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Archive for Saturday, April 27, 2013

Faith Forum: What has been the most faith-defining experience of your life?

April 27, 2013

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Adopting our son

Deacon Godsey, pastor of vision implementation at Vintage Church, Liberty Memorial Central Middle School, 1400 Massachusetts St.:

My wife, Jill, and I met in seventh grade. To say we didn’t like each other, though, would have been a grand understatement! All that changed, though, as our friendship grew into high school and finally college when — despite our initial (mutual) hesitation ­— we started dating and eventually got married.

Like many couples, we wanted to have kids, but after several years, a few medical procedures and many, many tears, it still hadn’t happened.

Eventually we entered an adoption process that culminated on the day a birth mom’s baby was born and we were told she had chosen … the other couple.

A couple years later, though, in a grocery store parking lot, we got a call that changed our lives forever. An attorney friend was asking if we wanted to pursue the adoption of a new baby boy from Omaha (where we lived). We immediately knew we were in and wanted to start the process ASAP.

Then, after a month-plus of praying, talking, applying and interviewing, we sat in the attorney’s office and met a birth mom and the baby boy she was placing for adoption. And much to our surprise, we got the news we’d so longed to hear … she’d chosen us!

Three days later — and 10 and a half years to the day after getting married — Isaac Caedmon was living in our home; six months later he officially became a Godsey. And as other adoptive parents would tell you, it was truly a faith-defining experience.

We had never sensed in our hearts what we’d long believed in our heads: that we were sons and daughters of a Father who loves and adopted us to be His children, and it’s His love that defines. And we couldn’t be more grateful.

— Send email to Deacon Godsey at deacon@vintagelawrence.com.

Realizing it's OK to not know

Charles Gruber, seeker, Lawrence:

Every day I bow to the One who holds open the door to the Grand Mystery. This is my faith. The Mystery, for me, is “Before I was born, where did I come from, and after I die, where will I go?” In late March my eldest granddaughter gave birth to our third great-grandchild. Thirty-two years ago, at my granddaughter’s birth, the physician at the Topeka Birth and Growth Center stepped aside at the last moment and invited me to “catch” my granddaughter. I did and have been pondering ever since the mystery of why, when we are born, we soon forget where we came from. We spend the rest of our lives wondering where we will go after death.

A friend suggests that not knowing these answers is what makes us human. Standing at one end of the bridge that crosses the birth miracle is amazing. Then standing on the bridge that crosses into death is another. What amazes me is that I intuit that at the other end of both bridges is the same ethos. The same mystery. The same beginning/ending/beginning/ending. I get that the fragrances coalesce, that the sounds are the same, that the quality of light merges.

As far as not knowing, that takes a great deal of courage. To be OK with not knowing, or even ecstatic over this conundrum, adds a certain spice to life that I treasure. I know some people feel they have the answers. Bless them. For me, my faith is defined by patiently waiting to be led to the answers that lie ahead like anticipating the scent of the first hyacinth of spring.

— Send email to Charles Gruber at cgruber@cgruber.com.

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