Monday, February 11, 2013

The God of all comfort...

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,  who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.  For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. (2 Corinthians 1:3-5)

It is amazing to me how God can use our sorrows to transform us into His image, and how He then allows us opportunities to draw on the pain to help others who are going through something similar. This weekend my daughter, Emmy, finally had her Choose Joy event at our church. Emmy and Nathan had problems with secondary infertility that caused them to wait for 8 years before they adopted their sweet baby, Penelope. It was a long, frustrating, agonizing waiting, marked with painful and fruitless fertility treatments, ending in the removal of her tubes and all chances of getting pregnant. But, with that door finally closed tight, they were able to see the door that was opened, and they proceeded to adopt Penelope.

From that waiting period came Emmy’s desire to help others who are going through this process, often feeling alone and ashamed. And so Choose Joy was born. Saturday was the culmination, and if you know Emmy, you know it was planned down to the silverware and napkins. It was a beautiful presentation, with a luncheon that was superb, prepared completely (for 120 or so people), by Emmy’s longtime BFF, Brooke King. But it wasn’t the surroundings or place settings, as creative as it all was, that made the day so special. It was the full tables of couples and would-be moms, sitting around those tables pouring out their hearts and being encouraged by speakers and each other that made the day such a God-thing!

Each person who came to the event was specifically drawn there. Many came reluctantly, but all left feeling a sense of hope and community. I loved that the keynote speaker, Lesli Westfall, author of Dancing on Barren Land, is a woman who had NOT received the “Yes” from God that she had hoped for. At 48, she still has no children - although she said she’s not dried up yet!

At the end of the day, there was a raffle, and a darling girl won a jar stuff with money donated by all who were there and other donors - about $2,700! This girl had also not wanted to come (she drove up with a friend who dragged her there from San Diego). The $2,700 was the exact amount of the final payment she and her husband need to pay to for their adoption fees!!! Only God can do that!

It was a wonderful day for me as a mom to watch. Molly and her Throne of Grace crew were there with prayer cards for those who are facing this issue. How blessed I felt to watch Molly supporting her sister with cheers and tears! And the best part for me was to see the men in their own breakout group supporting and encouraging each other, with Emmy’s husband, Nathan, and two other friends leading their group. Emmy was the final speaker - with lots of humor and many tears. Then, when the raffle winner came up to get her jar of money, Nathan led a prayer of blessing to close it.  I'm so grateful to all  who helped make the day possible (Lori, what a sacrifice of your time), and to the God of all comfort who was so present in all the details - even the napkins!

Okay, LORD, my cup runneth over! You can take me home any time now!  

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