A few weeks ago a friend and listener to the podcast asked me in the lobby of our church, WHERE do you get your ideas for your podcast? Others have asked the same thing.
For me, they come from being observant and curious about what God exposes me to. I look at ideas for the podcast, blog, and emails as manna from heaven. God presents me with a circumstance, and I just try to be observant and curious about whatever stares me in the face or is dumped in my lap. There are things God presents to you, too. Things he wants you to be curious about. Things that enrich your life if you’re curious enough to look for it.
Today’s episode is about a chance relationship encounter that has enriched my life. Let me tell you what happened. It my enrich your life, too.
I met Stacey Brown Randall about a year or so go t a podcast training workshop
In passing she mentioned she and her husband were raising their nephew.
This piqued my curiosity, and so I asked if she’d be willing to tell her story about this on my podcast. She agreed and here we are today.
[listen to Interview recording]
Man, what a moving story. Several things grabbed me:
That incident where Stacey tells Dani to obey and he doesn’t, and he says, “you’re not my mom.” I loved her answer.
Stacey’s comment that this journey with Dani has made them better parents. “We’ve had two easy kids to raise, causing us to think we’re amazing parents, and then along comes a child like Dani who breaks us into a million little pieces, as Stacey said, ‘So God can make something new.’ I love that phrase.
When Dani started going to the Wednesday night Bible study and his artwork turned from darkness to light. It’s the power of God to change lives that is manifested.
What’s in it for us as listeners to this story
Here’s what I’m taking way from this interview that benefited me, and hopefully benefits you, too:
What Stacey and her family are doing is an expression of a Transcendent relationship with God that manifests itself in their relationship with their nephew, and now their son. It’s the “T” in You Were Made for T.H.I.S., that we talked about in the last two episodes, 32 and 33.
Stacey and her husband extended themselves beyond what is normal, beyond what is comfortable.
The decision to take him in was made quickly because it was rooted in their values of what it means to be a family and what it means to care for another person who cannot care for himself. The “What to do” came quickly. The “How do we do this” they are figuring out as they go. When our values are deeply rooted in our relationship with God, the question is often more like “How can we NOT do this?”
“We were called to do this,” she said. Others were not. The needs of another family member transcended their own. They had to do this.
“He’s our blood. He’s our family,” Stacey said.
This is transcendent love for God and one’s extended family in action.
The transcendent relationship between God and Dani. The Wednesday night Bible study that brought light into his dark artwork.
Another thing I benefited from in Stacey’s story is the seeing the selflessness of her and her husband’s relationship with Dani. It’s the “S” in You Were Made for T.H.I.S..
Financial cost. Not mentioned, but it’s real.
Opening up your heart to a another child that you did not bring into this world, that was someone else’s responsibility, and seeing your heart broken for him (bottle cap story)
If people like Stacey and her husband can live like this, so committed to the value of family and obeying God, maybe I should too. Perhaps I need to be a little more selfless in my relationships, not necessarily like Stacey and Norm, but with the people God puts in my life.
Before I close, here’s the he main take-away from today’s episode. Our show in a sentence
When we work to help others become all they were meant to be, it makes us become all we were meant to be. We were made for this.
What can you do in response to today’s show
A couple of things come to mind. Is there a relationship issue in your life that is breaking you right now? Maybe look to see if God is using it to create something new in your life, like He did with Stacey.
Near the end of the interview, Stacey made the comment
“You need a tribe to do this. You need people to come alongside of you through something like this. Not to judge, but to help.”
Is there a “tribe” God might be calling you to join, to walk alongside someone, not to judge, but to help carry the load of another.?
Now for our Relationship Quote of the Week
Before I recorded the interview I asked Stacey if confidentiality was an issue for her and Dani, and she said it wasn’t because she’s been public about their story in other places. And then in the interview she alluded to the fact Dani may one day listen to this podcast.
So with that in mind, I want to close with a blessing for Dani and others like us, who have hard a rough start in life.
Dani, may the difficulties of your earliest days make you a stronger person characterized by gratitude, forgiveness, and compassion. Gratitude to God for seeing you and rescuing you from darkness, and providing you parents who love you more than you can ever imagine. Forgiveness for the people who brought you into the world, whose unwise choices, harmed you. And compassion for others who are hurting from the holes in their hearts, just as there is a hole in your’s.
May you follow the example of your parents, as you bless others just as your parents have blessed you. And may you use your story to strengthen and encourage others, as you glorify God in reflecting his image to the people he brings into your life.
Thank you for joining us today in this faith community of people who care about transforming their relationships into the best they can be. Who care about showing the world the character of Jesus through our relationships. I’m so glad you are one of us.
You can help us spread the word about what we are doing by leaving a review in iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts. And while you’re at it, please subscribe to our podcast there so you don’t miss any episode when they come out each week.
Above all, always remember what you were made for. You were made for T.H.I.S. Relationships that: Transcend our natural inclination to focus on self, that instead give people a picture of what God is like. That Honors others as we bring out the best in people, where we Initiate by reaching out beyond ourselves, and where we Selflessly serve others. We were made for T.H.I.S.
That’s all for today. See you next week. Bye for now.
Resources mentioned in today’s show
Prior episodes of You Were Made for This
Episode 33 – The Power of One Simple Question The Power of One Simple Question
Stacey Brown Randall’s resources:
Her website: staceybrownrandall.com