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A Second Chance
By Samantha Reed
The weight of her tears brought her head low as she shared, “I love my three boys, but I long for a daughter.”
If her chest were cracked open, the treasure inside her heart would have revealed pink ruffles, ballet slippers, and delicate hair bows. It’s not that she didn’t love Jesus, or adore her husband, or wasn’t grateful for her sons. Her heart simply longed for a girl to nurture.
Yet deep down she knew, circumstances beyond her control rendered this dream impossible. Deep down she knew this longing for another baby was pulling her away from the blessings she already had. Deep down she knew this desire wasn’t wrong, but it had taken precedence over her desire for Jesus.
And when we treasure anything more than Him, deep down we lose hope. Because truly, nothing fulfills us like He can and does.
As I heard her story, I empathized. Isn’t this a slippery slope we each can fall down so easily?
Several years ago I shot headlong down this slope. I took a peek in my heart and was saddened at the treasures inside. One in particular was worth no more than a few dollars. But my heart had elevated this wooden bracelet to “priceless.”
When the Lord prompted me to give it away while on a mission trip to El Salvador with Compassion International, I said “no.” Though small, it took the place of things of far greater value: selflessness, encouragement, and most of all, obedience to the Lord.
As I boarded the plane to leave El Salvador, I carried more than jewelry; I lugged what had become an idol—something I cherished more than God. I learned a difficult lesson that day: treasuring anything more than Him will always result in grief. I felt it in the hopelessness of never getting back the missed opportunity to share my bracelet.
Yet somehow in all His grace, God found it fit to redeem me from myself; to redeem that lost moment. And isn’t that the beauty and hope of redemption? It’s a recovery or exchange of one thing for another.
God graciously brought me back to El Salvador several years later, again with Compassion International, to share the story of my misplaced treasure in the making of a short film.
While we rolled footage, He rolled away the heaviness that lingered from my once tight hold on my bracelet. He redeemed that one moment I would have had giving my jewelry to another, with a hundred moments of laughter with the community where we filmed.
As we talked about the gift of giving, a curly haired boy watched the cameras and commotion from a few houses away. He observed and he listened and then ran toward me with arms open wide. Seeing my confusion, the translator smiled, “Didn’t you know, Samantha? Diego, your sponsored child, is a neighbor with this family?”
On a dusty road in El Salvador, littered with clucking hens and lazy dogs, I held this little boy who I pray for and give a small monetary gift to each month. As the flies buzzed around our legs, his mother shared how my letters to Diego about Jesus showed their whole family His hope.
That day God redeemed the hopelessness of treasuring a family heirloom with hope of sharing Him. I don’t want to go back to longing for anything more than I do God.
I won’t say it’s easy, or that at times I don’t catch myself sliding down this slippery slope. And I know there will be times to come when I’ll have to realign my heart with God’s. Because I know giving up a family heirloom is infinitely easier than giving up the dream of having a child. But I’m inspired by my sweet friend who made the choice to treasure Jesus more than her own dream.
She lost her tight hold on the desires of her heart in order to hold onto His heart. And after a few months of mourning, she and her family decided to sponsor a little girl through Compassion International.
As she loves God through loving this little girl by writing letters and photographs and cards, the pain of not having a daughter lessens. And is replaced with the sure joy of loving the least. He’s exchanging both the pain of their poverty for the richness of Him.
Oh, and can you guess this little girl’s name?
Hope. Yep, Hope.
After all, isn’t that what redemption is?
Join Samantha and her friend in sharing hope through sponsoring a child. Go to www.compassion.com to find out more.
To watch Samantha's Compassion video, CLICK HERE.