I’m the youngest of four. When I was very young I would plead with my mom to have more children and somewhere around the age of 8 she explained to me “Daddy and I…..can’t….have more babies.” That was the day I began to try and convince my parents to adopt.
I’ve been adopting for as long as I can remember. Sometimes because a younger boy or girl would work their way into my heart so intimately I would call them my own, sometimes because I knew the lost always need a home. At 10 I told my mother that all of the orphans of Europe would be mine and I still believe it.
The Lord has blessed me with some GREAT younger brothers but today I’m thinking about my sisters.
I met Natalie 4 years ago, she was 15 and drop dead gorgeous. I remember God telling me that she knew how to love well before I knew almost anything about her. Nat is #4 of 13 kids and the oldest girl. She lays her life down day after day after day serving her parents and siblings. Ive watched her sit at a piano and usher the presence of the Lord into that massive house with her worship. Now she’s 19, still beautiful and one of my dearest friends. I’m thankful for the joy that explodes from her being and the way she teaches me to serve.
The first time I saw Annie she walked into TheCall house to attend our staff meeting and I knew 2 things: 1)She was very nervous and 2)I liked her. She worked her butt off volunteering for TheCall DC and TheCall CA, and I’m pretty sure we could have gotten in trouble with child labor laws, except she did it all out of love. That and she bakes a mean coconut cake! Annie spent the last year as my “late night friend”, joining in on nearly every one of my midnight urges to get icecream, or be ridiculous. I love the way I can startle her into laughter and how her hands move when she’s nervous. She is one of the classiest college freshman’s I’ve ever seen and her deep desire to dwell in the heart of Jesus inspires me daily.
But today, today I’m really thinking about Emily. Looong, brown hair, big dark brown eyes, I met Em 2 days after her family moved back from AL where she’d spent a year at The Ramp, and she just drank up the presence of God. She was 9, I had just done my internship at IHOP and she watched me like she could see into the depths of my soul. I learned healthy fear that summer, it drove me to spend very intentional, long times with Jesus from the fear that I wouldn’t know Him more than her. I came before the children of the church with real fear that I didn’t know Him enough to offer them anything.
Emily would watch me worship and dance beside me. Most often she could be found sitting at the altar of church with her eyes closed, just listening for the voice of the God who she loves. Sunday mornings I would come to church before the early morning prayer meeting and she would greet me at the door, wrap her arms around my waist and stay that way for an hour – wherever I went she’d just walk with me, arms around me listening to whatever I had to say or just sitting next to me.
One of the last conversations we had before I moved back to Kansas city went something like this,
Ms.Chris, when you record a cd can I have the first copy and will you sign it?
I don’t think I’m ever going to make a cd Em.
(insert pause as she considers this.)
Well, when you record a cd can I have the first copy and will you sign it?
I’d never met anyone who believed in me with such admiration and affection. She did ATC this summer and I literally couldn’t believe she was 13, so grown up, so beautiful and she still had that look that put the fear of God into me. All week she has been in KC and tonight sat by me during the renewal service, eyes closed just listening, and I followed her example. She leaned over at one point, laid her head on my shoulder and stayed there for about an hour as i quietly prayed over her, for the love of God to dwell in her heart.
My heart burns for young people to encounter God. I love children, I love teenagers and I will lay down my life for them to know the Lord of all Creation and be His friend. If living my life boldly before the eyes of God, doing everything out of the love for Him and giving everything inside of me to see revival come and the holiness of the Lord branded on the hearts of a generation will help to give them entrance into His heart than I will do it! I want to always live in a way that encourages them to love Him with everything. I want to burn with holy fire so that they can burn with holy fire. Amen!