Monday, May 04, 2009

Memorial Box Monday

A good friend of mine, Linny, does Memorial Box Monday posts on her blog A Place Called Simplicity. Here's how she explains it...

"The purpose of each Memorial Box Monday post is to remind myself and others of God's great faithfulness, His powerful provision and His Unexpected Gifts in each of our lives.

It is not a sign of super spirituality to have a Memorial Box. It is something that anyone who has seen God work in their lives can do. There are no rules....just sharing the story of something recent or long ago about how God showed up in your family (or just to you if you are single) to meet a need, rescue, protect, heal, or even give a surprise you didn't expect!"

So this got me thinking that I need to do a Memorial Box Monday post. But I'm overwhelmed. I mean, seriously. God has been so good. Where do I even begin? And besides that, the things I think represent or symbolize God's goodness are HUGE! They'd never fit in a cabinet! Guess I'll have to get creative! (Settle in, it's a long one)

Ok, a little lesson in language:Kairos
This word is one of the most important words to me, ever. According to Wikipedia, ancient Greeks had two words for time...chronos and kairos. Chronos means sequential time, while kairos is, "a time in between, a moment of undetermined period of time in which something special happens."

In the New Testament, kairos means "the appointed time in the purpose of God." Both definitions essentially point to time that cannot be measured. This word came to life when a good friend, and pastor shared about kairos vs. chronos one Sunday morning in church. Probably one of the most powerful sermons ever!

I have two symbols of kairos...a drawing and a watch. Let me explain the watch. Waaaay back when Tony and I got married (10 years ago) I still had to do my student teaching for school. So we were married in March, I did my student teaching that fall, graduated in December, took a teaching assistant position for the remainder of the year and then started my search for my first real teaching job. People would ask me left and right if I had any leads on a job. May luck. luck. luck. And then August. Never once did I freak out. (For those of you who know me, this is amazing!) I just kept telling everyone that it would work out. No worries. Just faith in God. (Tony on the other hand was a nervous wreck, I'm sure because he's the financial guy!) Just a few weeks before school started, I got a call about a position in the district I did my student teaching/teaching assistant positions in. A perfect fit! At a perfect time!

It was also during this time that I stopped wearing my watch. I can't remember what specifically led me to do it. Maybe it was a sermon. Maybe it was a story I read. I just vaguely remember someone referencing the need to look at a watch non-stop and how was that living? Truly living? And I'll admit. I would get hung up on the time surrounding the experience, and not the experience itself. Therefore, my first symbol of time, of God's timing, is a watch. But my watch is a little different. The face of the watch is covered up with black electrical tape. I don't need to focus on MY timing of things. Just God's timing. Kairos.

When Tony and I were exploring options about how to add to our family (biological, adoption, fostering) we looked into international adoption through Ch*na because the timeline looked reasonable and the program looked stable. We were told after we submitted our dossier to expect an eight to nine month wait. There were those timelines again! So we logged in and waited. And waited. And waited. Each month the finish line would be stretched out. (NOT complaining though...the wait is NOW is extreme!)

During the wait, we experienced lots of joys, friendships, trips, excitement, sadness, longing, depression, confusion, etc. God heard the cries of our hearts. He knew we wanted to be parents badly! He knew we had waited years by this point. He knew we were ready!

Well, my friends, as the saying goes...hindsight is 20/20.

During the wait, a good friend of mine, Sarah said she had a surprise for me. She said she had a vision one morning and shared that vision with a friend of ours, Shannon. She said the picture she was given was directly from God. Shannon decided to turn God's picture into a reality. Shannon sketched a beautiful picture of Jesus's hands holding a baby and had it framed. This is the picture you see at the top of the post. It's gorgeous and now hangs in our hallway! They gave that picture to us during one of our lowest lows, and I bawled while accepting it. There was Father...holding my baby. So safe. So loved. Kairos. HIS timeline. Not mine.

Fast forward. I have looked at that picture a thousand times. While we continuted to wait, I would pray for my baby (didn't know about twins at the time) every time I passed it! I would look at it with joy, and thanksgiving, and with longing. Once the girls came home, it continued to hang in our hall. I still looked at it each time I went into our room, or the nursery, but never gave it much thought...until one day. I stopped to look at it again. As I was examining it, I looked at Shannon's signature. Then I looked at the date. I know I gasped outloud when I read it. Shannon had drawn that picture the month our girls were born. Upon further investigation, it was discovered that Shannon had drawn that image the WEEK the girls were born. Did you read that, my friends? The same week. I cried all over again a whole new set of tears. My God loved me enough to send my friends this picture of Him holding my baby.

I know you're wondering, baby? But don't you have twins? Yes, I do. But I believe wholeheartedly that the picture God gave Sarah is of him holding Abby. You see...not long after she was born, she got very very sick. Very sick. Like a "praise Jesus she's with us and not with Him" sick. And little did I know that during that time, God was nestling our baby Abby in His arms.

Kairos. QUALITY of time, not QUANTITY of time. I know it's easy to tell someone, "It's all in God's hands." or "It's His plan." or "In His time." But you know what. It's the truth.



Chris and Sarah said...

OK, you got the tears rolling.

Anonymous said...


IzzyBeth said...

Wow. I'm crying too. Thank you so much for sharing.

Jaime said...

that is amazing. God is so amazing.
oh - and sorry, not sharing hte kiddo names I've picked out. Too many people like to give their negative opinion. I will tell you that the most traditional is Jillian but I've got to change up the spelling... after that, people will think they are weird. Check out my EGG post!

christina said...

Tears flowing here in Kentucky, as well. The image of a little one cradled in the hands of a strong, loving, protecting Father is so powerful. Just the reminder I needed today...the same Father holds me in the same way today!

Mom Of Many said...

Here I am up, can't sleep. REading blogs. WOW! You are such a gifted writer and I love, love, love, love, love that you did a MBM post...Tears came as I read about your picture and how the Lord had her do it the week your girls were born. How gracious of God, how miraculous. Amazing!!

You have to keep going. Write what God has done. It is such a faith booster to all of us who read it...and will be the stories that are passed down to your children and their children and their children...xo

Anonymous said...

Okay, I should have read this alone, because my students are looking at me wondering why I'm crying! God is good!

I think I'm the one that had the dream of you guys with twins!