He Called My Name

He called my name.

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My son. He's my son through and through. I love him fiercely. But in adoption, that love may not be returned right away or ever. 

Today he was hurt. He was stuck and in pain. And he called my name. He yelled "Mommy!! Mommy! I need you. It hurts!"

I went to him. I went to comfort and hug. I tried to take the pain away. I hurt for him. But I was also thanking Jesus because ...

He called my name. He called me mommy and he wanted me when he was hurt. You guys. This is a big deal. And it's beautiful. But it's not always the case. And sometimes I ask myself, if this were going another way, would I still be praising Jesus? If this adoption thing were any more difficult, would I feel defeated? If I was unable to bond with my child, would I feel as though I failed? Would I feel alone? How would I respond if things were not going well? 

I'd like to think I'd cling to Him. I'd like to say with confidence that I would never doubt my choices even if it were difficult and scary and maybe even miserable. But, I'm not in that season right now so I don't know. I know that as I praise the Lord in the calm, peaceful, beautiful days, I am preparing myself for a storm. Because no matter what, storms do come. Some are big and some are small, but as long as we walk this earth, they will come. 

And praising Jesus in the beauty of the everyday prepares my heart for them.

I want to encourage you because maybe you are in a stormy place. It will pass. Cling to Him. And surround yourself with people that will point you to Christ. (Don't have anyone, please let me help you find some! I'm so serious right now. We cannot do life alone.)

If you are in the peaceful, pretty days and life is going well. Enjoy it. Love it. Live it. Praise Jesus throughout those moments. We must not take them for granted. These are our days to prepare our hearts, to strengthen our relationship with Jesus. Because I promise you, the time will come. We all have moments of weakness and He needs to be our strength. 

There is beauty though, in both the storm and the calm. I pray you see both. I pray you cling to Him. I pray for strength for days ahead. 

When Will The Suffering End?

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Right after Thao died I had the fleeting thought that I had paid my dues. The unimaginable had happened. Thao died. I lost my son. 

I had been convinced a few months earlier that I would never lose a child. That the Lord would not allow that kind of pain and suffering in my child's life. 

But I had been corrected. 

And yet I still thought that maybe I was safe. The rest of my life I could rest assured because I had already spent my time in the hospital. I had already surrendered. The Lord asked for surrender. I dedicated my life and my marriage and my family to Him. Done.

Check. Check. Check.

But friends, where in the Bible does it say once you have suffered enough, I will make the road easy for you? Your journey will be full of only good things. Your life will be easy. And comfortable. 

No where. 

The Lord says this world is fallen and broken and sinful and a wreck. Because, sin. 

The Lord also says He gives us the gifts of joy and hope and salvation and heaven. Because, Jesus.

I lost my son. I lost three precious babies before I held them. I waited three and a half years for my Congolese babies to come home. I lost a lot of stuff in a house fire

And none of those things have stolen my joy or my love or my salvation or my Jesus from me. I love my life and I enjoy my days!

Because the things I cling to are eternal, not earthly. The thing I will hold most dear to my heart cannot be bought with money or contained in a house. I hold onto Hope the most of all. 

Because of Hope, I know that I will see Thao again. 

Because of Hope, I know that I will meet my precious babies face to face. 

Because of Hope, I endured the wait. 

Because of Hope, the stuff I lost was put into perspective. 

Because of Jesus, my Hope. 

So, dear friends, when will this suffering end? 

As long as we walk this blessed earth, we will endure suffering. We will walk alongside the suffering. We will bring the suffering into our homes. We will be the suffering. 

It will ebb and flow. Some days just finding shoes for five kids feels a lot like suffering. Some days soggy carrots and messed up meal plans feels a lot like suffering. Some days I feel as though I carry the suffering souls in my own. Some days suffering is holding my child as he takes his last breath or watching my house go up in flames. Some days suffering is holding a hurting child and loving them anyway. 

Do not run from suffering. 

We can't take anything with us, but we can see other souls ushered into Jesus' arms by the way we live through the suffering.  

Be like Job. 

Praise Jesus through the suffering.  (Job 1:20-22)

Be like Job's friends. 

Sit with the suffering. (Job 2:13)