New Life

I’ve waited all my kids’ lives to do today what we got to be a part of, and as I sit here, swimming in the grace God has lavished on us, I am just in amazement.

Allow me please, a moment to gush all these feels out into the wide open.

I never thought I would amount to much. When I was a kid I had grandiose ideas of becoming a famous actress. I would lose myself in screenplays and musicals. And that was always the point- to lose myself in the process. In essence, my goal was to become someone else.

As an adult in my mid 30’s who has been through a lot of counseling I can look back now with more clarity that I ever had before and see a scared girl struggling through depression, addiction, and many insecurities. Self-worth? What was that? When I got engaged to a drug dealer at 19, I wasn’t surprised. When my apartment was raided by cops, I wasn’t surprised. When my fiancé left me to hide after turning on bigger drug dealers in Vegas, I wasn’t surprised, and when he was killed by his younger brother, I wasn’t surprised. I sort of felt like a dark cloud followed me like a plague and I was numb to it. Nothing surprised me. Nothing excited me, I was numb, and near death. Until I met Jesus. at my own brother’s baptism. And as I grew to know him more and more and ultimately dedicate my own life to Jesus and to running a race for God’s glory, the light grew and grew and I no longer felt numb. I no longer felt like giving up. A fire had been stoked and it was burning bright.

For once I understood words like “purpose” and “worth,” and many years later when my husband and I learned on the mission field, we were having twin girls, we were shocked and stunned. I wasn’t sure I would ever have kids and now two girls. I so badly wanted to write a different story for them than what was written for me so early on. I prayed continuously for their salvation, that their will to serve God be stronger than their will to serve themselves or the world.

I was and still am terrified of raising girls, but my dream is to raise strong women who know their value and worth and follow Jesus to the ends of the Earth.  Both of our twins made the decision to follow Jesus this summer and we couldn’t be more elated at their decision. Praying with each of them to accept Jesus was a gift I’ve never been more grateful to receive.

Today was another special kind of gift. Today, Alan and I got to baptize them at the same church my brother and I were both baptized at many years ago.  How sweet and good God is.  If I pause long enough, I find myself in a state of continued amazement.

Amazement that he chose me so long ago and that when the world saw a deadbeat, God saw someone worth redeeming.

Amazement that he relentlessly pursues me even when I doubt and turn my back on him.

Amazement of a God who allowed me a grand overseas adventure and an even grander future as we live out our simple purpose to love him and love others.

Amazement of a God who would give us 3 unique and amazing girls that we are truly madly in love with.

Amazement that even on the hard days (and lets be honest, there are a lot of hard days), his grace is enough for each of us.

Amazement that his word promises that he will show us how to do this thing called life, if we just chose to walk with him everyday.

Today was special not just because we baptized our girls, but we had so much family, friends, and community come to support us our family. I will remember each person who made it a point to come today. Life isn’t easy, and our transition hasn’t been a walk in the park, but I am grateful for those who have chosen to stand with us and support and encourage our entire family. My husband and our girls will remember this too.

Enjoy some pictures of a day that will forever be etched in our hearts.

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Amelia:

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Stella:

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