Corey’s eyes met mine across a messy kitchen Sunday afternoon and I pointed to my heart and sighed.

“What’s wrong?” he asked, his voice tinged with alarm.

“I feel churned,” I replied.

It’s an odd word to use to describe one’s condition.

But it’s the most fitting word I can find.

Lately, my heart rides the white water. I am pushed and pulled, slammed this way and that. Sometimes, it’s exhilarating. Sometimes, it’s frightening.

I trust my rafting guide. But he’s not known for taking the safe route, you know?

This past weekend, Corey and I attended the kick-off event for Orphan Sunday. It was an amazing evening, worship-fueled and laced with incredible stories of people loving crazy. I walked away brimming with hope after meeting so many determined to make a difference in the lives of orphans around the world. They have passion and a plan. Stories of adoptions, orphanages, food and water, love. These is the Church determined to not stand by while 18.5 million children fade into the background.

But then I got home from Colorado and read stories from friends in the trenches. Friends like Laura who writes about a girl who picks up a stone to defend herself, a child who has to grow old early, because she is an orphan. I wonder about all the children alone tonight, searching the skies, wondering if rescue is even something they dare believe in. I look into the soul of my own husband and see the scars.

The problem is so huge. It is beyond comprehension. The numbers stagger. And each numeral represents a story, a face, a name, an everlasting splendor.

You feel the churn with me, right?

I don’t know where this journey will take me. I am sitting in the raft, waiting for the green light to do my part. I have learned the importance of waiting on my rafting guide to give me the signal to act. Ultimately, this is His journey. I am only along for the ride.

In the meantime, I pray for the churning to change me.

Did your family or your church do something to mark Orphan Sunday yesterday? I'd love to hear about it. Tell me your story in the comments, or link back to a post you've written. I'll even make sure it gets back to my friends at the Christian Alliance for Orphans, the organization behind Orphan Sunday. I know they will be encouraged to hear how God moved yesterday.


  1. I wrote about Orphan Sunday and had hopes that our church would do something special this weekend. I was disappointed when it went by unnoticed but I'm encouraged by all the bloggers that have written about it. I think maybe next year I will speak up and suggest our church do something! I know what you mean by the churning feeling, I've got it too.

  2. I haven't written about Orphan Sunday, but yesterday at church we were emerged in learning about ways to help orphans, at home and abroad. Our church has a lot of ministries focused on the plight of orphans, particularly in Mexico and Thailand and even locally.

    My own MIL was orphaned as a child. She's a wonderful person who has endured so much. Without loving support and people taking a chance on adopting an older child, who knows what would have happened to her? She was blessed, and now she's a blessing. It hits home and convicts me that we can all be this person in a child's life. Even if we aren't called to adopt, there are other ways to lift up a sweet kiddo into a life of happier possibilities.

  3. We didn't yesterday but we have an Orphan Sunday in August at our church. I mentioned in an earlier comment that we also have a non profit ministry 'fund' that helps adopting parents. Through this ministry our church has helped bring home 7 children in 5 years. And we have a family in the process of adopting a little boy from Etheopia right now!

    I'm not sure what God has in store for our family. But my husband and I pray about adoption often.

  4. I was bummed that our church decided not to participate in Orphan Sunday. However, my family gave a presentation at their homeschool co-op regarding our journey to adopt and the facts/statistics/myths about adoption. My hubby too had to journey to get peace with adoption. He was at the tender age of 15 a birthfather to a little girl who was adopted. After meeting her in real life there was closure enough to consider being on the other end of the spectrum. I will be praying for you as you continue to walk this journey!

  5. the churning? yes, i get it. it is in my heart all the time. and i pray that God would not allow my hard to be hardened. [i held a glimmer of a hope that our church might mention it. even in passing.] THAT is why i'm thankful for blogging. He has given me so many kindred spirits when many "in real life" think i'm a little too "obsessed."
    tears for you, friend, as you wait gracefully on your raft.

    [ps--you won. check the blog.] =)

  6. Yes, yes, yes. I am churned.

    This is what I wrote on Orphan Sunday:

  7. We did! I worked the table for the We SOLD OUT of shirts and sold a bunch of necklaces too. I know exactly how you feel. There are over 160 million ophans now and the job seems overwhelmingly huge! So, yes, I am churned.

  8. Hi Kelly, Our church didn't do anything over here for Orphan Sunday, but I did write about it. It is overwhelming, isn't it? It brings up so many questions--adoption or better homes for bigger numbers of children or other programs . . . . so many questions, so many needs, so many children.

    I love your heart, as always, as always.

  9. Our church didn't do anything for orphan Sunday, in fact I didn't know it was orphan Sunday until just now, weeks later.
    The picture in my head that you put there about the child picking up a rock to defend herself is going to haunt me.
    Thank you Jesus. Please wake me up to this reality. Help me stay awake.