A Testimony...For Us All

I had the honor of sharing a small testimony of God's pursuit of us at September's Unfailing Love Retreat. After opening with Cinderella's birthday letter, I shared the true state of my heart...

Dear Cinderella,

You're four, now.

Balloons flood your hall, while pink and white streamers dance along your doorway.

And you twirl...faster...faster...faster, as if you're spinning to capture the taste, the elation...

Of peace.

And as you reach the peak of your movement, you just as quickly crash with the wails of a lover who has forgotten the very definition of love...

Because your definition of love is unreachable.

And you scream with the horror of men who stand among the bloody battle...

Because at four, you've survived your own war-scared battles...again, and again, and again.

So, I reach for you, striving with all that I am to hush away the symptoms, longing to rip away the roots of the darkness that haunts you...

But removing those roots would remove the very core of our Cinderella. Of the story you've been given.

I move towards your soul, steadily seeking you through your darting eyes,

And you roar with the anger of injustice that sees no remedy.

Pushing away the safety before you, you claw, tearing at your skin, but really...

You're shredding the scaly layers of your tale, searching to remember how you reached this point...

of sadness,

of loneliness,

of fear.

But you can't rip enough away to remove the pain of your soul, no matter how deeply you scrape.

And realizing this infuriates you, with a rage that you were never created to know...

So you turn to me, kicking, screaming, flailing against the one thing you know will cradle you when the battle is lost, when the fighting has subsided.

My taking it only makes you angrier, until you collapse. War torn and weary, you whisper,

My heart's so tired, Mommy.

And if I could, Baby, I would take the deepest cut; I would claw through the unbearable pain that haunts you in the days, and chases your dreams at night, but I can't.

I wasn't made to do that.

So I take you to the One who did it for me.

I wrap you in my arms and rock you to the whispers of, Yes, Jesus loves you. Yes, Jesus loves you.

Between your tears you cling tighter, Mommy, I'm so sorry. I just don't want to hurt anymore inside. 

Shhh...Yes, Jesus loves you...

And my heart strains to feel my Savior who is cradling me under His tender wings. My ears strive to hear the whispers of His name over my soul so that I can look into your eyes once again and tell you...

That you were never meant for this. You were made for Jesus.


Isn’t Cinderella’s battle, the striving we all know on some level?

Our longing to control and secure our environment safe from pain, grief, heartache…for ourselves, our spouses, our children... because we were never intended to wade through this muck and mire, but somewhere between our screen of protection and self-preservation, we trade the beauty and glory we were designed for, for the filthy rags we believe will comfort us.

And suddenly, the good things become ultimate, and the tightness of our fists around what we will believe will provide for us allows the lies of desire to become so much louder than the melody of Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves you.

I know because I did this. I wanted to adopt…it was our heart, and it was a really good and beautiful thing, but somewhere in the paperwork and the home studies, the pursuit of a child became greater than the One who was calling us into the journey of transformation. So with tired hearts from years of paper chasing, we laid it on the altar.

There is still no adopted child…yet. But there are 30 faces that line our walls. Thirty marks that show their growth along our doorways. There are mamas and daddies at our dinner tables who have conquered lifetimes of horrors, and there’s a surrender that has brought me to my knees before my Savior…hour after hour. And though the whisper of lies is still there, Yes, Catie, I love you, and you are right where I want you…is so much louder.

Be transformed…not in the end result you are longing for, which is beautiful. It is. But know, His Gospel is going forth into the darkness through your waiting with hope, your resting in grace, the cries you utter from your knees. Your the beautiful incarnation of our Redeemer to a watching world, not just because you are called to orphan care, but also because you are trading the false pillars of strength you leaned upon, for a treasured mess of weakness, that allows Him to begin.

And to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!
~ Ephesians 3:20

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