Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Seeing God Big, Part 4

Before I introduce you to A, I just had to tell you that I took Abby and Mackenzie to see High School Musical 3 today. It was Abby's first movie and I was a little concerned about how she would do...she's only been home 3 months, her language is progressing miraculously, but I didn't know how it would go over to sit for 2 hours in a theater...she LOVED it, she wanted to go back in when we were done! She was so cute sitting on the edge of her chair...every once in a while, she would look over at Mackenzie and I and just grin! Now that was a really FUN first!

Ok...now for the story of A

To this day, to think of A, still takes my breath away…such beauty, such joy in the face of such heartache…

Isaiah 61:1-3 says, “The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.”

These verses are a prophecy of the ministry of Jesus…the first time Jesus spoke in the synagogue, in Luke 4, He began His ministry by reading this passage…

A is a beautiful picture of the truth of these verses…that Jesus really does bring healing and restoration...

Before A came to live at the orphange, both of her parents died and she was living with her grandmother. The grandmother knew that she would soon pass away, so she brought Anastasia to the opening of the orphanage. A begged her to complete the paperwork so that when she passed, she could live safely at the orphanage.

Sadly though, family members did not respect her grandmother's wishes and when she died, they took A to live where she was horribly abused…the men would press wood chips into her feet and make her dance for them at night…among other things.

Eventually, she was able to escape and returned to her grandmother’s home where her older sister was now trying to take care of her other siblings…A begged her to take her to the orphanage.

On our last day there, there was a dedication ceremony for a new dorm that was being built for older girls and many of the children performed for us. A was one of them… In the morning, she danced with a group…


But that evening, she had prepared a special ballet that she wanted to share with us... She danced with a basket that represented her basket of joy that she had found since coming to the orphanage and meeting Jesus! As she danced around the room, she scattered her joy on all of us because she wanted us to share in her joy with her…



Even now my heart and my eyes well up as I think of this beautiful child who had suffered so much…Who but God could heal a heart that had been so horribly damaged? Heal and restore it to the point that the very thing that had been used to torture her, dance, was now her instrument of sharing her hope and her joy?

At this time I didn’t know about Abby…but the image of this child, her joy and restoration, would be the source of great hope and courage as we prayed about adopting an older child.

A reminded me that God is far more powerful than circumstances…that He can heal the most broken heart…that He truly does bring beauty from the ashes…gladness instead of mourning…praise instead of despair… A is growing into an oak of righteousness who beautifully displays the splendor and glory of Jesus!

I feel compelled to add this...I don't know what you're facing in your life right now...what seems beyond hope or repair...but NOTHING is impossible with God! I didn't come to Christ until I was much older...I was empty, I had tried to find life...purpose...joy...in a million places and while they provided something for a time, it never lasted, and then I was on to the next thing.

It wasn't until I came into a relationship with Jesus that something changed. I discovered a joy that wasn't based on circumstances, peace that didn't disappear with every storm...I found forgiveness and I found purpose...and to this day...10 1/2 years later...it hasn't disappeared...I haven't moved on to something different.

That's what A discovered...I don't know that I've ever seen anyone that reflected it so vividly...In A…I saw God BIG!!

Tomorrow, I hope to tell you about a very special member of our team, but I want to wait until I'm sure I have permission...


Anonymous said...

Incredible! I know the story,but to read your words and hear it again just reminds me of what that precious child endured and how God's grace, mercy, and love is so powerful!

I love the "Anastasia Story"
Thanks for telling the stories.


Denise said...

Just beautiful...again, thank you for sharing~