I love Thanksgiving! I love the fall trees bursting with vibrant colors, I love the crisp autumn air, I love wearing comfy sweaters and winter boots. I love being with family and remembering the many things I have to be thankful for. This year is no exception. Here is what I’m thankful for this year:
1. God – I am in awe of how God has changed me over the past year. I am not the same person I was a year ago. God has opened my eyes to a world beyond my selfish self. He has given me a heart for the orphan and for the poor. For the first time in my life, I care about what is happening on the other side of the world. Through this desert time in my life, God is making me a little more like Him. It isn’t always fun or easy, but if it brings God glory than I am up for the challenge. I am humbled that He would choose me for this journey. That I get to be a part of the amazing plan He has to give an Ethiopian orphan a forever family.
2. An Ethiopian baby (or babies, if God wants to give us two) who I have not met, but who I love with all my heart. A baby that has changed my life. Over the past few days I have caught myself daydreaming about the day when John and I will finally see our child’s face. Emotion begins to swell up inside of me as I think about holding my child for the first time. I can’t imagine how it will feel when it actually happens.
3. John – God knew he was exactly the man I needed. I am so proud of my husband for the man that he has become over the past few years. God has done amazing things in his life and I am blessed to be his wife. I am so proud of John for having the guts to stand up for what he believes and for sharing God’s love with people who desperately need to experience it.
4. New Friends – Don’t get me wrong, I am thankful for ALL of my friends, but this year we have met some of the most incredible people who are walking this adoption road with us. For a few years John and I have felt like we have lacked deep, intimate friendships because so many of our friends are at different stages of their lives (they had kiddos). Getting to know our adoption family friends has been the most wonderful thing. We laugh, we share our hearts and we encourage each other as we wait out these long months before we can bring our children home. I thank God every day for these friends!
5. God’s Provision – If you would have told me in July that we would have raised $15,000 for our adoption by Thanksgiving, I never would have believed it. But we have! And it’s only because of God and the amazing ways that he has provided financially for this adoption. With each t-shirt sold, with each donation received, God is reminding us that we are smack dab in the middle of His perfect will.
6. The Privilege to Pray for Others – I am so thankful that at any given moment I can go before God’s throne of grace and pray for people who I know and even for people I don’t know. It’s a very powerful thing. Last Sunday at church I had the privilege to pray with two college girls. God knew that I needed to be the one to pray with them because what they were facing was something I had experienced. I am so glad that my past equipped me to pray for and encourage those girls. I am also blessed to pray for all of our friends who are adopting. I have also found myself praying more for people who live in other parts of the world – just this week I have been praying for a woman in Haiti who desperately needs to be able to produce enough breast milk to feed her 5-week-old twin boys. If she doesn’t, they will die. You can read more about her story here.
I hope that you will all have an amazing Thanksgiving and that you’ll experience God’s richest blessings this holiday season.