Guest post with Shannon Linton
“Parenthood was a hard-fought road for me. After a couple of harrowing diagnoses, my dreams of becoming a mom began to unravel. Not only would we not be able to have biological kids, but we’d also be facing life with unexpected challenges.
Determined to pick up the pieces, we shifted our focus toward adoption. But that road was also paved with heartache. A foster son who wouldn’t be ours to keep, and more than 5 years of waiting—coming so close, only to have multiple matches fail.
I was the kid raised in church—the one with all the answers in Sunday School. But in those dark days, I questioned if God could see me. “How are you going to use this??” I would ask him angrily. “All I see is pain.”
On year four of trying to adopt, I walked by my Bible on the shelf. I found countless reasons why I didn’t need to pick it up. “I already know a lot of verses from Sunday School,” I thought. Or, “it wouldn’t really change anything.” Or, “I’m too tired today.” Or, “I wouldn’t know where to start.” Maybe you can relate.
But on a particularly tough day, I reached for it, and God met me that day. I picked it up again the next day. And the day after that. Still He faithfully showed up, reminding me of His love for me in those beautiful pages.
I started journaling the verses I was reading and writing my prayers. What began out of desperation soon became my favorite part of the day—the fuel for whatever I would face. My perspective shifted dramatically. I had new eyes for those around me. I was able to extend love and grace in ways I never could before.
Now as a mom to three beautiful adopted kiddos (all under four!), I am using what I’m learning in my quiet times to gain wisdom in this crazy season of parenthood. I am hands down a more patient, loving mom when I meet with Jesus that morning. Not that my circumstances magically get easier, but I have someone to walk with me and his truth resounding in my mind and heart every step of the way.
The valleys of life don’t stop coming. And as parents, we can feel stretched to our very limits as we steward these lives entrusted to our care. The best thing we can do for ourselves and for our kids is to dig in deep to the truth of God’s Word and trust that He is ready and waiting to meet us as we seek Him.
Here are some practical tips that have made it easier for me to get time with God in on a daily basis:
- Choose a time and a place. It doesn’t have to be the exact same every day, but consistency is key. I wake up a little before my kids and put my Bible on the table where I know I’ll grab it as I eat breakfast.
- Come expecting to hear from God and ask him to meet you as you read.
- Pick just a few verses each day and read through them several times. Journal your verses and prayers. Writing things down helps cement what you’re reading and lets you look back on what God has done!
- Share! Tell your spouse or a friend what you’re learning. This takes quiet times to the next level and lets you process further—plus you’ll bless whoever you share it with too.
You can read more foster care and adoption stories and learn tools for overcoming burnout, parenting failures, and toxic thinking in Faith Forward Adoption, available on Amazon.