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A River Meant to Flow

February 9, 2017

namecard

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It’s official.

We now have a name to attach to our prayers for our little boy.

Now, we just need to have a face to attach to that name.

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RIVER BRYSON PARKS

RIVER:

~”We are not just reservoirs of God’s love.  We are rivers meant to flow.”  Our prayer for our son is that he will be like a river…letting God’s love and grace flow through him and out into the world.

~“Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within him!” (John 7:38)  Our prayer for our son is that he will someday learn to love Jesus, and give his life to Him.  We pray that rivers of living water will flow from within him.

~The first recorded adoption story began with a river.  It’s the biblical story of Moses.  His mother was forced to give him up, for his own safety and well-being.  He was lovingly placed inside of a basket and sent down a river, in the hopes that he might be found by someone who could care for him.   There is a very good chance that our son, River, like Moses, was also given up by his birth parents because they had no other choice.  Most child relinquishments in China are done in secret, just like Moses’ relinquishment was done in secret.  Moses’ birth mother wanted her son to be found by someone who could care for him, and the same goes for most of the Chinese birth parents who have children that they cannot keep. Moses’ adoption journey began with a river.  And God used him to accomplish some pretty amazing things throughout his life.  We pray that He will use our son, River, to do the same.

BRYSON:

~Bryan’s Son = Bryson

~(BRY)an + Jack(SON) = Bryson

~Haven (BRY)ant + Jack(SON) = Bryson

~Bryan, Jackson, and Bryant all contributed to the creation of the name Bryson.  Therefore, the names of all of the males in our family will forever be interconnected.  I love that.

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During the months that I spent praying, hoping, and listening, as God stirred my heart again toward adoption, there was a name that just kept continuing to flow through my mind.

River.

My heart and my mind were filled with the desire to adopt again.  And a river ran through them.

Last month, as Bryan and I were quietly considering the possibility of adoption, I came across a post from one of Bryan’s friends on Facebook.  It said this:

“I guess God could just rain his love on us. He could set up a direct flow into each person’s heart. But that’s not how He set up the love exchange. We are not just reservoirs of His love and grace. We are channels. We are rivers meant to flow.”

Such a beautiful thought.  Such beautiful words.  And how true.

We are not meant to be reservoirs.  Fixed and stagnant.  We are meant to be rivers. Moving and flowing.

As God rains down His love and grace on us, we are to let them pool up and flow through us.  We are to let them flow out into the world, and into the lives of others.

Our first adoption journey began, years ago, with a little girl who had been abandoned by her parents on a rainy day. So, the orphanage who took her into their care named her “Yu”, which means “rain”. She changed our lives and our hearts forever. She became lost on a rainy day. But, she was also found, by us, on a rainy day. I will never forget the day that we walked toward the Civil Affairs Office in Wuhan to meet her for the first time.  As we made our way to the door of the office, a light rain poured from the heavens.

God sent that beautiful rain of Grace into our lives, six years ago.

The rain of Grace.

And the rain of His grace.

The rain waters pooled up inside of us…creating a large reservoir of love. Out of nowhere, three years later, God called us to be rivers of his love and grace, once again.  He urged us to flow and to move toward bringing another child into the safety of our family’s haven.

So, along came Haven.  Joy incarnate.

As a lighthouse shines its beacon of light to guide wandering ships to safety, we wanted to shine our light to guide a wandering child to safety. So, that’s what we did.  We brought our son home. And what ended up happening?  Well, now, HE is the one shining his brilliant light for all to see. Touching hearts and brightening spirits everywhere he goes.

The rainfall.  The reservoir.  The flowing river.  The lighthouse.  The safe haven.

I suppose that short list encompasses all of our adoption journeys, in a nutshell.

Love multiplies, doesn’t it?

God’s love multiplies.

It comes down like rain.

The rain waters become reservoirs.

Reservoirs divide into rivers.

Rivers flow.

They reach out into the world, extending their nourishing, life-giving waters everywhere they go.

And, along their shores?  Lighthouses.  Guiding lights, strategically placed to help usher wandering souls into safe havens.

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Where exactly in China will our river lead us?

What wandering soul needs to find safety in the haven of our family?

It’s hard to say.

But, I can’t wait to find out.

Where exactly will God lead our son, River, through the years?

How exactly will God’s love and grace flow through him?

It’s hard to say.

But, I can’t wait to find out.

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Just hours after we had made our official decision to adopt again, I hopped into our van to run some errands.  My heart skipped a beat when I heard the radio announcer on Air 1 say that their verse of the day was this: “Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within him!” (John 7:38)

Rivers of living water.

River.

There it was again.

It spoke peace into my racing heart that morning.  And it made me fall even deeper in love with that name for our new son.

Thanks to God, love and grace are able to flow through us. They are able to flow out of us. They are able to reach out and nourish.  That’s exactly what we want to do for a child in need of a family. With the love and grace of Christ compelling us, we want to reach out and bring another child into our arms. And our prayer for him will be that he, too, will someday experience that same love and grace.  Our prayer is that he, too, will someday have rivers of living water running in and through him.  May he grow up to be a river that flows.

We’re coming for you, River.

With His love and grace flowing through us, we’re coming. ♥

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