look at my life a year ago today, and I say, “Lord, I will go where you lead me.” I want to be the person God created me to be–someone completely dependent on Him, totally trusting in His grace and love, willing to step out of the boat in “the great unknown, where feet may fail.”

I pray a year from now, I can show you all a picture of M, not simply visiting, but home. For now I cannot imagine life without her!

But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children. And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, ‘Abba, Father.’” (Galatians 4:4-6)