Two and a half years ago our stuff looked like this...
The fire came out of nowhere and within the course of one afternoon we lost everything. But not really.
We hadn't lost what was most important. We still had each other. We even had our cats.
And more than all that, we knew the One who had us.
It was a crazy time, filled with planning and organizing and a to-do list a million items long. It feels like yesterday and a hundred years ago all at the same time.
Many wonderful things came from the ashes of that fire. So much so, that if I had the opportunity to change it, I wouldn't. Not one thing about it. Everything that's happened since that fire has made us closer, stronger, better. I would do it all again to experience the faithfulness, the provision and the incredible love God showed us at each and every turn.
That fire was a blessing.
It just didn't look like it right away, but from where I stand now, I can see it.
That's the story I shared today with a family who is walking that same road. House fires are devastating. No denying that. We have some distance from ours. This family is only looking back on a couple of weeks.
Mostly I listened. There's much to be said about being able to tell your story. Especially when your audience has walked your road. Today I was the audience.
And then I was able to be an encourager. To think that our story could be a help to someone on a difficult journey is humbling. It's not something we take lightly.
I feel the same about our adoption journey.
If our journey has been a help to you in some way, that's a blessing to us. To think that something we've learned along the way can help someone else on their path is why we spend our days on this blog. It's what we love. And that's why we do what we do. Because someone did that for us.
Adoption craziness? Been there. But wasn't there alone. God brought an amazing lady alongside me. A lady three years ahead of me on the road and lightyears ahead of me in experience. What wisdom she had. What a blessing she was.
Wildfire burns your house down? Been there too. Wasn't alone on that one either. Another amazing lady, walking only three months ahead of me on that road, but full of help and understanding and compassion. Another blessing.
Think about your journey. What struggles or obstacles has God helped you through? We all have them.
Is there a part of your story that could help encourage someone in the midst of a hard time?
Have you lived through something and come out on the other side with a little experience and wisdom that could make someone's load a little lighter or their path a little brighter?
Then don't keep it to yourself.
One day the girls and I started asking God to make us tenderhearted toward the needs of others. We wanted to be able to see past ourselves and serve others. We didn't know where to start, but He did.
Ask God to open your eyes to those around you. Ask Him to show you a need you can fill, because there are many. All around you are people in need of something you can offer.
An encouraging word from life experience...
A friendly face and sweet conversation with an elderly relative or friend...
A few hours of babysitting for a mother of little ones who just needs a nap...
If you look around, you'll see some needs. You'll see needs you can meet.
And you won't be sorry you did.