The Word of Life Camp in Belize included all the things you expect a camp to have; games, swimming, fun, food and lots of action. But the best part is spending time with campers and camp staff as we get to share Christ with them.
“Jesus had power over the storm because He didn’t let the storm inside of Him.” Joyce Meyer
It has been 1,105 days since we first got, the call. Baby Girl with no home to go home to. In the NICU. Micro-preemie. Born at twenty-five weeks, weighing one and a half pounds at birth. On a breathing machine and caffeine. Likely to go to adoption. That’s all the information we had. My heart said YES before I even had a chance to call my husband. As we drove to the hospital, I remember the reality starting to hit me. Panic set in. Wait a minute! I didn’t know how to work a breathing machine. What kind of issues would this child have? How would our three other children get the attention they needed? What would she look like? Could I do this? I also remember the immediate peace I felt with each question. It was like waves of emotions, followed by calm. It was like God just kept whispering in my ear, it’s okay. It’s going to be okay. You got this. We got this. With each question, I’d pray… then the peace would come. Storm. Deep breaths. Prayer. Peace.
It had taken us nine months to get approved as foster parents and about nine seconds for me to fall in love with this little bitty. The second I saw her face, my heart ached. It was like my heart jumped out of my chest. It was her. It was the vision I had been given as a little girl. She was tinier than my vision but just as beautiful. I always knew I’d have a lot of kids. I used to say, “I want a shoe full,” when people asked. I also knew I’d have a daughter. So, having three boys was confusing to me. I felt blessed but always left with the feeling that our family wasn’t complete. Then seeing her, even amidst the anxiety and unknown, I felt peace. There she was this little baby doll in what appeared to be a huge car seat with cords hanging out from her jammies. The nurse asked if we’d like to hold her and I snapped right back into reality. I remember hearing a fellow foster moms’ words in my head,” Ask the nurse as many questions as you can.” So, I began asking questions. I completely forgot what I was supposed to ask so I just asked anyway. I found out as much information as I could. The nurse had been told that I was a nurse, wrong. So, she then trained us on the machine and we learned all about baby girl’s history. This was a gift. This part I will leave out as I truly believe it is her story to tell, if and when she wants to. Then they let us take her home. Just like that. Well, nine months of paperwork and training then, just like that. Storm. Deep breaths. Prayer. Peace.
Dear friends, If God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
1 John 4:11
The simple truth stated in 1 John is one that Be The Church has tried to adopted as its core mission. But as always, it’s easier said than done. It begs the question, what is love? What does love for others look like? How could I ever, even for a moment, love others the way God loves me? At times we see glimpses of this love through the kindness of those around us. Communities coming together following a natural disaster, outpouring of support to a family in need, the care a parent gives to their child. Though love is not always displayed as a grand gesture, it is almost always intentional. Thinking back, I can’t remember ever feeling accidentally loved by the people around me. When we show love, especially the kind of love that God calls us to, we do so with intentionality. We love our spouse intentionally, we raise our children intentionally, we better our communities intentionally. Self-serving desires are easy to default to, its loving others that takes work.