Sunday, July 20, 2008

So Blessed. . .(sigh)

I have been thinking about the people I'm surrounded by, lately. Both here, in my home body of believers and with the amazing friends I have in blogland. I am so blessed. Last night, I posted about the verse, Proverbs 27:17, "as iron sharpens iron, so one friend sharpens another."

Think about it, if you surround yourself with others who live a boring life, who do little for the kingdom, who are fine with the world and the way it works, who care for nothing other than themselves or their pleasure, who allow you to do the same. . .then you will not change! Why would you?

I am, by the grace of God, surrounded by AMAZING people. People like Katie, who I told you about last night. I've built relationships with adoptive families like S & K, Charity, Julie, Jena, Erin, Amber and Russ and Angel. . and the list goes ON AND ON (I could have included at least another 25 families!) who step out in faith where it seems impossible or crazy. I drink in the stories of missionaries like Katie, Daniel, the Gjerstads, Andrew and more who live life on the front lines for Jesus. I read about families who are stepping out in faith to adopt HIV + children, older children and foster children. And THESE are just my online friends (many of whom have moved WAY beyond that in relationship!).

This morning, though, I was struck by the Body God has placed me in. My friends Jay and Whitney are adopting a 14 year old boy from the foster system. He was at church today for the first time. (yeah, I wept through our first 3 songs!) One of my best friends, Jess, is looking to foster adopt a little one and is ready to take whatever God has planned for her. In my Sunday night small group, I have one friend who is starting the process to adopt from the Ukraine and another who is getting licensed to foster. And, that doesn't count my 3 friends who have adopted from China and our pastor and his wife who are adopting from Vietnam! Oh Lord, you have blessed me. I am so overwhelmed and thankful to be surrounded by these people.

Everywhere I look, I see people who are living in total abandon to Jesus! They are shunning the world and it's worries for an easy life. They are taking the hard road to glorify HIM. And, in the process. . .I am being changed. I am being sharpened. I want to live my life in abandon as I watch them. I ask, in view of their sacrifice, where God is calling me to sacrifice. How can He change me so I am ready and willing to take the narrow way? Friends, I want to follow Jesus as you do. I want us together, to make a difference. I want HIM to be glorified in me, in us.

So, I say tonight. . . .to many of you, whose lives sharpen mine: Thank you! I stand overwhelmed that HE has allowed me to be on the sidelines of this great adventure in you and through you.


Julie said...

Hi Brandi! This is Julie (formerly McWilliams) again. I love following your blog and am always encouraged by it. I wanted to let you know that David, Judah and I are moving to Nairobi, Kenya in January so that David can finish seminary there and we can pray about/explore what God has for us long-term in Africa. We are so excited to go and I thought you'd be excited to hear about it. :)

jena said...

That was a beautiful post. It is amazing to me that God can draw us together from all over the place and give us this common ground. I truly believe that a difference will be made. Can our little cyber family end poverty all by ourselves... nope. But it's a start. It's something. It's a step in the right direction. It's blessing us up one side and down the other.

Love y'all!

Billie said...

your right...that is a blessing! those kind of families are not everywhere and it is a huge blessing that God surrounded your life with them!

steffany said...

I totally miss you! This post reminded me of all that I have missed. I can't wait to see what God does in our lives.

amber said...

Awwww... right back at ya, honey! I feel the same way about all the awesome people God has allowed us to cross paths with in this life... can't wait to meet some of you crazy wonderful people in person! :)

julie said...

brandi, i love your heart! adoption has brought us many blessings and new friends is one of them! i am excited about how many of us are working together in Africa. thank you for all you have done for our is so refreshing to see you live for christ daily, pray and support people that are laid on your heart, mentoring people in your church and encouraging people to stay involved in a world 5,000 miles away....and at such a young age! we all love you.....cant wait for the florida vacation!

Angel said...

I am so thankful we have you in our lives. You are the bomb girl. My insta friend. HUGS! Angel