The last few weeks have been so full of God’s blessings and extravagant surprises. Every day another gift, beautiful and unexpected. I feel spoiled rotten by the God of the universe, His love just too good and too perfect for little, broken me.

I shared this with a close friend recently, giggling with surprise and awe like a little girl who just received a marvelous present from her Daddy. His response was perfect. “He loves you, Katie. You’re one of His favorites.” He laughed and I laughed but it stuck.

One of His favorites. That is what I have felt like this last two weeks. Lavished with love. But isn’t that what He wants every one of His children to feel, all the time? Each and every one of us created perfectly in His image. Each one cherished. Each one “one of His favorites”. How would life change if we thought of each other as such? If each person that approached us we treated as beloved of God, cherished by God, one of God’s favorite people?

I carried it with me today. As I bought beads from women in a slum I thought of them as His favorite people. As I counseled a mother struggling with alcoholism I wept that one of God’s favorite people was struggling like this. I rejoiced with a grandmother who for the first time proclaimed Jesus after watching Him heal her granddaughter miraculously last week. And I smiled at the Joy that I knew God found in her – one of His favorites.

The God of the Universe delights, DELIGHTS in you. In me. In them. Could we rest in that? Could we live like that?

In a horribly atrocious accident, a traditional healer in Masese mutilated a sweet little boy’s throat and mouth. Believing it to be beyond repair I took him to the main government hospital where we spent the next 12 hours.

Most of the time I just breeze in and out of this place – drop someone off, bring someone food, welcome a new baby into the world. But today we just sat. One operating room and 12 patients ahead of us – we sat and sat. And it was as if I had been given new eyes. I looked at the cold hard cement floor and the cold hard faces of the people who work there. Glimpses of things I had just experienced at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital a few weeks earlier with my own daughter flashed in my brain in a horrible contrast to this place I was now seated.

Ward 9 is the accident ward. A little girl came in with her ear cut off. A mother carried a baby that had fallen into a pot of boiling water. A man came in with his hand mangled, ripped to shreds by a piece of machinery, in need of amputation. Someone’s wife died. Someone’s mother died. Someone’s baby died. All those people right there in that cold cement building and all of their lives drastically altered in just a moment. In just an instant their realities changed – forever. I couldn’t stop thinking as I sat there about how the next days weeks and months would play out for each one of them with their new, different realities. And I looked at all off them. All of that pain and all of that suffering and all of that sorrow and all I could think as I looked at each of those faces was “You. You are one of His favorite people.” And I prayed they would know it. I prayed they would know that God was holding all this chaos in the palm of His hand, even this pain having purpose.

A year ago today, I was one of them. I sat in a small cement room in a village hours away and life as I knew it fell apart. Ceased to exist. A little girl that had been mine for 2 years went back to live with the mother God has given her at birth. And thus began a journey, even that pain had a purpose.

Months later Jane and her birth mom, Nancy showed up at my doorstep. Nancy had lost her job and they had been evicted from their house. They were both sick and now they were homeless. So they moved in. After lots of loving and lots of encouraging and lots of days when I felt my heart would just be ripped out of my chest as I watched my baby girl learn to call Nancy “Mom” they moved out again. We had found Nancy a job translating and cooking for Amazima, we had enrolled Jane in Kindergarten, and it was time for Jane and Nancy to be their own family – still good friends with, but separate from ours.

I just longed to tell all those people in that hospital that a year later, I can say, “Yes. This is the hardest year I have ever done.” But I can also say, “I would do it again if He asked me.” Because Faithful God did not let go of our hands. This new life has been hard to learn. But we have learnt it. Life changes in an instant and God sees all of it, redeems all of it, uses all of it for His good.

And as I look back over this year I realize something. Such purpose in the pain. Our beautiful, spoiling, extravagant Daddy didn’t want to just give Jane a family. He wanted to give Nancy one too. This wonderful Father of ours, He didn’t want just Jane to come to know Him, He wants Nancy to come to know Him too.

Because Nancy, she is one of His favorites.

180 thoughts on “

  1. Katie,

    I just finished your book and read this blog a few minutes after. It was so incredible to read more of Jane's story just after your last chapter! Your last sentence in this post brought me to tears.

    I am 19 and have always desired in my heart to be a mom to orphaned girls, but wondered how I would ever do that – You have shown me it is possible! You have inspired me and encouraged me that God did not give me a desire for nothing.

    But you also encouraged me in where I am right now. God has also given me a passion to write fantasy and teach ballet, and I know this is where I'm meant to be right now, though part of me longs to be in the middle of that suffering and rejoicing you write about. I was reminded through your book that God is sovereign and He is taking care of those children right now, and when He calls me, He will prepare the way for me.

    I would love to meet you. God bless you and your precious girls!

    Love in Christ,
    Joy

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  2. Your love and commitment to these beautiful people of Uganda leaves me speechless, it utter amazement. Your story is amazing and know that you are changing many peoples lives. Your courage and strength, gives other people the confidence that they can make a difference too. May God bless you and hold you.

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  3. Dear Katie,

    Thank you for being there where I can't. You don't know me but My aunt told me about this blog. Thank you.

    “One of His favorites…” Yes! I'd like to print out a copy of this post for a friend of mine who is really struggling. She needs to be reminded of that by more people.

    So, I guess I just wanted you to know that you're even helping a fourteen year old girl over hear in the states to help her friend remember that she is “one of His favorites..”!

    Thank you, SO much!

    Mandy

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  4. I just finished your book and I'm in awe of how God is using you and blessed by your willingness to serve and give all glory to Him. I have a deep longing to adopt…am waiting for my husband to fully get on board. Thanks for writing the book and for giving this mama even MORE passion for adoption (didn't know that was possible) and for the continent of Africa. Your faith inspires me to trust God more and give all glory to him for everything he does in and through me. Thank you, Katie. And thank you, Jesus, for using Katie.

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  5. I stayed up all night reading your entire blog. It is amazing, you are amazing. I've always dreamed of doing mission work and this lit a fire under me to seek out just exactly what it is that God has in mind for me. At 2:30 am it will be exactly 2 months since my mother died and ever since then I've been restless and bone deep sad, reading of the work you do has given that restlessness a focus. May the good Lord continue to bless you and your girls, y'alls mission work and the peopke of Uganda. Finished the blog… on to your book. 🙂

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  6. Just finished your book. The amazing work the Lord is doing through you shines off every page! The Lord is good and He endures forever. Praying for many blessings and sponsors for your children and all Gods children.

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  7. Just wanted you to know I am reading your book to my three young daughters. It has brought us such wonderful conversation! My 9-yr-old daughter Rachel wants to grow up to work at an orphanage. Thank you for the example you are setting for the next generation!!! Blessings on you and your family Katie!

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  8. Dear Katie ~ I recently encountered a man who was homeless and completely broken inside. He was in so much physical and emotional pain, all he could do was use his strength to fight back his tears. I held his hand and prayed for him the best way I know how, and when it came time to speak something encouraging to him, normally I would have been at a loss for words. However, praise God for putting your words into my heart because I was able to recall them and share with this man! I told him that he is one of God's favorites! He shared with me that he is an alcoholic, and I had to repeat the words to make him believe them. Thank you for allowing the Spirit to speak through you. The ripple effect from your life is literally endless. We all love you, sweet girl.

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  9. i see the 168 comments and i am thinking – oh my goodness – maybe i shouldn't even bother…

    but i will anyway – because the LORD laid it on my heart to share with you!

    and who knows.. (well, He does!) if it's not meant for you – perhaps someone else that leaves a comment will see it and be curious 🙂

    my friend wrote this guest blog on my blog (i spent a year raising money walking for Jesus wells) that I think you'll love because it talks about Jesus having “favorites” 🙂 hope you enjoy it like I did!

    http://wellworththewalk.blogspot.com/2011/08/been-meaning-to-share-this.html

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  10. Wow! You speak like a wise woman well beyond your years. I am bursting from the love that exudes from everything you say. I am amazed to see someone so young so completely in love with Jesus. I just saw an advertisement for your book and decided to look for a website. My husband may have an opportunity to go to work in Johanessburg South Africa. We have started praying and asking God to show us his will. You see several months ago I encountered a story that absolutely broke my heart. I was appalled to read about the Albinos in Tanzania. And I was determined that somehow I wanted to do something to make a difference. So I started praying. That was all I could do. And now this possible job offer for my husband…and your story!!! You are an amazing young woman…loving like Jesus…what a priceless gift you give to those children. I am so grateful for you and your work. I pray that God would continue to fill you to overflowing. I pray that you are blessed beyond measure. I pray that God will give you the strength you need everyday. I pray that you will feel His presence in a mighty way in the days ahead. I pray for your safety and the safety of those precious children that you care for. I pray that you have someone to care for you as you do for those children. And Katie, I will continue to pray for you and the work you are doing for God's glory!

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  11. True love and obedience led you to a place where you could trust that this very heartbreaking situation would work out the way God intended – not the way that you wanted it to go. Very beautiful message.

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  12. I know your probably not going to read this comment…..but I want you to know you are my insparation!!!
    I want to be like you…
    God loves you SOOO much!! Please give my greetings to all your loveley girls!!

    xxx Anine

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  13. I know your probably not going to read this comment…..but I want you to know you are my insparation!!!
    I want to be like you…
    God loves you SOOO much!! Please give my greetings to all your loveley girls!!

    xxx Anine

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  14. One of his favorites… This phrase and your writings have been such a God given reminder of how to receive the people I run into each day. Thank you for sharing your life with all of us.

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  15. Katie, today I completed your book.. and needless to say I have been shaken and stirred to my core.. to be the light in the darkest place and not to fear the hard places. Your story is one of obedience and faithfulness to our Father Who gave it all for us… thank you Katie for being a bitter sweet reminder of what this Christian life is really about… I cannot be the same, God has used your story to revive an overwhelming desire to walk dead centre in the will of God… “making a difference..one child at a time.” My heart is broken and I wouldn't have it any other way.

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  16. That you can say that last sentence after all you have been through truly touches my heart.
    After my Daddy died seven months ago, I felt completely separated from God. After reading your book and your story, I know that God placed that book in my hands at this time in my life for a purpose.
    I cried out to God so many times with “Why?” and when I read John 9:3 in your book, something in my heart broke and renewed all at the same time.
    Thank you for blessing me and so many everyday.
    Praying for you and yours.

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