My husband, Chad was ordained as a deacon in our church last weekend and while folks would tell us that is it an honor, if we are being truthful, you instead become keenly aware of your sense of inadequacy. I am thinking that in this role as a servant in the church that is not entirely a bad thing. Nevertheless, Chad stood before our friends, family and fellow church members and shared how he came to know and follow Christ and little about our family's journey since then. He spoke about how God had been preparing him for that day in November of 2007 when our little Sophie Kate was born. Hearing him speak of those incredibly difficult days moved me and moved others as well. Chad has always had such an ease about his acceptance of Sophie Kate and all that is our world with her. It is an ease of acceptance that I have always somewhat envied. See, he's not always trying to "fix" her like I am. He just loves her and he just does for her...it's lovely. I love to hear him talk about her to other people. I had just never heard him speak to such a group about her as he did that night and it touched me and the boys deeply.
As I sat in the room watching him speak, I could not help but think of all the people we love so much that were gathered there. I know Chad had to feel that too. There were so many who have been such an influence in our life. God has always known that we would be Sophie Kate's parents. God had spent years even lifetimes setting up the circumstances under which she would be born and raised. He knew what an incredibly difficult journey this would be and He surrounded us and settled us in a community and in a church that would love us, support us and encourage us. Those are not just good church words, please don't let those words fall flat because of their overuse. Let me be more specific...folks in that room pick up my kids from school when I can't, some sit with Sophie Kate so I can go to church, some take care of her at school, some do things with my boys to make them feel loved and special, some cook for us, some do laundry for us, all of them do life with us and pray for us. I could go on and on about our family and friends. They aren't just there when things are good, they aren't just there when things are bad. They don't tire of us and our girl and this journey we are on.
God allowed Sophie Kate to come into our life. God allowed the incredibly difficult times to come into our life. He also set in place every single thing, every detail big and small to support us and to show His love for us. There is a passage in the Bible that talks about the parents of a blind man and the disciples of Jesus are asking what the parents did to deserve having a blind child. It is found in John chapter 9 verses 1-3, "As He went along, He saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked Him, 'Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?' 'Neither this man nor his parents sinned,' said Jesus, 'but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.'"
May there be no mistake, there is nothing that Chad or I possess except that of Christ in us that has equipped us for this journey. We are not good enough or strong enough or resourceful enough or determined enough for this...it is Christ in us. It is to His glory and it is His power and His love and His strength, not our own that sets our feet and hearts in motion.
That evening was very special to our family and I will remember it for some time...that feeling of being among people who love God first and love other people second. We felt such love and support for our entire family. Thank you family and friends and church family for loving us the way you do.