Doing hard but good things

As we near the end of 2018 I can’t help but reflect back on what a hard but amazing year it has been. I feel like I’ve grown and learned more this year then all my other years combined. If anyone had told me at the beginning of 2018 what the year would hold for me, I probably would have said there is no way I am strong enough to live through that, but God gave me all that strength and more to get through the hardest and best year of my life. 

I get a daily devotional from Proverbs 31 Ministries that I love, I don’t get to read it every morning but I always enjoy it when I do and most days it’s very relevant to some piece of my life. This week I read and amazing devotional from Lynn Cowell that really hit home for me. I haven’t shared much about how hard it was when we were making the decision to adopt Claire and all of the unknowns with her birth mothers drug use. I wanted to share a piece of Lynn’s devotional with you and then a little of our own story to let you see that even though some decisions aren’t easy to make, it doesn’t mean that they are wrong. Sometimes we are called to do hard things so that good things can come from them. 

Here is the excerpt from Lynns message, she was sharing about giving all things in life to God and letting Him make the choice for us and guide us in all decisions, because He is the one who knows what is best for us.  I love how she ties it in with the Christmas story of Mary and Joseph and shares about how hard it must have been for them when they knew so little of what and why God was asking them to play such a monumental role in Jesus’s story yet they both chose to obey.
Here she shares from Jospehs perspective after he chooses to stay with Mary even though she is with child before she is wed.

“Would others think his choice didn’t make sense? Absolutely. Yet Joseph knew something they did not: This baby growing in Mary was part of God’s miraculous plan. The Son of God was coming to save us from our sin. So despite whatever fears Joseph may have felt, he chose to trust God’s plan. Can you recall a time when you, too, sensed a move God wanted you to make, but it didn’t make sense to others, or maybe it didn’t even make sense to you? Yet, you trusted God knew what He was doing. Now you look back and see God’s faithfulness to help you as you took one right step after another. Which is not unlike Joseph and Mary’s steps to Bethlehem. Did they get it? No, they probably didn’t understand all of God’s plan, yet they chose to go the way He had revealed so far. -Lynn Cowell

Oh my word how these words touched home for me. There were so many unknowns with Claire’s story, we didn’t know if she would be healthy, if she would have a long hospital stay immediately after birth, if she would have long term side effects from the drugs her mother had been using but we knew that we were called to be her parents. 

We knew that most people wouldn’t understand our decision to choose to parent a child who could potentially suffer from drug withdrawal, who could need extra support and extra care. We knew they wouldn’t understand why when we had three healthy, beautiful children we would go down a path of complete unknowns where so many things would be out of our control and could end up not looking like such a fairytale. But we also knew that God had chosen Claire to be our baby and that He would guide each and every step we took along the way. Was our journey easy and without rough patches, absolutely not, but was it worth every bumpy step, every trip, every heartache to get to our precious girl, absolutely. 

I share this very personal story of ours with you with tears running down my face because if it were not for the grace of God I would have chosen selfishness and said no to our sweet girl, something that looked so hard at the time was actually a gift from God, our sweet Claire is and always will be a gift from God and we received that gift because we chose to be faithful even when it was hard and scary and not what the world would have chosen for us. 

Life is not always meant to be easy, life is hard, it’s scary at times and it takes us places we probably never thought we would be, but it is also amazing and when we are called to do something hard it is probably for a reason. Walking alone is no fun but walking with God by your side can make life a whole lot better. I am so thankful that this year I did something harder then I ever thought I was capable of doing so that I could receive one of the best gifts I have ever been given. 

So the next time something hard comes into your life, try giving it to God and allowing Him some time to let you know the road you are meant to take, you may just be surprised that God’s plan is the best after all.

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  • Lexi SattlerThank you for your honesty and vulnerability. You and your family are so inspirational. My parents adopted by two youngest siblings through foster care. My sister has physical special needs and my brother was born drug addicted. It hasn’t always been easy but it has been such a blessing to our family. God is so good. He takes situations that seem hopeless and turn them into something beautiful. God bless you and your family, and Merry Christmas! 

  • KristinCame across your instagram today! My husband and I are bringing home a little girl with drug exposures (who we were just matched with this week!) in 2019! The unknown is scary for sure, but we are CONFIDENT that this is God’s little girl for us even in the very hard. He has lead us so faithfully and I was amazed that He sent us to your site today as it was exactly the reassurance my heart needed. Thank you for sharing your story and Claire’s story!! God is certainly using you both for His Glory 🙂