Thirteen years ago today, I became Daniel’s wife. During the weeks and months leading up to our wedding, we were showered with gifts from our friends and family. One place that we registered was Pier 1 Imports. I knew nothing about home décor, but just chose things that appealed to me at the time. One of which was a large brown vase.
The night of our shower when someone presented us with that vase, I was beaming from ear to ear. Something about the fact that this was not a necessity, but rather a splurge, just because I liked it, made it extra special to me. We had already purchased a little garden home and were getting it set up to be ready for us when we returned from our honeymoon. Everyone was helping us unload the car of boxes and gifts from the shower. I made a special trip to carry the vase all by itself so that I could protect it. I had already chosen the perfect place to display it above the fireplace.
As I opened the storm door and tried to push it back with my elbow in order to open the large front door, somehow the vase was pushed out of my arms and shattered all over the sidewalk below me. As a person who tries to always hold everything together, I completely fell apart just as my vase had. I knelt to the ground, defeated, and just cried in front of everyone there. I eventually found a broom and a trash bag and dumped all of the pieces into it and went to bed exhausted.
At our next shower, another person actually bought us a vase exactly like the first one. It was such a sweet gesture. One Sunday afternoon, though, I went over to Daniel’s house to finalize some of the wedding plans and found him sitting at the kitchen table. He had a tube of superglue in one hand and the pieces of our vase spread all over the table. He had been sitting there for hours, meticulously fitting those pieces back together. His fingers were stuck together, and I’m sure his neck was hurting, but he didn’t mind. I think the smile that beamed across my face made it all worthwhile. As someone who does not like to sit still for more than a few seconds, I remember shaking my head and wondering, “Why would he do such a thing??”
Fast forward eleven years. Jian had been with us for 2 years at that point, and we had taken her to multiple specialists in Birmingham and now Atlanta. She was still adjusting to everything and processing the fact that no one knew what to do to help her, and her behavior reflected it. The physical therapist in Atlanta looked deeply into my eyes and asked me the same question—“Why would you do this??” From an outsider’s perspective, I had given up a well paying full time position in the medical field and my personal freedom in exchange for ongoing therapy, counseling appointments and behavioral issues. But before I could even answer him, he knew. “This is for some sort of religious reason, isn’t it?”
If you talk to just about any adoptive parents, I think most would tell you the same thing: We went into this process with hearts that wanted to help our children, but what we experienced was a personal transformation. Being taken to your knees, helpless, and forced to rely on God on a daily basis will completely change your life. And I couldn’t do that as long as I was on top of my game.
The more I have learned about God and grown in close relationship with Him, I ask myself the same question—Why would He chose to leave Heaven and come to this earth and live a lowly life that ends in dying a painful death at a young age? Why would He do that??
The answer, of course, is love. I have fallen in love with His ways, which are not our ways. How He uses broken and lowly things to make beautiful things.
A young virgin girl
A baby born in a manger
Rahab the prostitute
David the shepherd boy
A poor girl from an alcoholic home in rural Tennessee
A teenage boy whose father died suddenly at a young age
An orphan girl without even a pillow or a single stitch of clothing to call her own
A girl who struggles with simple play activities because she was born with only half of a heart
According to this world, these people probably don’t have much of a chance at “success.” But God can make all things beautiful. This is why I love Him. He makes broken things into beautiful things.
“We love Him because He first loved us” 1 John 4:19
“He has made everything beautiful in its time” Ecclesiastes 3:11