My normal morning routine does not usually involve sitting down at the computer. Seth requires quite a bit of coaching to get ready for school and I try to do everything for Ana Sofia as part of my effort to teach her about trust and dependence. I only give myself about an hour to get the three of us out the door, so most mornings I’m lucky if I even get a pot of coffee made before I take Seth to school. This morning was different.
I woke up half an hour earlier than usual to the sound of Sofia walking out of my room in plastic high heels. To my surprise, Seth was already up and he had dressed himself (Hallelujah!). I fed them both breakfast, dressed us girls, and still had about forty-five minutes to spare. As I approached the coffee maker, I had an urge to check my Google Reader. The coffee would have to wait. Before I even sat down in front of my laptop, tears were spilling from my eyes.
The first line I read was “Dancing with Jesus”. My heart broke into a thousand pieces. Chrissie has gone home. Her heart and lungs are healed and she has the strength and stamina to dance like the princess God made her to be. I hurt. In the depths of my soul, I hurt.
In the past eight months, God has revealed himself to me in ways I never imagined. He has brought people into my life who have inspired me and humbled me and lifted me up. Lorraine Patterson is one of those people. As we started our journey to bring our daughter home, the Pattersons were approaching the end of their journey. About the time that we started our home-study and prepared to move into the new house, they traveled to Serbia to get their princess.
Like our family, they did not set out to adopt a child from Serbia. They simply acted on the urgency of God’s calling. Christyn Joy Patterson was given the life she had dreamed of. She was given a Mommy and a Daddy and brothers and sisters who loved her. What she gave back is immeasurable.
I imagine that Lorraine’s urge to write is much like my own. It’s like therapy for me. I described to a dear friend last night how each moment of my day can seem without purpose. It is not until I sit down with my Bible and start writing that I realize what God is doing. He literally reveals his purpose to me through the words that I type. The first time I read a post of Lorraine’s, I saw that God was doing the same thing for her. Every time she wrote, I would see God revealing himself to her. For the last thirty days, I’ve watched Lorraine’s unwavering faith and I have been broken as I have watched God bring her to a place where she is raw and exposed and at His feet.
I first began following Chrissie’s story because of how inspirational Lorraine is. Somewhere along the way, I fell in love with that little girl. I was not alone. Tens of thousands of people, all around the world, have fallen in love with her and fallen to their knees because of her. In the past thirty days, as Chrissie’s little body resisted death over and over again, God used her story, through Lorraine’s writing, to bring countless souls into His family.
“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”
This was Jesus’ promise to all mankind. In their obedience to rescue Chrissie, He was able to use her story to rescue thousands of orphans.
Last week my heart broke for a family that lost their son in the same hospital where Chrissie has been for the past month. I do not question God’s timing or His sovereignty. It may never ever make sense to us for a child to be taken, but I have to accept that God is in control of ALL things. While praying for the family who had lost their son, I saw the empathy that God was feeling for them. He allowed His own son to suffer and die because He could see the bigger picture. I saw clearly that He knows the pain of losing a child.
The very first Bible verse I remember learning is:
“God loved the people of this world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who has faith in him will have eternal life and never really die.” (CEV)
It’s the verse that most children learn first because it’s probably the most important verse in the Bible. God allowed his son’s death because he knew that his son would defeat death. And He promised that everyone who had faith in that story would have eternal life.
Chrissie is alive. She will never really die.
And while we may hurt for the loss of her physical life, we have to find joy in the fact that through her story, so many people have found eternal life.