Two years ago we were waiting and longing and hoping; there were so many unknowns.
We knew we needed to transition out of the church we were on staff with but weren't sure how to go about it...our hearts physically ached when we talked about 2015 potentially being our last summer camp on the coast with the students in our youth ministry.
We weren't sure if it would be our last, but my gut said it was. Loren wasn't so sure or even willing to venture into the conversation of us not being around those youth in 2016.
We were also selling everything, doing garage sales, raising money to pay the fees of an adoption we hoped would happen.
I wanted it to all align in what I thought was perfect order: I wanted our adoption to happen, for our community to meet the little life they'd been praying and aching with us for, to live a bit more life in that community AND THEN move to wherever God had us next.
I didn't want to redo our home study in the middle of our adoption journey, to move and change communities while we were in the wait. I wanted to have our youth ministry girls over while I was in the trenches of diaper changing and spit up messes.
I wanted our transition from one community and church staff to the next to be smooth, as painless as possible. We thought it would be a long, drawn out transition over months. After we adopted.
But then as life does it unfolded without consulting me: I found myself [again] with a high risk pregnancy; we were suddenly fired and banned from our community; our lease had less than one month and our income less than two; no job or home prospects; no sign of being matched with an expectant mama making an adoption plan; thousands of dollars to raise for adoption fees.
For a time it felt we were stuck in wet and muddy sand, grains of pain surrounding us, unable to reach the ocean.
Our life was in total disarray, we were unsure how He would write beauty from the mess, but I did believe He would. He always had and I knew in my heart He was trustworthy.
Just because I knew He would doesn't mean I wasn't sad, in shock, and disappointed.
We stood on the Oregon coast, misty and windy, in celebration of this little family and the story He's crafted.
Our life is entirely different than it was two years ago.
There was absolutely no way to know or foresee where we would be today.
I had ideas of what I thought should and may happen, but life didn't unravel in those ways.
And I'm okay with that.
Our life and story and journey has been and is imperfect. But it's in all of the hiddenness and imperfections I meet Him. It's in the unknowns and uncertainties I find myself sprinting towards Him.
Without fail, I stand on the edge of the world and see oceans of His grace.
He doesn't cause the brokenness, but I'm thankful He's in it with me.
I'm thankful He invites us into His oceans of tenderness, lavishing us with love.
This little family? They are marks of His grace. To tell of our story is to tell of Him.
In December 2014, I was chatting with Diane Comer, sharing with her I felt in my gut I was called to write a book.
"How do you know when to start and how do you find an agent?" One of my many questions to her.
She said to me, "First, ask God to clarify your message. What is it that only you can write? Your story is a big part of that. Your passions too. No doubt, there will be others who read your words and feel as if you are speaking for them."
At the time, I thought all I really had to offer was the grief—and healing to come! Love you parents!—I was wading through with my parents' marriage crumbling and their being suddenly remarried. I knew at the time it wasn't really my story to share and sadly knew it wasn't time to write a book yet.
Now I know this:
I still had to live the story needing written: the story of miscarriage after The Wait, our adoption journey, immense ministry + church trauma, and birth trauma. The story needed to be lived before it could be written.
So many of you have endured church abuse or trauma and it blows my away; this is possibly the hardest part of our story to share publicly in my book.
I'm praying this book is a gift from Father to you,.
I ache in the deepest parts of me my story and words on these pages bring you THIS much closer to healing, wholeness, and loving bigger than you knew you could.
I pray my story shared in this book inches each of you further into His oceans of grace.
This book is my labor of love, an outpouring of self and His heart, for the broken hearted and silent sufferers in this world.