Saturday, December 28, 2013

In The Moment

I have made a conscious decision to be "in the moment" this Christmas season... to let go of what doesn't matter and cling to those eternal moments that seem to exist outside of time.  Even with our trip to Ch*na coming up so quickly, I have had a strange calm resting within me.  Now, I haven't been 100% successful at this goal but those times when I embrace what is and fully enter into the "now" have reaped many blessings that I could not have anticipated.

Today Larry, Madeleine and I headed out to Ocean Beach.
We walked along Voltaire looking through the windows of the little shops and perusing the menus posted outside each little cafe until we found a new and different place to eat.  After a wonderful Japanese lunch we headed out to the pier soaking in the sun, breathing in the ocean air and laughing at Madeleine's impeccable sense of humor.

Some of you may be wondering about our trip... we are scheduled to leave the morning of Friday, January 10th.  Larry's mom will be staying with Isaac, Emma and Madeleine and Landen will be back up at UCLA.  My mom is traveling with us.  We will fly from San Diego to San Francisco, change planes and then fly to Seoul, Korea on Korean Air.  We will then change planes again and head on to Shanghai.  We will spend the night of 1/11/14 in Sh*nghai and then leave the next morning by bullet train for H*ngzhou, the capital of Benjamin Lilu's province.  On Monday morning, 1/13/14, we are scheduled to meet Benjamin Lilu and take him into our care.  We will finish out the week there as we wait for all of Ch*na's official paperwork to be completed.  We will then fly
from H*ngzhou to Gu*ngzhou where the U.S. consulate is located.  Benjamin will have a medical exam that is required for him to receive his visa into the U.S. and then we will complete all of the visa and immigration paperwork so that when we arrive in the U.S. he automatically becomes a citizen.  Our homecoming will be Friday evening on January 24, 2014.  I am praying that my resolve to fully experience each moment will continue throughout our trip despite jet lag, strange food in my tummy, home sickness etc.  Please continue to pray for us and for Benjamin that our souls will be prepared to recognize one another as family.

Friday, December 13, 2013

And They Ask Us Why...

You’d be surprised at the kind of questions adoptive parents get asked.  Everything from “Oh… is your husband Asian (…black…Hispanic)?” to “How much does it cost?” to “Do you have any of your “own” kids?” to “So, are you not able to conceive?”.  Yes, folks, people, total strangers, have asked about my fertility or lack thereof.   But the question I get most often is “Why?”.  Why are you adopting…when you already have kids or when you don’t have all the money or when you don’t have another bedroom?  Why did you choose China (instead of U.S., Africa, Eastern Europe etc.)?  So, for your reading pleasure I have decided to tackle those “why” questions head on. 

Little disclaimer:  Not every family who is adopting has the same answers to the “whys”.  These answers are unique to the Baldwin Brood and the particular adoption we are going through right now.  In addition, we are not trying to convince anyone or change anyone… this is just what is real and true for our family.

Why are you adopting when you already have so many kids (4 children currently)?
Side Bar:  With all the reality shows focusing on families like the Duggars or Jon and Kate +8, it comes as somewhat a surprise to me that 4 children are considered a large family…

The simple answer:  Because we believe God called us to.

The longer answer:  James 1:27 says that true religion to God is caring for the orphan and the widow in their distress.  God’s heart is for the fatherless and we want our hearts to break with the things that break God’s heart.  We believe that each of the children we have adopted (2 out of our current 4) were placed in our family for a specific reason… that God is redeeming the tragic circumstances that made them “orphans” and is inviting us to participate.  We believe in providence.

Why are you adopting when you don’t have all the money in hand?

The simple answer:  Because we believe God called us to.

The longer answer:  Because over and over we see evidence in scripture that God has a habit of not calling the equipped but equipping the called.  David did not have the stature, reputation, lineage or looks of a King but he is who God chose to lead his people.  Peter was a brash, outspoken fisherman who had a penchant for offending and yet God chose Peter to be the pillar of the church.  Scripture tells us again and again how in our weakness HE makes us strong.  That He uses the things of the foolish to confound the wise.  We do not know exactly why God called US to be Benjamin Lilu’s parents but we know that He did.  In spite of our weaknesses, our deficiencies and our lack of cash on hand.  And, you know what?  There is only one thing to be said:  WE did not do this.  GOD did this.  HE made this happen.  It was nothing we could have done ourselves.  We have been totally dependent on God opening each door, providing each financial blessing, bringing people who want to be a part of Benjamin’s story into our lives… from ALL OVER THE WORLD!  This boy is a true miracle.  And the credit goes solely to God, our/his Father.

Why are you adopting when you don’t have another bedroom to spare in your house? (The answer flows right into the answer of “Why China?”)

Short answer:  Because we believe God called us to.

Longer answer:  Benjamin Lilu has lived in an orphanage… an institution… for all but 6 months of his 6 years of life.  He has lived tightly sandwiched in the midst of a small band of orphans each night.  While here in America the youth dream of (and some insist on) having their own room, in China they can’t even fathom the concept of having their own bed, their own clothes, their own toys… their own ANYTHING!  NOTHING belongs to THEM.  They own nothing.  They belong to no one.  Even their names are chosen simply reflecting where they live and what year they entered the orphanage.  They are not TRULY “named”… named in the sense of being acknowledged as precious, longed for, cared for, advocated for, provided for, protected, loved, fed, comforted, healed… In our western sensibilities we have placed “space”, financial affluence and security, possessions, titles, prestige on the top of the list of our values.  God turns that upside down.  In his kingdom, the first shall be last.  And the last shall be first.  If you want to be great, you must be a servant.  Blessed are the poor in spirit.  Blessed are the meek.  Blessed are those who mourn.  God’s kingdom, to us, seems subversive… crazy at times.  And yet, once one realizes that they are indeed the poor, the meek, the ones who mourn… when they strip all the facades away… this kingdom is the one they can be a part of… not just to live there but as a son or daughter of the King with a full inheritance and overwhelming grace.  In light of God’s kingdom, the number of bedrooms we have in our house, or square footage in our house, or cup holders in our minivan, do NOT matter.  This little life that has burrowed its way into our hearts is what really matters.  No matter what.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013


Our Article 5 came in which means all we are waiting for now is Travel Approval and then we can schedule our trip!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We are still doing all we can to raise the funds for our flights.  Feel free to shop for Christmas gifts at one of the following sites... a portion of the price goes toward our airfare!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Once you know...

Meet "Cassy".

"Cassy" will be 14 in January which means that in 2 years she will "age out" and will no longer have the chance to experience a forever family.  She will be turned out into the street... no "food stamps", no welfare, no support, no housing, no job placement.

In Eastern Europe alone, there are an estimated 1.5 million orphaned children who live in conditions similar to what I just described. Statistically, less than half of orphaned Eastern European children will live to see their twentieth birthday. Of those who do survive into their twenties, more than half of them will end up in organized crime, prostitution and drug use. Approximately one in ten of those children who are not adopted will commit suicide. Many of the adolescent girls will end up as victims of sex trafficking, which is rampant and thriving throughout Eastern Europe.

In "Cassy's" case in particular, because of her coloring she is even more stigmatized.  To many people in her country she looks "Roma" (the modern term for "gypsy") and there is a high level of discrimination and prejudice associated with "Romas".  Her options in life would be extremely limited.

She is healthy, bright, musical and eager to have a mother and father and family to call her own. 


You can not say you do not know now. 

You have seen her face. 

You know what the statistics are. They do not bode well for "Cassy".

Share her story.  Share her picture.  Help her find a family.  Help her find her potential.  Help her find life.

* To view a video of "Cassy" please contact me at beediva22 (at) gmail (dot) com
*For more information on "Cassy" please contact Nina Thompson at Children's House International

Friday, November 22, 2013

Special Letter to Family and Friends

Very soon we’ll be bringing Benjamin Lilu home and starting the process of becoming a new and larger family.  This is an exciting and scary time for us – and will probably be especially frightening for Benjamin.  In his short life, he’s gone through more changes and life-altering experiences than most adults could handle.  He’s experienced the loss of a birth mother, experienced the loss of his second “home” in the midst of a health crisis, and will soon experience the loss of familiar caretakers, and the sights, sounds, smells, and language of his birth country.  His entire world will be turned upside down; he will be disoriented and confused.  He will have no reason to trust us – no way to know that we are safe, that he is secure in our care, and that we will meet his needs.

This process of learning to trust us, to bond and attach with our family, may take weeks, months, or years.  We expect it to get easier over time, but things are going to be a little strange at first and we ask that you please understand and support our attachment plan.  It is not our intention to shut anyone out of our lives or offend any friends in this process.  But Benjamin will need us to have certain boundaries in place to develop a strong and healthy attachment to us.

It will help immensely if adults limit what is typically considered normal physical contact with our son.  For awhile, this includes things like holding, excessive hugging, and kissing.  Children from orphanages are prone to “attach” to anyone and everyone – which disrupts his ability to attach to us.  Waving, blowing kisses, or high fives are perfectly appropriate and welcome!  We want Benjamin to know our family and friends – and interact with them!

Benjamin had a mother care for him for several months, and then relied on a stream of different adults for almost 6 years to meet his needs.  He’s learned to compete for the attention of every adult for basic things like food, clothing, comfort…  Charming any available adult becomes a survival technique.  While it works in an orphanage, it’s dangerous in our world.  It’s not safe for Benjamin to ask random strangers for a hug; in order to learn healthy, appropriate boundaries, he needs to begin by learning that we are the two people responsible for meeting his needs.  For a time, we will be the only ones to give him food, water, comfort him, take him to the restroom and so on.  If he asks you for something – please ask us.  For awhile it may look like we’re spoiling him – but he needs to understand what role we play in his life and he needs to know we are dependable and constant.

Also understand that our very busy, very active family – will be dramatically limiting our activities and events for awhile.  Local friends – you probably won’t see us at every field trip, every club meeting, every birthday party – at least for a little bit.  Large or small gatherings, parties, events will not be a priority in the beginning – but it’s not permanent, and it’s not personal.  At this point, we don’t know entirely what degree of medical treatment and therapy we may be facing with him, too.  We will be tired, busy tending to him and learning about him, forming emotional bonds, and getting through our days one day at a time.  We are eager to introduce him to everybody – but it may not be for a little while.  With one exception!  If you would like to be part of our welcoming committee at the airport, we would LOVE to see you!

The lives of each member of our family will be topsy-turvy for awhile, and we ask for your understanding as we navigate this new world.  We are obviously far from experts in this, but doing what we believe to be best for Benjamin.  We look forward to introducing him in person to so many of our friends and family, and hope you understand why some of our parenting decisions will look as they do with him.

Here’s an interesting analogy of what adoption looks like to an internationally adopted child:

And another great illustration of what adopted children go through:

Monday, October 28, 2013

Day 123

Day 123 of waiting (really, God?) - Psalm 123

I lift my eyes to you,
    O God, enthroned in heaven.

Today I feel like Hannah who wept bitterly (yes... the Bible says "bitterly") before the Lord (1 Samuel 1:10), pleading for her son.  This wait has been excruciating, filled with moments of
frustration and even intense fear when we had no news on his physical condition. It is already very clear to us that Benjamin Lilu belongs to the Lord... he is evidence of God's providence and glory... his miraculous life can't be chalked up to "fate" or "luck"... it is God's hand at work in his life, even to the point of saving it.  Every adoption starts with brokenness.  It begins with a tragedy.  To add to that the physical anguish that Benjamin has lived through in his short 5 1/2 years... well, it's almost unbearable.  The wonder of it all is that we get the opportunity to see God's redemptive work in his life.  We even get to participate in it.  Nevertheless, my prayer today is "O Lord, I am calling to you. Please hurry! Listen when I cry to you for help!" (borrowing from Psalm 141 - oh, dear Lord... please do not let us get to Psalm 141!)

Saturday, October 26, 2013

I Look To The Mountains...

This adoption journey has been a roller coaster of sorts... which, now that I think of it, is pretty much like our other adoptions, just all on different tracks.  Highs that can carry us for days.  Lows that temporarily paralyze us.  Twists and turns that can either thrill or alarm.  A few times we've gone up that slow steep track getting ready for the next racing plummet.  It's hurry up and wait.  It's double-checking.  It's paper cuts from all the forms.  Staring at the face of a stranger we will call "son".  We fasten our harnesses and hang on.  The comfort we have in all of this is that this ride, as daunting as it may be, will NEVER jump the track.

When we started this process I was determined to set a record for the fastest Waiting Child adoption ever.  I know, surprises you all.  I combed websites, filled out paperwork, gathered documents, attended our required online training sessions, read our required books... all at record speed.  We informed our agency on March 14, 2013 of our intentions to adopt Benjamin Lilu.  On June 26th all of our paperwork was sent to China (home study, initial immigration approval) all notarized, certified and authenticated.  We expected that we would possibly travel in October based on current time lines and our approved medical expedite with immigration.  After not hearing any updates for weeks, our agency was finally informed that our paperwork had been "misplaced" and hadn't even been logged into the system until August 13th.  Then several weeks later expecting to hear we had approval, we received a request for more documents.

With our most recent delay I was encouraged by another adoptive mom to read the Psalm that corresponded with the number of days we had been waiting.  So, I counted back to June 26th and started digging into the Psalms.

Today was Day 121.

Today I read Psalm 121.

Psalm 121

I look up to the mountains—
    does my help come from there?
My help comes from the Lord,
    who made heaven and earth!
He will not let you stumble;
    the one who watches over you will not slumber.
Indeed, he who watches over Israel
    never slumbers or sleeps.
The Lord himself watches over you!
    The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade.
The sun will not harm you by day,
    nor the moon at night.
The Lord keeps you from all harm
    and watches over your life.
The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go,
    both now and forever.

I have heard this Psalm since I was a little girl but reading it again today I was taken back to the moment when this Psalm came to life for me.

I was 20 years old and house managing for a production of "Diary of Anne Frank".  I will never forget hearing my friend, Carmen Beauxbeaux, as Mrs. Frank reciting Psalm 121 as the Franks and fellow attic-mates celebrated  Hanukkah.  Night after night I heard these words spoken in the context of one of the most abhorrent moments in human history.  Carmen spoke them strong and clear, infusing Mrs. Frank with a quiet confidence in her God.

As the memory washed over me I was overwhelmed by my lack of faith.  I have trouble trusting God in every area of my life.  Yet for one to speak the words of Psalm 121 in the face of annihilation... well, it seems impossible.

Oh me of little faith.  Forces me to my knees.  Destroys me. Brings me to Mark 9:24 as I say along with the father begging for healing for his son, "Lord, I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!”

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Abba Daddy

Last Sunday my brother preached on Luke 11:1-13 (Typically known as the Lord’s Prayer, although some have coined the term, “The Disciples’ Prayer”).  The message was comprehensive but I just couldn’t get past the very first point – The Lord’s Prayer reminds us of our identity.  When Jesus starts to teach the disciples how to pray, he begins with the word “Father” to address God. 

The actual word “Father” that he uses cannot be found in any other Jewish Literature to refer to God leading up to that point.  It was a term of endearment, “Abba”.  It was addressing God as we would address our “daddies”.  Very informal, familiar, intimate.  Matt remarked that it was interesting to note that Jesus starts every prayer we see in scripture with “Father” “Abba” with only ONE exception.  As Jesus endured all of the punishment for every sin in all of humanity in our place, he cried, “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?”  The one time he prays “God” and not “Abba” is precisely why we (you and I) can now call God our Father as well. 

The problem comes when I forget that I’m a child of God--- adopted into his family in an eternal covenant of grace.  As Matt stated, “I forget that I’m a child of God and start acting like an orphan.”  As if I have no one who has embraced me “no matter what”, drawn me in and called me by a new name.  I struggle to remember who I am and who my “Abba” (“Daddy”) is.

The concept of God as a father has not always resonated with me.  My father and I spent many years in a relationship fraught with conflict (I did get his permission to publish this first).  In my childish eyes, I associated discipline with punishment.  I read his fear as anger. And I internalized his “teaching” as me never being “good enough”… there was always something I could have done better.  A picture of a god like that did not appeal to me in the slightest.  In addition I grew up knowing that I had had a birth father that was killed when I was 7 weeks old and it left a big empty hole in my heart.  I couldn’t imagine God or anyone else for that matter taking their place in the void I carried with me.  I was instead drawn to scriptures that highlighted his more “feminine” traits.  Verses like Matthew 23:37 where God says, “…How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings…” or references to God being our “hiding place” or refuge.  These made sense to me.

My dad will be the first one to tell you that sometime in my early 20’s God worked a healing in our relationship.  I was able then to take God in his entirety… both his male and female attributes. 

I think another moment when I found a new level of understanding God as my Father/Daddy was when we adopted our daughter from China.  In China the word for Daddy is “Baba”… so very close to “Abba”.  The first time I heard my daughter call Larry “Baba”, a shift happened again.  I had seen Larry parent all of our other children and do it well.  What made this situation different was the fact that this little girl, who had never seen, heard, or smelled a “white” person in her life, was calling this stranger, “Baba” not knowing that for many months this Daddy had gazed at pictures of her, prayed for her daily, prepared for her, worked hard to get to her and to finally give her a true home and a “Baba”.

When I thought of all that Larry had done and given to make this child his own I grasped anew all that God had done to make me part of His family.  All the “work” that went into bringing Madeleine home is nothing compared to what God did so that I could be adopted and call him “Abba/Daddy”.

So, what was my “take away”?  To continually remind myself who I am and who my Daddy is… to keep this as the lens through which I see everything else… my joys, my worship, my marriage, my parenting, my confidence (or lack thereof) and my trials… God is MY Daddy!  He is completely in control.  Everything thing that happens in my life, easy or difficult, tragic or joyous is ultimately for my good and His glory.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


I have several things I'd like to share with you (and some will have to wait until after Benjamin comes home!)

Benjamin Li
First of all, our Rummage Sale was incredibly successful thanks to help from some amazing friends and donors of items and Canyon Community Church who graciously allowed us to use their yard, parking lot and tables.

Second, we did get a little bad news last week... apparently after we sent our dossier (paperwork) to China, it was "misplaced" for about 6 weeks.  Typically a dossier get a log in date within days of them receiving it.  Instead, although we sent ours at the end of June, it was not logged in until August 13th.  While this is discouraging, we know God's timing is perfect and we also have the assurance that Benjamin is receiving excellent care right now.

Which leads to my other news... Benjamin is physically doing very well.  So well that we may not have to take oxygen with us for our flight home!  God is performing miracles every day in the life of our little boy.  We are continually in a state of amazement as we see God working in ways we could never have even dreamed up.  I, personally, can not wait for him to come home so that we can share his whole story with you.

I have been so overwhelmed by all the support we have been given by family, friends and even strangers.  One of the hidden benefits of adoption is that the adoption world is fairly small.  When it comes to International Adoption it becomes even smaller.  It is smaller still when one is specifically adopting from China.  And then smaller still when adopting a child with special needs.  There are wonderful Facebook groups and Yahoo groups for each of these "worlds".  I have made some very dear friends, simply through going through the adoption process at the same time.  When we adopted Madeleine in 2005, we were part of Yahoo group then also.  I got to meet up with 2 of them in China and still keep in touch with about 5 of them.  My sister/buddy back in 2005 was from Michigan (this is when we lived right on the Michigan/Indiana border) and was named Melissa also. We had fun with that, became wonderful cyber friends and then met up in China with our girls and husbands.  The funny thing is that Melissa W. is in my current adoption group too!  They are adopting again right at the exact same time as us!

Melissa and Laura
Another person I have grown to love so much is my dear, dear friend, Laura Kessler. She is adopting the most smiley toddler I have ever seen from the same agency as us and is a few weeks ahead of us in the process (well, actually probably a little more now with our hiccup in our timeline).  We talk, text, email almost every day.  We've intently studied our boys' pictures and videos and have them memorized.  AND her son's name?  Benjamin!  I feel like God gave me Laura as a special gift and I will be forever thankful for someone to laugh with, cry with, get frustrated with, dream with, and wait with.

Keep checking back here!  Very soon we will be having an online auction on the blog, Bring Benjamin Home, with some exciting items!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Time Is Running Out

The fate of an orphan in China varies dramatically from those children here in the United States that need families.  Besides being institutionalized, once a Chinese orphan turns 14 they are no longer able to be adopted - either internationally or domestically.  They "age out" of the system. They have missed their opportunity to ever have a family.

Meet Adalai.  Adalai's original paperwork stated that she was born in January of 2001.  That meant there was only a little more than a year to find her a family.  It was recently learned that Adalai's birthday was listed incorrectly and is in fact January of 2000.  This means she has FOUR months to find a family. Adalai is also Hepatitis B + (for more information on this special need, please contact me privately).

Because of the urgency, a family who is homestudy ready or is able to reuse a dossier has the best chance of getting her home.

Adalai is listed with our agency, Children's House International, and we are desperate to find a forever family for her. Adalai lived with a foster family for two years, when her foster family had an emergency she was sent back to the SWI and has lived there for the last 8 years.

Adalai often volunteers to help her teachers as well as other students, was elected as student of the week, and gets along well with her classmates. Adalai loves to sing, run, play games, weave bracelets, draw beautiful pictures, and as any teenage girl her age… loves Hong Kong dramas! Adalai is a fantastic artist, has a beautiful voice and truly wants to find a forever family. She is active at school, leads other children in exercise classes, and works hard to improve her academic abilities. Her SWI describes Adalai as lovely, lively, and liked by everybody.

Her last trip to the doctor for testing reported all normal findings indicating that she has fully recovered from the HBV virus. But Adalai suffers from a mild degree of disturbance in her language ability and a moderate degree of operation capabilities. The SWI believes this is because she has been brought up in an institution and did not receive sufficient early education. Despite all this Adalai has shown great progress in math, reading, writing, and mathematics. We just know this young girl will thrive when she finds her forever family!

PLEASE- Please consider Adalai or consider advocating for her amongst your friends and family.  Time is running out for this precious girl.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Organic - Fair - Sustainable

Calling all you coffee lovers out there!  Your purchase of organic, fair and sustainable coffee could help bring Benjamin home!

How can you help?
  • Click on the link below and select some amazing coffee to purchase!
  • SHARE the link with family, friends, organizations, churches, offices, ANYONE who buys, drinks or makes coffee and appreciates quality!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Justice vs. Grace

Those of you who know me personally know that I value justice.  It seems that, from the time I was very little, justice has been very important to me (just ask my brothers how often I tattled on them).  I remember very distinctly during a college World Drama class becoming surprisingly emotional when we covered "Phaedra" by Jean Racine.  My spirit rebelled against the lack of personal responsibility from the lead characters and the inevitability of "the fates".

As I grew older and became more aware of how true justice could rip my world apart... that the consequences of my own actions could be serious enough to maim me forever... I found my grip on justice slowly loosening.  I began to acknowledge my true hunger for grace.  The more I craved grace for myself, the less I found it existed in the world at large.  I will never forget sitting in a church as a visitor and listening to the pastor preach grace... I started weeping and could barely breathe as my heart ached desperately for that grace to be poured out on me.  The seed had been planted for the true gospel to began a transformation in me.

Not long after, I led a group of women through Jerry Bridges' study, "Transforming Grace".  I was suddenly convicted that I was withholding the grace that I craved from the people around me.  Grace was great if it was lavished on me, but I wasn't about to show that same grace to others... especially if they had hurt me, were "unfair" or didn't seek reconciliation or forgiveness.  I was am the Ungrateful Servant of Matthew 18:21-35.  Suddenly my quest for justice didn't seem so righteous anymore.

During this time, I was struggling deeply with unrelenting anger toward a couple of people who I felt had abused their position and mistreated me.  My visceral reaction was to launch into a defense crusade for myself and at the same time engage in a smear campaign against them.  I was with a group of local worship leaders who gathered on a semi-regular basis for support and encouragement and as we were praying one of the women looked up and said, "Melissa, I think God has a verse for you."  A little apprehensively I said, "Ok...what is it?"  She sat next to me and had me turn to Exodus 14:14.
14 The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” (ESV)
WHAT?! Be SILENT??!! What about justice?  What about restitution?  What about clearing my name?
 14 The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” (ESV)
I had to confront myself... did I trust that God would take care of this situation, the people involved and me?  Did I have faith in His Sovereignty?

I still fight a daily battle against my sense of justice and for the gospel of grace.  Today, in fact, I encountered another situation where I believed I had been misrepresented and subsequently mistreated.  I was hurt, discouraged and livid.  Unfortunately my old nature made the first move.  I sat down at my computer and wrote an angry polite dissertation on my innocence, my worth and how I had been wronged.  Fortunately, that still small voice of the Holy Spirit said, "Don't hit send!  Show it to someone you trust FIRST."  So I did.

My dear friend was empathetic but nevertheless spoke truth into my life (which is what being a real friend is all about).
"Justice is for the faithless." She said.
 It stopped me in mid-send-button.  What she was saying to me is demanding my attention and forcing me to ask those same "trust" questions I've asked before and will probably be asking until the day I die.  Do I trust Him?  I want the answer to be... "yes".