My Brazil-Bound Baby

My husband, Kevin, went to Brazil for the first time 9 years ago when my oldest, Caleb, was one. I was pregnant with my second and could barely get out of bed or keep anything down. To top it off, Caleb came down with a stomach bug while Kevin was gone (with the rest of my family)…and it was rough. My heart was ugly and I remember laying on the floor watching my baby toddling around needing things from me I couldn’t provide.

I never imagined that almost a decade later, this same needy baby boy would be confidently boarding a plane with his Daddy, passport in hand, to finally meet these people he’s grown up hearing about and seeing and watching and praying for. His Brazilian family. People we’ve known longer than him and have watched grow up and have kids of their own. People parts of my own family now live amongst. A remote little corner of the globe that by the grace of God, looks so very different than it did over a decade ago.

I pray that my worries will be overshadowed by my joy. The kind of joy that comes from sending my child off to a place where so many people already know his name and have likewise seen pictures of him growing up. Where God has done big things that I’m praying he’ll see and understand. Where he can meet and squeeze his new little baby cousin who one day will probably help him learn a language he wasn’t born speaking.
And though I’ll miss him and his Daddy like crazy, I pray these people will teach him and change him and become HIS people too by the time he makes it back to me…

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“Christians must have strong shoulders and mighty bones”


There are many things I don’t know or understand. But some things I do. We are all just one decision or one second away from so many things. But by the grace of God, we are still here, and still climbing, and still on this side of that dark valley that separates us from the place we don’t deserve, and the place I know I’d be if I was left to my own devices. And I’ve seen firsthand lately, what I’m like when I let that happen. Just ask my kids, it is not pretty.

Oh Lord, I need you every hour, every SECOND. Or else things get ugly. …This life is kicking my butt.

And another thing I know. While we’re here on this side of eternity, we are meant to bear one another’s burdens. And this guy, Bill Hurley, was a bearer of burdens. He was the Missions Director at my church. Over the years, he has beared the burdens of hundreds of missionaries, including some of my dearest, who happen to be part of my family. It wasn’t a job it was personal. He served on Missions Boards that dealt with some really hard things. Things heavier than I could lift. He was a police officer for decades and saw things I know I never could, and made decisions I never would have had the integrity to make. He preached on hard things I am still trying to learn. He lived a life I so admire, and I still do. God used him in SO many ways.

I don’t know the details, I don’t understand, but for whatever reason, the burdens he carried got to be too heavy.

My prayer tonight, is not for answers, but for the strength and willingness to carry other people’s burdens, and lift heavy loads when their arms get tired. For the wisdom to see other’s weariness. For the strength and willingness to ask for help when mine are too heavy to carry alone. Because that’s really hard. But we aren’t meant to do it alone. We are not able to.

“Christians must have strong shoulders and mighty bones, that they may bear…the weakness of their brethren.” Martin Luther

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