A few years ago an acquaintance made an offhand comment that has become one of my favorite phrases. While I’ve often thought of myself as a storyteller, this sentence helps ground me to the Author of all.
“Doesn’t God write the most amazing stories?” she said with a smile.
At the time, I was in the midst of a swirling, frightful storm, and wasn’t exactly thinking about my story being amazing, let alone God-written. I was stuck in the middle of a really dark place and couldn’t see outside of that day, month, or year.
So if God was writing a story, I didn’t appreciate his plot line.
When I think of some of my favorite novels, I imagine the main characters would have liked to be rescued about 200 pages sooner than they were. In fact, if you had asked Katniss in her first round of Hunger Games, I’m guessing she probably would have preferred to never step foot into the arena at all.
And yet, it is exactly those challenging plot lines that build character (no pun intended, well, maybe a little) and turn us into the men and women we are. If we were living inside of a storybook, we’d be growing through the major ups and downs as well as all the minutia in between. No matter how much we may dislike the chapters of conflict, they are what make our stories so vibrantly rich and our lives so breathtakingly beautiful.
Even if we don’t always see it until we’re on the other side.
The story I’m privileged to live is one with many hills and valleys. But if I were to predict the major theme of my life’s book, it wouldn’t be found inside those changes in elevation, but rather amidst the others whose lives have been woven so intricately into mine.
In the current chapter, it’s all about the families we have met through advocating for adoption care here in Nicaragua. The children being adopted and the parents adopting them have created a new set of highs and lows in my life. On one hand I have been absolutely wrecked by the tales of trauma these young souls have already endured. And then I am overwhelmed with joy at the way in which their lives have been altered so dramatically by their adopting families.
This whole process had broken me for orphans and adoption and the families who change those stories.
I want to run around telling everyone what we’ve seen and heard. I want to start a conversation about caring for these families that transcends time and location.
And apparently the Author of my story is on board with this, because He recently added a few relevant characters to my story line. When I traveled through Ohio and Indiana in July, I was repeatedly asked if I had a recorded copy of my presentation. The answer was always no, until I arrived at Friendship Alliance Church in Chagrin Falls, OH. The night before my talk there, I happened to mention that repeated question, only to find out the person I was speaking with had some experience with photography and wanted to try more videography. The next night, I showed up to lighting, microphones, and two cameras.
If I could have only recorded one of my ten presentations, this would have been the night to do it. I was joined up front by three women who had each adopted from Nicaragua at some point in the past ten years. Their stories are emotional, raw, and beautiful. They are wonderfully encouraging examples of God’s faithfulness.
When I got home and watched them again, I couldn’t shake the feeling that these stories were meant for more than a few views by friends and family… that they might help fuel this larger conversation about adoption care that we so urgently want to inspire.
Then a blog reader — who just so happens to be another writer — “randomly” contacted me to ask how she could help.
And just like that, FIT Conversations was born.
Our hope is that your family or small group might use these four videos, and the accompanying discussion guides, to explore the needs that adopting families have and how we can offer them support and community. No, we don’t have professional speakers or a high-quality production studio, but we have passionate women telling intricately-woven stories of redemption and renewal that just might spark the change we need.
To help start the conversation, we’ve created a brief introductory video (see below). Watch it and consider who might join you while consider this topic of adoption care. Then, contact us to get (free) access to all four of the full-length videos and discussion guides. We expect you to need four 60-90 minute sessions to complete the series.
It’s true. God does write the most amazing stories. And the families adopting orphans — including those who are cast aside as trash in so many cultures worldwide — are treasured parts of the most beautiful story of all.
Encourage and discuss here