This month, Show Hope is asking, What does it mean to be adopted by God? As I asked myself this question, I kept thinking about the things my parents are to me–a support, encouragement, protectors. I have been able to dream big because I know I have a safe place to fail. I think about the kids around the world who don’t have a safety net–they’re just trying to get through today on their own.
I am really blessed to have a daddy who has always believed in me. My dad has always pushed me and encouraged me. He has been a champion of women in ministry, fiercely protective of my calling to serve the Lord (When Chris asked my dad for his blessing to marry me, my dad’s first question was, “Are you going to be okay with Anna being in ministry?” That’s commitment). I think my dad always knew I was called to ministry, but he never, not once, pushed me that direction. My dad always told me, “You can be anything you want to be. You are so smart and talented. You can be anything.” I went to journalism camp, I took education classes, I had voice lessons. He let me explore other avenues, and was proud in each one. But I think he always knew I would end up serving vocationally in ministry, but quietly waited for God to call my heart loud enough where I couldn’t say no.
In high school, I made a series of dumb decisions that led me to a situation where I was over my head. My parents quietly warned me from the first warning sign, but they let me make the mistake. When I think back on that time, a time they saw very clearly when my vision was blurred, I can still feel the grace they showed me. When I realized I had been wrong, they held me as I cried and tried to put things back together. They never once said, “I knew it.” The embodiment of grace.
Having parents for me has meant having not only a safety net, but a diving board. I have a safe place where I can jump and spread my wings. I can try things, and I can fail. My heavenly father is the same way. He sometimes waits quietly in the background, waiting patiently for us to accept our calling. He is there when we fall apart to put us back together. He isn’t a father who says, “I TOLD you NOT to do THAT.” I’ve found the times in my life I felt I couldn’t get on my feet were the times I forgot God isn’t only a powerful, awe-inspiring being worthy of worship, but He is also the perfect Father, full of grace, never condescending.
Being adopted into God’s family means we have the freedom to try something and completely bomb. We have forgiveness when we go our own way. We have the chance to fly because we aren’t so scared of making a decision that we stay on the ground, clipping our own wings. We have the Father of Grace, who only gives good things, even when we’ve really messed up. We have grace, and abundantly, because that is our Father’s favorite gift to give.
Show Hope is an organization that cares for orphans around the world, bringing awareness to the specific issues orphans face and encouraging families to adopt by supplying grants. This month, they’re asking, What Does it Mean to be Adopted by God? Most orphans don’t have the same safety net that I did, and thus they aren’t free to try and fail…they are just trying to get the things they need to make it! Show Hope’s sponsorships allow for children’s needs to be met so they can dream big! Check them out here for more information.