The Identify Network
Have you ever been in a place in your life where you are at peace and settled but part of you feels ready to bolt at any time…. I have. I think it’s honestly been more of where I stay in my life than a place I get from time to time.
I’m feeling it big time lately! The past two months of going ALL IN to this new ministry has been so incredibly exciting, and also unbelievably exhausting. I’m smiling as I write this because I see God’s hand all over this and at work in my life and the life of my husband in ways we haven’t ever experienced before. I can see how trusting Him through losing our son, through five quick one right after the other adoptions, through marriage difficulty, through a move across country, through the churches we’ve been members of, and through SO MUCH that He’s carried us to and through. I see how each and every thing has been preparing us to trust and obey, to take and leap and lead, to put it all out there and not look back, to tell our story and to give Him the pen to write more.
At first I was acting like we just would keep living life as usual and add a ministry on top of it all…. not so much. We are starting a chapter of life where this is our life. It’s our family ministry, it’s our family being on mission together. And that will bring some awesomeness like having daddy home for most meals and getting to travel together. It will also bring some big time adjustments like not having summers off and me having to work with the ministry along side of Dan on a daily basis. We will adjust and we will find out what works best for our crew within our calling.
I have found in this process already two surprises in launching this ministry that I’ve been processing in my head and heart. They are things that weigh heavy on my heart as I fall asleep and when I wake up. First, The Identify Network is FOR the Church. And it’s in a way for the church who is struggling with things like loving others who don’t believe as we do, and understanding biblical sexuality, and having a posture of humility when it comes to some of the culture wars that are being waged right now. It’s for the church that frustrates me because of the pain that I see it causing those I love. It’s for the co-worker of mine, who claimed to be a believer, who overheard Dan’s testimony a few years ago and marched up to the christian school Dan worked at and demanded that a pervert like him be fired or else. It’s for the church who when my friend confided in her friend that she was struggling with same-sex attraction found herself banned a few weeks later from the children’s department without ever having been talked to… only talked about. It’s for the small groups who when another friend finally found the courage to tell them about her past failures and current battle got chewed out because she had been leading in certain areas of the church and everyone else was so stunned that they just sat there and let her take the lecturing without a bit of grace. It’s for the christian family who finds out their daughter is becoming their son and can’t handle the pain so they let her walk away into a new life without them.
It’s for them. It’s for a ton of others who do understand grace and love well… but I think where the most impact will be will be with those who don’t.
And the second thing that took my heart off guard is that we will probably lose friends along the way who don’t stand where we stand in the convictions of biblical sexuality. Friendships where previously it was fine that we disagreed… or where it might not have ever or would have ever come up even. But because this is our focus and ministry calling and we will be very public about equipping the church and counseling those who are struggling and wanting out of a lifestyle that doesn’t identify with Christ, they will choose to distance themselves from us and probably even judge us, call us offensive, and think we are being spiritually abusive. I can to the best of my ability go after those friends and make sure that the conversation is clear and not misunderstood and let them know that it’s okay to disagree on this and still be friends. But I know that to some this will feel like a rejection of them altogether. And I hate that.
So be praying for my heart. Be praying for our family. This is going to grow fast and furious and part of that excites us and part of it scares us.
Bulldogs of Belief
For months I’ve wanted to hone in on a group of ladies to pour into in a greater capacity and to invest in their friendships more consistently. Friendships are a huge part of my life and I’m not a huge fan of shallow relationships. Time and Deep conversation is definitely my love language! (although happy mail and cute gifts don’t hurt either!) I want to be that kind of friend to a specific group of gals in my life!
And I’ve found over the past few months that the ones who I have felt my heart drawn to are the same one who have been so encouraging to us and who who have asked to contribute to the needs of the ministry (which, ask any non-profit, are abundant in the first year or two). These precious friends are who I’m calling my “bulldogs of belief”. Their loyalty and love to Dan and I and the kids is something fierce and they grip hold of the gospel and don’t let go especially when we need reminding of it! They are the ones who are making sacrifices so that we can further the gospel in a dark and confusing part of the church and society right now. I’ve got lots of exciting plans and ideas and can’t wait to spend time pouring into the lives of our support team in tangible and creative and consistent ways.
IF you want to be a part of this special group of ladies in my life, please email me at Caseylynn_78@yahoo.com. It’s going to be so good!
Over the past few years I’ve been asked many times “do you think you’ll have any more children biologically?” And honestly, I don’t know how to always answer that question. We don’t use birth control or actively try to not conceive a child. God’s opened my womb twice to the blessing of a baby and they are thriving in a kingdom much more awesome than life here. I know that I really don’t want to go through loss again. I know that God will sustain us though if we do have to walk that path again. And I know that I am fully satisfied and content with the children He has given us through adoption. In my heart I believe that this is the story He has written and is writing for us for a reason… for probably a million reasons.
And I kinda LOVE LOVE LOVE adoption!
We are still planning on adopting a little baby girl… hopefully THIS year!
She has a baby bed ready for her and she’s already taken over the majority of Abel’s dresser! <3
I don’t really talk a lot about the details of what’s going on behind the scenes, but at any given time we are getting calls about potential birthparents, emailing back and forth with birthparents, and waiting for the match to be made official. This takes time and it takes a lot of letting go and trusting God in each situation.
I have only to look at each of my kids and see how perfectly God placed them into my family. He knew those would be the kids He wanted to be ours and nothing could thwart that. I couldn’t have orchestrated it if I tried. So we get a call…. we say yes…. we wait… they pick another family…..we are bummed for a day or two… we wait… we get a call…..we say yes…. we email back and forth….. we rejoice that a birthmother decides to parent…. we wait… we get a call….we say yes… we email back and forth…. we email back and forth again…. we….. to be continued. 😉