Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Out of the ashes, beauty will rise

A year ago, my husband and I were on a plane to China to adopt our beautiful baby girl, Xue Hua. Her Chinese names literally mean “snow/purity” and “beauty.” As I passed the time on the seemingly never-ending flight across the world, I listened to a beautiful song that Steven Curtis Chapman wrote after he lost his own adopted daughter from China in a tragic accident.

But very deep beneath all our broken dreams
We have this hope...

Out of these ashes, beauty will rise
And we'll dance among the ruins
We will see with our own ey
Out of these ashes, beauty will rise
For we know, joy is coming in the morning.

It will take our breath away
To see the beauty that's been made
Out of the ashes, out of the ashes

Out of these ashes, beauty will rise

Over the last five years, my husband and I have experienced a great deal of loss and heartache. Adoption had always been part of our plan. But the timing of it came much sooner than we anticipated. Xue Hua, now named Virginia Grace Xue, brought a healing and love to our hearts that surpassed our expectations and dreams. Had we known the “Pure Beauty” that would arise from the ruins, we would've cried tears of both grief AND joy.

In the midst of challenging circumstances, devastation and desertion can seem overwhelming. From the tragic damage and loss in Japan to the heart-wrenching statistic of 147 million orphans, it’s easy to sink into discouragement. It’s hard to escape the feeling that there’s nothing we can possibly do to make a significant difference in the world. But the great news is that we don’t have to bear the burden of transforming the world on our own. Working out His intricate plans, God is bringing restoration in the ruins. He’s strengthening communities through their grief. He is raising up families to adopt and advocates for orphan care. God invites us to be part of His redeeming work. And we will not see all the results of His glorious design on this earth. But as we one day praise God in His heavenly courts, I believe we’ll be celebrating in revelation and awe.

This very day, a mother in China could be tearfully placing her baby on a public bench as a sacrifice of love. An orphan or foster child might be crying tears of loneliness and despair as he mourns the loss of his family. A couple may be holding onto each other in frustration and deep longing as they confront infertility or miscarriage. I pray that they will one day recognize the beauty that rises from ashes. Anything laid at the feet of God will not go unredeemed. Hold onto this hope as God continues to write your story.

Kelley Brown
Executive (Un)adopted Coordinator


Ericka B. Jackson said...

This was beautiful Kelley. Thanks so much for sharing! :)

Julee said...

nice true. I love that song by Steven Curtis Chapmen too. His Maria died a few weeks after our Jonathan died. He was 2 1/2 years old when he had a bone marrow transplant for aplastic anemia. It was a horrible painful death after 18 mos of pain and suffering of chemo and radiation. Though we had other children...I just wanted to die too after we lost our little boy. But God is so good to walk through all that pain with us. Grief is bloody hard work but is some of the "best" work we ever do! It is God's math. What we think is "bad" is really "goodness" and mercy and grace. He is never closer to us than when we are hurting and in agony. In the first 18 mos after Jonathan died God has gave us three little boys. Two from Ethiopia (Down Syndrome and HIV+)and one surprise precious newborn from Alabama (spina bifida). We feel like Job who was doubly blessed after loosing so much. In Nov we brought home a 9 yr old from Ethiopia (post polio) and should travel this fall for two toddler girls in China (Down Syndrome) His great gifts are ours for the taking..he just wants our hands help up to Him ready to accept His wonderful blessings. Thank you for your awesome post about our Lord bringing beauty from ashes