My words have been mostly quiet here lately. I’ve sat down so many times to type out some words to you, but as I told someone recently, I feel as if God has frustrated my words. He has been whispering these past few months how he is doing something new. I don’t know if it’s so much of a circumstance or calling, but I feel newness deep inside. He is changing me. The words shared on Feathers are changing me. And it is today, on Easter when we are reminded of Jesus’s life, that I feel this new life the most.
He is indeed birthing something new in me. I am not sure I have the words for it yet, but it’s like a holy rumbling inside. I get the feeling it is new faith, a belief I’ve yet to experience. The more I walk in God’s path and let go more of my own, he replaces the empty spaces with Himself. Today doesn’t feel like a culmination of all his works, but perhaps a scenic pullover on this mountainous path.
I look back since last Easter and see that it isn’t just the deep in me that has changed, but our outside circumstances too. I sit here and write while I watch Jac0b play with the girls and Christ has never been more real to me. Do I need a Bible or an empty tomb to prove he is real? No, I have a little boy with blue eyes that tells me He’s real. It’s not to say I don’t love God’s word or believe in an empty tomb, but I just have this inkling that we can know that we know because of our experience with Him.
A third child was never in our plans. Our plans were for 2 kids, a dog and white picket fence. And then we started following his whispers, to be his hands and feet in this broken, broken world. We kept following the whispers until they were shouts. We couldn’t not adopt.
So we checked checkmarks and listened as friends told us we’d have a sandy haired boy. We doubted his call and waited and waited, and then, he was here. In the flesh. God’s call was no longer something written on paper or only of the soul, he was a little boy that moved in and took our last name. It is in this reality that I know Jesus was resurrected. This adoption was God’s idea, God’s path, God’s promise. All God. A dead God cannot do what He has done these past 5 years in our hearts and family. On our own, we would not have followed this path. But what a beautiful, redemptive path it has been.
Last week we finally received Jac0b’s new birth certificate. We applied for and received his new social security card. If you look at both, it is as if the old Jac0b did not exist. He is now, and forever more, a Bennett. And yet, his past is still there. We can’t forget it or don’t want to. We honor the path he walked. It is because of that path that we more wholeheartedly celebrate and embrace ourselves as a new family. I look at him in our picture and see a little boy that was rescued from an uncertain future. He may have felt forgotten at times, but God was very busy at work to place Him into our family.
In the same way, I understand our adoption as children in Christ more this Easter. We have a past and it has gotten us where we are, but now we are part of a new family. We have a new identity. Because of His death and resurrection, our names are written in a book of Life that says we are His. We can embrace our past, but also fully live in the freedom of our present because of our salvation from that past. We can rest because he has redeemed and adopted us.
At times it may feel like He has forgotten us, but He has not. He is working all things together. We just can’t see it yet.
I look at our picture from last year and ask myself if I would rather have skipped all the hard parts and go back to where we were. Without hesitation, I would do this a thousand times over. This Easter, I believe God more, I understand my identity in Christ more and because of God’s resurrected son, I love a son that I never knew I’d have. And man, he’s pretty adorable, isn’t he?
Obedience to God, I think, is a struggle we all have. Many times, I have wanted to give up or ignore what He tells me. Following your journey over the last several years, I have learned that being obedient to God, while a struggle is well worth the journey and blessing, (reward). I love that He gave you such a blessing in Jac0b. I am excited to continue to read/hear about all the other blessing you will receive along the rest of your families journey in life.
Shannon, I STILL struggle with obedience. It is a DAILY dying to self and trusting Him more. I’m still so thankful to have you on this journey with us.