God Uses Bad Things for Good Things

I know this has been said a lot lately by Sparrow staffers, but wow! We really had an amazing year! Chris and I were just thinking back on last January. We started last year with an empty house. Our home officially opened on January 1st, and we were so anxious for the little ones that God had planned to be a part of our family. We started last year with empty arms knowing God would fill them.

And we ended the year with three beautiful kiddos and a pregnant belly! This year, we have truly learned that God is our provider. He has blessed us beyond measure. Our ministry is growing, our family is growing, and His kingdom is growing all around us!

Over the last year, we experienced so many blessings, but our family also experienced many trials. Becoming a family is not easy. Breaking down walls and building trust is not easy. Opening up your heart in the face of rejection is not easy. Sometimes, let’s be real, loving is not easy. So many parts of this year were not easy. They were really really hard. For the kids. For Chris and I. For the Bowmans. But on New Years Eve, we sat down with the kids and talked to them about this last year. I asked lots of questions about how this year was for each of them. And I asked, “What did you learn about God this year?” A and B had some cute Sunday school answers about God loving them, and it warmed my heart, but K’s response made me so so proud. She said, “I learned that God uses bad things for good things.” It makes me so happy to know that she has truly taken that to heart.

As a foster mom to kids who have experienced such tragedy and heartbreak, at first, it was very difficult for me to find peace about their story. It was hard for me to understand. I would ask God how any of this could have been “part of his plan.” I did NOT understand why bad things happen.

Then one day, in bible study with Roxanne, it just clicked. It made sense. Bad things happen. But our God is so amazing that He can use something absolutely horrible and turn it into something beautiful. And that is so incredible! We have watched God use our kids’ stories to touch so many lives. We’ve watched Him transform their experience with hunger into compassion for the hungry. We’ve seen God use their desperate poverty to touch their hearts for the poor. Their hearts have been transformed, and they have become more Christ-like because God used horrible circumstances for His glory…

January 22nd of this year marks one year that K, B, and A have been part of our family. Chris and I have wondered whether we should celebrate this day or avoid it. It’s the day that we became a family, but it’s also the day that these beautiful children were taken away from everything they knew. It was a day when they lost all control over what happened in their lives, when they said goodbye to their biological mother, when they moved to a new strange place. Do you celebrate that day?

So last week, when B asked me how long they have lived here, I told him that January 22nd would make a year. K overheard and asked if we were going to celebrate. “Can we have cheesecake?” I was happy to see that they would like the idea of celebrating, but even so, I knew it was a question we should discuss. So we sat down and talked about that day. We talked about how it held good and bad memories, and I asked how they wanted to handle it. A’s response, at just seven years old, was so beautiful. He repeated that same phrase, “God uses bad things for good things, Mommy. Now we’re here.”

So on Sunday, we will be celebrating being a family for a year. But we will also be celebrating all of the bad things that we know God is using (or will use) for His good. I invite you to celebrate with us, but not just Sunday. Every day. I invite you to celebrate all of the bad things in your life that God has used for good, and to trust that He has more in store!