Skip to content

Category: Devotionals

Lorilyn’s Devotional Writings

WHAT IT’S LIKE TO HAVE BREAST CANCER: Devotional by Lorilyn Roberts

Lorilyn With Her Mom Finishing Treatment 2017

 

My first chemo treatment was easy. But the two days leading up to it were not.
 
When I went to Moffitt to get a second opinion, the doctor recommended I have a CT scan performed on my lungs for a pleural effusion that showed up on the PET scan. She had never seen a pleural effusion caused only by surgery. 

So, of course, that gave me something else to worry about. None of my doctors had mentioned getting a CT scan on the lungs. The X-ray had been clear before the surgery.  
 
The CT scan was set up for the next day, a welcomed surprise it was accomplished so quickly, but the CT nurse didn’t know how to access my chemo port correctly. It was the most painful procedure I’d had done yet – unbearable. She didn’t flush out the port afterward, and apparently, when the contrast was put into the vein during the CT scan, it didn’t go into my vein but extravasated into the surrounding tissue. Talk about painful, I couldn’t quit crying. 

I was afraid I’d never get through the sixteen weeks of chemotherapy. Later, the infusion nurses told me never to let anyone access the port but them. The CT nurse could have damaged the infusion site. This could have caused a blood clot, infection, more surgery, and skin grafting. She also didn’t flush it.
  
The CT nurse took me back to the waiting room where I cried some more. Another patient asked if he could pray for me. I thanked him. That was the lowest point of my cancer journey. If I couldn’t handle the port being accessed, how could I handle the chemo treatment?
 
On the way to my CT appointment, one of our cats had something wrong with him. He was walking around the house groaning. We had taken him to the vet the week before for urine issues and an obstruction. He didn’t have an obstruction then, but I was certain he had one now. 

With male cats, it’s an emergency. I was afraid he would die without immediate care, but I was on my way to my CT scan. They squeezed me in because of the concern raised by the doctor at Moffitt. The procedure also needed to be done before I started chemo.
 
I called my oldest daughter. She left work and came to get Anakin to take him to the vet. Otherwise, I could not have made my appointment. The vet said he would have died within an hour without being seen. He’s still at the vet being treated. Hopefully, he can come home Monday. We have switched to a prescription cat food that should prevent this from happening again.  
The next day, following the CT scan and endoscopy procedure, I hadn’t received the results, so I was anxious for the infusion appointment. I had my highest blood pressure reading ever. 
 
When I met with the PA, she said the lungs showed no signs of cancer, and the endoscopy biopsies were related to heartburn. Talk about relief. That would have pushed me into a stage 4 breast cancer. It’s hard for me to believe I’m a stage 3 because I had a clear mammogram and sonogram. No spread to nodes was visible on MRI or exam. The spread to the lymph nodes showed up microscopically on the biopsy.
 
I am now in my fourth week of Taxol treatment. I have eight more weeks to go. This will be followed by eight weeks of Adriamycin (four treatments in all on this one, every other week.)
 
I’m thankful I’ve started chemo treatment, and I’m thankful that through four treatments, I haven’t had any side effects. 
I attribute the good outcome of my surgery and the ease so far of the chemotherapy to God’s faithfulness and the prayers of so many saints. 
 
I hope all the additional treatments go as easily as the first four infusions, but I’ve heard people say the side effects get worse. In the meantime, I like to think the drugs are hunting down any cancer cells in my body and killing them.
 
The doctors have said that it’s highly unusual a 1.7 cm tumor to be in as many lymph nodes as shown in the pathology report — 11 out of 15. That’s just a little larger than half an inch. 

Someday I hope to share this story — my cancer is like sin. Something that small in my body is deadly. Without Jesus Christ, a tiny bit of sin will keep us out of heaven. Something to think about, isn’t it?
 
Thanks again for your prayers. I really appreciate it. And if you love animals, pray that our little kitty that was found abandoned a few years ago will be restored to health. His name is Anakin.

Addendum:  Little Anakin is doing very well now:)
7 Comments

BREAST CANCER – GOD’S GOT MY BACK: Devotional by Lorilyn Roberts

 

Cedar Key 4-3-2017
Perhaps today I write my most difficult blog post. My oldest daughter would say I’m being too dramatic, too emotional, giving too much information, or giving too much of something. I’ve waited three months to write about my diagnosis because, first, I didn’t know what to say. Then I was too busy learning about things I never thought I would need to know. Then I got depressed and didn’t want to write anything.
 
In the middle of my emotional roller coaster ride, I was trying to finish The Prescience. I got to 91,000 words and realized, this can’t all fit into one book. I will have to break it up into two books. I probably set a record writing all those words in about six weeks. I was determined to finish it before my surgery in case I didn’t wake up. I thought at least some poor soul could edit and publish it. 

I have since split up the manuscript into two books and am editing book 5, The Prescience.

To be candid, though, the number of doctors’ appointments has slowed me down. Last week I had five doctors’ appointments and two surgeries. Rather overwhelming. I told one doctor, “Cancer sucks.” In case you didn’t know this, cancer has a way of screwing up well-intentioned plans.
 
When I lay inside the MRI listening to it bang out disturbing dins as it took images, I recited the words from one of my favorite songs, “Jesus is coming back again.” As the minutes dragged on—I had to stay in a very uncomfortable position for a very long time—I shortened it to “Jesus is coming.” By the end of the longest thirty-plus minutes of my life, all I could say was “Jesus.”
 
That was back in the first week of January. Biopsies confirmed breast cancer. I’ll save the details for later, when I’m not facing the harshness of chemo followed by radiation.  How do you describe three months of nonstop medical treatment anyway? I still have a minimum of seven more months to go. Once the cancer treatment is finished, I’ll have six months off, and then the doctors can finish the reconstruction. I opted for a double mastectomy with implants.
 
My blog entries look rather empty for 2017. If you are receiving this as my quarterly email, you haven’t heard from me since October. I met my surgeon on the day Trump was inaugurated. 2017 will be known as the year I fought cancer.
 
Seriously, cancer is life-changing. I’m thankful God is unchanging. In the midst of everything, He has been my rock and my anchor. My verse through all of this is Isaiah 58:8:  
 
Then your salvation will come like the dawn 
and your wounds will quickly heal. 
Your godliness will lead you forward 
and the joy of the Lord 
will protect you from behind.
 

I have no memory of writing that verse in the back of my note pad. I found it—just when I needed it. My translation is, “God has my back.”

 
What is God teaching me? That I have a long ways to go to be the person He wants me to be. Hebrews 12:5 is very helpful:
 
And you have forgotten that word of encouragement 
that addresses you as sons [and daughters],
My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,
And do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
Because the Lord disciplines those he loves,
And he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.
Endure hardship as discipline.
God is treating you as sons…
 
Perhaps to some this might sound harsh, but to me, I’m reassured of God’s love. While Satan wanted to discourage me and keep me from finishing the Seventh Dimension Series, I knew God was and is using my cancer diagnosis for good. He’s teaching me things I could not learn any other way. 
 
So I press on, facing months of treatment, knowing God has my back. I feel Jesus’ presence each day, meeting my felt needs through family, friends, and prayer warriors. Some of those praying I don’t know, but God knows them and hears them. 
 
I’m thankful for everyone who has brought food, sent notes, delivered flowers, called, emailed, and posted on my Facebook page. I honestly don’t know how anyone goes through cancer treatment or any other heartache without our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
 
I’m thankful I have a good prognosis, but mostly I’m thankful God is with me. The reality is, all of us are mortal, and knowing Jesus is coming back is most reassuring. 
 
One book I found helpful is Don’t Waste Your Cancer by John Piper. There is more I could say, but I’ll save it for later. Please pray I won’t waste my cancer, I keep my eyes on Jesus, I don’t grow weary, and I glorify God through the very last day of treatment. I can tell you, I have not been who I could have been at times. I’m learning to live more humbly.
 
My focus when not dealing with cancer treatment has been to edit The Prescience. Book 6 doesn’t have a title yet, and – yes, I can’t believe it, but there will be a book 7. 
 
A little tease is in order—book 7 won’t be written from the point of view of Shale or Daniel. I’ll let you wonder from whose viewpoint it will be written.
 
I’m excited to be editing The Prescience even if it’s at a slower pace. Hopefully, my writing will be impacted in a positive way. I pray God will touch my emotional creativity to make my writing more heart-felt as Shale and Daniel battle an uncertain future that we will all be facing soon.
 
The most important thing for me right now is to stay close to God, love my family, value my friendships, and seek God’s will in all areas of my life—even in the mundane.
 
I start chemo on Friday this week. I know some days will be harder than others, but I know I can get through it with God helping me. Your prayers are immensely appreciated.

 

17 Comments

INSPIRATIONAL REFLECTIONS ON GOD: Devotional by Lorilyn Roberts

 

I wonder if God looks back to His creation when it was untarnished by pollution, unblemished by famine and disease, and not scarred by the ravages of war.

When unpolluted oceans bristled with life as He walked in the garden with Adam; when He created strange-looking creatures just for the sheer enjoyment of creating; when sunsets danced to colors our eyes cannot see and waterfalls beat to the pulse of His heart before we broke it; when rocks proclaimed His glory and flowers sang His praises; when life was found in everything and death did not exist; a world we have never known, at least not yet.

A world that was and a world to come, joined by a tiny thread of love woven through the fabric of time. A remnant of His perfection is hidden in our DNA. The crust of earth beneath our feet gives hint to His creations from ages past. The stars that shine as angels in the night sky proclaim His lordship over every living creature. The winds that mount on eagles’ wings fill the earth with His spirit of redemption. Even the animals know.

“Ask the animals and they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will tell you, or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish of the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In His hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind” (Job 12:7).

God longs to live within our hearts.  He shouts to us in our suffering.  At the crossroads of who we are and who God desires for us to become, we are either consumed by evil or we are conquered by love. If our sinful thoughts lose their grip, evil will lose its power.

Someday God will fill in all of those cracks. But during our time here, He wants to prepare us for a better place; a place where we will be perfect, even as He is perfect.

God delights in the process of molding us. I take comfort in the fact that God wastes nothing and uses everything. Truly, no eye has seen or ear has heard what God has prepared for us. Our deepest hurts and failures will become God’s fertile soil for something far greater than we could ever have imagined.

“…we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us” (Romans 5:3-5).

 

Comments closed

GOLD AND YELLOW BRICK ROAD: Devotional by Lorilyn Roberts


A man tried to sell a one‑ounce Maple Leaf on a beach in a prominent section of town. 

“Will you buy this gold coin for $50?” 

“No, I don’t have any money.”

He approached a woman, “Would you like this Canadian coin for only $25?

“No.”

“Why not?”

“I don’t have $25.”

“Suppose I offer this to you for free, will you take it?”

The woman turned it over and examined it.

“It’s beautiful.”

“Do you want it?”

“No.”

No one recognized the value of the coin worth over $1,100. Have we become so fooled by paper money that we believe the counterfeit is worth more than gold? 



A look at history might reveal a clue. During the Great Depression, governments around the world abandoned the gold standard. In 1933, Congress and President Roosevelt banned private ownership of gold and asked citizens to turn in their gold at the rate of $35 per troy ounce-essentially robbing Americans of their wealth. 

Although it became legal to own it again in the 1970s, the money changers (Federal Reserve Bank and central banks) suppressed its value to bolster the dollar and manipulated the system to their advantage.

Gold became worth less than the counterfeit because it was not considered currency. This enabled the Federal Reserve and the central banks around the world to control the vast money supply.

Gold, a precious metal, has been used by man since ancient times for commerce. He recognized it for what it was-rare and valuable; but today, gold can’t even be identified on a beach by passersby.



The yellow brick road in The Wizard of Oz symbolized gold. It carved its way through a beautiful fairyland called Oz inhabited by Munchkins, but the fabled Land of Oz was overshadowed by evil witches. Perhaps today they would represent the self-serving money-changers, the greedy capitalists, or the Washington bureaucrats who recklessly spend our money but are mortgaging our children’s future.

While counterfeits abound, God never abandons the true believer. The Good Witch of the North, Glenda, loved the Munchkins. God has given us His Holy Spirit.

“The mysterious Wizard of Oz might be able to help you to return home,” Glenda and the Munchkins told Dorothy.

So Dorothy set off on the yellow brick road to meet the Wizard of Emerald City. Along the way, she greets three friends who join her sojourners in search of a brain, a heart, and a nerve.

But when they meet the wizard of Oz, Dorothy discovers the horrible truth. The Wizard was an imposter. The dog Toto exposed him as a fraud.

Today, as in The Return to Oz, our yellow brick road is crumbling, paved in green fiat money as financial establishments teeter on the brink of collapse. 

In heaven, no longer will we be standing on broken yellow bricks. Our eyes will recognize the intrinsic worth of God’s creation and the counterfeits of man-the idols, the liars, and the fakes. All except the pure will have vanished-not destroyed with water but with fire, as gold is refined by fire.

I hope to be like a Munchkin, but even more so. Heaven won’t be inhabited by evil witches but angelic creatures that serve a risen Savior. God will be our King, not a cowardly wizard hiding behind a curtain. He will be dressed in kingly garb as He bathes us in His light. Neither will ruby slippers be able to bring us home. Deeper magic, more costly than gold, more valuable than riches, hewn from wood and thorns, will transport us. The counterfeit world left behind, Jesus will welcome us on a real yellow brick road richly paved in gold.

Comments closed

GOD’S LOVE REVEALED IN A WORM: Devotional by Lorilyn Roberts



Recently some friends and I were discussing when we feel closest to God. I sheepishly responded I feel closest to God when I am writing or scuba diving. I feared that didn’t make me sound very spiritual— until someone remarked that’s probably when I feel most needy. 

I reminisced back to my diving days before kids. Away from the noise and distractions of a busy life, I would be overcome with the immense beauty and vastness of the world beneath the ocean.

On one night dive in the Florida Keys, my dive buddy and I were at seventy-five feet. We were diving off a shipwreck, and when I shone my underwater light on the rustic red side of a sunken boat, I discovered a brown caterpillar-like creature with tons of legs.

He was edging his way along at a rather slow pace. I probably stunned him by
the intrusion of my bright light in what was otherwise total blackness.
As I floated beside the ship and examined the peculiar worm,

I wondered why, in the middle of the vast Atlanta Ocean, I would discover this rather ugly creature.
Asking questions of seeming insignificance can lead to discussions latent with deeper meaning. Why did God create me? Are the things we stumble upon in life purely by chance?

Twenty-five years later, I’ve not forgotten that worm at the bottom of the ocean’s depths. I am reminded that our words bear witness to God’s nature in all of nature. We feel God’s pleasure in the stories that we tell—the stories that touch us deeply.


One worm found its way into a Bible story. In the book of Jonah in the Old Testament, God sent Jonah to warn the people of the city of Nineveh to repent of their ways. After being eaten by the whale, Jonah traveled to the wicked city and did as God had asked him. But when God didn’t destroy the city and spared the inhabitants, Jonah brooded over God’s mercy to Israel’s enemies. Then God supplied a plant to give Jonah shade as he sat angry in the hot noonday sun. The next day, however, God provided a worm to eat the plant. Sometimes
my life seems like that. What is God is trying to teach me?


Diving into the depths of the ocean reminds me of diving into the depths of God’s love. I see His creativity in the world of worms, garden eels, and sea urchins; manta rays that glide over the sea wall, nurse sharks that hide under rocky ledges, and barracuda that amass in the hundreds.

God’s underwater paradise gives me hope that harmony with the world through Him is possible. I may not understand it all, but I don’t have to. Perhaps God just wants me to enjoy the journey and channel His creativity that I so much love
into my soul.
As my kids get older, I look forward to once again putting on the weight belt, BC, tank, and octopus. I always enjoyed spitting into my face mask to clean it (after all, how many times in life is that acceptable behavior); and, of course, getting that last strand of hair out of the mask so
as not to burn my eyes with seeping saltwater. I can’t wait to push that regulator button and hear the compressed air spew out (pretty important down there to be able to breathe) and I will waddle like a duck in all my gear to the back of the boat and wait my turn (imagining I look better than I feel with the cumbersome tank on my back).




I will make sure I remember all those hand signals (the out-of-air one might come in handy), and hopefully, heave off the back of the boat in a spectacular somersault.
The rising bubbles as I sink and the sound of the regulator imitating my breathing will bring me back to my favorite pastime. I will be wooed once more to enjoy God’s presence in a world of unparalleled beauty where even a worm bears witness to His unconditional love.

* * * * * * *

To enjoy more of Lorilyn Roberts’ writings, check out her website at LorilynRoberts.com.

Comments closed

SEPTEMBER 4, 1986, MY LIFE CHANGED FOREVER: Devotional From Lorilyn’s Adoption Memoir “Children of Dreams”

On September 4, 1986, my life changed forever. I thought I would never be happy again. I couldn’t imagine I would find joy or be able to move beyond my pain.

While I hoped God would be sufficient to help me thrive after my failed marriage, I wasn’t sure He would. I wasn’t even sure God could heal my broken heart. Yet, when we trust God, there is hope, and despite my devastation and loss, I clung to that hope, the kind of hope referred to in Hebrews 11:1: Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.

My life has been full of blessings since that dreadful day when I walked out of the courthouse with a big “D” on my forehead. I can’t imagine the blessings I would have missed had I stayed married. Marriage to a godless man is no substitute for God. God is my husband, my provider, my sustainer, my healer, my everything. 
 
If only I had known thirty years ago all the wonderful things God had planned for me. But without the pain of a failed marriage, without surrender to The One Who loved me enough to die for me, I don’t believe I would have appreciated the cost. 
 
If you are going through a tough time, don’t lose heart. Nothing is impossible with God, and all things, if we let go, He will use in a way we can’t even imagine. If not completely in this world, He will use in the world to come. God can mold you and me into the person He longs for us to become. And what greater opportunity to serve Him is there than being His child?
 
All the fame we amass, all the riches we accumulate, all the knowledge we learn, all the experiences we rack up, and all the prestige we earn, none of it comes close to what it means to be a child of God. 
 
The following is an excerpt from my memoir, Children of Dreams. Enjoy.
 
…the children of the promise
Romans 9:8
“I took away her dreams,” my husband told the judge on September 4, 1986. Humanly speaking, he might have thought so. In John 8:44, God describes Satan as the “Father of lies.” He desired to destroy me, to make me doubt God’s love and goodness. In my pain, I believed a lie, much like the children believed Aslan was dead in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

However, a higher law governs the universe, a law that supersedes every human sin and evil that attempts to corrupt God’s perfection. Our heavenly Father, who is full of grace and mercy, works out His purposes despite the evil that lurks in the shadows. No human being has the power to thwart God’s ultimate plan.

He works in spite of the prince of this world and uses everything for His glory. God wastes nothing, whether it is a disease, affliction, corruption, greed, lies, or betrayal. Jesus is our ultimate example of being perfect and commanded us in Matthew 5:48: “Be perfect, even as your heavenly Father in heaven is perfect.”

God’s incredible love for us is even more astounding when one considers He was under no obligation to adopt us. He could have treated us as angels, making us spiritually alive through regeneration, and justifying us under the law through His death and resurrection (Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology, Grand Rapids, Mich., 1994, 738-739) To adopt us and call us His children, to call Himself our Father, displays an intimacy in our relationship that defies, in my limited understanding, all logic. Why would the Creator of the universe want to be our Father? Even Albert Einstein, for all his genius, could not understand God as a personal God (Hugh Ross, Ph.D., The Creator and the Cosmos, Colorado Springs, Col: Navpress, 2001, 75.)

Just as I signed a contract and made a down payment to adopt my children before I left for Nepal and Vietnam, God has given us “His Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.” (2 Corinthians 1:22).

On July 26, 2000, we made a memorable trip to the Alachua County Courthouse to finalize Joy’s adoption. A few years earlier, I had taken Manisha to the same place to finalize hers. Both of my children’s adoption decrees are now sealed and kept safe, just as God sealed my adoption and yours in heaven.
I renamed my children Hope and Joy, and God promises to give us a new name, “…known only to him who receives it.” (Rev 2:17). The adoption of my children represents a foreshadowing of what God has in store for all of us.

Much of the meaning of being a child of God has yet to be revealed. It is hard to comprehend the King giving me heavenly possessions that will never break, become outdated, cost too much, get lost, or that I don’t have to return because they are defective.

In my limited understanding, I have tried to imagine a world where there will be “no more death or mourning or crying or pain.” (Rev 21:4). Where the “dwelling of God will be among us, and He will wipe away every tear.” (Rev 21:4). Where every kind of “precious stone forms the foundation of the heavenly city that is paved in gold.”(Rev 21:19).
How can we envision perfection when all we have known is imperfection? God longs to be our Father, to share His inheritance with us, just as I longed to be an orphan’s mother. God planned us to be part of His family from the foundations of the world. He made us for His glory and “set eternity in the hearts of men.” (Ecc 3:11). He will give us new bodies that will never grow old or die but will be raised imperishable (I Cor 15:42).

I am sure if I told my children, “You can go back to Vietnam or Nepal and live your former way of life before I adopted you,” they would turn it down. Why would they want to go back to depravity, worms, and hunger? In our heavenly home, the old order of things will have passed away (Rev 21:4) and the former things will not be remembered (Isaiah 65:17).

Before I adopted my two beautiful daughters, it was hard to imagine what it would
be like to be a mother. I dreamed about little girls and birthday parties, Christmas trees and toys, bear hugs and butterfly kisses, and my name transformed into the magical word “Mommy.” Through prayer and God’s faithfulness, what seemed impossible became real. So it will be someday with our heavenly Father and us.

Hebrews 11:1 says, “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” God knows how we are formed and remembers we are dust (Psalm 103:14). Jesus said when we pray, to call God “Our Father.” The Spirit testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children (Romans 8:16). God compares Himself to a father having compassion for his children (Psalms 103:13). Our heavenly Father loved us so much that He gave us His only begotten Son (John 3:16), and He has made us heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17).

Even creation itself will be liberated when we are brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God (Romans 8:21). Through adoption, God gave me my Children of Dreams and quenched the desires of my heart (Psalms 37:4). With God, our heavenly Father, before the foundations of the world, made us His Children of Promise (Romans 9:8 and Galatians 4:28).
 
 

 

 
Revelation 5: 9-10
“You are worthy to take the scroll and break open its seals.
You are worthy because you were put to death.
With your blood, you bought people for God.
They come from every tribe, language, people, and nation.
You have made them members of a royal family.
You have made them priests to serve our God.
They will rule on the earth.”
Children of Dreams was an award winner in the 2016 Readers Favorite Book Awards!
 

 

 
 
 
Comments closed

GOD’S LOVE REVEALED IN A CAT: Devotional by Lorilyn Roberts

Kenobi 2016, double hip surgery
 
 
Recently my two-year-old cat had a terrible accident. We became aware something was wrong when we couldn’t find him. We searched all over the house and looked outside, although he’s not an outdoor cat. Perhaps he ran out without us noticing. No matter how many times I called his name, he didn’t come. I started moving the furniture around to see if he was hiding. When I pulled the sofa away from the wall, he popped out.
 
Our excitement at finding him dissipated when we noticed he was limping, but I had no idea of the severity of his injuries. My daughter then remembered seeing something white flash behind her when she was vacuuming. We then realized he must have run to escape the vacuum cleaner by hiding underneath the sofa.
 
That night, Kenobi rested in the corner of my bedroom on a rug with his hips propped up. I noticed he was breathing heavily, but when I approached him, he hissed at me. He felt feverish, and the next day I took him to the vet. X-rays revealed he had broken both hind hips.
 
The vet prescribed some pain medicine, and we elected to try the conservative approach first – bed rest for two months in a crate. Follow-up X-rays revealed his hips had not healed, and the left hip was actually more displaced than before. He didn’t appear to be in as much pain, but he walked with a noticeable limp and couldn’t run or jump up on the sofa or bed.
 
The right hip didn’t seem symptomatic, so the vet recommended we just do surgery on the left hip, but there was another problem. He had a heart murmur. Who heard of a two-year-old cat having a heart murmur? Surely that couldn’t be anything serious. 
 
Our vet recommended we take Kenobi to the University of Florida Small Animal Clinic to diagnose the cause and make sure he was healthy enough for surgery. I set an appointment, realizing the costs were mounting for his treatment and questioning how much money was too much to spend on a cat.
 
 
 
The results came back from the heart tests—Kenobi had heart disease. As the vet described it, if you have to have heart disease, his is the best kind to have. It was somewhat treatable with medication, and the doctor felt he should be able to survive hip surgery.
 
I packed Kenobi up in the van and brought him home. How difficult would it be to give a cat a tiny pill twice a day? Maybe giving Kenobi his medicine would help me to remember to take my blood pressure medicine. 

 

 
We scheduled Kenobi for surgery, but then he did something to his other hip. He couldn’t walk at all, and he was in as much pain as when he originally broke both hips. It was Saturday and our vet was closed, so I took him to the Small Animal Clinic at the University of Florida. They sent me home with pain meds to make him comfortable until our vet did the surgery on Tuesday.
 
I dropped Kenobi off at the vet three days later, informing the doctor of the recent change in his other hip. They did X-rays, and the doctor called me on the phone and said Kenobi needed surgery on both hips. He believed both hips should be done at the same time because of Kenobi’s heart murmur, but he couldn’t do both hips that day.
 
Arrangements were made to have the surgery done the next day by an orthopedic specialist. He also arranged to have an anesthesiologist to assist with the surgery because of Kenobi’s heart disease. The costs had become steep, and several well-meaning friends suggested I should put him down.
 
 
“Never,” I told them. God would provide the money, even if it meant working a lot of overtime to pay for it.
 
The next day I took Kenobi in for surgery and prayed. Matthew 10:29 came to mind: “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.” Kenobi as well as my seven other animals have all been rescued, and each one brings me joy.
 
The night after Kenobi’s surgery, I called the vet and asked how Kenobi was doing. 
 
“He’s doing okay,” the nurse said.  “But he’s not eating or urinating on his own.”
 
“Can I come down and see him?” I asked.
 
She put me on hold for a few minutes before replying. “If you make it brief,” she said.
 
I drove to the vet and arrived within minutes. Not many people are awake in the wee hours of the morning. The nurse took me to Kenobi where he was resting in a small crate. As soon as he saw me, his eyes lit up. The tech opened the cage and I reached in and stroked him gently on the head. Sweet purrs filled the air. I smiled. He just needed to know I hadn’t forgotten about him.
 
 
 
The next day I took Kenobi home and made him comfortable. The vet prescribed morphine and he wore a small fentanyl patch on his back. Eventually, the pain faded, and he became his old self again. As I write this, he is even starting to play with toys and walk at a brisk pace. He can now get up on the sofa using cat stairs I bought at the store.
 
Surprisingly, a few days ago, my back started bothering me. Maybe it was from leaning over taking care of Kenobi. Maybe it was from some heavy cleaning I did and hauling away dozens of books and donating them to a local bookstore.
 
I went to the doctor and got some muscle relaxants, and now I’m taking lots of walks, hot baths, Ibuprofen, and Tylenol.
 
As I thought about the coincidence, I wondered if God had something He wanted me to remember. Jesus Christ, when He died on the cross, died for our infirmities. He took upon Himself the weight of the world— our sins, our pain, and our hurts, and suffered an inhumane death on the cross. Isaiah 53:4 states: Surely He (Jesus Christ) has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.”
 
 
Perhaps God was showing me once again when we care for others deeply, we feel their pain. We hurt for them and with them.
Did God use Kenobi, a two-year-old kitten from the Human Society, to draw me near to Him? I feel God’s love when I love Kenobi, knowing without my sacrificial love, he wouldn’t be alive. I saved his life because I esteemed his value even if others didn’t. I saw a greater lesson, a greater message, and a greater story of love. Just as God cares for the sparrow that falls from a tree, God revealed His eternal love for me through Kenobi’s brokenness and healing.

Kenobi’s hair is already growing back.

 

Comments closed

A MOTHER’S STORY: Devotional by Lorilyn Roberts

 

 

 
“Ms. Roberts,” I believe your new daughter is blind in her left eye.”
 
“What?” I exclaimed. We had just arrived from Nepal less than twenty-fours earlier. Now I was being told my three-year-old daughter was half-blind. How could this be? 
 
Jetlagged and sleep-deprived, I struggled to understand. Experiencing for the first time the blessedness of motherhood had turned into a nightmare. This just couldn’t be true.
 

The doctor tried unsuccessfully a few more times to get a pupil response to his penlight. I studied my daughter who had grown tired of being examined and lashed out at the doctor.

A few months after arriving in America

 

“I can give you a referral to an ophthalmologist for further evaluation,” she suggested, “although I don’t know how long that will take.”
 
“Yes, let’s do it,” I said.
 
The doctor left the room to set up a referral, and I struggled to remain calm, once again crying out to God for yet another miracle. “Please don’t let my daughter be blind,” I prayed.
 
Until now, I hadn’t noticed any difficulty in her seeing. Could what the physician said be true? My thoughts raced ahead to how her life would be with a sight impairment—playing sports, driving, reading, and general safety. I didn’t want to think about how she would be compromised.
 
The physician returned a few minutes later and handed me an appointment slip. “I was able to get you an appointment in just a couple of hours with an eye specialist who works specifically with children.”

I thanked her profusely—the wait and worry would be short—and we left to go eat at a Wendy’s restaurant outside the medical complex.
 
After getting hamburgers and fries, we sat by a window overlooking a busy highway. Manisha played more with the free toy than eating, and I sipped on the coke filled with anxiety. As I watched cars zoom down the road, my sudden claim to motherhood hit me like dynamite. 
 
Insecurity crept into my thoughts. Was I prepared emotionally to raise my daughter without a husband? I had imagined life would be easy once we arrived home. All I wanted was normalcy when we were in Nepal, but now, I worried. Had I made a terrible mistake?
 
I poured my heart out to God, and soon peace filled my anxious thoughts. God was my husband. Whatever happened, He would never leave me.
I cast my worries about Manisha onto my heavenly father and husband, as best I could, and praised God that here in America if she was half-blind, she would have access to the best medical care she would need to live the life God had given to her.
 
A few hours later, we arrived for her eye specialist appointment, and the medical tech dilated Manisha’s eyes for a more extensive examination. My new daughter cried out in fear. Why hadn’t I waited a few days to allow her to acclimate to America before forcing her to endure so much trauma? Motherly guilt crept in, and once again, I doubted my ability to be a good mother.
 
Soon the ophthalmologist finished his examination and his words soothed my aching heart. “Her eyesight seems to be fine out of that eye. I think the reason her doctor couldn’t see the reflex is that her eyes are so dark, but her eyesight, as much as I can tell, is normal.”
 
Manisha was so uncooperative, I was amazed he could tell anything, but all that mattered to me was she could see out of that eye. I breathed a sigh of relief and praised God that her eyesight was normal.
 
I’ll always wonder if Manisha had miraculous healing that day, but I went home no longer doubting that I could be a good mother—God would be there for me through every trial and tribulation.

Twenty-four years later, Manisha has the best eyesight of anyone in the family. She is the only one who doesn’t wear glasses.

May 8 is the day we arrived home from Nepal—May 8, 1994, which was Mother’s Day. Manisha Hope has grown into a beautiful young woman and is on her own now. 

I thank God for both my daughters, Hope and Joy. I have been blessed beyond measure by God’s tender mercies. I wouldn’t have either of my daughters if God had not done the impossible.

Joy getting her driver’s license
 
Isn’t that the kind of God we have, though, a God who is in the business of doing the impossible? As Psalm 113:9 states, “He puts a sterile woman in a household, and she is a cheerful mother of children (Aramaic Bible in plain English)

If you have not subscribed to my email list, sign up today at LorilynRoberts.com, You can also receive Children of Dreams for free as an eBook in multiple formats by clicking here. 

Family trip to Nevada

 

 
Children of Dreams is also now available as an audiobook on iTunes and Audible for those who like audiobooks.



 

I have recently re-edited Children of Dreams, and if you already have the original version on Kindle, you can download the newest version from Amazon. Just go to your Kindle downloads and re-download. In addition, please consider leaving a review. Because Amazon has removed so many of my reviews (for no apparent reason), I’m now asking people to consider leaving a review on Goodreads instead of Amazon. Click here for the link.

13 Comments

PAYING IT FORWARD – THE AMAZING GIVE: Devotional by Lorilyn Roberts

Last week when I went to Starbucks, I had something unusual happen. When I pulled up to the drive-through window, the cashier said, “You don’t owe anything. The person in front of you paid for your drink.”

I watched as the car pulled out onto Newberry Road. I couldn’t see who it was, and I will never know. As a broadcast captioner, I had heard about such stories. They call it “paying it forward.”

As I sipped on my latte on the way home, I asked God, “How could I pay it forward for someone else?”

I awoke early this morning at four a.m. and couldn’t go back to sleep. Sometimes that happens because of the crazy hours I work. At six a.m., I decided to get up and make the most of the day. I have updated two of my books, Children of Dreams and Seventh Dimension – The Door, and I wanted to donate the few remaining first editions I had, but I didn’t want to give them to just anybody.

Immediately the Ronald McDonald House came to mind. I’m not sure why—after all, I haven’t been to the House in over thirty years. I volunteered there from 1983 to 1987. The House had a small library of donated books, and families would often take books with them to the hospital to read.

As I approached the entrance to the Ronald McDonald House, my anticipation grew. When I walked in, Carla Sly greeted me and took me into her office. As I shared with her my experiences from many years ago, fond memories returned of the families who were at the house during that time.

I soon realized my involvement with the House ran deeper than just being a volunteer. The House was like a sanctuary to me. While I was a volunteer, my husband, a physician at Shands Hospital, had left me for another woman. Fay and Pete Armes, the managers, took me in with open arms that night—just as they had done for hundreds of other families. I spent a lot of time at the Ronald McDonald House over the next few months, and the families at the House became like extended family. I had no other family in Gainesville.

That Thanksgiving, as the families gathered in the dining room, thankfulness filled the House. How could I be depressed about my marriage when others were dealing with things so much worse? Knowing I was not alone was like a taste of heaven. In the Ronald McDonald House, love overflows poured out in abundance.

Through the years, the volunteers have changed and the staff is different, but the goal and purpose of the House remain the same. When you walk through the front doors, you feel it. The Ronald McDonald House is a House built by love.

Many families come from faraway places. While I was a volunteer, one family came from South America. A little girl about seven had a large tumor on her chin. She went home a different child than when she arrived. Doctors can do miracles for children in the medical arena, but if families are worried about where they are going to stay in a city where they have no friends or family, the crisis becomes even more magnified.

No one is immune from unforeseen medical emergencies. Faye and Pete Armes lost their daughter to a rare blood disease while they were the managers. Pete died about a year later. Through all of this, Faye stayed on as the manager—strong, courageous, and steadfast. I probably learned more from Faye and Pete about how to live than I’ve learned from anyone else.

Life goes on, and there came a time when I was no longer able to be a volunteer. A few years later, I became a single mother by choice and adopted two daughters, the first one from Nepal and the second one from Vietnam.

When I received a letter from Faye that she was retiring from the House, I knew I wanted to attend her going away party. We brought balloons and celebrated with the extended Ronald McDonald House family this new season in her life as she made plans to return to her home in Jacksonville. What I didn‘t know is one week later (see the photos), my 7-year-old daughter from Nepal would be rushed to Shands after becoming unconscious from a partial complex epileptic seizure.

We spent nine days in the hospital with an inconclusive diagnosis.

I remembered the families who had gone before me, families I had comforted, families like me who were overwhelmed with anxiety and fear.  Even though I had been a volunteer, now I knew personally the real depth of their pain. I don’t think there is any pain deeper than seeing your child suffer, especially when you aren’t sure they are going to make it.

I didn’t go home during the first seven days of Manisha’s hospitalization. Even though I live in Gainesville, it was too far to travel. I wanted to be within walking distance of the hospital in case she needed me or if something happened.

During Manisha’s hospitalization, I met other families with sick children. For those from out of town, the Ronald McDonald House was everything. I saw once again how much the House meant to those families.

Because the doctors at Shands were unable to come to a definitive diagnosis for my daughter’s medical emergency, I took Manisha to Yale for a second opinion. I knew there must be a Ronald McDonald House near the hospital, and upon doing a little research, I found one. We booked our reservations to stay at the House. Upon arriving, the House put us up in a hotel because of renovations, so we didn’t stay at the House, but they paid the costs for us to stay at a motel across from the hospital.

Life is like a merry‑go‑round, isn’t it? When I arrived to deliver my books to the Ronald McDonald House, I had no idea I was going to share my story with the House staff. Sheri Houston, the executive director, said I was her Godwink. The House is in the process of raising donations to expand. Too many families must wait on a waiting list because the House is always full. Ms. Houston asked me if I would be willing to be an ambassador and share my story of how much the Ronald McDonald House meant to me. I didn’t tell her this, but I knew this was my opportunity to pay it forward, as I had asked God to show me. My trip that morning wasn’t just to deliver books. It was to share my heart.

I’m thankful to say that Manisha, who is twenty-five now, is healthy and seizure-free. The doctors determined she did not have a tumor and diagnosed her with neurocysticercosis—a parasitic infection of the brain caused by a tapeworm lavae, something she contracted before I adopted her from Nepal.

I am convinced life is full of Godwinks and divine appointments. If I have piqued your interest, I hope you will take this opportunity to learn more about the Ronald McDonald House. Many opportunities abound, including volunteering, cooking a meal, donating money that will go toward the expansion—even learning more about how the Gainesville community is helping families and children from around the world.

The storms of unforeseen medical crises hit hard and when least expected, but at the Ronald McDonald House, families don’t have to walk that road alone. A volunteer, staff member, or friend is always nearby ready to help and offer hope.

Comments closed

ANGELS, ROACHES AND A CHRISTMAS CHILD: Devotional by Lorilyn Roberts

I never thought roach droppings would become one of my favorite Christmas stories. But stories have a way of writing themselves on our hearts.

Each year my sister Paige invites all of us to her house. We sit around the dining room table where odd knickknacks are transformed into lovely Christmas decorations. Paige is an artist, and it’s a good thing for my daughters. Most of my art projects never go as planned. I always miss an important step and my results are memorable, but for all the wrong reasons.

Last year all the cousins created angels to hang on our Christmas trees. The ornaments were dressed in white lace, had feathery wings, and a red rose dotted the front collar. Instead of halos, the kids crowned the angels with macaroni noodles.

Joy, my youngest daughter, proudly hung her angel on our tree. Christmas came and went. January rolled around, and I packed the ornaments away in our attic for another year.

Last week I climbed up into the attic to pull out the Christmas decorations. Joy set up the tree and I opened up the first container. When I unlatched it, dozens of roach droppings littered the bottom of the box. A few tumbled out onto the living room floor. Several ornaments had brown pellets clinging to them. I was quite repulsed, only slightly less than I would have been if live ones had scampered out.

I fetched the vacuum cleaner and vacuumed up all the droppings. Visions popped in my head of hundreds of roaches crawling over my beautiful ornaments. How many roaches would it take to make that much crap? I cringed. Living in Florida has its dark side.

Then Joy cried out, “Mommy, my angel has no hair.”

“What happen to her hair?”

“I think the roaches ate it,” Joy said.

We broke out laughing. The roaches had spent the summer feasting on the macaroni hair of my daughter’s angel. 

As I think back to my fondest Christmas memories, many of them are also quite eclectic. There was the Christmas in downtown New York when we got trapped inside a car on fire. The electric windows were stuck and my grandfather smashed the driver’s side window with a suitcase. Mother pulled me out through shards of broken glass. Sirens blared and emergency lights flickered in the cold night air. We never did get to see the lighting of the tree but spent the evening in a fancy hotel.

Later Mother told me a Hollywood director was there for a children’s beauty pageant and had pleaded with her to let him take me to Hollywood. Sometimes I wonder if I missed my chance to be the next Hayley Mills (who I was often compared to when I was young). 

My most vivid memory from that snowy winter was Christmas Eve when I heard Santa’s reindeer pounding on the rooftop of the apartment building. It was a loud swishing sound followed by gallops. I didn’t believe in Santa Claus until that night. I lay in my warm bed imagining what Santa and his reindeer looked like. I wanted to jump up and peek out the window, but I was afraid if I saw them, he wouldn’t leave me presents.

The next morning I ran to the window and looked below. To my surprise, there were large sleigh marks in the snow. I stared out the window for a long time.



I’ve thought about that more this Christmas because of a strange conversation over Thanksgiving dinner. I asked my brother’s wife if their children still believed in Santa Claus. I shared my experience at my grandparents’ apartment when I was young, but mentioned only the part about the sleigh tracks in the snow.

Mother said, “I saw them, too, and heard Santa land on the roof.”

“You did?” I asked surprised. “I also heard the reindeer hoofs pounding on the roof. The swishing sound woke me up,” I added.

Silence followed as we thought about the strange coincidence. Sometimes I wonder if God allows fanciful moments to bring comfort to children. Maybe that’s what I needed at that time—to have something to believe in. 

Many years later I was in Vietnam on Christmas Eve to adopt Joy. Christmas music wafted through the streets of Hanoi. The beautiful lyrics filled the nighttime air.  I rejoiced, so far from home, realizing nothing can silence what God proclaims from the mountaintops—or loudspeakers hoisted on poles in a communist country.

Joy in Hanoi when I adopted her Christmas 1999

God’s love reaches to the ends of the earth—in Nepal and China and Haiti; in Israel, where shepherds tend their flocks on the same hill that angels proclaimed glory to the newborn King. If we did not speak of the baby wrapped in swaddling clothes, the rocks would cry out. Wonderful Counselor, Prince of Peace, Mighty God, Everlasting Father. The greatest gift of all came through the birth of one small child.


Joy’s hairless angel hangs on our tree this Christmas. All the gifts will be opened Christmas morning. I will eat far too much chocolate and then bemoan the five pounds I will gain. I will make my usual promise to start exercising on January 1, which I will probably break by the middle of the month. We will enjoy all the traditions that this wonderful season brings, full of joy, giving, and love. Then the ornaments will be taken down and packed away until next year. 





This joyful season, I will pause to reflect on the gift of the baby, wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger, knowing someday, too, I will bow before the newborn King. And, just maybe, there won’t be any roach droppings there.  

Hopefully, the roaches will find something else to eat besides angel hair. Life will resume its regular course, and I will be glad for the start of a new year.


5 Comments

EVEN IN DARK MOMENTS – BE THANKFUL: Devotional by Lorilyn Roberts



Below is a classic hymn from a nineteenth-century pastor in England, “Come, Ye Thankful People, Come.” I have read and experienced many depressing things lately, and yet, God has impressed upon me, be thankful anyway. 

Our momentary afflictions will soon pass and God will bring us into His presence. What greater thought could there ever be than that this side of paradise? So let’s rejoice this Thanksgiving that Jesus is the Lord of the Harvest and soon He will return.

All the world is God’s own field,
Fruit unto His praise to yield;
Wheat and tares together sown
Unto joy or sorrows grown.
First the blade, and then the ear,
Then the full corn shall appear;
Lord of harvest, grant that we
Wholesome grain and pure may be.

For the Lord our God shall come
And shall take His harvest home;
From His field shall in that day
All offenses purge away,
Give His angels charge at last
In the fire the tares to cast,
But the fruitful ears to store
In His garner evermore.



Have a Blessed Thanksgiving!

2 Comments

WHAT GOD IS TELLING ME – REPENT, PRAY AND DON’T BE DECEIVED ABOUT THE LAST DAYS: Devotional by Lorilyn Roberts

I have hesitated to write this post because it’s controversial. It will make readers uncomfortable. It makes me uncomfortable. But God has told me it’s time to come out of my comfort zone. It’s time to speak the truth, and sometimes that’s not popular or expedient. Some will think I have become an end times lunatic or a believer in conspiracies. Well, so be it. I write from my heart and continue to ask God for wisdom and discernment.

Before I started working on Seventh DimensionThe City, Book 4, I asked God to show me the battle between good and evil throughout history and into the last days. While God wins, sometimes winning is hugely costly—it cost Yeshua His life. Sometimes winning brings an outcome we don’t expect. Sometimes we must lose the battle to win the war. I am confident of this one thing, though: God is on my side.
 
Be careful what you ask for. I’m sure you’ve heard that expression before, but it’s true. I have spent the last forty plus years living out a comfortable Christianity. Not that my Christian walk has always been easy and not that I haven’t endured trials and hardships, but compared to what’s coming, I am hesitant to label anything about my Christian walk in the past, comparing it to what’s to come, as anything more than minor suffering.
 
As I look at what our Christian and Jewish brothers and sisters in Syria and other countries around the world are facing, don’t believe for an instant that what they are enduring won’t come to America. Believe, me, the West is not going to go comfortably into the sunset before the Lord’s return. We are ignorant to think we will escape some degree of suffering even if we don’t experience the full wrath of God.
 

The King James Bible in 2 Thessalonians 2:11 states: “And for this cause God shall send them a strong delusion, that they should believe a lie.”

 

Could I be deceived? Could you be deceived? 
 
In 1994, when my daughter, Manisha, suffered an epileptic seizure, the cause was nearly impossible to diagnose based on ambiguous MRI’s. It was called a “zebra” in medical parlance. We ended up going to Yale University so she could be examined by a renowned doctor in pediatric infectious disease. This physician was the only one who was certain that what my daughter had was a “worm in her head,” known as neurocysticercosis. She assured me it was treatable, that my daughter could fully recover, and that she did not have what was initially labeled as a brain tumor.
 
Considering that my adoptive father died of a brain tumor five years to the very day that my daughter had a partial complex seizure, I was skeptical and scared. It was this doctor’s validation that gave me the assurance I needed to go to Vietnam and adopt my second daughter, Joy, one week later. Looking back on those difficult days, it’s hard to believe Manisha is now 24 and Joy will be turning 17 in a few short weeks.
 
How could this doctor be so sure of the diagnosis despite the doubts of others? How could she give me that assurance? Because she knew what neurocysticercosis was—better than anyone else at that time. She was one of the leading authorities on this disease in 1994.
 
Do we know the times in which we live? Have we studied Scripture and asked God to open our eyes to what’s coming? Are we prepared? Are we as the five wise virgins in the Parable of the Ten Virgins (Matthew 25) ready for the bridegroom’s return? Or are we as the five foolish virgins who missed the wedding because they weren’t prepared and ran out of oil before the bridegroom arrived?
 
I have always been struck by what Jesus said in this parable: “And the foolish said unto the wise, ‘give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘No so; lest there be not enough for us and you, but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.’’’
 
The wise virgins did not (or could not) give their oil (the Holy Spirit) to the foolish virgins. 
A few years following the health crisis of Manisha, I wrote a blog post about the experience. I explained how she had a parasite in her brain, a parasite that she contracted in Nepal before I adopted her at age 3. I wrote the article so that other adoptive parents could be warned about neurocysticercosis. I didn’t want anyone else to bring home an adopted son or daughter and face the fear and uncertainty I had faced, something that could easily be remedied with a simple deworming pill—just like you give to dogs and cats and farm animals for hookworm and other parasites.
 

After publishing that article on my blog, I was contacted by the producers of the Animal Planet show, “Monsters Inside Me.” They had found my blog post and wanted to feature our story.

 

A few years after the airing of the episode, the producer emailed me once again and asked if I knew of anyone else who had adopted a child and had a similar story of a brain or other parasitic infection. I told her of one person who had contacted me and who had said he was “filled with worms and didn’t know what to do. They were destroying his body…” The producer responded back and said the person had Morgellons Syndrome. Of course, I had no idea what that was, so I Googled it. Someone suffering from Morgellons Syndrome is deluded with parasites.
 
The producer of Animal Planet’s “Monsters Inside Me” could tell the difference between someone who really had a parasitic infection from those who only thought they did. 
 
Do I have that kind of knowledge or perception when it comes to current world events and what the Bible says about those events? Do I know God’s truth well enough to tell a fake story from a lie or a delusion? 
 

Luke 21:26 states: “…Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth; for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.”

 

To be honest, until the last couple of months, I couldn’t imagine what could be so horrific that men’s hearts would fail them with fear. What could be worse than a nuclear bomb? While that is scary, it would not cause my heart to fail me with fear. I guess it’s because I have lived with that possibility all my life.
 
I believe there are things that will be worse than that—things that are supernatural. 
 
Luke 17:26 states: “And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.”
 
When I think of these words, I imagine people living in sin, forgetting God, and being filled with wickedness. Every day I caption sports and news on television, and I have yet to caption a newscast that was filled with just “good news.” The problem with this “traditional” interpretation is that this kind of sin has been going on since Adam and Eve rebelled in the garden. What was different about the time of Noah?

 

 

How many of you have heard about the Nephilim? How many of you have heard about transhumanism and the creation of hybrids? How many of you have heard about CERN? How many of you have heard about the increase in UFO’s, alien abductions, and animal mutilations? How many of you know about the connection of the Vatican with the Mount Graham National Observatory near Safford, Arizona? Why does the Vatican have a telescope in Arizona? What are they looking for? How many of you are familiar with HAARP, a high frequency active auroral secret research program that no one will talk about? 

It’s linked to the chem trails that are being sprayed from airplanes all over the world. What are they spraying and why? What about Jade Helm, another top-secret military operation that ended a few days ago—why have they labeled Texas, Utah, and Southern California hostile states?

 

I have mentioned only a few things here to show you why it’s important to know God’s truth and why we need to be informed and prepared for the last days—whenever those days might come. We don’t know God’s timetable for anything. But there are signs. I believe the only thing that is holding back “the day of the Lord” is God’s merciful hope that people will turn to Him and repent, and as a nation, we have a lot for which to repent.

This week, several significant events are taking place. The Pope will be visiting the United States and addressing the United Nations and Congress following the most Holy Day of the Jewish calendar, Yom Kippur, on September 23. It is the Day of Atonement, a day when Jews fast, engage in prayer, and ask for forgiveness. If the rapture were to take place this year, I believe it would happen on Yom Kippur. Of course, none of us knows the day or the hour. It might not be for a hundred years. Only God knows. 
 
Other significant events have also happened recently or are still occurring. We are at the end of a blood moon tetrarch cycle that has taken place on the Jewish holy days for the last two years. Historically, tetrarch blood moon cycles rarely fall on the Jewish appointed days, but when they do, significant events have been associated with them.
 

We are at the end of the seven-year Shemitah (financial) cycle and possibly at the end of the 49-year Jubilee cycle. If this is true (and it’s hard to know absolutely because the Jewish Jubilee hasn’t been celebrated in over 2,000 years), the last Jubilee year before this one would have been in 1967 when the Jews took Jerusalem back on June 11, 1967, in the Six Day War (to calculate this, you need to use the Jewish lunar calendar and not the solar calendar).

 

 
We face perilous times in the Middle East. The recent treaty with Iran puts Israel at risk. War is imminent. In my opinion, it’s not a matter of “if” but “when.”
 
I began work on my book Seventh Dimension – The City by asking God to show me the battle between good and evil, particularly in the last days. God has given me much to think about. If you ask yourself the same question and you do the same reading and research I have done, you will eventually have the same second question: What is truth and what is delusional?

 

I don’t believe we can know these answers humanly-speaking. Because the battle we fight is spiritual, we can only discern it spiritually. As a Christian, that would be through the Holy Spirit. 

One thing I have learned: The occult is alive and well on planet Earth. Do not underestimate what Satan is about. He is the “prince of the air” and he knows his craft well. He also knows his time is short. He has plenty of “angels of light” roaming the earth giving enlightenment, but be aware. This is occult knowledge—not from Jesus Christ. Have nothing to do with these masqueraders. And there are many, including the elite, those pushing for a New World Order, and those who practice freemasonry.
 
We must remember Ephesians 6:17-18: “And you will need the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit—which is the Word of God. Pray all the time. Ask God for anything in line with the Holy Spirit’s wishes. Plead with Him, remind Him of your needs, and keep praying earnestly for all Christians everywhere.”
 
II Timothy 1:7 states: “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind.”
If the stock market crashes a thousand points this week, are you going to panic? If the banks close, do you have some cash stashed away that you can quickly access and live off of for a month? Do you have a few weeks of food on hand if the shelves at the grocery store are emptied by panic-driven mobs? What if there is no money available at the teller machine because our country is in the throes of a financial crisis and no cash or credit is available? What if the power grid fails and your house turns dark? Are you prepared for that kind of adversity? It could happen. It’s happened before.

 

More importantly, if the rapture doesn’t happen until after a period of trial and tribulation, are you ready to suffer? Are you ready to die for your faith? A friend of mine who has a friend whose husband is a trucker pulled into a truck-weighing station on the highway. When they checked the contents inside his truck, they found guillotines. Why would anyone be transporting guillotines in America?

 
We live in perilous times. My greatest fear is the true church in America is sleeping. As Christians, I don’t believe we are prepared physically, emotionally, or spiritually for what may be coming. We are too complacent sitting in front of our television screens, filling our already too full bellies with ice cream and snapping silly selfies with our latest iPhone. I am guilty also, but I am trying to do my part now to alert others—God needs you. He needs you to be a witness. He needs the sleeping church to wake up. We are His army. He needs us to be aware and ready so our oil is full and not empty.
 
We are either on the verge of the greatest Christian awakening in history or what the Bible refers to as the Tribulation. I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather leave for my children a world brimming with the knowledge of God and the love of Jesus Christ. It’s not too late to wake up the sleeping church.

Israel needs you. Be the friend they need during these dangerous days. Yes, the Jews are living in Israel in disbelief. That’s why they need us more than ever. God brought them back in disbelief. He has not abandoned them. God needs us to be their friend and be a witness to them. They need to know evangelical Christians are behind them one hundred percent even if Washington isn’t.

We need to stand for truth when it comes to marriage. Don’t cave in. Don’t compromise. God made man and woman this way, to cling to one another and bear children together. To believe anything other than this is an abomination. Don’t be deceived.
 

Ask God to forgive us for any role we have had in the greatest holocaust since World War II—the killing of the unborn child. Their blood cries out for justice. We should shake in our shoes over God’s coming judgment for this horrific crime—a crime that has not only afflicted our country, but we set the precedent and gave “permission” to legalize abortion to the rest of the world. We have led the whole world astray. 


The timing of the release of the Planned Parent videos is not without significance. We have sacrificed our children at the altar of convenience, and ultimately, Satan’s altar. We have fed the false religions of this world with the blood they crave—just like the heathen in ancient times. Don’t be deceived. There is power in that blood—the power of life. Don’t believe for a second God has turned a blind eye to the one billion plus children who have been aborted worldwide. “The day of the Lord” is coming.

 
Pray for our country. Pray for our nation. Pray for revival. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Pray that no matter what happens, whether we see demons coming in UFO’s who claim to be the saviors of mankind or our country is invaded with strange apparitions that are part human and part demonic (Nephilim), we will not waiver in our faith. We will not take the mark of the beast. We will die for our belief that Jesus Christ is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He is the Messiah and no one else. No matter what happens, remember who wins, and in the end, that’s all that matters. The battle belongs to the Lord and He will give all of us the strength and grace to do His good work until His return.
Again, do not give up or grow weary. There is good in the world and it’s worth fighting for. God does not want anyone to perish, but for everyone to be saved. Let’s join together and pray for revival before it’s too late. There is still time. Return to God. Pray—in the car, in the shower, in bed, at work. Pray unceasingly—and hopefully, God will hear our prayers and delay His coming judgment.
 

20 Comments

MY RESCUED ANIMALS: Devotional by Lorilyn Roberts

 

I”ll always be by your side while you write the best books in the whole world.

 

I’m an animal lover. Always have been, always will be. Animals have taught me lessons I couldn’t have learned otherwise. When I see animals, I see the hand of God.
 
Sometimes I laugh when I see strange creatures, whether on TV, on the internet, in the wild, or in the oceans. I saw many weird ones when I scuba-dived. At other times, I mourn when I see the heartless killing of them. I don’t mean for food, I mean for sport, for pride, for evil.
 
Lest I get too depressing, because that’s not what this post is about, with the earthquake in Nepal and finishing my latest book, I am rather emotionally drained. Therefore, I decided to write this post for sheer enjoyment. I have pulled out photos of some of my pet animals, and yes, I have way too many. We have seven neurotic cats and one devoted dog.
 
All of them are rescued animals—from the streets, the Human Society, and unwanted. Actually, I think they rescued us. Yes, I would be much richer without their upkeep in heartworm medicine and food and vet bills, but how much poorer I would be without their love. 
 
Enjoy these snapshots. Laugh, cry, but mostly, remember God brings love to us through our pets. Every good thing comes from above, and yes, I do believe our cats and dogs and other critters will be in heaven. Does God not give us the desires of our heart? And my heart’s desire is to see Gypsy, Gretchen, Shelley, Abby, Rex, Molly, Thomasina and Lewis (who have gone to their reward) as well as those still with us. How many blessings I would have missed without their licks, wags, kisses, purrs and—well, even their little messes. (As only a mother would understand:)
Yes, another dumb commercial.
Can I come in, too?
I’m so beautiful. Eat your heart out!
I’m in charge around here
I’m a cat on a hot Florida roof.

 

The best thing about Christmas is I get to play with the boxes.
Water always tastes better from a toilet.

 

Help! I promise I’ll never do this again.
.
Thank you for fostering us for a future home:)

 

Peek-a-boo

 

I just love these blankets.

 

Comments closed

A PRAYER: Pray for the People in Nepal Following the Earthquake

Kathmandu


My heart goes out to Nepal. I can’t imagine the suffering. Nepal is poor and does not have the infrastructure or resources to deal with anything like this. The epicenter was between Pokara and Kathmandu. These are the two cities Joy and I visited when we took Christian books to orphans last October. I have read reports Durbar Square was completely shattered. Below I have posted pictures from our trip from Durbar Square, Pokhara, and Kathmandu. 

Children in Nepal

My daughter Joy at the Durbar Square that was destroyed in the earthquake

Durbar Square, Lorilyn and Joy

Durbar Square

Town of Pokhara

Pokhara



I received an email from Ram and he said his family and house are fine, as well as the church. Joy and I stayed with his family for part of the time while we were there. They have adopted ten or eleven orphans. I don’t know if they know about the other 130 or so other adopted children in Child Hope International homes around the country. Please continue to pray. World Vision is collecting donations if you want to help.


Pokhara Lake


Comments closed

WHAT IS YOUR MOST MEMORABLE CHRISTMAS? Devotional by Lorilyn Roberts

 

I shared my most memorable Christmas a couple of weeks ago with the women at our annual Christmas event and thought I would post the excerpt here from my memoir Children of Dreams. May God bless you and your family this holiday season.



SHORT DEVOTIONAL


“It’s Christmas, isn’t it? She answered, “Your custom?”

“Yes. Can I open it now?” I asked.

“Yes, please do.”

I unwrapped the small gift and hidden inside were two handmade white doilies, one for a cup and the other for a plate, lined in green stitching along the outside edges.

“Thank you; they are beautiful.”

“You are welcome,” she beamed back. It was a special moment in what otherwise had seemed like a gloomy day.

“Merry Christmas,” I said. “I am sorry you have to work.” I knew she had two kids at home, but I wasn’t sure if they celebrated Christmas.

“It’s okay,” she said.

We said good night, and Joy and I headed back up to our room. I thought we would spend a quiet evening watching CNN and MTV, but as always, at least for me, there is the rest of the story. After feeling sorry for myself and moping around for an hour, I called the Murphys. It was late enough I hoped I wouldn’t wake them up, but I couldn’t wait any longer.

“Merry Christmas!” I shouted excitedly into the phone. A lot of love can be shared in a short amount of time. Manisha was happy to talk to me and told me about all the things Santa had brought her.

“When are you coming home? I miss you,” she said.

“I miss you, too, Honey. I will be home soon.”

I thought in my heart, though, not soon enough. Tears welled up in my eyes as I regretted that I couldn’t be with both my daughters for Christmas. Jenni had shared the pictures of Joy with Manisha and I hoped she could focus on meeting her new baby sister. It was a short conversation, but I felt better having heard her sweet voice across the ocean, reminding me that although we weren’t together in person, she was with me in spirit.

As I watched television feeling homesick, I heard noises outside, louder than the usual honking of horns and vehicular traffic. I picked up Joy and we walked back downstairs to the lobby. I felt excitement in the air with faint Christmas music barely audible above the sporadic street noise.

“What’s going on?” I asked the young lady who had given me the gift earlier.

“It’s the Christmas celebration,” she said.

What celebration? I thought to myself. Vietnam is a communist country and they don’t celebrate Christmas, or so I thought.
I quickly ran back up to our room, grabbed our coats and stroller, and carried Joy down the steps into the cool night air. I could see crowds up ahead on Hue Street walking toward Hoan Kiem Lake. 

We joined the crowd, and as we approached, Hanoi’s version of Christmas spread out before us. The lake was decorated with Christmas lights, and a large Christmas tree adorned with presents took center stage. A cardboard Santa Claus was displayed near the tree. A little baby swing decorated in a colorful leis was set up to take pictures.

Crowds gathered in the streets wearing red Santa stocking caps and carrying balloons. I couldn’t decide if the “party” resembled a parade or people gathering for a concert. A festive, family atmosphere filled the air, and the lake was packed with Vietnamese families.

I was excited to have something to do. Uplifting, holiday music wafted from the loud speakers over the noisy crowd. I wanted to know where the music was coming from. It had a sweet-sounding familiarity, like a piece of chocolate to a hungry soul. I wanted to grab it and not let go.

In such an anti-Christian country, I never thought I would hear Christmas music broadcast in downtown Hanoi. Many of our Christmas songs have a message of “tidings of great joy,” with Jesus as a baby in the manger. Even though the celebration was steeped in commercialism, the familiar words from Christmas carols filled the air, giving me hope that all was well with my soul. I pushed Joy in her stroller to the nearby church a few hundred feet from where the music came.

My soul was enraptured with joy, a balm for my homesick heart. I longed to be with friends and family. Here I could sing in harmony, filled with the Christmas spirit, enveloped in oneness with those around me who were here for a different experience, but so far from home, I welcomed Christmas in another culture.

For a brief moment, I understood Ephesians 4:5. There is unity in the world, “one body, one hope, one baptism, one God and father of all.” I felt a connection to the Vietnamese people. For some, this might be the only testimony to the risen Savior they would ever witness, but as Isaiah 55:11 says, “My word…will not return to me empty.”

God had given me a taste of Christmas in Hanoi that I would always treasure. We returned to the Lake and I took Joy over to the Christmas tree and swing. She was intrigued with the bobbing balloons tied to the Santa and stared wide eyed at the Christmas lights strung around. 

I handed the camera to someone to take our picture. Standing in front of a cardboard Santa Claus, the bittersweet moment was captured, now kept in the scrapbook that I had won years earlier, a memoir to the past I didn’t want to forget.

Today, as I remember that night, fifteen years later, I thank God for all the Christmases we have had since then. Jesus is the reason for the season. Let us be thankful for what He has done for us and praise Him with the heavenly hosts. Christmas is magical even for adults!



Comments closed

JOHN 3: 16 MARKETING NETWORK MISSIONARY TRIP TO NEPAL TO DONATE BOOKS: “Our Recent Trip – Photographs are Worth a Thousand Words,” by Lorilyn Roberts

The trip to Nepal was such an amazing trip, I wanted to share a few more photographs of the kids we met and our time spent with them. As Thanksgiving approaches, I’m reminded of how much I have to be thankful for. Even though separated by an ocean and dozens of countries and more than ten thousand miles, Nepal will always be a part of me. 

As Christians, we worship the same God, we love the same Savior, and we look forward to the same eternity. Enjoy these photographs and remember how much God loves you this Thanksgiving. Be more thankful and eat lots of turkey.

worship at church in Kathmandu

Sunday school class

Orphans with John 3:16 books

Typical street in Nepal

Taking home John 3:16 books to read

Pokhara

My daughter Joy – as a former gymnast, I felt she was safe.

Pokhara

I actually remembered how to play!

John 3:16 Bookmarks

Reading Sherrill Cannon’s book, Peter and the Whimper Whineys.

Kids climb the trees to reach the fruit for dinner
Joy and I had a wonderful time!

Photo credits for this blog post: Joylin V. Roberts



6 Comments

WHERE IS YOUR FUTURE HOME: Devotional by Lorilyn Roberts


 

Mount Everest

After spending a week in Nepal and returning home, I appreciate the little things so much more—I can drink tap water, enjoy coffee with breakfast, and eat anything I want. I’m not sneezing anymore from allergies. The air is clean, and I love sleeping in my own bed. I know this sounds trite, and I don’t mean it to be. God uses the mundane and ordinary in this world to teach us about the extraordinary in the next.

My home is here in sunny Florida where we have far too many cats and a rescued dog. This is where I’m comfortable. It’s where most of my friends are and where I work and play and do far too much complaining about mostly meaningless things.

Nepal was foreign to me. What made it familiar were the relationships with the Christians I met. We worship the same God, we sang the same songs in church, and Joy and I enjoyed the sweet fellowship of the Christians in Nepal in their homes and places of worship.

I’m reminded of Matthew 16:19 which says, “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you lose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”Our job in this world is to build a foundation for the next. Are you sending ahead of your homecoming an investment in the future?

If you aren’t a Christian, you wouldn’t want to go to heaven. It would be outside of your comfort zone.The Holy Spirit is not in you because you rejected God; neither are Christian relationships. You chose not to be part of that world. You rejected the most important relationship, Jesus Christ, who died so that you would have an inheritance at your homecoming. Jesus said, “I go and prepare a place for you.”

We live in worlds of comfort zones here, and there are thousands of them, scattered to the four winds. Home is our familiar world, but it is temporary. Where will your future home be? Nothing familiar exists in hell. Hell was made for the devil and his fallen angels—not for humans. In heaven, we will have the Body of Christ, the relationships we’ve forged here, and whatever we have here will be so much more there.

Let us not grow weary of doing good (as I’m apt to do at times), because we are God’s workmanship, created for good works. We are building a kingdom right here on earth.

I longed to do a better job of keeping my priorities in order—and I want God to renew His Spirit within me. Help me, God, to have more of you in my life, in my home, in my world, and less of me. Your Kingdom is increasing here, I know it, even though outwardly, we may be persuaded to think otherwise, but you promised in Isaiah 9:7, “Of the increase of His government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore.” I believe before I went to Nepal I was allowing the evil one to convince me otherwise.

Now I see your kingdom with more hope and with more belief in the impossible. In Isaiah 64:4, you say, “Since ancient times, no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for Him.”

God’s kingdom is expanding here in our homes, in our communities, in our government, and in our world. Nothing except our unbelief can stop God’s power from being manifest everywhere. Seize the moment and make your home a “taste” of your heavenly home. What greater gift can we give our families than a preview of what’s to come?


9 Comments

I WILL FEAR NO EVIL, FOR YOU ARE WITH ME: Devotional by Lorilyn Roberts

Chapter Six

…I will fear no evil, for you are with me
Psalms 23:4

On March 15, 1994, at the end of the child referral letter I received from the adoption agency was this paragraph:

Any family adopting Manisha will be required to travel to her native village in Janakpur to obtain signed paperwork from the village mayor and Chief District Officer. This district is accessible by plane, car, and foot. It is a remote, rural district isolated from medical and other facilities. There may be no heat, running water, or electricity. The location and isolation of this district places any individual or family at increased risk for accidents, disease, and even death, prepared by the director and placement supervisor.

Today, as I reread the paragraph above from the adoption agency, I am reminded of my fear that night at the Bleu Hotel.

Romans 8:15 says: “For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, Abba, Father.”

Why would God contrast a spirit of fear with the spirit of adoption? I knew God wanted me to adopt Manisha so why was I so fearful? Upon arriving back at my hotel room later that night, I succumbed to overwhelming fatigue. I laid my head on the pillow bemoaning my weakness. I didn’t have what it took to be a single mother, I cried.

Halfway around the world all alone in a country and culture completely different from America, I wondered if I had made a terrible mistake. Could I take a child whom I had just met, who didn’t look anything like me, and promise her, you are mine forever? Was I willing to spend twelve hours in a van the next day on a one-lane, half-paved road with strangers speaking a language I didn’t understand? Could I eat strange food and not worry about the guards that Silas warned might stop or search us? What about my fear of heights as we traveled atop the highest mountains in the world on a road that winds like a corkscrew to China?

I felt dizzy thinking about what lay ahead of me as if I were a minute droplet amongst millions cascading over the steep Himalayans into streams thousands of feet below. Could I handle seeing starving children with red hair and distended bellies, images that would sear my conscience forever, knowing I could only save one?

“Oh, God,” I cried out, “please help me not to be afraid.” I was too overwhelmed to read my Bible. The lack of sleep made even the simplest of logic seem impossible. I wasn’t sure I could go through with it. Would God be sufficient in my hour of greatest need?

But even this didn’t compare to my fear a few years earlier scuba diving in the waters of the Turneffe Islands.

The Turneffe Islands are the largest of three atolls consisting of over two hundred mangrove islands thirty-five miles off the coast of Belize City. Not only is it a diver’s paradise, but after leaving Belize City for the three-hour jaunt in a small boat, it becomes a complete escape from the busyness of our chaotic world. There are no TVs, no computers, no telephones, no radios, and no newspapers.

One morning we went out on what is called a “drift dive.” A drift dive is where the diver jumps off the side of the boat and the current carries him either on a harrowing rollercoaster ride or a meandering, leisurely tour.

Drift diving was my favorite kind of dive because I didn’t have to worry about where the dive boat was. I was never adept at using a compass underwater. With drift diving, the dive boat follows the “bubbles” and picks up divers when they float to the surface.

On this day I jumped off the boat and went down like a weighted anchor. Rather than floating lazily in the current, I found myself within a few seconds at eighty feet deep. I was quite impressed that I beat everyone else down. Usually, my dive buddy would have to wait on me because scar tissue in my left ear made it difficult for me to equalize. All alone, I moseyed around for a few minutes waiting for the other divers to float down beside me, but no one showed up. It was a beautiful dive, and I didn’t want to cut it short by heading to the surface, but divers aren’t supposed to swim alone in the ocean. Actually, it’s a foolish thing to do, so reluctantly, I went to the surface.

When I poked my head out and looked around, the only boats in sisight were way off in the distance. The dive boat had left me behind, following the other divers on their drift. I was all alone in the Gulf of Mexico with a 40-pound tank on my back in the middle of nowhere. I knew it would take an hour for the others to finish their dive and decompress, depending on how deep they went. They would have to get back on the boat and discover I was missing. I figured it would be at least a couple of hours before I would be rescued if I was ever rescued at all.

The first hour floating all alone in the ocean I remained calm. The second hour gave way to waves of fear and panic as I began to seriously ponder my desperate situation. Suppose the dive boat never found me? My life passed before my eyes. What a horrible way to die. I wasn’t ready. “Please, God,” I cried out, “don’t leave me out here in the Gulf. I want to live.”

I contemplated what few options I had, which were none, and thought about how many sharks might be lurking. What was underneath my dangling feet and would I ever be found? I floated helplessly for hours with a forty-pound tank on my back breathing through my snorkel in the middle of nowhere.

Had God not saved my life that day in the Turneffe Islands for something far more wonderful than I could have imagined? Would I let Satan rob me of my joy of adoption by filling my heart with fear? I was tired, hungry, and emotionally drained. Satan knew I was vulnerable.

Only God could take away my slavery to the fear that paralyzed me. As fear’s grip on me let go, God held me in His arms, much like a mother would hold her infant daughter, and spoke silently to my heart, “I love you.”




At last, I peacefully dozed off. I awakened early the next morning feeling strong and courageous, anxious to get on the road and ready for an incredible adventure. Never again in the years since have I doubted that Manisha was supposed to be my daughter. I was filled with peace, had a good night’s rest, and was ready for whatever storms lay ahead.



We would be leaving at 5:30 a.m. to travel to the Janakpur District to have documents signed by the CDO. It would be a long and arduous journey.


*~*~*~*

Comments closed

HOPE DEFERRED MAKES THE HEART SICK: Devotional by Lorilyn Roberts

Introduction

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when dreams come true at last, there is life and joy.
Proverbs 13:12


What does it mean to be adopted? As I look at my two beautiful, internationally adopted daughters, the definition becomes living and full of personal meaning, not just a two-dimensional word on a written page. Maybe what I want is not so much a definition as an understanding of the depths of its meaning on a spiritual level—the act itself of love, sacrifice, cost, and inheritance.

Today my children are ten and seventeen years old and as American as any other child born in this country. We live in middle-class suburbia, I drive a “mommy van,” our refrigerator is full of too much junk food, my kids wear J.C. Penney clothes, and sleep on comfortable flannel sheets and memory foam pillows. Manisha has Christian teenage friends who come over and watch action-packed movies on our high definition, forty-eight-inch television screen, and Joy competes at level seven on a girls’ gymnastics team. We are living the American dream. On the surface, we seem “ordinary,” but in reality, we are quite to the contrary.

My two children were orphans from third-world countries. They came from destitute backgrounds without hope, clinging to a miserable existence. I asked my 17-year-old daughter, “What does it mean to you to be adopted?”

“It means I didn’t grow in my mommy’s stomach but in her heart,” she responded.

Sometimes when we decide to write a book, it’s because there isn’t a book on the bookshelf that addresses what we want to read. I wanted to understand what it meant to be adopted by my heavenly Father. I searched the Scriptures for all the passages on adoption and thought about what it meant for me personally. The more I thought about it and looked for material, the more I realized how little extra-Biblical literature existed.

I prayed about writing my own book and started writing, but as I wrote, I realized I had to tell my own story. I imagined a beautiful book of how we became a family because I wanted to encourage others to pursue their own dreams of adoption. I wanted it to be a story of hope and fulfillment, but God’s adoption of us and the adoption of my children aren’t just beautiful adoption stories in the sense that most of us would think of as beautiful.

Mine is the story of the struggle to create a “forever family” as I endured lies, betrayal, sickness, delay, deceit, deception, greed, corruption, suffering, fear, abandonment, and sacrifice. Eventually, through perseverance and dependence on God, I received fulfillment. It soon became clear to me that the adoption of my children wasn’t that different from God’s adoption of us.

Jesus gave His life for us by paying the ultimate sacrifice at great cost to Himself—suffering on a cruel Roman cross after being abandoned by His closest friends and even God Himself. He suffered every human emotion that I had suffered, but even more so, and without sin.

Perhaps I did accomplish what I wanted, but just not in the way I had originally envisioned. I get teary-eyed when I think about it because I know what heartache and suffering I went through, which pales in comparison to what God has done for us. He has given me a great gift, because I am able to see how much God loves me through the adoption of my children.

In heaven, the Lamb will stand before the throne, in the midst of thousands upon thousands of angels, illuminating us with His holy presence. Only when Jesus breaks the seven seals and opens the scroll, which is the deed to the earth and all its inhabitants, will our entitlement be revealed.

The adoption of my two children was a hard-fought battle—trusting God, forgiving others, and fighting forces of evil that wanted to destroy me. Ephesians 6:10 states:

Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

My earthly journey of adoption not only gave me the “Children of Dreams” I longed for, but it has shown me the inheritance awaiting us when we arrive in heaven through God’s adoption of us. My story begins many years ago….

*~*~*~*



Comments closed

RECENT POSTS

CHRISTIAN BLOGGER / OP EDS

MEDIA

BOOK MARKETING

CREATIVE WRITING INSIGHTS

WRITING AWARDS

LORILYN’S BOOK REVIEWS

GUEST POSTS

REAR GUARD PUBLISHING, INC. Contact Lorilyn Roberts: authorLorilynRoberts@gmail.com