I hope that you reflect often upon God’s grace. I was in the middle of my work day and had to stop and write this blog post. My heart was overwhelmed by so many sweet reminders of God’s grace to Phil and I during this adoption journey. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but a means to thank the Lord for his unending mercies that are new every morning.
- The gift of new life – Today marks one week since our family welcomed Jenna Kate Eckard. She is the most beautiful baby girl and such a precious gift to our family! It’s not just Phil and I that are waiting so eagerly for our child, but also grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. I know it’s hard for them to wait. In the midst of the waiting, the Lord blessed our family with new life! A child fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God and created to worship Him. A baby girl that is loved so immensely and has brought so much joy in just 7 short days. Her birth allowed my parents to experience something that Phil and I cannot bless them with. But the Lord graciously allowed my parents to celebrate at the hospital with Lane, Danielle, and Joel when Jenna was born.
- The kindness of others – My heart rejoices at the kindness we have received over these past 25 months – from those that have supported us financially to the countless prayer warriors that are walking with us in this journey. In those moments where I simply do not know what to pray, I am comforted by those praying on our behalf. A dear sister of mine has sent me 7 cards over the past several months. Those notes of encouragement always come at the perfect moment that I need them. I was recently invited to a baby shower and, after much pondering, I declined the invitation. This was not because I do not like baby showers. I have hosted and attended several. But, my emotions were too raw. I told my husband that I just didn’t think I could attend any other baby showers until we had our child. I know how selfish it sounds, but that is where I am right now. My pride tempted me to not even respond to the invitation or get a gift. I just did not want to face those that I knew I would disappoint. But both the hostess and the guest of honor were so extremely gracious to me. This expectant mother was so kind and understanding. She did not judge me in any way! There have been other conversations with family and friends during our journey when the perfect words were spoken to us at the perfect time. We do not take your kindness for granted!
- A new job, kind of – For a couple of different reasons, Phil and I decided at the end of November that the season at my job had come to an end. I had been there 8+ years, but it was becoming evident that a change was needed. I put in my notice right after Thanksgiving for December 13 to be my last day. I had no plans for another job, but some things on my heart that I wanted to do. It was a financial leap of faith in one sense as my job had amazing benefits. During my exit interview, I was asked if I would consider staying on. I told them what my perfect scenario would be, never expecting it to be an option. God was gracious! Not only was I offered my perfect scenario, but even more. I am now working part time from home and able to do some of the things that have been on my heart for quite some time.
- A patient and forgiving husband – Phil has been so steadfast during our adoption journey, especially when my emotions have tossed me from one extreme to another. He has reminded me again and again that the Lord has called us to be parents and adoption is His plan for growing our family. My husband graciously loves and forgives me when I get upset over the most trivial matters. He never harbors a grudge, even when I fail him again and again. He has patiently endured countless emotional breakdowns. He is not perfect, but he is the perfect companion as my husband, best friend, and life partner.
- Hope – I was talking with a new friend this week and sharing with her that, as believers, we always have hope. We have hope because God’s Word is the highest authority for our lives and provides everything that we need to live a life that pleases Christ. God will never call us to do something that He will not equip us to do as well. We have hope because of what we know about God from scripture. We are created by the One who can “measure the waters in the hollow of his hand” and “weigh the mountains in scales” (Isa 40:12). The Bible teaches us that our purpose in life is to worship God and give him glory! We can do this even in the midst of our struggles. Jesus tells us “I’ve come that you may have life and have it more abundantly”. There is cause to rejoice even in the darkest moments. We have hope because of the gospel. Apart from Christ, the Bible describes us as dead, ungodly, sinners, and enemies of God (Romans 5:6-10). “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Only God has the power to save everyone and Christ’s death and resurrection has reconciled us to God. “Hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts” (Romans 5:5).