Signed, Sealed, Delivered

It’s Father’s Day.

2:00 a.m.

I’ve been trying to write this (in my mind) for a week.

Based on recent personal events, I would ask, “Where is your heart today?”

  • seeking to mend a broken relationship with a father?
  • maybe you’re facing the first year without your dad?
  • or you’ve been blessed by having a great relationship with your father since childhood?
  • empty or lonely from not knowing a father at all?
  • missing your dad who has been gone for many years now?
  • rejected or possibly angry for some unspeakable treatment that you’ve received?
  • living with someone who is a father, but seems emotionally distant or absent from your life?
  • or maybe you are waiting to be adopted by a father?

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Adopted.

That last one could mean more than you realize.

You might not even think this applies to you at all. Please don’t skip over it.

That word, adoption, actually puts us all in the same category…even in the same Hallmark card section.

We are all adopted. At least, we can be.

What began as a Father’s Day blog post for my husband, about our family, quickly made me realize that any mention of adoption, redemption, sacrifice and love would require my feeble attempt at explaining where it all began and Who created that path for us…

God’s offer is actually so much sweeter than any combination of adoption videos we could set to music. ❤️

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But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.

And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”

So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.

Galatians 4:4-7

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We can all sit around one, big table, replacing even Norman Rockwell’s family turkey photo, with our heavenly Father in common.

Our Abba, Father, at the head of the table.

Just think…our race, age, past, parents, etc., are not even questions on the application.

It will not matter what your earthly circumstances are or were. It only matters if you accept the invitation.

You have a Father.

  • He wants you.
  • You are not an orphan. He sees your broken heart, sweet girl.
  • You are not abandoned, young man.
  • He will call you back, ma’am.
  • And, He owns, well…everything!
  • It’s like Annie, only a trillion times better!

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But it’s not about the Savior who owns cattle on a thousand hills, or the limo that drives up to surprise you, discovering the mansion you never knew you had. 🏰

It is a fulfillment of that deep desire that we were made to love, and be loved, by Him (1 John 4:7, 1 John 4:19).

He went to a great, personal sacrifice for us – more than we seem to understand (Romans 5:8) – just to OFFER us the adoption papers.

We didn’t even deserve it because we were (and are) an undesirable bunch (Isaiah 64:6).

For some reason, we have brothers and sisters who will not even accept these papers (John 12:48).

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John Piper writes in the article link below:

“There are huge costs in adopting children. Some are financial; some are emotional. There are costs in time and stress for the rest of your life. You never stop being a parent till you die. And the stresses of caring about adult children can be as great, or greater, than the stresses of caring for young children. There is something very deep and right about the embrace of this cost for the life of a child!”

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❤️ Surprise!

There was a really beautiful thing that happened at Christmas, and we haven’t been able to talk about it yet. I’m just going to do it now…because that’s what I do. 😂

My oldest daughter had turned 19 a few months before, the “age of majority” in our state, and on Christmas Day 2017, she gave my husband (her stepdad of 13 years) – adoption papers.

🌳 She didn’t have to; she’s an adult, but he’s been like her dad all this time, and now she could make it official.

🌳 He didn’t have to choose my girls all those years ago, at ages 2 and 5, and the expense…not just financial and emotional – but also the spiritual responsibility – that came with assuming authority over leading them to Christ.

But, he did.

I really cannot grasp all of the branches we have grafted into our life – and that have grown outward for the kingdom of God – just from this one redeeming moment that began in 2004.

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No one may ever know, “this side of heaven,” as they say, all that the last 14 years have involved. It was definitely more than most families, I would bet.

But, God knew that. He knew it when Linda Stone invited me to GFBC in 2003. He knew it when Angela Hardiman suggested I go out with this “Clique” guy in 2004. He knew it when we passed one another in an O’Charley’s parking lot after church.

And, He knew it when I signed up for a specific prayer group time, and Bill Street stepped in and said, “Clique, will you start us off in prayer?”

The first time I heard him speak was when he was talking to the Lord.

God knew, even though I did not, when Clique proposed after only three months of dating, and I was scared to death. But Clique was absolutely certain it was God’s plan.

God knew that it was quite possible Keysha, Morgan and Melody would not end up where they needed to be without Ken Thomaston. We might not have made it at all!

His strength, even the hardheadedness…it holds us together. He makes us brave. He made us a family.

Clique & Morgan – kindergarten graduation and high school graduations.

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A rare moment of him holding back tears…be still my heart. ❤️

One of the only other times I’ve seen this face is when she experienced her first, real break-up. We were all crying. Except Melody.

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Melody, ages 2 and 16, who doesn’t remember a time in life without Big Daddy. 

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Although our legal struggles and spiritual battles have been nothing short of suffocating at times, I know it does not compare to the joys of our family, what God has accomplished, or is even in the same dimension as what God did for our adoption.

To be joint heirs with Christ!

https://www.desiringgod.org/messages/adoption-the-heart-of-the-gospel

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Although this post includes a little about our family’s adoption story, what I hope you will remember is that because of our belief and faith in Christ, all four of us are equally adopted by God.

What if the Lord had not provided someone like Clique (with a great nickname) for me and the girls?

Not everyone was able to grow up with their dad – or any kind of dad. I know God would have still provided for us, and He would have been everything we needed. He gave us a bonus. He knew what was in store for me and those two little girls.

My dad and mom were divorced when I was five, so I would have be one of those little girls who desperately wanted her daddy. It took me a long time to understand Godly love, and I want my children to grasp much sooner.

❤️

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith;

and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.

Ephesians 3:14-21

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Today, my husband will spend his first father’s day without his own dad, who passed away in September 2017.

He will be leaning more on his Heavenly Father to take him through the day, when he’s reminded that he can’t make the trip home to Georgia, or pick up the phone to call “Pop.”

He also has three sisters who may need a reminder, of this spirit of adoption, that allows them to cry out, “Abba, Father!”

And for Nana…who tenderly listens to the grandkids talk about why Pop had to go to heaven. I pray they also grow in wisdom of what God has offered as joint heirs with Christ, because I know Mike prayed that for them.

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My own dad won’t get a phone call or visit from my younger brother today, because Jeremy left us last year, too.

I asked my dad what he wanted to do today…because I didn’t want him to be sad.

He said, “I’m not sad, honey.” ☺️

He says He knows my brother is with the Lord and that He will see him again. Although separation can be hard for those left behind, Jeremy (my brother) and Mike (my husband’s father) couldn’t be with a better Father today, could they?

❤️

See, holidays always come with a range of emotions and a variety of family situations, but when you take all of those different greeting cards, the ones for “to dad from your daughter,” or “you’re like a dad,” or “thinking of you today,” because someone is missing their dad…

Or, “generic dad card,” because you don’t know what to say… and you put all of those in one big envelope with the name JESUS written on the outside.

The Name above all names.

If we set our hearts and eyes completely on earthly things today, then we will miss out on the greatest Father’s Day story ever told.

Do you know it?

Do your friends and family know it?

Are you absolutely certain?

Will they be at that table?

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Our Father…

He can bind up every wound.

He can heal the brokenhearted.

He can restore families.

He can bring dads to their knees.

He can fill any void in your heart or your home.

He can make a girl realize she actually had a daddy all along, one that did not sleep nor slumber (Psalm 121:2-4), and knew her in her mother’s womb, as intricate parts were formed (Psalm 139).

He said He would never leave her or forsake her (Deuteronomy 31:6), and He has gone to prepare a place for her – and He’s coming again to take us there (John 14:1-4).

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He is really the only Father we need.

But, unless you know His Son, Jesus, then God is only your Creator, and not your Father.

If you aren’t already adopted…an heir into this blended family, then today would be the perfect day to become a child of God.

We can both sign the Hallmark card. ❤️

Signed, Sealed, Delivered…You’re His.

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Because I love to follow up with songs!

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You Are A Child Of God (from the Galatians and Romans verses)

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We Were Made To Love

(1 John 4:7, 1 John 4:19)

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His love is infinite.

Psalm 36 / Third Day

“Your love, oh Lord

Reaches to the heavens

Your faithfulness stretches to the sky

Your righteousness is like themighty mountainsYour justice flows like the ocean’s tide…

https://youtu.be/PMEhEXkde9w

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Honestly, I think the world would wonder if I was even a Christian if I did not put a link to this song on this post. 😂❤️

He IS a good, good Father!

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To The Table, together, for those that accept the invitation.

Dad’s house has love, many rooms, but He has rules…because He is holy.

Kids can rebel against rules, but be reconciled with your Heavenly Father if your rebellion has created a distance between the two of you.

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