When I first started filling out paperwork to adopt my daughter, I did not know that it happened to be within the same week or so that her first mother became pregnant with her. As I prayed for my future child, God laid on my heart a promise in His word. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “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 hope and a future.”

I remember the day I got the phone call so clearly. The adoption agency called me to tell me that they had a potential referral for me. They wanted me to go home and check my email to see her pictures and then let them know if I would accept her as my daughter. I told them that I was thrilled to see her photos, but I wanted to accept her referral before seeing her picture. I did not want to be swayed one way or another by a photograph, so I received her referral over the phone. Still, I rushed home to check my email and could not wait to see pictures of my new daughter. I just knew that I would be filled with overwhelming joy at the sight of her!

As soon as I sat down and saw her pictures slowly download one by one, I broke down and cried. These were not the tears of joy that I had anticipated but sobs of uncontrollable grief. I was completely thrown off guard as to my reaction. I immediately knew that I was grieving for the young teenager that was giving up her baby daughter. How could the same little baby be my much-anticipated blessing and her agonizing loss? Why did she have to grieve so that I could have my dream come true? My prayers took a turn that day. I continued praying for my new daughter, but now I prayed for a beautiful young teenager named Raquel too. I cried out to God on her behalf and questioned His promise in Jeremiah 29:11 as it pertained to her…

As the years have gone by, I have been given the opportunity to meet countless orphans, mothers who have lost their children to starvation, and young people who have lived through horrific abuses. I often have found myself questioning God and His promises. How can I read His Word and find hope for myself, but seemingly these Words that I cling to do not apply to everyone? These are very tough questions. I can’t say that I have the answers.

As I have continued to grow closer to Jesus, I have found that He hears my questions with much love and tenderness. He does not love me more than Raquel. He does not cause one person pain to bring another person joy. He does, however, bring beauty from ashes. (Isaiah 61:3) He heals the brokenhearted. (Psalm 147:3) He redeems and restores. (Isaiah 44:22) (I Peter 5:10)

Let’s go back to Jeremiah 29:11. God gives us hope. Hope does not mean that we are wishing or anticipating there might be a chance. No, the hope that God gives is a definitive promise! God does not give us a “maybe” or a “keep your fingers crossed.” His promises give us assurance. His promises give us His guarantee. His promises give us true HOPE. 

I, admittedly, do not understand all the horrific things that happen in this fallen world we live in… I do know that my God has proven over and over to be faithful to His Word. I know that His love and His promises are for all. I know that even in our deepest hurts, He is there. I have seen His promises fulfilled with my own eyes. I have seen Him heal and restore broken lives. 

Are you going through deep hurts and sorrows? Are you angry at God? Do you wonder where God is or if He is even real? Cry out to Him! Tell Him everything that is on your heart! I encourage you to read the scriptures listed in this devotional. Ask God to show Himself to you. Be ready to see HIM answer the cry of your heart! If you need someone to help you, walk through some things with you, pray with you (and for you), please reach out to anyone on our pastoral staff. We are regular people that have wrestled through many things. You would be surprised at the incredibly tough stuff that God has brought us through and some hard things that we are still walking through. Let’s grow together as we grow closer to Him and see the HOPE He has given to us!

Carol