Sunday, September 16, 2012

Happy 4th Birthday Maran Grace!

Oh my sweet Maran. I have so much to tell you.  Your birthday makes me excited for the things Jesus has made new in your life. This birthday also makes me grieve for many reasons. The first being that I am not with you. I am not waking you up with pancakes or a present. That I am not hugging you and kissing your sweet cheeks on your big day. That I will not tuck you in on your last night tonight as a 3 year old and tell you about the journey God has for you as a big 4 year old. I grieve that I do not know much about your first 3 years of life. That I do not know the exact day you were brought into this world or who brought you in other than God. I grieve the experiences you've been through and that you have seen and felt such brokenness in 4 short years.
But, I know the one who turns grief into joy. We were reading in our storybook Bible tonight about the rescuer who makes messy things beautiful. I cannot wait to tell you about Him.
God has given you a new name sweet girl. A name that is an eternal reminder of his coming, his nearness, and the perspective he wants us to live in. Maran'atha means the Lord comes, or the Lord is coming, or come Lord. These three short words helped the scales to fall off of my eyes, for the veil to be torn that was keeping me from living the life abundant. Not the life abundant with stuff or comfort, but the life God called me to. God used so many things, including you, Maran Grace, to pull me out of a trap I was headed into and to give me new eyes to see my walk with Jesus. 
One thing I always want to show you is that Jesus is always better. Better than stuff, better than people's approval, better than the flawed love I can ever give you. The Lord has come for you Maran, and he called to you and told you he would not leave you orphaned. He will come to you. And he has. And he will come back for you again. 
 I do not try to replace or fill your birth mother's shoes. I do not know her story and all I know is I thank God for her. I pray she raised you with love and tenderness. I pray she started to point you to Him. 
I will always be here for you, to answer hard questions, to wipe your tears if someone hurts your feelings, and to walk you through the trauma you have endured in your short years here. I know life will not be rosy just because you are now in a family, our family. I know you will have trials to face that I have not walked through.  But I know your identity is not wrapped up in what color of skin your mom has, or where you were born. Those are facets of who you are but that is not your core. Your core is Jesus who leveled the grounds of any race, income level, background or title. Jesus' love is not based on our DNA structure or original last name. He will adopt you into his family regardless of these. You are his child no matter what, as you are mine.
My love for you is unbounded. I do not know if you will kick and scream at me when you meet me, I don't know if you will let me hold you when you are sad or trust that I will feed or care for you. But we will walk this journey together.  Someone once told me "God will never give you more than you can handle". I think the opposite. God has called me to a situation out of my control, outside of what I can handle or plan for or master on my own. Being your mother, and Levi's, Reese's and Wheeler's is the greatest adventure of my life and I will most definitely do a lot of things wrong! It is more than I alone can handle to point 4 little lives to Jesus and show them His ways. But, I am not alone, nor are you. We have access to the King, we get to tap into the power of the one who raises the dead, heals the sick, and sets the lonely in families. Praise Jesus for that.
May your name also ever be a reminder of the Grace God has shown me. The depth of my depravity met the extravagance of his love in the most beautiful collision of Grace the world has ever known. May that Grace push me to the urgency of his message. May your life point people to that Grace. May you ever be an example of the Grace God has shown little me and little you. We serve a mountain mover, a miracle worker, a restorer of the broken. 
I also can't wait to tell you about the man who's birthday you share. Drew Michael Miller, A friend who always pointed me to struggle with the hard questions in life, not avoid them. At the end of our conversations, he would always push me to ask myself, "Who will you serve, people or God", "Is life really worth living for something so small", "The life with God is not safe" and "God has chosen you from before his creation to adopt you as sons and daughters". This man, who walked boldly into death because he knew confidently who he was walking towards. A man who longed for heaven, for a new body, and to sit at his maker's throne and sing praises to him. A man who prayed your very name, Come quickly Lord.  Yes that is why your birthday is his birthday, September 17th. 
I pray God comforts you and fills you with his joy complete on your 4th birthday. 

Until I get to hold you in my arms,
Your mommy

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  1. wow. what a beautiful post for your daughter. I know you are remembering Drew as you long to hold your daughter in your arms. Prayers for ALL of you today!

  2. I am literally so thrilled for you I can't stand it. Thank you Jesus for your obedient heart and for these two beauties coming home <3!

  3. So beautiful... You travel soon!?! Praying for you all.

    1. yes we leave Monday! So excited! We appreciate your prayers!