I Can Only Imagine:

*Quick update on where we are at in this process before getting deep into the heart of this blog post: This past Saturday we completed our final in class training, which was actually a makeup class as we all came down with the stomach bug the week in March when this class (the 4th of 5 classes required) was last offered. Our caseworker is currently typing up our home-study etc. and will submit it all for approval before a July 2nd deadline. SO, we are in the final stages of getting approved and just really waiting on that approval letter. It could be mid July, at the earliest, that we would receive a placement, but it will all depend on the speed at which we receive government approval AND the need for foster carers for the 0-3 age range at that time. We trust in God’s timing and just ask for prayers that He equips us to care for whomever He places in our care, for as long as He plans for us to love on them- whether it be days, weeks, months, years, or forever.

* Side Note: Once we do welcome children into our home, it is our job as foster parents to protect the privacy and anonymity of the children. For this reason, this blog will never disclose personal information about the children, specifics on their case, their background, or their family. I will never use their names or post pictures of them here. 

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

And now, back to the BLOG : )

I CAN ONLY IMAGINE:

A little piece of Heaven for us these days?…DATE NIGHTS! We are trying to squeeze in as many as we can before receiving placement(s) as we assume that will make dating OUT more difficult. Our date night this past Saturday night was “wrapped up” with Chipotle and a movie on the couch (after a few hours driving around & outlet shopping without children). The movie?… “I Can Only Imagine”. If you have not seen it- RENT IT! It is available for rent starting TODAY actually (June 12th!). We bought it Saturday because we have no patience and wanted to see it SATURDAY, not THREE days later…and it was worth the $12.99 for sure.

“I Can Only Imagine” is a Christian drama based on the TRUE story behind the MercyMe song of the same name, the best-selling Christian single OF ALL TIME. The film stars J. Michael Finley as Bart Millard, the lead singer who wrote the song inspired by his troubled relationship with his horribly abusive father (Dennis Quaid); as well as, Madeline Carroll, Priscilla Shirer (my favorite women’s bible study author), Cloris Leachman, and Trace Adkins. It brought me to (ugly cry) tears a few times and was a gripping reminder of the power of forgiveness & redemption.

“I Can Only Imagine” reminds us that no one is ever too far from God’s love—or from eternity in Heaven. That no one and no situation is “hopeless” or “too far gone”. That God can, does, & will do incredible transformations in peoples’ lives.

This line, said by J. Michael Finley (as Bart), kinda sums it all up: “My dad was a monster. I saw God take him from being the man I hated to the man I wanted to become.” If God can transform a bitter, alcoholic, physically & verbally abusive, “monster” of a father, WHO could He redeem in YOUR life?

In one of the movie’s final scenes, we see Bart standing on the stage belting out the chorus of “I Can Only Imagine”. Suddenly, everyone fades away, and he imagines himself singing for an audience of only two: his Heavenly Father and his earthly dad. His dad appears fully restored, completely rejuvenated, healed & transformed into the glowing image of the man God created him to be. It gave me goosebumps as I began to IMAGINE.

“I can only imagine what it will be like”…

I don’t know about you, but when I imagine HEAVEN I tend to start by thinking of all that WON’T be there. And I get real pumped. I’ve compiled a list and as you read through it just IMAGINE…

♥ In heaven there will be NO:

ABUSE
ALCOHOLISM
ANGER
ANXIETY
BANDAGES
BILLS
BITTERNESS
BOREDOM
CANCER
CAR ACCIDENTS
CREDIT CARD DEBT
DEATH
DENOMINATIONS
DEPRESSION
DIVORCE
DRUGS
EARLY MORNING ALARMS (I am NOT a morning person!)
EATING DISORDERS
FEAR
FIGHTS
FIRES
FOSTER CARE
FUNERALS
GANGS
HATE
HOMELESSNESS
HOSPITALS
HUNGER
INNOCENCE LOST
INSOMNIA
JEALOUSY
KILLING
LONELINESS
LYING
MEDICINE
MASS SHOOTINGS
MENTAL ILLNESS
NEGATIVITY
NEGLECT
OPPRESSION
ORPHANS
POLICE
POLITICS & POLITICAL DEBATES
PRIDE
PROSTITUTION
QUOTAS
REGRET
SADNESS
SCARS
SCHOOL SHOOTINGS
SHAME
SIN
SOCIAL ANXIETY
SUICIDE
TEMPTATION
THIRST
UGLINESS
UPSET
VIRUSES
VOMIT
WAR
WEAPONS
WORRY
XANAX
X-RAYS
YELLING or….
ZITS.

I don’t know about you, but I want to go there.

What in the above list hits closest to home for you? What are you most excited NOT to see/feel in heaven?

I can only imagine, a life FREE of the above mentioned “A to Z”.

I can only imagine, seeing loved ones restored and illuminating in God’s light, as Bart Millard’s father was that night.

♥ God, “I can only imagine what my eyes will see, when Your face is before me.” ♥

heaven-clouds

i can only imagine

 “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Rev 21:4 NIV)

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