“What I say won’t get you through the next week, but the stories of the ladies around you can get you through seasons.”
That’s a profoundly humble, startlingly self-aware statement from a guest speaker.
It’s what Lisa Harper told a room of 300-plus women last weekend during Adopted, Women’s Conference 2016.
One of those stories is Holli Parker.
God has woven adoption through Parker’s story since birth. What’s so apparent, yet so hidden about Holli’s story is the way her adoption into a family impacted her calling to adopt into her family.
“People always ask me, ‘when did you find out you were adopted?,’” Holli says. “And I say it’s like I’ve always known.
“Kind of like how God talks about his love in the Bible, how he knew you before you even were. This has been something that’s always been a part of my life.”
Women’s Conference 2016 wasn’t an adoption conference in the cultural sense. The theme of adoption is grounded in the truth that as sons and daughters of the Most High King, we have been adopted into his family through the salvation we’ve received by Jesus’ death and resurrection.
Yes, there were stories of adoption in the literal sense. Holli’s is an example, as were Harper’s and our conference worship leader, Laura Cooksey.
It’s the best picture of the Gospel in our physical world. It’s why we partnered with Compassion International during our conference and why we spoke about our Orphan Care ministry.
As we learn to care for orphans, our capacity for sharing the gospel, and our obedience to God’s mission, expand. Our goal at Shades, through the work of our Orphan Care ministry, is to shine awareness on the epidemic that is the foster care system while demonstrating God’s hope for a better future.
Caring for the least of these is not just that we like helping people because we’re Christians. It’s that God loved us and prepared a place for us in his family before we could even do anything to earn his love, and it’s our calling to do the same for those that can’t care for themselves.
There were stories of divorce. There were stories of broken families. Take the diversity heard in three ladies’ stories and scale it to hundreds of women in a room and it paints a compassionate picture of the ways God has adopted all of us.
At their core, the foundation of these stories, of all of our stories – as it is with our identity in Christ – is redemption and restoration. In the same way God has redeemed and restored failing marriages, redeemed and restored broken families, he’s redeemed and restored all of us through his finished work on the Cross.
God has written our stories, and he guides us with each page we turn.
How will your
understanding of your spiritual adoption impact God’s calling on your life to
provide an avenue toward redemption and restoration for someone else?