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Life without Guarantees

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Yesterday was a big milestone for our family. It was ten years to the day that we finalized our adoption in Alaska for two precious toddlers. Through foster care and a contested adoption process, it wasn’t an easy road.

But rarely are the most meaningful things in life ever easy.

There were months and months of living by prayer interspersed with intense anxiety and fear that it could all come crashing down at any moment. There were incredibly dark moments as well as experiences with God I will cherish and remember forever. I won’t go into it, but we faced impossible odds and watched God prevail.

Since that court date all those years ago (and the party that followed), we’ve celebrated December 1 as “Stasyszen Family Day,” and we stop to appreciate the gift God has given in allowing us to have one another.

This week has been intense due to illness and ER visits for two different kids, but it reminded me of a conversation my wife and I had not too long ago.

We were talking about our daughter. I was telling her that maybe I was weird, but I didn’t have the feelings of many dads who want to keep their little girls little and not let them grow up. I’ve genuinely loved each phase of our kids childhood, adapting and growing along with them.

Andrea, being exceedingly insightful and wise, said, “It’s probably because we were never guaranteed to be part of any of it.”

It hits me again. There could have come a point where before our  kids were adopted, they could have been taken, potentially never seeing them again. The last ten years wouldn’t have existed. If not for the faithfulness of God to His word, our world would be drastically altered.

I would have missed the joys of first bike rides, basketball games, winning science fair projects, prize-winning art pieces, and all the laughter and memories of everyday life. I also would have missed the frustrations, the disrespectful talk, the tears, anxiety over them, the corrections, and elevated blood pressure; but I can be thankful for those times as well because at least they were here and in my life.

Your situation may be different than ours, but in reality, none of us is guaranteed anything. Time with loved ones and the beautiful memories to be made every day are our choice and responsibility.

I pray the next time I’m tempted to be upset about some situation involving my kids’ behavior or oversight, that I’ll stop and just be thankful I have them. And maybe the next time I’m tempted to be stressed out about a project or need or whatever else that wants all my focus, I won’t allow it to dominate my life and time.

A life without guarantees is not a burden. It’s a blessing because it means you’re giving something precious to your family and friends by connecting, living, and deepening relationships.

This part of our existence is finite and we need wisdom to steward it correctly.

We give it all to God, which feels a little frightening–like putting all your eggs in one basket. But I can speak from experience that the gifts God gives contain so much more beauty and grace than I could have possibly imagined.

Whether it’s your family, your community, your neighborhood, or anything else, let’s invest wisely our time, energy, and resources.

Maybe we can start by being thankful.

How about you? Have you ever felt a burden in a “life without guarantees”? How do you remain thankful?


ev-testimony-buttonWelcome to the Everyday Testimony link-up.

I hope you’ll join us every week for encouragement and a celebration of the goodness of our God. Add your post below and visit someone else on the list too. Thanks!

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3 Comments

  1. No, there are no guarantees in life, Jason, but as my Dad used to say, “God makes no mistakes.” If we put our faith and trust in Him, He will work against what we perceive to be the odds, transforming our lives and relationships in ways we couldn’t even imagine.
    Do hope your sweet children are feeling better! I have memories of those ER visits, too, and they are tough!
    Blessings!

    • I appreciate that. We are on the mend, but strep is being passed around right now. Keeping that at bay and praying no one else gets it! Thanks so much, Martha.

  2. Put GOD in the center of your life and HE will give you a life that is guaranteed.
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