a poem

Not sure why-I just felt like writing a poem today…

Some days are busy, keeping my thoughts occupied-focused in the here and now;

In the quiet times my thoughts often turn inward-reflective, wondering why and how.

Sometimes I cannot help but be sad and grieve for what I have missed,

While at the same time so thankful of how my God has blessed.

The hurts I have felt: great loss, rejection, guilt and shame.

Those feelings are real, but they are not who I am.

I can see His hand of mercy, this amazing love He has lavished on me.

I am not the mistakes I have made; Jesus Christ is my identity.

I look at what the world says adoption is: helping the poor orphan have a better life.

God’s adoption cannot be compared-my salvation because His own Son became the sacrifice.

The world’s adoption is trying to make a family from another’s, broken from the start.

God’s adoption has been planned from the beginning, to make new the sinful heart.

Our plans cannot bring healing or change who a person is.

God’s plans are eternal; It’s grace that make us His.

Our plans should be a work of serving our brother who is worthy to be loved;

Knowing God has a plan for each-none of us are above.

When I am doubtful He can make my mistakes and bad choices into good,

I reflect on His mercy and grace as I study in His word.

I know my God is sovereign, He is not surprised by our choices.

He brings peace to the broken-hearted, and hears the cries of the voiceless.

He is a God of restoration and His promises are true;

I will purpose to remember when waves of fear and doubt come into view.

Thank You, Lord, for all you have done and for the work You are doing in me.

Help me be the wife, daughter, sister and mother You’ve called me to be.

kjp June 2021

the good

Today is what I call Discovery Day, June 2, 2018. It’s the day I learned my baby’s name. Our Reunion Day is on the 5th-the day of our first communication.

I was going to “celebrate “ by visiting her but instead I went last week. I didn’t want to wait another week. It’s just a day on the calendar and we can celebrate it anytime!

I can look back and see the healing that has taken place and I’m so thankful to the Lord for His provisions. There are still some memories that cause me to feel loss and grief, but God is using it to soften my heart.

I am learning that grief is a useful thing. It helps me recognize those things in life that are truly valuable. It helps me understand and have empathy for those who are hurting. It even gives me compassion for those who live in my memories that caused hurt and feelings of shame and rejection. I have found that when I am in the dark places of grief that it’s God who lights my way through His word, brings healing to my heart and gives me comfort through His Spirit.

“For You are my lamp, O Lord; And the Lord illumines my darkness.”

2 Samuel 22:29

When I see the loss for what it is, 40 years of missing my daughter’s life, it can become overwhelming, especially now that I know her. Before reunion it was easier to keep that knowledge of loss hidden deep inside where even I could not see it. Now this grief has finally been allowed to make itself known, maybe not so visible that everyone can see it all the time, but I have come to know it well.

I would have thought there would have not been purpose in this kind of grief. My daughter is not only known now but also part of my life. I should be happy and thankful for this, and I am. This grief walks along side the joy of knowing her. The more I know the more I miss. The more I love the more I hurt. But it is useful and God is using it for good. His glory is shown in this reunion. I can see His desire for restoration. Not just in my life and hers but also my past with the present and the future. He is restoring this past that was secret and buried and not dealt with. He is showing me His grace and mercy again. I can see that He wants me to look at my past-the brokenness, the hurts, the shame, the unfairnesses, the loss, and my sin-and bring it to Him. He shines a light in those places that have been so dark and I see it all more clearly, differently than I saw it in the hiding places in my memories.

God is showing me that forgiveness takes more work than just choosing to forgive. I can choose to eat healthy, but I have many steps before this happens. There is a work to be done, a process to follow. I’ll have to plan, grocery shop and actually make the healthy dinner before I can eat it. I can’t resist the unhealthy option when I have not done the work it takes to eat healthy. It seems anything of worth involves work. Many times I thought I had forgiven those in my past, including my younger self, then a memory comes and I can see some bitterness forming, hear some resentment in the tone of my voice. I thought I already forgave! I did, and I didn’t. I made the choice and I said the words in my head, even in confession to the Father. The choice was made and then it was all put in a box and buried-to forgive and forget.

The problem with just trying to forget about what I forgave is once it was remembered again the forgiveness didn’t look as sure. I never did the work, so the unhealthy options were becoming hard to refuse…replaying, spiraling in my emotions, letting resentment find a place in my heart.

Forgiveness is more than a choice. Forgiveness is a work.

Through grief, God is bringing comfort. I find Him trustworthy to care for me. He does not tell me I should not grieve. He says He cares for the broken-hearted. He does not tell me I should feel guilt. He says He paid the price for my freedom and gives me victory. He doesn’t tell me I should be ashamed. He says I am His child and my identity is in Christ my Savior and Lord. My sin is as far as the east is from the west. He can forget because He does not need to remember. The blood of the perfect and holy Lamb-His one and only Son- is what He sees. The work of forgiveness was done by Jesus on the cross. And when He had finished the work He rose again to life and ascended to Heaven where He sits on His throne. He is sitting because the work of forgiveness and salvation has been completed. My sin is not buried but made white as snow.

Because He has forgiven me, I must also forgive by doing the work-but I cannot do this work myself. It is the Holy Spirit working in me and through me. He is softening and changing my heart. He is opening my eyes to His truth. I can choose to ignore what He is showing me and deny it’s existence by continuing to hide the past. I could ignore the consequences my sin has caused others to suffer through. I can choose to do the work, lining up feelings with Scripture, listening, learning, admitting my wrong doings and weaknesses.

Hopefully, I will keep allowing Him to show me where I need to forgive, where I need to ask for forgiveness, and show compassion to those who are hurting. I can let grief be the tool God uses to teach me of His lovingkindness.

kjp May 2021

happy mother’s day

Happy Mother’s Day to all those mommas in my life, starting of course with my own mother. I’m so thankful for all she has done for me-even when I wasn’t the easiest child to parent. She always encouraged me to be a better mother than she had been. Even though she was a very good mom, she recognized her shortcomings. She understood the struggle of raising several children and always tried to help me and my siblings by being the grandmother that loved to be on the floor playing with all the kids. She was also known as the baby whisperer. I’m proud to say I have learned that skill, as well. 😋

I am so honored to be called Mom by 7 people, amazingly that includes my 43 year old first born who has only known me for 3 years. I am so blessed.

I can’t help but see the story of Ruth when I look at how God has not only given His Son for my salvation me but also has restored my brokenness. He is my provider and my great Kinsman Redeemer.

kjp May 2021

birthmother’s day

The Saturday before Mother’s Day is Birthmother’s Day. I wouldn’t even know there was such a thing were it not for social media, specifically Instagram-birthmom accounts and some adoption accounts. The latter seem to try to make birthmothers seem like heroes. One thing I think this day is NOT-celebrating this kind of mother as a hero, as at least not to me.

I wonder how you can wish someone “Happy” Birthmother’s Day”, exactly? What is happy about it? What are we “wishing” for someone who is a birthmom? I can understand why this day was started. It began as a day to recognize those mothers who were not acknowledged as mothers since they were not parenting their child. The purpose for the day to be on the Saturday before Mother’s Day was because before the adoptive mother became a mother some one else was a mother.

I feel like for me this day is more about acknowledgment . It’s not a day of celebration for anyone, probably. For some it marks the saddest day of their lives, as it does for me. But even as I remember the saddest day, I am so very thankful for the fact that God allowed me to be the one who gave birth to my daughter. I have always been thankful but never did I have a feeling of celebration until reunion.

Now that I am in a reunion relationship with my daughter I am grateful that she recognizes me on Mother’s Day along with her adoptive Mom. I’m much more honored by that than if she had chosen to recognize me on Birthmother’s Day, but of course I’m honored to be thought of at all! I have no expectations.

I think the only thing that I would feel about being recognized by anyone on Birthmother Day is maybe validation or that there is some understanding- if the loss is also recognized as part of this day. The words that come to my mind when I hear about Birthmother’s Day:

  • loss
  • privilege
  • love
  • longing
  • grief
  • less than
  • thankful
  • purpose

Yes, maybe celebration, because I celebrate the life of my daughter. She is so special. I love her with my whole Momma heart just as her siblings that I parented. I am so thankful to be her mother-whatever kind of mother God has called me to be. I know that not only did He have a purpose for her life but even of my own life as her mother.

If you are a birthmother reading this, know that you are loved. Your loss is great. You are chosen. God has a plan.

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”
‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭2:10‬

kjp May 2021

three years in

“But You, O LORD, are a shield about me, My glory, and the One who lifts my head.”

Psalms 3:3

It’s been almost three years “in reunion” with my first born. It’s a road I had no clue of where it would go, totally uncharted territory. There was no map, no compass, no GPS, not even a landmark to reassure me that I had not missed a turn. What I did have made up for all the unknowns-God’s abiding love and care, support from my husband through all the messy tears and the totally closed off emotions I held deep inside, forgiveness and understanding from our 6 grown children we raised not knowing about their older sister, and of course, the love and forgiveness of my oldest daughter, who bravely decided to invite me on this amazing “reunion adventure” and didn’t leave when emotions and feelings were hard.

I’ve heard a lot about the “honeymoon period” of adoption reunions. It’s all great while you are getting acquainted…the likenesses, the why’s and how’s, the instant connection many times. But then it gets hard. Memories for the mothers, dealing with shame and then guilt. The adoptee dealing with worries of rejection from not only birth parents and siblings but also from their adoptive families who may not understand the need for this reunion. It’s enough to end many reunions before they even start. I am thankful we have made it to almost 3 years.

I feel like we have moved passed the “honeymoon period” although I am still in constant wonder every time we are together. I still find myself looking at her in disbelief that she is actually that little baby I held for those ten minutes just before I left the hospital. She really is my daughter and crazy enough, she loves me. Incredible. We have developed a friendship even as we are learning more about each other. She seems to understand me so well in such a short time. I feel like I can tell when she is struggling or when she is comfortable or not with all the newness and sometimes awkwardness in all of these new relationships.

A couple of things I have come to realize:

1. This is still not easy. It may never be easy and that’s okay. Easy doesn’t mean good. Easy doesn’t cause me to dig deeper. Easy rarely causes me to cling to Jesus more.

2. I am still grieving. Oh, it’s nothing like the first year of reunion, for sure! Healing has begun. It’s just a slow process that probably can’t be totally finished until Christ comes again. There will probably always be triggers, but the effect isn’t as all consuming as it first was, at least the time to get through those isn’t as long now.

3. I still miss her. Even though I see her more than a couple of my other children, goodbyes are hard and the waiting between visits are harder. I think it may be because the foundation of a lifetime I have with the other kids has not been developed yet with her; it just doesn’t feel as secure. It’s almost like I’m not sure if it’s real when we are apart. Maybe she will decide it’s too much work building this relationship. Her life was so much simpler before birth parent reunions. So many moving parts now.

4. Forgiveness has been a much traveled road that I have to revisit often. God has taught me so much about forgiveness. I honestly thought I was very good at being forgiving, but it turns out I just don’t think about it. Instead of working through it, I was just burying it. Forgiveness was on the surface and it truly was my intent but each new memory had me back at the beginning wondering if I had truly forgiven. I’ve learned forgiveness is much more of a process. I appreciate so much more the forgiveness Christ has given me. Because He lives in me I can work through the hurts, disappointments and heartaches, knowing He understands. I can even forgive myself because God sees me through the blood of His Son as holy and righteous. He has offered me grace and mercy, showing me how to give grace to myself and to others.

5. I still fight fear of the future. I fear losing her again. I fear somewhat the memories that have remained dark and there are awkwardnesses I do not want to face or deal with. I fear I might disappoint her and even my other children. I have failed so many times, but I also know I loved each one with all I had. I have learned and I still learn it over and over again that all I have to do is take it to the Father. I read in His word that I need not fear because He will never leave me in the storm alone. There will most certainly be storms, but He is right beside me and in total control.

6. Sometimes it’s lonely. I guess it always has been and I thought somehow with reunion that would change. It hasn’t. I have found there are just going to be hard things I deal with between me and God….like everyone else.

7. I can be brave, because He who is in me is greater than he who is in the world. I’ve always found it easier to hide my feelings and to hide my past. Even now in reunion, when talking about it I only talk about the positives with most people, most of the time. I’ve learned from experience people prefer to hear the successes and not the hurts. Sometimes speaking of past hurt, present grieving or questioning anything about adoption has brought me lectures of why I shouldn’t feel that way. So I only speak about these harder things to those I know will understand, or at least they try. Many times, I just keep my thoughts to myself. I feel like my feelings don’t even make sense to me so how will they make sense to anyone else. But when I need to share my story with someone I think it will help, maybe I can be brave enough. Volunteering at Embrace Grace is not something that makes me feel comfortable. I fight the shame. But then I look around me and realize if I am shaming myself I am shaming them too. We have all experienced unplanned pregnancies. I can step out in faith knowing God is giving me an opportunity to share the love of Jesus. I can use my experience of a broken heart being restored by a loving Heavenly Father to show someone else the hope that comes from Him.

kjp April 2021

truth in light

“for you were formerly darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of the light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness and righteousness, and truth) trying to LEARN what is pleasing to the Lord.

Ephesians 5:8-10

Also, looking back at:

“Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth, each one with his neighbor, for we are members with one another. And be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity.

Ephesians 4:25-27

I am studying Ephesians again (First5/Proverbs31Women), which I have read and studied many times over the years. Almost the whole book is highlighted and the margins in my Bible are filled with notes.

This lesson today on the light spoke to me in a different way than what I’ve always gleaned from these truths before. These are just thoughts-I’m no theologian for sure!

It’s always been pretty clear that absolute truth is God. His truth is different from the “world’s truth” in a million ways. His truth shines the light of the gospel to darkened hearts. The darkness of our sin is exposed to the light and causes us to repent and ask God for a clean heart, one that glorifies Him. Truth is the gospel of Christ, who humbly came, died a sacrificial death as the perfect lamb, resurrected to life so that I could live with Him for eternity righteous and holy because I have been redeemed by His blood. This is truth.

Today, this word “truth” stood out in a way just a little bit differently. Sometimes truth is hard. Sometimes, we bury truth deeply and deny its existence. Sometimes, we want truth to be all butterflies and unicorns.

As I read “lay aside falsehood, speak truth with your neighbor” I’m seeing that many times it is easier to speak falsehood in that we may agree with someone that his sin is justified (maybe jealousy, maybe resentment or bitterness, or some worry or fear of the future). Listening with understanding is definitely something we need to do, but we should be careful not to give ungodly counsel. Sometimes, we listen to gossip, maybe not “participating” but not turning the conversation around. In our attempt to maybe keep peace and unity by not telling our “neighbor” that his thinking or actions are faulty or sinful or just not truth, we are not bringing unity. It hurts the relationship. It actually hurts the body of Christ. We need to bring the gospel light through truth in love.

When I have read this verse about being angry without sin, I read it kind of separately from the previous verse. I heard it taught so many times that you should never go to bed angry at your spouse, that you need to work it all out before the “sun goes down”. That may be a valuable lesson here, but in one of the comments made in a devotional for this study was that maybe instead of it meaning something has to be worked out with another person, I just need to not let any anger remain in my own heart. This can give the devil opportunity to grow it all through the night in a spiritual attack, causing wrong thoughts and feelings and actions. Am I ending my day in prayer thanking and praising God? Am I holding anger or worry or fear when I go to sleep giving Satan the opportunity to grow it?

Another thought I had about this hard truth we try to maybe ignore or deny its existence is the truth that sin brings consequences, not only in our own lives, but in the lives of others, usually the ones we love the most. Why? Because as fellow believers, we are one body. What hurts one hurts the other. What do we do when someone gets hurt because of our sin or our choices, even if it’s totally unintentional?

One hard truth is the choice of adoption did not take away the consequences of my sin away from my daughter. She was still impacted by my sin and the resulting choices. The result was trauma. Just because I didn’t know about infant trauma, just because I believed what I was told when she was born that she would be better off without me, doesn’t change the truth. I can choose to keep it buried and ignore it. I can justify it. I can also hide myself from the truth-almost like choosing to stay in the darkness. The fact that I cannot change my past is true but it’s not all of the truth. If the light shines on it then I can see it. I will actually see the hurt this trauma has caused, instead of denying it exists. If I see it then I have to deal with it. God doesn’t show us truth to condemn us. The light He shines is Christ in us. We are to walk as children of light. Sin hides in the darkness. He doesn’t want me hiding in guilt and shame. I can see it and then seek God’s will. I can listen, understand, seek forgiveness and be a part of the healing process.

So, I read many things about adoption, to learn more about what my daughter may be feeling because of trauma from adoption. Not because her parents did something wrong-quite the opposite, or that she is somehow not grateful enough, because she loves her parents dearly, but because she lost everything she knew when she was born. Me.

As she is figuring out what all this means, studying about the brain and trauma, understanding how her feelings about life were affected, she is unraveling the truth from the lies. She is lining these facts up against Scripture knowing God has a plan for her life. He had a plan before she was even formed in the womb.

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you…”

Jeremiah 1:5a

I can choose to be a part of this truth search or I can choose not to. Sure, the truth can be heart breaking, but God is in the business of healing. The more I let Him show me truth, the more I allow Him to heal not only my own heart, but hers. If I was a part of the hurt from the very beginning, I find it truly amazing that I can be a part of the healing now.

Maybe it’s okay that I am angry that she suffered trauma. I can be angry that she has felt like she shouldn’t share or even have these feelings of not enough, so common among adoptees. I can even be angry about adoption-all I missed, as long as I don’t let it turn to bitterness, resentment and unforgiveness. Be angry and do not sin. I can walk as children of the light, knowing Jesus paid the price for my sin, making me holy and righteous in Him.

As we allow truth (even the hard stuff) to come out of darkness and live as children of the light, we grow in our faith, “for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth.” This was never promised to be easy. Maybe that’s why the following verse says “trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.” It’s a process. It doesn’t all happen over night. He doesn’t leave us alone, He lights the path. We don’t have to be fearful of the truth. The light helps us to discern where our feelings line up to truth and when they are believing the lies of the enemy.

My pastor always says, “For every truth there is a balancing truth.” The truth is not that the past is just in the past. It is a part of us. But the balancing truth is we are not defined by our past. I am a birthmom, fact and the truth. But my identity is in Christ, so I can be birthmom or mom. It doesn’t really matter, because there is no shame. (Even though sometimes I hear the evil one shouting words of shame over me). I know that God has given me the honor to be any kind of mother He is calling me to be so a name is just a name. I can look at the truth-all of it-even the hard, because of His light. He gives us direction and guidance in His word through the Holy Spirit.

“And do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret, but all things come visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light. For this reason it says

,‘Awake, sleeper,

And arise from the dead,

And Christ will shine on you.

’Therefore, be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish but understand what the will of the Lord is.”

Ephesians 5:11-16

I can see the truth and maybe decide it wasn’t fair. I can even through memories of trauma decide I am a victim and just camp out there. I can see the hurt in the life of my daughter and even my husband and other children and take that guilt and just let it hang over me as a punishment. That’s where I think God is telling me “be careful how you walk” and “so then do not be foolish but understand what the will of the Lord is.”

So much in Ephesians! Who God is, who I am in Christ and direction on how to live according to His will. It’s no wonder I have spent so much time in this book throughout my life. As I work through Ephesians again, as I work through my past, I pray I do so with a heart of thanksgiving. I pray I’ll be willing to see and speak truth as God shines His light on me. I do want to live my life learning what is pleasing to the Lord.

…to the praise of the glory of His grace…

Ephesians 1:6

kp Jan 2021

daughter friend

In two weeks we will be celebrating her birthday for the third time….not counting the day she was born. We have been in reunion for only two and a half years.

After my other children were born, I would always wonder and hope that someday when they were adults that we would be good friends. I had always considered my own mom a friend when I became an adult. I knew that friendship between parent and child had to be cultivated. I would need to at some point be able to switch off the “I know more than you” button. I would need to be able to allow them to have their own opinions and ideas. And now that they are all adults, I feel like that friendship has grown and is still growing. I know I can call any of them anytime and chat.

I can also depend on them to give me honest and caring counsel when I ask for it-sometimes even if I do not. And sometimes they are right. I do listen and consider. They are smart people! And best of all they are believers and their truth is what they find in scripture as they yield to God’s direction in their lives. They are such blessings.

What I did not expect or ever dream was that I could be friends with my first daughter! This friendship was not cultivated by me. Not only did I not plan for this friendship, I never saw it coming. How does she already know me so well? She knows when I’m sad or worried. She can even tell in a phone call if I’m “off” even a little.

Last week for my sixtieth birthday all my daughters-my best friends in the world celebrated with me. I could see this was quite an amazing trip. All these women-sisters-my sweet daughters. All so different and alike. The conversations fun, serious and some very deep, as they shared their lives with each other and what God was doing in each of their hearts. I sat back in wonder, honestly. We laughed so much. There was no drama. Each one putting each other ahead of themselves, lifting each other up. Not even a complaint-unless you count the complaints about stupid covid and masks.

The trip was not without tears, though. We shared some hard things. It was not without its awkward moments. There was concern about talking about childhood memories, because they didn’t want their newest sister to feel left out. And she expressed feeling like she was being a “mom-hog”. It was definitely emotionally exhausting, especially for my first, as she tried to see where she fit with these 4 sisters.

Then on the second day, while shopping we took an ice cream break. The topic turned to girls, puberty, and how some of us were late bloomers because of running. I made the comment that I should have run more. I immediately tried to grab those words back and shove them back in my mouth but there they were. My sweet girl told me it was okay-no one wants to be pregnant when they are 16. But my words had stung. I was so mad at myself. I had just ruined the whole weekend, I was sure of it. It was an awkward afternoon of her trying to hide the fact that she was hurt and me expecting her to be angry. But once again she forgave me and we had a good talk, not without a few tears, before we went to sleep.

I’ve thought a lot about my teenage self. I don’t like so much about myself. I was so legalistic and I thought obeying rules was being a “good Christian.” I failed as I tried to live in my own strength. I let fear of rejection guide my thoughts and actions. Some would say my consequence was getting pregnant, but I do not believe babies are consequences. They are blessings-always blessings. Yet, I definitely regret the timing of that pregnancy which resulted in me not getting to raise her. If I could change that, of course I would want to live my life God’s way. God knew my heart. He answered my prayers that she would know and love Him. She seems to know my heart, too. She somehow knows my fears and my regrets and how my mommy heart hurts. She is a blessing. She was the moment I knew of her existence.

Something I realized that weekend we celebrated my sixtieth and I shared with her-when I was 16 and pregnant I didn’t realize I was giving birth to my best friend.

God has given me more than I could ever imagine and more than I could ever deserve. He is rich in mercy and grace and He has so generously bestowed them on me in His great love.

kp Jan 2021

rejection

As I read in the Proverbs31 Women #First5 Advent devotional this week I was reminded how God uses rejection in our lives (and don’t we all have those times?) to show us His grace.

What we view as rejection often opens the door for God’s grace to unfold in our story. Christ came to deliver humanity, but ironically, all the inn doors were closed for His entrance. There was no place for the Messiah that night. No one welcomed Him in. Jesus was rich, but He made Himself poor for our sake. (2 Corinthians 8:9) When we feel displaced and alone, we can fix our gaze on the man of sorrows who is acquainted with grief and find comfort in remembering our His story.” First5 Advent-Pointing to the Promise-Day 17 Devotional-Lyli Dunbar

It’s easy to remember times of rejection. Easy as in they can pop into your mind at any time, difficult to face, maybe difficult to forgive at times. Those events seem to just attach to my heart like a sticker burr. Sometimes just a careless word can cause so much pain, just like stepping on that tiny sticker with bare feet. But God uses those times to bring us to Him. That’s where we get comfort. He can even remove the sticker, but sometimes it still takes a while to heal.

Even when it still hurts-the memory of rejection or hurt, I can see God’s amazing hand in my life. He has lead me like the Good Shepherd that He is. He kept me within the fold, He pours out the healing balm, He has carried me through things I thought I could not endure, He leads me with His rod and staff. The Father has planned from the beginning knowing my choices would not always honor Him, knowing sometimes I would speak words or act in ways that hurt others-causing feelings of rejection in someone else’s heart. Jesus suffered rejection unto death-for me. He chose the path of a humble servant that I could live a life eternally in glory. He sent the Helper as a seal of the promise of His return, to guide and comfort. He never leaves us alone in our trials in this world but even grows our faith in the midst of them. He is certainly trustworthy and deserving of all praise.

Sometimes in the midst of pain, it’s almost impossible to see where God’s grace is working. Did I know 40+ years ago that I would not only someday know my daughter but even get to “be her mother”? Could I have imagined being Grammy to her 6 children? The view of the future is hidden, but we can trust God that whatever His plan for our lives is good. (Picture above: my three oldest granddaughters and myself-reflection in an Christmas ornament. How perfect is that?)

Maybe as I reflect on His goodness in my life, I can see His grace even in times I have felt rejected. I can see His grace in the times I thought my life was worthless. When the enemy whispers those reminders, bringing with it doubts and fear, I will call upon the Lord. Within His grace I can see the truth: I am loved; I am enough because Christ is sufficient in me; my worth is not dependent on what others think of me, because He has a plan for my life that is good and has purpose; and He can use me to love and serve others in His name. I am His beloved, and He has chosen to bless me-not because I could ever deserve it, but because of His wonderful love, His incredible grace and His magnificent mercy. I am so thankful.

“But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, ‘You are my God.’ My times are in your hand; rescue me from the hand of my enemies and from my persecutors! Make your face shine on your servant; save me in your steadfast love!”

Psalms 31:14-16

KP Dec 2020

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