I had spent much of a lifetime preparing for that book. Then I lived much of it for about ten years. I never planned on penning that story… but when the time came, this is the book that came out.
The story of the many ways we haven’t figured out how to do this adopting/fostering thing in a mess-free, pain-free, beautiful way… but we keep pursuing hope anyway.
I’ll be honest… while I knew that I wanted each chapter to end with hope, there were many chapters where I just plain didn’t have any. I had to dig deep. Go back to our original “why” for entering this parent-child relationship that has both exhilarated us and, at times, devastated us.
Hundreds of people have purchased the book, either in print or kindle format. Okay, that’s not a NY Times Best Selling number, but it’s that many hundreds of people who’ve found and recovered and been encouraged by the message of hope in the book.
I’ve also been asked to speak on a number of occasions related to the topics of the book. In fact, on November 19 at 11:30 PST, I will be part of a radio talk show. You can listen in on the Independent Talk 1100 KFNX Radio station, the God and Country Show. I’ll be sharing the air with my editor and his wife (the talk show hosts), an author who recently published a fictional book on these themes, and a woman who works with Foster children in Arizona. What a gift!
God has opened many wonderful doors of opportunity, and in return, has filled my own cup with such encouragement.
Finally, since the publishing of “Reclaiming Hope,” I’ve begun five other projects. My debut picture book is due the end of THIS month (November seems to be a GREAT publishing month for me). A second picture book will be on the tail of the first. In the next week or two, my first journal, “Castle Quest Adventure Journal” will be available. Meanwhile, I’m finishing another non fiction novel while revising a young adult novel. Whew!!! The Lord has filled my heart and time with excitement for these projects.
I suppose I should mention that I’ve also been hired by a handful of people to edit and help publish their own books. Yes, more on that to come! I’m just finishing up a fantastic book by a local missionary, and about to begin editing a work that I know will be a loud voice in an industry that needs some strong voices.
I almost can’t believe I made it… 31 days of confessing the truth of who I am… that if I am anything good, or gifted, or right… it’s because of my dad.
And where (not if) I am found lacking or wanting… it is to remind me, continually, that I really am no one apart from him and the lessons he teaches me.
So today is the day when I get to introduce you to my dad.
His name is Elohim. And El Shaddai. And Adonai. Also El Olam, Jehova Jireh, and Yahweh.
He is known by all of these and many more.
Savior and Deliverer.
Jesus. Yeshua. Salvation.
Yes, this is my dad… father to all who will have him.
You see… my dad… the Creator of all things… looked down upon this creation and saw that we would never be able to live up to the perfect standards of a perfect God.
It was impossible.
Not because He made it so… but because we chose our own way… the very first of us. When given the chance, chose imperfection. Something we’ve been striving against ever since.
In our jobs, in our homes, in our friendships and relationships… always missing the mark and despairing it. Always disappointed with the inadequacies of others and ourselves.
And then we blame dad like it’s his fault.
Even if I had been the first created… I would have failed as well. And if not I, then one of my children. It was bound up in us when we heard the words “freedom” and interpreted it to mean “do what makes you happy, even if it conflicts with what is good for you.” And we fell.
And fall always.
So this dad of mine… taking note of our imperfections and his longing to have us in fellowship with him eternally, devised a plan. Of course, this was a plan he’d held before creation… knowing even then that to offer us “free will” was to set the stage for his own grieved heart and separation.
Sacrifices had been made since the first mistake… animals slaughtered and offered, a blood sacrifice to cover up the error of our ways. But it only lasted as long as the smoke. And then we needed to do it again, and again, and again. And it still wasn’t quite sufficient. Because once the smoke cleared… there we were again… his desperately beloved child on the other side of the prison doors of our own insufficiencies.
And his heart broke.
So he took the piece of himself he’d wrapped in flesh, waiting for this moment, and sent him to live a human life.
Called him Son.
Jesus. Yeshua. Salvation.
Because only God Himself is good enough to pay the debt we owe. Our own lives are the penalty for our wandering ways. And wander we have…
This God-man lived among us, called us friends, spoke the language of humans while living the life of one.
We could hear him and not tremble.
We could see him and not become blind.
We could touch him and still live.
And this deceived many. We expected the prophesied Messiah to come as a warrior… and destroy the known world in our favor.
Instead, he came as a child.
And an Activist. A Doctor. A Coach, Advisor, and friend. A Counselor. An Advocate. A Gardener and lover of all creatures. A Teacher. A Public Speaker. A Healer. A Mediator. Peace.
Yes, this God in flesh came to be our final sacrifice.
Knowing that the Deceiver would deceive and we would hate him. Hate him for flipping our world upside down… for not coming as we’d expected. For upstaging us.
For being right.
To the cross he marched, with joy set before him.
Because he knew that he could not be conquered… not even by death.
And he took upon himself all of our inadequacies, insufficiencies, mistakes… our crimes against the world, ourselves, and Him.
He wrapped himself in us… and for a moment, a dad lost sight of his son… and saw only humanity behind a locked prison door of our own doing.
The blood spilled.
The sacrifice was given.
But it wasn’t over.
The thing is… you can’t kill God.
Nietzsche was wrong… God is not dead. (Rest assured that Nietzsche knows his error.)
The price was paid. The debt covered. The blood of our Yeshua, Savior, lasts eternally… beyond the fading smoke of a sacrificial fire. Into the errors yet to be committed. The grievances yet to be filed. It’s already there.
So that when dad looks upon us.. he sees his children… perfected.
Able to cross the threshold of his kingdom, dine at his feast-filled table, and laugh until our tummies hurt.
If you want to.
Thing is, you still have that free-will. The chance to join the party or start your own.
The invitation has been sent.
He’ll give you whatever you want… forever. If you want to live an orphaned life… you’ll get to spend it that way eternally.
You want to be adopted by a loving dad… my dad… well, he’s waiting for you in the courtroom. Documents are signed. His oath has been sworn. He’s just waiting for yours.
One of my favorite bands, Downhere… and a great song… take a look! 🙂
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus… (1 Timothy 2:1-5)
And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. (Acts 4:12)
For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. (Romans 10:10)
For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. (Galatians 3:26)
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. (John 3:16-18)