Today’s unexpected grace doesn’t feel like a grace at all.

It started a week ago. How life can change in a such a short number of days. The phone rang, someone who knew of a struggling mom of three preschoolers. The kids needed a home, a mom and a dad to love them for a lifetime.

My husband and I have always talked about being foster parents or adopting. It’s always been in our heart to make our home a place of love and refuge for anyone who needs it. We have more bedrooms than we need, more love than we can possibly give away. So our response to the request was a resounding YES!

What followed were five days of beautiful, precious, unmatched grace. My days went from ordinary ones to ones filled with the precious sounds of children’s laughter, countless “I love you’s” and kisses on dirty foreheads. I served up macaroni & cheese followed by popsicles in the grass in the back yard. We took walks at sunset, little hands filling up my own, and talked about the God who painted the sky. The park swings and slides that had long been abandoned by my boys were once again filled with sweet faces of innocence, faces that looked into mine and lit up with love.

And when bedtime came, I reached into a dark dusty corner of my closet to pull out the book with tattered pages I used to read to my children every night. And in those moments, late at night, when my almost 40-year-old body ached for rest and wondered if I could possibly raise another three children, my heart knew one thing for certain:

I was made to be a mother.

But circumstances changed. Just as we contacted an adoption attorney and began to make adjustments in our jobs and schedules, another unexpected call interrupted our day. As in most complicated situations like these, emotions and family dynamics can wreak havoc with grace. And in a single day, the sweet sound of children’s voices again disappeared from within the walls of my home.

I’m filled with loss. And in the void I’m left with more pain than grace.

But pain, too, is an unexpected grace. It’s a teacher far more potent than those without the sting. For in pain we learn:

  • How to love.
  • How to live.
  • How to be like Him.

So although this moment is a painful one, it is also an unexpected grace. For today I’m reminded that the One who made me to be a mother has used heartbreak to teach me this:

To be like Him is to always be ready to love. 

And to be like Him is to love without restraint, whether for a lifetime or for a few beautiful days.


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