3.12.2012

he is faithful.

i am having a hard time believing that in just a few weeks, we will be celebrating one year of Elsabeth being home with us.  this year has been hard, to say the least, but celebrate we will.
even amidst the daily struggles i have with her, i don't go a day without saying thanks to God for bringing her in our life.  i am growing and learning to love.
and, i'm still speaking to others about the realities of post-adoption.  i know i've shut down a bit here, and that wasn't because i didn't want to share, but i was always unsure of what to share.

{elsa and mommy, making a "mean" face}

but the fact is that i have struggled (which you know) and i still do struggle.  i'm not afraid to admit it, and for me, it's healthy to do such a thing.  my goal with this blog is not to pretend that i have it all together, and i would hope you would know that about me by now.
as i look back and reflect on this year, one thing that always sticks out to me is how much i've doubted God was with me. He, without a doubt, sent us on this adoption journey, and when things got hard, i doubted that we took the right path.  why? God doesn't promise an easy path. He promises good to those who believe, but “good” can look so different to Him, than to us.  good can look difficult.  good can be a struggle. 
one song that has spoke to me has been matt redman's “never once”. (if you haven't heard it, take a listen---it's so good)
here are a few lyrics:
Standing on this mountain top,
Looking just how far we've come,
Knowing that for every step,
You were with us...

i hear this song and i envision our little family of 8.  standing on top of a green, lush mountain.  sun shining down on us.  holding hands, standing together.  looking back at our journey.  the struggles are there, and that will always be a part of our journey.  but as we turn our heads to the future, and see the many, many mountains in front of us, i am reminded that this journey is beautiful, struggles and all.  as the song continues:
Scars and struggles on the way, but with joy our hearts can say.
Yes, our hearts can say:
Never once, did we ever walk alone.
Never once, did you leave us on our own.
You are faithful, God you are faithful.
God is faithful.
  God is so very faithful.
and our journey is proving that, every day.
tears often flow down my cheeks as I listen to this song.  in those moments of doubt, He was with me.  in those moments of joy, He was with me.  in those moments of anger, He was with me.
even if i didn't feel like He was there, He was.
and He still is.
He never leaves us.

so, onward we go.
trying to remember we're not alone.
and to celebrate a year home with our daughter, we're gonna party like it's 1999.

35 comments:

  1. It's all about the journey...he walks us through it. That's how it's been with my son. Some good days, some bad...but knowing God is with me, it's so reassuring. His purpose, is so much greater than me! Have a great day Emily!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Congratulations on your 1 year anniversary! You ' ve had quite a year. Thank you for your honesty, for it matters to those that are navigating new and adoptive relationships. It is good to know that God is always working with us and not against us. May your 2nd year bring you all more joy and love than ever.

    ReplyDelete
  3. She is so sweet! I've always considered adoption but I just don't know. You are so strong for being such a great mom to all your crazy kids (I love that last picture!). It seems like all your children love you. :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love that through all of this you still thank God for his goodness. He IS always there. Something I have to remind myself everyday. He is there through the good and bad times. Happy almost one year!!! Adore your lil kiddos :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. i love this post, emily. and i love your raw faith, however fragile it's been at times in this adventure, and God's obvious faithfulness to you all. congrats to all of you for a year of having that sweet treasure of a girl home.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I love your honesty so so much. And that song?? I LOVE IT. When we sing it in church I cry. Every time. As I get older I can see trails as blessings from God. Without trials I would not lean on God because I totally think I can do it on my own. (so dumb). Thanks for your words today!

    ReplyDelete
  7. oh sweet sweet Emily... I am BLESSED by what you have written... it's crazy, I was actually just in the middle of writing a blog post (still in the process) of my struggles with our sweet little adoptive daughter (my husband is deployed as well for 6 months), and had Matt Redman playing, and typed out words to "never once" as well on that post... but wow, seeing it on your blog just reaffirms it all... that God truly is FAITHFUL!!! LOVE that He had me listening to the same song as you, and that we both "got" the same thing out of it...

    ReplyDelete
  8. I'm so glad that you have been open & honest about your journey. It's so beautiful because in our weakness & struggles we get to see the Lord glorified...not us.

    ReplyDelete
  9. love this post! love your honesty! love your awesome family!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love that your being honest about your adoption journey the good and the bad! Especially speaks to my heart since adoption is something me and the hubby have talked about..so thanks for sharing:))

    ReplyDelete
  11. I was actually just thinking about your upcoming anniversary the other day. (As your #1 fan, it's my job to keep up with things like this.) I love your Elsa updates; it's amazing what a year has done for her-- she looks so happy and so healthy. BTW, I leave for Created for Care in a little under two weeks. Any tips or ideas for things I'll want or need to pack? What do you wish you'd known before you went?

    ReplyDelete
  12. I love that the meanest face she can come up with is a scrunched up grin! :)I also love the point you made that God doesn't promise an easy path. Not a single person in the Bible had it easy. Yet they praised HIM through their trials just as you are doing! HE receives the most honor and glory when we cling to HIM as HE works in our lives. So glad you are sharing your journey!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thank you for sharing this.
    I can't believe it's already been almost a year!

    I am glad you are getting through the hard times. God is AMAZING!

    ReplyDelete
  14. you rock woman :) you are a beautiful woman with a beautiful family. life has ups and downs(a lot of times it feels like more downs sometimes though, doesn't it?) but remembering you are never alone through this is what will lift you up and get you through. keep on keepin on! i admire you. xoxo hoLLy

    ReplyDelete
  15. beautifully written. heartfelt and full of truth.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thanks for writing this beautiful and vulnerable post! My family is looking toward adoption, via foster care, and in a recent training class the instructor said "Have we ruined the fantasy for you yet?" (Yes, yes they did). I will probably have a much better understanding of what you're talking about this time next year, but for now, just wanted to say thanks. He is faithful to finish what He started.

    ReplyDelete
  17. thanks for being honest and real. I am sure many parents who adopt struggle but they don't admit it!
    it's refreshing that you admit it and try to improve. I am glad above all else that you are choosing to love Elsa with God's perfect love. so happy for you all! ONE YEAR, hard to believe!
    tara

    ReplyDelete
  18. lovely post -He is faithful :)

    ReplyDelete
  19. P.S. I just clicked on the Matt Redman link. Thanks for sharing that. What a great song!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Great post! Have always appreciated your honesty.

    ReplyDelete
  21. in this world you will have trouble, but take heart, I have overcome the world! john 16:33

    you are amazing and He has carried you through it all. Glory be to God for all 6 of your blessings and for you and Keith!

    ReplyDelete
  22. What a beautiful honest post xox

    ReplyDelete
  23. your kind of honesty is so rare, & beautiful!! :) i love love "never once"!!!

    ReplyDelete
  24. What a reason to celebrate! For all of you! I am wondering, have you read "The Connected Child" or familiar with the work of Karen Purvis? Her work has opened my eyes to so much. Wanted to pass that on just in case...

    ReplyDelete
  25. LOVE LOVE LOVE that you're honest! God will honor that honesty and I'm sure many are finding freedom to be honest with their adoption journey as you've shown them how! Blessings sister

    ReplyDelete
  26. Such great words... thanks for writing!

    ReplyDelete
  27. WOW a year!!!!
    Emily, I love this post and your openness with your struggles. I love even more that you recognize that this was always God's plan for your family. He is amazing and He never leaves us. I am constantly kicking myself for doubting God's presence in my life. Some days are so hard.
    I have thought about you and your beautiful kiddos so often and prayed for you guys. Without your honesty you may not have had so many prayers coming your way ;)
    Love your voice Emily...give your beautiful daughter a squeeze for me.

    ReplyDelete
  28. You have such a beautiful soul Sweet Emily!! :) Beautifully written! Here's a thought I just had...was your first year as a Momma hard too? I ask that, cuz ironically I discovered your sweet inspiring blog in my moments of struggle & doubt this year as a new Momma as you surprisingly had a hard year too but through your blog was so uplifting & inspiring to me?!? Maybe this adjustment to having an adopted daughter has been similar to that of a new Mother? I don't know if this makes any sense, but even though my boy is biologically mine, I deal daily with a lot of self-doubt as a Mom, hoping I can hold my marriage, house, self together while raising a thriving baby. It doesn't all feel natural to me & doesn't help too that I've never had a lot of confidence. Sorry to write so much for you to read but yours a Woman I look up to who has 6 kids to help me bounce through my adjustments as aMom, it's ironic to me you are struggling too. Thank you for keeping it real on here!!!

    ReplyDelete
  29. This is a wonderful post. Your faith and honest words are really inspiring here. God will always be by your side.
    Congrats on one year with beautiful Elsa!

    ReplyDelete
  30. You are amazing. I truly admire you and your family for giving this little a better life. Adoption, I know, will never be easy for anyone. There are struggles that no one can understand, except those who have adopted. But, in the long run, the blessings you have bestowed upon Elsabeth will come back to you 100x. And she will always love you for it.

    ReplyDelete
  31. You are blessed with a beautiful family, Emily. Love your honesty. Love your blog :)

    ReplyDelete
  32. lovely. emily, your testimony of god's faithfulness is SUCH an encouragement to me. thank you.
    rejoicing with y'all as you celebrate your elsa. praying for great joy and special graces for the rest of your week. xo

    ReplyDelete
  33. Elsa's mean face is adorable!

    God's journey for our lives isn't always easy but it does lead to His glory, which is beautiful even when it's hard.

    Much love to you and all the Andersons!

    ReplyDelete
  34. Thank you for sparing the sugar-coating; I feel like I taste the God-sweetness instead.

    Never Once has been a major player in our journey as well, and as I sit in the hospital beside my youngest little man, I am glad that you reminded me of that song again.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for saying HI! If you ask a question, please check back here for your answer!