Adoption · Loss · Miscarriage · parenting · scripture

Not By Sight

You stand and wait, glancing around the room. Maybe you tap your foot just a bit and shuffle your weight from leg to leg. You hear a bell chime and you watch as the doors slide open with a swish. Without hesitation you step on and select your floor. The doors swoosh shut and you feel the pull through your body as you’re lifted up through the elevator shaft. Stepping onto the elevator is kind of an example of how faith works. You can’t see the cables that hold the metal box of death, but you know they are there and you trust them.

Hebrews tells us that faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. You know the elevator is going to take you to the floor you select without crashing to the ground even though you can’t see the cables and pulleys. But what happens when you’ve gotten on the elevator and it’s crashed. What do you do when your faith has been shaken. When you struggle  to ‘see’ past what your eyes see?  

Over the last four years I have had to fight hard for my faith. Sometimes harder than I ever expected. There have been times that  my vision  has been so trained on what I’m seeing in the natural that it can be challenging to refocus my sight  on what’s happening in the supernatural. In other words, it’s hard to trust what I can’t see and trust in Gods plan, when things  around me look and feels terrible.  Does this make me, or you if this is your struggle too, a bad Christian?  No, it makes us human. God knew that we would have times where we would struggle to keep our eyes on Him and off the circumstances around us. 

This exact situation happened in Matthew chapter 14. The disciples were in a boat in the middle of a lake and they were struggling against the wind. The boat was rolling about on the waves and when they looked out across the water they saw Jesus walking ON the water toward the boat!  Initially they were scared and still not reassured when Jesus told them it was him. Peter called out to Jesus, “If it is you, call me to you” and Jesus did. Peter stepped off the boat out among the waves and began to walk on the water toward Jesus. 

He was doing great at first, step after step, he got closer and closer to Jesus. Then, he glanced around at the storm swirling around him. He saw the waves crashing beside and behind him, he felt the wind rushing against his cheeks and he started to sink. His faith floundered and he  began to sink. He thrust his hand up  and cried out to Jesus “save me”! Jesus took him by the hand and together they made their way to the boat and climbed in. 

So what do we do when all we can see with our eyes are the waves?  When we can’t hear Jesus through the roar of the wind, when our bodies are being pummeled by the storm?  We have to choose to look back at Him, reach out our hand and call on His name. And sometimes that’s hard!  It can be SOOO hard!  When I look at the things around me reminding me that we are four plus years into the journey to grow our family and we still do not have our child into our arms, I can feel myself sinking deeper and deeper into the water. I feel the sting of the salt water in my eyes and feel the burn of it in my throat. My body feels heavy with the weight of the stormy waters around me.

2 Corinthians 5:7  says that  we should walk by faith, not by sight.  I, or maybe even you too, have to look past the physical, the damaged elevator, the wind and the waves, and trust what can’t be seen. I have to make the same choice Peter made; reach up, cry out and get rescued. And I have to do it time and time again when I start to sink. Im making my choice, to walk by faith and not by sight, because let’s be honest, what I can physically see can be enough to cause me to start to sink.

Tonight my eyes see an empty crib and clothes with tags still on. But my faith sees a bed that’s ready for the child God has for us, clothes that are soft and comfy prepped and ready to keep that child warm. My eyes see a still rocking chair with no one to cuddle in it. But my faith sees a place where stories will be read and lullabies sang in the glow of a nightlight. My eyes the unanswered prayers of a big brother and a big sister. But My faith sees the love that has grown in their hearts for this little sibling that they have prayed diligently for over the last four years.

What are you going to choose? Are you going to get back on the elevator? Step out onto the water? What are you going view your surroundings with; your eyes or your faith?

Adoption · Loss · Miscarriage · parenting · Uncategorized

The Christmas Jammies


I bought family Christmas Jammies. You know the kind that the whole family wears. Cute little matching sets.  I got one for each member of the family!  They’re red and black plaid fuzzy pants and white shirts with red checked letters. I’ve bought matching pajamas before but this year was different.

This year I stood in the store red faced and puffy eyed from crying in the car barely thirty minutes before. 2019 hasn’t been our hardest year, but it has had its challenges. The hardest part has come  as the end of the year draws near and we are still waiting for that next little one to join our family. Missing the little ones that we carried and lost before we were ready. Hanging the stockings and knowing that there should be one more on the mantle. Last year my husband and I stood by the tree arm in arm and said with confidence “this time next year we will have three here”.

I walked by the rack three or four times before I finally stopped to pick some out. I searched through sale rack and found one for daddy, one for mommy, one for sister and one for brother. I stood still and chewed on my lip for a minute. I dove back in and reemerged with another smaller set. One labeled 12months. I held them in my hands and stroked the soft fabric. I took a deep breath and placed them in the cart next to the other four….

In 1st Kings chapter 18 Elijah prayed for rain. He prayed the first time and sent his servant out to look for clouds in the sky. The servant returned and said “I didn’t see anything”. Elijah persisted, undeterred, time and time again Elijah sent his servant to search the sky and each time the servant returned with the same answer; “no clouds, no rain”. But Elijah knew Gods promise to end the famine, he knew rain was coming despite the sunny empty sky. He pressed on, fervently praying for rain.  Elijah knew what the Lord had promised!  He prayed again and sent his servant out to scan the sky. He returned and said “There is a cloud, as small as a mans hand rising out of the sea!”  Elijah told him to go tell Ahab that a huge rain storm was coming!

Can you imagine?  Hearing “no” and not seeing the rain, time after time after time?  I don’t know about you, but it’s been tough to hear “not yet” and “no” so many times.  It’s enough to allow some doubt to creep in, just a little whisper of “maybe I didn’t hear him correctly” “maybe the rain isn’t actually coming”. But Elijah didn’t just have a word from God, he also had hope. Not just any hope though, hope in the Lord.

A hope that wasn’t deterred by empty skies and wasn’t dependent on what he could see. It was an expectant anticipatory hope. A hope that believed that even though there was no evidence of rain, the Lord could and would make it happen. A hope that trusted that the teeny weeny rain cloud was all God needed to bring a down pour. A hope that knew “I don’t see anything” didn’t mean no, it just meant not yet. He had put his hope in the Lord.

All too often we place our hope in the things we can see, touch or hear. I know I do this at times and when those things don’t look like feel like or sound like what I was expecting it can be tough to continue hoping. But if I can put my hope in the Lord and His ability, even though I may not be able to see the cloud or smell the rain, I can know without a doubt that it is coming!  Maybe not the first time or the fourth or the thirtieth, but one day, we will see our prayer answered!

I looked at the little pile of pajamas and smiled. These ones aren’t for this year, but they are for next year or maybe the next. For our next Christmas; the one where we will be a family of five. No we haven’t been chosen by a family yet. On the contrary, we’ve heard “I’m sorry, but you weren’t chosen” multiple times this year. These pajamas are my rain boots and umbrella on a clear sunny day.  They’re my little spec of a rain cloud. They are tangible proof that I’m putting my hope in the Lord.