Red Vine Spirituality

Taylor K. Arthur balances Bipolar 1 Disorder, marriage, and motherhood with a nitty-gritty faith inspiring a twisted, blissful life.

Tag: God provides

Lenten Cup: Prayer of the Wilderness Mother


Early in the morning Abraham got up, took bread and a waterskin, put them on Hagar’s shoulders, and sent her and the boy away. She left and wandered in the Wilderness of Beer-sheba. When the water in the skin was gone, she left the boy under one of the bushes. Then she went and sat down nearby, about a bowshot away, for she said, “I can’t bear to watch the boy die!” So as she sat nearby, she wept loudly.

God heard the voice of the boy, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What’s wrong, Hagar? Don’t be afraid, for God has heard the voice of the boy from the place where he is. Get up, help the boy up, and support him, for I will make him a great nation.” Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the waterskin and gave the boy a drink. God was with the boy, and he grew; he settled in the wilderness and became an archer. He settled in the Wilderness of Paran, and his mother got a wife for him from the land of Egypt.
Genesis 21:10-24

Dear Lord,

As mothers, you built us inside and out to carry our children. Sometimes this carrying exhausts to the point of hopelessness. We wonder if you’ve forgotten us, out in this desert, thrown away for others you favor more.

We carry our grief and our brokenness; we falter straight-out. We are not who we think we should be for the people you have given us to tend.

But that is not what You say about us. You call to us, the mothers of the forgotten ones. You name our children Ishamael and Samuel, “God has heard,” so that we are reminded in the desert every day: WE ARE YOURS. We are not a mistake; we have been given these children as Your undeniable, perfect plan. You carry us, you carry our children, you carry our families through every wilderness.

When all is lost, you send messengers. When we thirst, a well appears.

How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.

Psalm 139:17-18

We offer our children up to their real Father this morning, and we pray for peace. We pray for wells in the desert to drink from, to watch and marvel at your provision while we raise wilderness children. We pray for safe passage through to the promised land, for our children to live out their days in freedom, productivity, and purpose. We praise you for perfect timing. We praise you for the cleansing years of manna and tent-living rooting out our dependence on any thing other than You. Please forgive us for our idol worship, our weak lust for things, our need to stock up your blessings like starving orphans with no Father to provide for us. We pray for deep understanding of Your love, of Your esteem of us. Transform us with that understanding into daughters who walk through the world certain of our Father, certain of our purpose through Him.

Renew our hearts, Lord. Fill us anew with a hunger only for You.

Glory be to you alone.
Amen

Rainbow Stories: The miracle of the Blumberg family

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

You may remember my dear friend, Sheri, from her earlier piece featured on Red Vine, Beacon of Hope. Sheri and I connected through our time volunteering at the Tears Foundation as we both mourned the loss of our first born children, my Caleb and her Tessa (both born in 2008). I gave birth to Abraham, and we prayed together for God to provide children for Sheri and her husband, Kevin. She held my hand at Samuel‘s baby shower and prayed over me when I told my friends I didn’t know if I was strong enough to endure the road ahead. Samuel was born, and came home from the NICU. We continued to pray that God would provide children for Sheri and Kevin. The road stretched out, and I know many who lifted the Blumbergs up in prayer asked God: “Have you forgotten, Lord? Where are the babies?”

Well, He hadn’t forgotten. Here is the rest of the story in Sheri’s own words:

During the holiday season of 2010, God told me “It’s time; talk to Kevin.” I had been thinking about the future of our family, and I really thought foster-adopt was the way for us. I also knew it would take a lot of time, and wouldn’t be an easy path. That holiday season, the urgency was stirred in my heart and mind; we talked, and agreed to start the process after the New Year.

I was right – it took a long time: almost a year to get licensed, then even longer waiting for a long-term placement. One newborn baby girl was with us for less than two days. A two-year-old boy was supposed to be a sure thing for us, but went with a family member literally hours before we were scheduled to get him. Months of waiting to hear about two sisters fizzled out. Then a simple phone call turned our world upside down, and two tiny little girls were delivered to our doorstep two hours later.

I was also right about it not being easy: a toddler and an infant dropped into your lap when you’re older and set into your grown-up ways would be challenging in the best of circumstances, but add trauma, birth parents, and social workers to the mix, and life becomes very complicated. We were told the girls would be going back to their family within a few months, and maybe we should consider getting another, permanent placement. But our girls were already OUR GIRLS – how do you just switch out kids like that? Every day, the story changed, and every day presented new challenges and new victories.

On Friday, February 27, 2015 we adopted our girls, Lily and Chloe, after a year-and-a-half of fostering them. I realized recently that our foster-adopt journey began four years ago. Four years ago, during the holiday season, when God stirred hope and urgency into my soul. Lily is four years old. She was born in December of 2010. At the very same time that she was taking her first breaths on this planet, God was whispering to my heart, “It’s time!”

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He is always working, friends. Always. Wherever you are in your journey, hang on to the truth today that God is in control. He has not forgotten you or sidestepped you or chosen someone else over you. You are his precious, precious child, and His provision is perfect.

Your rainbow is coming.

Love, prayers, and rainbow tears,

Taylor

If you have a rainbow story of your own (God providing for your family after a loss or struggle to have children), please email me at taylorkarthur@redvinespirituality.com. I would love to share it here on Red Vine.

Monday Cup: Psalm 37:25-26

Welcome to Monday Cup: a moment of Scripture and prayer to start your hectic week out right.

I have been young, and now am old,
yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken
or their children begging bread.
They are ever giving liberally and lending,
and their children become a blessing.

Psalm 37:25-26 (NRSV)

Lord, thank you that no matter what we are facing, You will provide more than we can ever hope for. Help us to trust You to provide for our families, not only physically but also spiritually. Inspire us to give freely, knowing that you hold our future and the futures of our children in Your hands. We trust that You will not only provide, but make us and our legacy a blessing. We give this week to you. Amen.

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