He didn’t have to do it…
But he did.
It didn’t start with long chats about one day bringing home a baby girl, or a choice to do our part to try and make that happen.
It didn’t start with I wonder if she’ll look like me or you, or what colors would look best on her nursery walls.
It didn’t start with big parties decorated in pink balloons and cupcakes with toppers that said “congrats to you!”
It didn’t start with inordinate amounts of planning and preparing, all in the hopes that we’d somehow be ready to properly care for her.
It started with I will and I do.
He said I do love you and will cherish you from this day forward, in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad.
It was one of those times our vows were put to the test. It was a dark time in my family. My little sister Grace was in harm’s way, she needed a place to call home, a family to call her own, a father to claim her as his and his alone. Overnight we became “parents” with no toys, spare beds or size 4t clothes, just our love and commitment to never let her go.
He didn’t have to do it, but he did.
He didn’t have to say yes to the unspoken requests of please sacrifice your newlywed lifestyle, just a year and a half in, to give life to a little girl who may have none. Please give of your heart to a child that is not your own, be the father-figure to her that she has never known. Please empty your pockets, to clothe, feed and shelter her. Please give of your time to teach her and coach her. Please cover her in your prayers and in your strong arms. Please always be the one she can turn to, no matter how hard.
Please stand beside her when she feels her first heartbreak, teach her what it means to have a man who always puts God first. Please walk her down the aisle, and be ‘Papa’ to first baby girl, help her redeem what was lost in her world. Tell her I love you as much as you can and let her say the words, most of us can—“Daddy.” So simple, yet for some, an unknown. But for Grace because of Joel it is a profound known.
What words of gratitude could ever encompass how thankful my heart is that she has this man for a father? What a gift from God that he did not have to give. For he is our heavenly father and will always be enough. His very life fills the empty places in our wounded, beat up hearts. He loves us so much, that he gave his one and only son, so that we may have life and have it to the full. So that we could be his adopted daughters and sons, crying out, “Abba Father”–we are children of God!
He didn’t have to do it…but I am so glad that He did.
“God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.” Ephesians 1:5-6
Gratitude: Give thanks— “Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins.” Ephesians 1:4-7
Grow: “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” 1 John 1:12-13
Have you received the gift of salvation by believing in and giving your heart and life to God? If so, what does it mean to you to be a child of God, not birthed out of passion or plan, but by the love of the Father?
Give: “And if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.” Romans 8:17
What wounded, beat up place in your heart can you allow God to fill with his very life? As you do this, what gratitude can you offer the Father or forgiveness, grace or mercy to someone involved? Can you trust that while we may suffer on earth, as children of God our eternal inheritance is with him and in his glory!
Worship: I love music & I love to share it. Each song is for each post. Listen and Enjoy! Lamb of God
Each LSLW post includes three areas of reflection in hopes to offer a chance for us to give thanks, grow in our personal faith and find ways to pour out from our lives what Christ has poured into us.
© Tamara Gurley 2014