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Friday, October 12, 2012

.When God Dreams for You.

Sometimes following God and taking a risk leads to dreams that were buried in my heart. Dreams I didn't even know existed until they were fulfilled. Dreams I couldn't know existed because they were too big to wrap my thoughts around. A dream too big to fulfill without God's hand working out all of the details.



That's how God designed my family.



My dream for my family was very vanilla - plain, typical, bland, ordinary, comfortable, safe - black and white errr....maybe just white {grin}.



In this new dream - the crazy beautiful one that God planted in my heart - I have learned that I can love children that I did not birth just as fiercly as I love the children that I did birth. And that feels pretty amazing knowing only God can create something as beautiful as that.


I have learned that God loves to give good gifts, and that He uses my children to shadow His love for me.



I have learned that the blood flowing through our veins, and DNA, or matching eyes and smiles are not what binds us as a family. It really is love. Love that Jesus has for me, overflowing into, and then out of, my heart and blanketing their hearts.



Love really is thicker than blood and genetics and family trees. We are all covered by His blood - His tangible LOVE - and  we are all made in His image, anyway. We all match in some way, because we all mirror parts of our Creator. We all look the same inside, and the outside merely brings beauty and diversity into our home. A reflection of the creativity and masterpiece of our Creator.



God's dream has opened my eyes to the extraordinary way He can push an ordinary family to love BIG and deep and wide - through the way He loves us BIG and deep and wide.

family photo1

When it comes to redemption it takes time. Time to heal and bind up hearts. Time to move forward and gather courage. And that time? It is a gift - a gift to be treasured and nurtured and protected.


This new dream, this one that is piecing my family together has taught me to slow and to breathe and to let go. Let go of the expectations of others, let go of  the expectations of myself. Let go of the standards that keep me too busy, and embrace this messy season more completely by being present in the mess and not consumed by it.


When I look at these portraits I don't see black and white.  I am not colorblind, though. I recognize and celebrate our beautiful colors, but they are not what stands out to me. Some of us have an Ethiopian heritage, some of us do not, some of us have scarred hearts and hidden hurts, all of us have sin and hurts, fears and lies that Jesus came to redeem and erase. But when I look at these photos my heart nearly bursts with joy, because all I see is the people I love most in all of this world. The people I would go to death for. The people that have seen me at my worst and at my best and consistently love me. The man that I have loved since I was just fifteen years old. The four stunning children that have all been born to me in the same way -  through painful labor and anguish and prayer.


When I look at these photos I see one thing alone - a great big dream that only God could have dreamed when He put us together and made us FAMILY.

When I look at these photos, all I see is my family.


*All photos captured by Red Balloon photography.


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