About a month ago, our family dressed up on a Friday afternoon and headed to a nature park to meet up with our favorite photographer. (Well our only photographer.)
We met her three years ago to have family pics taken when Nia was a newborn, and that beach photo session became my testimony because hours earlier I was told that Nia would be transitioning from our home to another one. I have written extensively about the miracle that God worked in that season. He literally moved mountains in my life and all I could do was watch in awe and keep partnering in faith.
I stood on the beach that day three years ago with such a wide range of emotions. My twins adoption had just been finalized, and these photos were our first professional pics as a forever family. And I was also a brand new mommy to my newborn baby girl whom I was blessed to take home straight from the hospital. Yet hours before these photos, I sat in a meeting that seemed to seal her fate to be transitioned to another family.
I almost cancelled. How could we show up when our family may look different before the pictures even get developed?
Then, faith arose. I showed up. This was our family today. This was us, and we would photograph this moment in history just as God had knit us in this moment. And on the beach, I looked up at the heavens and I prayed hard. I asked for a miracle. I declared that baby Nia would be in every photo. No back up pics. No what if shots. And God worked a mighty miracle.
So as we drove to have our family pictures taken again this time, those feelings came back to the surface. I remembered the deep, searing pain. I also remembered the faithfulness of the Lord. I remembered how clearly He spoke to me in the dark of the night and how He held all my pieces together when I thought I might shatter.
And in these pics, instead of praying for breakthrough, I prayed a continual prayer of thanks. I am so so thankful for the mercy and compassion of our Lord. He has revealed Himself to me as the God of mercy. He has lavished me with His goodness in the spiritual realm and I can see it manifest through the eyes of these 5 children. The moment each one was placed in my arms, I felt my heart grow larger. Each time, I thought it may burst. I can remember the exact moment I laid eyes on each one, and God has continually sustained us through deep sorrow and mountain top joy.
So, today I am sharing our “then” and our “now” photos. I am remembering how far God has carried my family. How He has never left us. How even when all the signs in the earth pointed to defeat, He had a victory story already written.
I can share that the three years in between have been filled with growth and pruning and reaping and sowing. But through it all, God has been so so merciful.
I have learned to worship Him in the trial just as wildly and passionately as in the breakthrough. He has revealed again and again this unconditional, hard for me to understand love that He literally lavishes on me. And the beautiful part is He desires to pour that same lavish love out on every person who just opens up and receives it. I am still learning to receive it without doubting my worthiness. Then, He gently remind me. I am worthy because He is Lord of the Universe and He named me worthy because of Christ. And who am I argue with the God of the entire Universe?
So I will keep opening up and being vulnerable with God. I will keep learning to receive and trust in the Lord through all seasons. He has been faithful.
Since that day on the beach, Polly has photographed our adoption and our wedding, and now our family pics again. If you are local, she is the kindest, most patient photographer I have ever met, and her photos are a work of art.
These are the links to Nia’s miracle story. It is in three posts, and I pray her story stirs your faith for the miracle you are praying for!
Sometimes we do need to look backwards in thankfulness at how God has moved in the past, so that we remember His faithfulness. The Israelites got into a mess of trouble whenever they forgot his miracles.
So, today I choose to remember.