Sometimes life’s just not fair. A lot of times, actually. We all know this. Many times something will happen to us and we’re all: life’s just not fair, and we may even have ourselves a little pity party over it for a minute. But eventually we kind of get over it and get on with things.
But when life doesn’t seem to be fair for Our People, it grates on our nerves and presses against us from all sides even more than usual. Our hearts have lots of achy vibes when it’s Our People who are hurting, facing injustice, asking Why, Lord? while they wait and hope and pray for their situation to move from hurtful to healed.
It’s in these moments where we rally around Our People, offer whatever we can as support, and pray them through the icky, unfair parts of life.
This whole process is illustrated so very clearly when we stand beside friends who desperately want to have children to complete their family, but for whatever reason are unable to do so. I’ve prayed alongside many of My People who were aching to be parents, had wonderful, stable homes, and could provide so much for a baby, yet still remained childless.
I’ve witnessed that struggle they deal with when they try to reconcile the promise of God giving us the desires of our heart with their present reality of the not yet. I’ve seen how they try to navigate ignorant comments from well-meaning people and push their hurt down a little further each time while they try to seem fine on the outside. I understand their thoughts of feeling forgotten by God because it seems like their prayers for a family have bounced off the sky and landed in a barren field in the middle of nowhere.
I’ve seen it in the faces of some of My People over the years. And I remember a few years back at a prayer meeting, when I saw glimpses of these same things again on the faces of a man and woman I did not yet know.
Jay and April had been married a couple of years at the time, and they were ready to begin a family, but at that point they had been unable to. Their hearts were hurting and they were sitting smack-dab in the middle of the not yet. My husband and I had the privilege of praying over them for this very thing. I don’t remember the exact prayer, but I do know that I asked God to enlarge their tent, because it is something from Isaiah 54 I pray over every couple longing to be parents.**
Fast-forward not too far into the future, and Jay and April have become foster parents. They began attending our small group which is how we got to know them better. I am so thankful we did. We got to hear first-hand how God opened doors to allow them to care for many different children when their families of origin could not. Heart-wrenching and wonderful, every bit of it.
Eventually, April began coming to our girls’ Diva nights, where we meet once a month and have an awesome, real time together. April said she knew we would be each other’s People after the first time she attended Divas. In her words, she says, “I felt (and continue to feel) like I had found someone I could be real with.”
Man, isn’t that what this whole People thing is about anyway? When you find someone you can be real with, someone who forgets about judging you and just accepts you for who you are, someone with whom you can share the real stuff of life and never worry if they’re going to shut the door on you because of it…that’s when you know you’re in the midst of Your People.
Jay and April both have a great sense of humor. Jay is quick-witted, a lot like my hubs, which cracks me up. They come to us all the way from Maine, so they have that Northeast accent (Have you ever seen Down East Dickerin’ on the History Channel? Pretty sure those are Jay & April’s People!)
They both have big ol’ huge hearts, and if you could be in the room to hear April say something is Wicked Awesome just one time, I know you’d love her forever too.
Oh, and did I mention they have two little boys?? Oh, yeah…that happened too. 🙂
Through the process of fostering, they’ve been parents to a little guy who is definitely all boy. He’s growing so fast and I can’t believe he’s already two years old. Every couple of weeks when I see him, he knows about 678,000 more words than he did last time, and he looks like a tiny grown-up. It’s awesome to watch him flourish, knowing that it’s all because of how God chose Jay & April to raise him in their home.
This week I filled out paperwork to be a reference for their adoption of this little guy. As I mailed those papers back, I prayed I’d articulated just how wonderful my friends are, and what great parents they’ve been to this little guy, so the adoption agency can fully understand that they simply need to grant legal status to this family that God’s already knit together.
And I hope that someday soon, I will be filling out similar paperwork to convince them to do the same for this little guy’s baby brother, who they also have the privilege of caring for right now.
In a span of about two years, God has taken Jay & April from sitting broken-hearted while strangers prayed for them at a Tuesday night prayer meeting, to raising two beautiful sons and awaiting the final words telling them that the law recognizes what all of Their People already know. That they are, indeed a family.
Jay & April, I’m inspired by the way you handle everything. You don’t have the option for it not to be all at once and hectic, it just happens that way. And you handle it beautifully. I’m so thankful you are Our People so we can walk alongside you through it all and watch God’s promises unfold in unexpected ways. It’s wicked awesome.
**This reference to Isaiah comes from something intensely personal that God spoke to me years ago. He showed me how He was widening my narrow definition of motherhood, and would allow me to mother many more than I ever possibly could in a traditional way. I always pray this over families struggling with becoming parents, because no matter what God’s answer is regarding how they will become parents, this mindset applies. God can always (and is always working to) redefine our Good, and I truly believe that’s what He means by giving us the desires of our heart–making our heart’s desires align with what He has in store for us. I’ve seen it happen so many times, and it is a beautiful thing.