Healing Hearts Camp Olympics
Me and my beautiful girls (self-portrait!)
Canyonview Camp (love this verse!)
Me and Xia-Xia (yup, I had cried off my make-up that day!)
Chels, Geoff & Li (yup, my man cried off his, too! ha.)
Candy basket from Chatty Aunt Laura!!!
Four meals from my Chatty Girls who live across the USMy new favorite necklace that arrived on a very hard dayA tissue-box-plastic heart from my Li-Boy :-)
"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more
than we ask or imagine,
according to his power that is at work within us,
to him be the glory---"
Ephesians 3:20-21 (NIV)
The last time I wrote, I had a hard time expressing the deep grief that was in my heart. I'm still not sure how to share all that's transpired, so I'll save that for another day. This time, however, my heart is full of joy and thanksgiving.
The past can't be undone and our hearts are still very much broken into two. We still find it impossible to believe all that has happened and accept what our new reality is. The tears still come at unexpected times and the blows just seem to keep coming, one after another. Those who have been brave enough to listen to the details shake their heads in unbelief and weep with us.
But God. There is so much in that phrase, isn't there? The enemy has tried to do everything possible to steal, kill and destroy. If you don't believe that he exists, I assure you, he is real indeed and knows exactly where and how to hit us. God's Word is true and the battle is real.
But God. He sent Jesus so that we may "have life and have it to the full."
But God. He's already written the end of the book and He wins. And so do we!
God has bigger plans for us. He knows that with Him we will not only endure these beyond-difficult days, we will be stronger because of them. And, we will be victorious through Him.
Though the future is unknown and we have so many big mountains ahead of us, God is leading us, guiding us and uplifting us.
He's done so in big and little ways throughout these past few weeks.
Prior to our world crashing out from underneath our feet, He led me back to the incredible attachment therapist we used when Sara first joined our family. We LOVE Miss Hannah! She invited us to the life-changing Healing Hearts Camp for RAD families.
The camp was exactly what we needed to learn how to be better and stronger parents. It gave us time to be surrounded and loved by people who understood our pain and challenges. (Their own courage and strength brought me to tears.)
The camp gave us six solid days of focusing on our family, healing our hearts, building stronger relationships, learning better communication skills and enjoying new adventures together (obstacle courses, zip lines and horses - oh my!) We made new friends that I know will be apart of our lives for eternity. In short - camp ROCKED! (Just ask my kiddos! They can't wait to go back, nor can Geoff and I.)
God introduced us to Miss Kate who is filling a critical role for our family - one that we aren't able to for many different reasons. She's an amazing strong and loving woman who has blessed us beyond belief.
He blessed me through my friend "J" who has walked a painfully similar journey as my family. She sent me the beautiful necklace above, sent us a card with a gift certificate to have ice cream and then FLEW OUT to stay with us and love on us for two days!!! She cooked us dinner and filled our freezer with meals. She loved on my kiddos and stayed up until midnight with me talking, praying and crying. Oh, did I mention that we had never met in person before?!? What an incredible blessing she is!
He blessed us with our pastor and good friends who dropped their Saturday night plans to come and pray with our family.
He blessed us with my Chatties (we all adopted special-needs daughters from China in '06 and have been super-tight ever since.) They have fasted, prayed, supported and loved my family on an hourly basis - listening to my sadness, frustration, worries, anger, fear and doubt. They've sent hundreds (OK, thousands) of emails, texts, cards, gifts and candy. They blessed us with a generous gift certificate to a local meal delivery service - SO helpful! They've invited my older kiddos to visit their "aunties" for a bit of sanity and fun. And they've distracted me and made me laugh when the details became too much to bear. I love them beyond words.
He blessed me with a hairstylist who doubles as therapist and then gifted me with a free facial at their spa. So sweet!
He blessed us through our daughters' dance teacher who gave us our monthly statement with our balance due zeroed out.
He continues to provide our overwhelming financial needs to get through this season, as well as the referrals, connections and specialists we need.
And, He's blessed us through our friends around the world who comment on my blog, leave me encouragement on Facebook and offer amazing encouragement, love, support and prayer - you are all SO wonderful!!! Thank you from the bottom of my heart. God is hearing your prayers and answering them in big and little ways. You are all so very amazing and kind.
Our God has met each and every one of our needs - before we even have a chance to know what they are. We're humbled by the love and generosity our friends have shown us. We are so very, very grateful and pray that God multiplies your precious gifts and acts of kindness. May He shower each of you with His goodness and love! Thank you for standing with us and upholding us in prayer. You are remarkable, my Precious Friends! Truly remarkable.
The battle we are in continues to rage and each day seems to bring more troubles and bigger concerns. But our God is bigger and He will bring us through. I may not understand what He is doing, and clearly His plans are far different than ours - but I do trust Him, for His ways are good.
We are expecting BIG miracles and continued healing for all six members of our family - and we will tell of His goodness and give Him all the glory on the other side of this storm. He's a good God and I am so humbled by His extravagant love for my sweet family!
Wherever you are and whatever trials you may be facing in your life, I pray that you know that you aren't alone. God sees you, God knows you and God loves you with a fierce devotion. Together may we praise Him in the valleys and on the mountaintops.
With all that I am, I encourage you, Friend, to keep pressing into Him and keep LIVING A BLESSED LIFE!
With a deeply wounded but very full heart,