Before belonging to a church, I was fearful of being judged by their members. What would they think, and how would they treat me if they knew my story? If they knew my sins. Would they still smile as I walked in on Sunday and welcome me? Would they always pray over me and for [...]
All the parts that make up Jess, that make me me, don't fall to the wayside because I talk about God, how Jesus saved me or how the Holy Spirit flows through me – it highlights them. Growing up, I had the nickname Salt because I was blonde, and my cousin, a brunette, had the nickname Pepper. Imagine my heart swelling the first time I read Matthew 5:13-16 and understood what Salt & Light encompassed, that Salt means to "deliberately seek to influence the people in one's life by showing them the unconditional love of Christ through good deeds." This promise was spoken over my life without even realizing it. Why would I ever choose to deny that blessing?
This helicopter carried nine legends, leaving behind their own legacies, loved ones and heartache. It's impossible to adequately honor each of them enough. Siblings were lost. Spouses were lost. Children were lost. Eternity though was gained for those nine. I have a sneaking suspicion that they are playing one heck of a basketball game in a heavenly stadium where the hoops are lined with gold and the ref is wearing a sweet pair of Nike Mamba Focus shoes with his golden robe.
We don't know why God saves and heals some and not all, but he knows why he does and that is enough for me. Faith, that feeling deep in my heart, tells me that healing doesn't always mean life being breathed back into a body here on earth. Healing means freedom from pain, it means restoration and peace, and sometimes that only exists in heaven. And sometimes loss heals and restores those left behind.
This photo now shows all that it had before and so much more. It isn't just the addition of another person; it showcases life. Real, down to the nitty-gritty life in all it's glory and differences. It shows dedication, commitment and choosing each other - even on the really difficult days. The days when people who have been blessed in not experiencing the blending of two families, will almost always misunderstand us. The days when I'm told I will never be his "real" mom because he has a biological mother already. The days he is told he is not my "real" son because I didn't give him life. Those are the days we choose each other more and now we are very much mother and son.