Seven years ago, on September 10th, 2008, my brother Joey passed away. It was without a doubt the beginning of one of the most transforming periods of my life. All my deepest faith in God’s beautiful love and unending providence stem from that pivotal event and all the events that followed. In the aftermath of his death the song Blessed Be Your Name was like my lifeline. Each line spoke deeply to my soul and spoke the truth that was being wrought by fire in to my heart and soul. To this day I cannot sing it without fierce ugly tears. I can remember singing it the morning of Joey’s funeral, playing it on repeat till I thought I couldn’t cry another tear. And so yesterday, as I found myself standing in a room of Serbian Christians, worshiping in a language I cannot speak, but a language that I love from my heart, it felt like the most perfect rightness that we began to sing Blessed Be Your Name. Seven years later, two days after the anniversary, I stand, seeing all that God has wrought in me from that one event. A husband I have only because of my brother’s life and death. A life and ministry in Thailand because of the call to ministry from a life affected by disability. And now tomorrow we meet the daughter that we are adopting, whose middle name will be Josephine, after my brother, the first child my parents adopted.
I know I will forever treasure that memory, standing with my Serbian brothers and sisters in Christ, days away from making this beautiful Serbian girl my daughter. And my heart can only cry, blessed be your name. For God is faithful, and His plan is so perfect. Even though we had to delay our visitations for an entire week, His timing was perfect. We had time to rest, to regroup, to experience Serbia in so many ways that we could not have had we been in the thick of visits. Much as my heart has wanted to finally hold my daughter in my arms, I can see God’s hand in us waiting, allowing us this gift, to know and love Serbia. And the pinnacle was a day of worship, prayer and teaching with our Serbian brethren. That is a gift I could have never even begun to have imagined, nor longed for. And that’s how the best gifts from God are. We can’t even begin to imagine that they exist, and yet He gives them to us.
On Friday night we got the email confirmation that our document was waiting for us. And so on Monday morning we go to the Embassy to retrieve that, then the ministry for a meeting with our daughter’s team, and then we go and meet her for the first time. Finally, we meet our daughter. And I know that she will be a gift that will be beyond my ability to imagine. A gift to our family, and a gift to our community. And I cannot wait.
Blessed be Your Name