January 19, 2013

{US} The Ward's | Homecoming

The Ward's are a very special family to me. When I was ready to surrender to God's will for my life, I knew I needed to get plugged in to a small group. I joined a women's group at my church where Kim Ward and Traci Slusarski were my leaders. I just clicked with them. It was amazing how God put this woman I admired so much- she is definitely beautiful but God showed me how you can be beautiful in Spirit and on fire for Him. It was contagious! She mentors me and I mentored her daughter. A perfect picture of Titus 2. Kim and Traci prayed for me to meet my now husband and guided me every step of the way in trying to pursue purity, be a Godly woman and role model, and to use my talents for the Lord. Her husband, Matt, has come along side my husband and listened as we discussed dating nuances and issues.

When I met Kim in 2008, she was praying about adoption. She had a heart for babies and for Africa. She prayed for 5 years or more (if I remember correctly) just for Matt to be open to God's calling. She would share her passion and other moms in our church wanted to fulfill James 1:7 as well. They all received their babies and children and Matt and Kim were still patiently waiting. There were many road blocks and hurdles, but their story is of patience, persistence, and trusting the Lord. He is a God of FAITHFULNESS. And a promise-keeper.

Finally the day had come to get their siblings. A girl and boy... 9 and 6 I think? We met as a big group with a huge banner awaiting this precious family.

It makes me tear up every time I think about God's picture of love. Beauty for Ashes. Orphans being adopted into the family of God. Here they were, children... that nobody wanted.. whose hopes may have been weakened. 9 years of being without a mom or dad. 9 years of being the "least of these." To get on a plane with loving parents who CHOSE you, prayed for you, and now adopting you and making you their own. Heading down the escalator to a HUGE banner with YOUR name on it, tons of people celebrating, ethiopian music playing, smiles and tears and shouts of joy, hugs and high fives, and all for YOU. Like WOW! Praise God!

The first time I met her daughter, Emma, she came into our holiday party and practiced singing this song for us. How fitting.

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