Welcome to Adoption

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A couple of months ago I was captivated by a family at New Word Alive who have adopted a couple of kids. I was fascinated as I watched the way the siblings interacted with each other, I was blown away as I watched the parents serve and love their children and I was reminded of the fact that, unlovely as I am, God
chose me to be a part of His family before I was born.

My initial reaction to seeing that family was ‘I could never do that’. And that reaction got me thinking. Why couldn’t I do that? What is stopping me? What makes me so paralysed by fear? What am I clinging to that I can’t let go of?

I decided my response of ‘I could never do that’ just didn’t sit right. I had to challenge it and decided to make my elective study module this term on Relay all about adoption. At first I didn’t know where that would take me or what direction I wanted to go in at all. But as I thought more and more I decided that I wanted to tell people’s stories of adoption and fostering, firstly to challenge my own fears, and secondly to encourage other people to challenge theirs and to consider adoption or fostering right now. The best way I could think of telling these stories is by doing what I love most – filming, photographing and writing.

So over the next few weeks my ‘Welcome to Adoption’ series will comprise of a few films, a few photo stories and my own thoughts on the theology and reality of adoption and fostering. My hope is not ultimately that your heart will be warmed or that you will shed a little tear. Although I know some of the stories will move you deeply. My ultimate hope is that you might walk away from hearing about each family and realise the full wealth of the adoption we have received into God’s family, and that you would be encouraged to know that this is something you could be involved in as well.

I’m excited about the next few weeks as things start to come together! Stay tuned for the next blog post coming soon.

#AdoptedbyGod

My Rom-Comless Lent So Far

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As you may or may not know from my previous post I gave up Rom-Coms for lent. This has stretched to films which generally have at their core a message of the ultimate fairytale relationship, or a message that makes me hunger for that relationship. Elizabeth: The Golden Age was ruled out last night. I know, right? So far the actual giving up of Romantic films has been really helpful. It has made me realise how much my view of relationships was shaped by Hollywood and how I was so discontented after watching said films.

But it hasn’t solved the problem. Why? Because the problem was always my heart, not Hollywood. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that it hasn’t been helpful to give up Rom-Coms, I’m just saying it hasn’t been the cure. Because I can just as easily look at the people around me and feel exactly the same way. I can just as easily look at my married siblings and begrudge God for his generosity. I can just as easily long for the perfect husband who is never going to exist. I can just as easily let bitterness grow in my heart by not being grateful for the gifts God HAS given me. My heart’s default is to run after a mirage that turns out to be another sand dune, rather than the oasis I was hoping for. Hear me straight, I’m not saying marriage is not a good thing – it is a great and wonderful thing! It is a good gift given by a good Heavenly Father to an unworthy people. It is a sure picture of His grace and love. But that is all it is – a picture. Its not the actual ultimate love we are after.

A twilight analogy would be helpful I feel. Bear with. At the end of the twilight saga, Bella and Edward are in each others arms contented revelling in the ‘forever and forever and forever’ that they get to share. But real life isn’t like that. People die. And people are unfaithful. And marriages don’t last forever. But there is one that does…

The very last line of the book is ‘And then we continued blissfully into our small but perfect piece of our forever’. Newsflash –  people are rubbish! Relationships are NOT perfect. People mess up, they don’t put each other first. If I get married my husband will not love me with an all sacrificial love. It will be imperfect and flawed, at times selfish and at times inconsiderate. Am I just being negative? Or am I being honestly realistic? Marriage is meant to be a picture of something better, a relationship that does last forever, a relationship that will satisfy my deepest needs, a husband who will love me perfectly and lay down all that He has, even His life, to keep me safe. If I am not getting my value from my identity as HIS bride, I will always be putting my hope in the mirage of earthly relationships. There IS a marriage waiting for me that will be better than anything this earth could hold.

This is what lent has taught me so far. And its been brutal. It has been exhausting and draining. And it has made me more thankful for a God who gave up His son for me than ever before.

Quote of the day: Am I a part of the cure, or am I a part of the disease?

What Am I Giving Up for Lent?

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I have decided to give up Rom-Coms.

It was a spur of the moment decision when Sam my fellow Relay worker asked me what I was giving up. Its because I watched one last night. And it made me feel desperately alone. It made me feel insecure about not having a boyfriend. It made me hunger for marriage. It made me discontented and ungrateful for the friendships God has bountifully provided. All in 120 minutes. Those 120 minutes tempted me to be dissatisfied with my Saviour and pleaded with me to raise up an alluring god in the form of relationships.

So Rom Coms are gone. Not because I think I’m holier than you. Go ahead and carry on watching them, especially if they don’t affect you like that. Maybe I’m just weaker and more susceptible to idolatry. All in all I’m giving them up because I can’t bear to be tempted away from the God I love.

Happy Pancake Day!!