There are days that are a glaring fork in the road because they contain the moment upon which everything hinges. Days that have the potential to be either looked back on with the fondness of great opportunities that were birthed or with the regret of unfulfilled wishes and dreams. Today is one of those days.
The first time April 23rd stood out on the calendar for me was because it carried the weight of a deadline... a deadline that prompted my introduction to my daughter, Asnaku (who went by "Ashley" on the waiting child list.)
Connected to the picture of a big-eyed girl with a serious face were these words, "Ashley, age 15 years -Ashley will turn 16 in April 2013; an adoptive family must file an I-600 (which occurs at the end of the adoption process) before she turns 16 years old, or she will not be able to be adopted. If you know of anyone interested in Ashley’s adoption, please contact us."
Today could have been the day that she knew her fate as an orphan was sealed. I imagine her trying to gulp down the heaviness in her heart and find a way to imagine the future with the certainty of aloneness. How do you swallow down that fear at the tender age of 16?
But....our God! He is a redeemer! Since evil cast the first shadow over the Garden of Eden He has been tirelessly buying back what it stole from His precious children.
Some wonder how there can be a good God when there is so much evil. I say, how can you not see God's hand when innocence is preserved, hope is renewed and children are snatched back from the hand of evil? He is a redeemer....every day. You have to be blind to not see it...especially today. Open your eyes and celebrate!
He has redeemed faith.
He has redeemed family.
He has redeemed the future.
He has redeemed health.
He has redeemed innocence.
He has redeemed security.
He has redeemed belonging.
He has redeemed Hope.
So sweet Asnaku Hope, I pray that you are reveling in the freedom and redemption of today...and that the stirrings of happiness you're suddenly feeling about the future are glaring evidence to you that you are the apple of your Heavenly Father's eye. He's been moving powerfully on your behalf to redeem today....and He won't stop. Happy, happy birthday! I'm so glad that you were born, and that God has given me the gift of celebrating this day with you!
"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jer. 29:11