Wednesday, February 22, 2012

giggles & smiles

"Then your light will shine like the dawn, 
and your wounds will quickly heal.
Your God will walk before you, 
and the glory of the Lord will 
protect you from behind."
Isaiah 58:8

The blessings and mercies continue to flow from Heaven. God is working amazingly beautiful healing within my family and it is truly a glorious miracle to behold. 

Not all miracles are instantaneous. It's human nature to crave the quick fix. The solution that causes us the least effort or pain.

When God chooses to bring healing and freedom quickly, it is indeed a time to rejoice. 

In my personal experience, however, I've found healing miracles that come slowly, over a long period of time, are even more profound. They bring us to a point of complete and utter desperation. 

We pray fervently for a breakthrough, while doing everything we possibly can in our power to bring about the much desired change. Which thankfully, eventually, brings us to the end of ourselves. 

It's not a fun place to be, admittedly, but it is the very best place to be.

When we've used up the last of our resources, the only place left to turn is to our Creator.

For months on end when asked how our youngest, Sara, was doing, we've used the same word. Over,  and over, and over, again. 


Every day was a repeat of the day before. Sara was stuck in her pain. Stuck in her struggles. Stuck in her fears. Stuck in the games she was playing. 

Stuck in the muck. 

And as far as we could tell, she honestly did not mind one single bit. She didn't care about the life she was missing out on. No amount of reward or consequences were enough for her to desire to stop being stuck and begin to move forward.

It was frustrating. Exhausting. Wearing. And sad. Very, very, very sad.

Sometime after the new year, we suddenly found a new word. Healing.

I can't pinpoint what exactly changed in Sara's life or heart. But I do know that something big changed within my heart.

I stopped counting the days. I stopped my striving towards fixing Sara. I surrendered to the process of healing — in God's way. And in God's timing. Most importantly, I started loving without condition and without constraint.

The above photograph shows Sara making sand-angels. It brings tears to my eyes because it shows that healing and growth can and do happen in big and little ways. 

You see, we are a beach-lovin' family! Every time we've added a child to our family, we have taken a trip to the beach shortly after their birth or adoption to introduce them to one of our greatest loves. (OK, so babies obviously can't appreciate the beach, but it's symbolic to Geoff and myself. Grin.) 

If you happen to share our passion for sand and sea, you can understand our disappointment when we placed Sara on the sand as a toddler and she immediately *shrieked* in terror. Her sensory receptors were completely overloaded and she did NOT like the beach.

It took many, many visits before she was able to allow even a single grain of sand to touch her skin. It took months before she began to allow her feet to inch past the edge of the beach blanket. Finally, after about a year, Sara discovered the joy of digging and playing in the sand. It was truly a day of rejoicing for all of us.

This past month, we took the newest member of our family, Jeremiah, to not only share our love of the beach, but also help him break free from his former career as a guide dog for the blind.

Thankfully, Big Jer didn't have any of the sensory issues Sara had. He quickly found his "inner-pup" and went absolutely *CRAZY* digging, running and learning to play catch.

Side note: This interesting formatting is what happens when you copy and paste from and don't catch the background color until you try to preview your post. Sorry if it's bugging your eyes out. I know it doesn't look very pretty. I have to laugh, though, because the imperfectness of it matches my life all too perfectly! I've grown to appreciate flaws and scars. And, quite honestly, I would much rather spend the next hour lovin' on my sweet fam! Thanks for bearing with my messiness. It's great to be human, eh? :-)

Along the way, Sara found her "inner-pup" as well and had a blast digging and crawling around on all fours. (No kidding. The video footage of both of them is hilarious!)

This beach trip was as polar opposite to Sara's first trip to the beach as it was to the trip we took a few months ago. Sara was stuck in her muck and as such was absolutely miserable to be around. The rest of us had fabulous time grilling hot dogs and throwing around a football in the sunshine. Sara, however, preferred to sit on a blanket and work on making restitution for her poor behavior on the drive to the beach.

But as I said, we have a new word now. Healing. Movement forward. Progress. Stuck no longer. Being set free by God's love and amazing grace. 

And it is a beautiful thing to behold.

Instead of rude behavior behind my back, I am blessed to hear Sara say every ten or fifteen minutes, "I love you, Mama. I'm so glad you are my mommy!" Coupled with a big, sloppy wet kiss on my cheek and followed by a huge smile.

And we are giggling. A lot. Together. And it is so freeing and healing. 
Love does that. As does surrender. And trust. In a God that is bigger and greater and more wise than I could ever be.

Sara is still a work in process. But then again, I am too. 

This morning, after asking me sweetly if she could please massage my feet before she ate breakfast, Sara showered me the most yummy words this worn-out and weary Mama's heart could ever hear.

"I love you, Mama. I love that God chose me for you and you for me. I love your 'Caucasian-ness.' I also love that you love me. You are the greatest mommy that I could have found." Then she hopped up, handed me a tissue, and said, "Just in case you cry of happiness." (Her exact words. Grin.)

And I did.

And then I gave her a big, sloppy wet kiss on her cheek, told her how much I love her "Chinese-ness," and followed it with a huge smile.

God is good. All the time. 

When He brings healing quickly. And, especially when He brings it slowly. Because that is truly where the best things happen. During the long, hard, difficult and painful process of healing.

I am so incredibly grateful for His love and grace. For the gift of His Precious Son. And for giving us a new word. In His time and His way. 


My little girl is no longer stuck. She is healing. And I am blessed.

My Sweet Friend, if you are waiting for healing for yourself, or for someone you love, please don't give up. Keep your eyes on Jesus and trust in His unconditional love and devotion for you. 

Surrender to His will and timing. He knows you intimately and His plans are perfect for your life. I promise you, one day stuck will be a word of the past and healing will come.

...followed by a huge dose of smiles and giggles...and hopefully a day spent thoroughly rejoicing in God's magnificent creation of sand and sea!

Keep pressing into the LORD, and KEEP LIVING A BLESSED LIFE!

With joy and great rejoicing,