“To bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the LORD
for the display of his splendor.” Isaiah 61
Last week we celebrated Haven’s eleventh birthday.
I looked at my beautiful daughter and I could hardly believe that she is actually eleven years old now.
Haven is tiny. She still wears size 7 clothes. Developmentally, she functions at around a three-year-old level.
But, oh my goodness!
Her life is such a beautiful display of the LORD’s splendor.
His redeeming love.
His ability to take the most fragile, broken child and give her purpose and abundant life!
Before this girl was born, He knew.
He knew that everything which was stolen from her, every morsel the locusts ate, would be restored unto her!
Is this restoration, this healing, the way the world sees it? Is it perfect? Complete? Flawless?
But God’s view of what is perfect and man’s view of what is perfect could not be further apart if we tried.
He looks at her and sees His glorious creation–a planting for His splendor.
He sees a child created in HIS image.
Sheer perfection. Accepted. Loved. Treasured.
Just the way she is.
The world looks at her and sees a broken vessel.
The many labels have read:
“Significant signs of PTSD.”
“Profound learning disability.”
“Very low IQ.”
The Father’s labels?
Fearfully and wonderfully created.
The apple of His eye.
Made in His image.
In the three years that Haven has been home, she has been my greatest teacher.
I have learned to let go of expectations.
I have to learned to love unconditionally.
I have learned that loving someone sometimes means that you will get nothing in return–and that’s perfectly okay.
I have learned that labels are meaningless–they will never define a child.
I have learned to embrace differences with all my heart.
I have learned that words are unnecessary.
I have learned that sometimes adoption just does not go the way we planned it would–and that is okay too–it’s all according to His will, not mine.
I have come to fully understand that each and every life has value and purpose in this world.
I have learned that God gives us the grace to do the things He calls us to do in this life–even when we thought there was no way we could ever handle it.
I have learned to savor every milestone my children reach.
And I have seen that He can take a broken-hearted child–afraid of the world, timid, terrified and unable to utter a single word–and He CAN RESTORE JOY!
The oil of joy instead of mourning.
Thank you, sweet Haven, for being such a blessing to our family. We love you more than words can say. You are a beautiful treasure to your heavenly Father…and to us too.
To us, you are perfection.
JUST the way you are.
Thank you for accepting us as your family.
Keep shining, keep trying, and keep persevering, sweet Haven. You’re doing great! We are so proud of you. Happy eleventh birthday.
If you don’t know Haven’s story you can click on her name on the navigation bar.