“…forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead.”- Philippians 3:13
Here we are.
It’s the week I have been thinking about for years now.
The week where our little family dynamic is going to change forever; the one week that includes so many pivotal, unknown changes.
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”- Hebrews 13:8
This time last year, we were preparing to go on the girls’ Make-A-Wish trip to Disney World. We had absolutely no idea our son existed, much less that a year later we would be traveling to bring him home.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor my ways your ways, declares the Lord.”- Isaiah 55:8-9
In 4 days, Hugh and I will get on a plane in Birmingham, Alabama and head to China to meet our son for the first time and bring him home forever.
15 days away from my girls.
If you would have told me even a year ago that I was going to do this, I would’ve told you absolutely not.
I would’ve said it wasn’t possible, wasn’t wise even.
But God. Always but God.
Almost three years ago, I wrote a post entitled, “By Any Means Possible”. It’s words were inspired by the verse in Philippians 3 in which Paul says that, essentially, He is determined to know Christ- regardless of what it takes or what that looks like.
From the moment we are entrusted with our children, each of us begins this dance of holding on and letting go. In the world of special needs, the grips of control can often become even tighter simply because our children don’t necessarily grow in independence. For five years and almost seven months- over 2,000 days of my life have been spent meeting the needs of Ally and Bailey Grace on an almost moment by moment basis.
Starting Friday, 15 of those days will be completely out of my control.
“Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.”- Hebrews 13:21-21
Here’s the thing.
I would tell you that caring for my girls is something I could never do on my own- that it’s God’s Spirit equipping me to do so. Yet, if I really believe this is true- then why do I think that I have to be present in order for them to receive the care they need?
“God is our refuge and strength, a very-present help in trouble.”- Psalm 46:1
A Very-Present Help.
He will be in China as we meet our son and begin to walk the very same dance of letting go and holding on. He will be in Alabama as the Cheek tribe- who are showing up joyfully and more fervently than ever before- cares for the girls. He is with you in these moments as you walk through whatever season of life you are in as well.
This is our God.
I need you to know that I have not spent the week trusting this and embracing it with open arms. I cried so hard at small group last Thursday that the tears just wouldn’t stop as we drove home. I tear up each and every time I think about Friday morning and our departure from Ally and Bailey Grace. I am not fully practicing what I am preaching…yet, as Paul says, one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Phil.3:13-14).
Friends, I am determined to show you my weakness in all this so that God’s strength can be all the more obvious.
As our girls are sick and my heart tension is high, I have found so much hope in the reality that God goes both before and behind and that He has promised He is getting the glory.
In the midst of a story that continues to play out in ways I would’ve never written or planned, I smile at the very-real, very-living truth that He both wrote it and has seen it all.
“In Your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.”- Psalm 139:16
For our family and for you.
To Him be all the glory.
Press on, brothers and sisters.
6 thoughts on “Reaching Forward.”
Dear Morgan, My wife, Weylene and I just returned last week from Gorham’s Bluff, where we met you and Hugh, around four years ago. I have been reading your blogs and praying for you ever since. To see Jesus shine though you, in the midst of great challenge for you and Hugh, is one of the most amazing and encouraging events in my life. I will add to my prayers for you, your trip to China, and the addition and your new son. And also for your daughters back home…..
Ken and Weylene Branscombe
How neat it is that God ties His children together in these ways! I am impressed at your continued commitment to show up at Gorham’s Bluff as well. Thank you so much for the encouraging words and prayers!
Morgan and Hugh,
You, your girls, your little boy, and Team Cheek are all in my extra thoughts and prayers as you literally travel through these next few transitional weeks. Congratulations on your new addition, and as always, thank you for sharing your wisdom. Much love to you and your precious family.
Thank you so very much for the prayers and encouragement. To Him be all the glory!
Your precious family will be in my thoughts & prayers as the ocean separates you during the 15 days.
All will be well because He has gone before you & prepared the way for this miracle addition to your family. Rest in that knowledge.
What an adventure you are undertaking!
Safe travels! Our prayers are with you and your precious family. 🙏