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When we said “yes” to adopting Lyla, her caregiver posted this photo on Facebook with the words, “I am chosen.”

I couldn’t help but think of how Jesus says, “I have chosen you,” and how often I take that as a pressuring message. You’re chosen, blessed, redeemed – so get busy serving meals and hosting groups and working hard in the church.  Your duty as a chosen one is to be responsible and pay back the gift you’ve been given in being chosen.

Then I think about Lyla. I think about how my mama-heart jumped for joy when I saw this picture of her sweet little face next to the words “I am chosen.” I wanted to reach through the computer screen and say, “Yes, you are chosen, sweet baby girl,” and hold her in my arms.

I want Lyla to know that as her imperfect mom I care infinitely more about her BEING than her DOING. I hope for her to BE brave, to BE free, to BE true, to BE God- honoring, and whatever she does out of that center is just by-product.

It doesn’t matter to me if she does anything great in the world’s eyes. Maybe God sees us the same way.

Imagine a photograph of yourself right here. God looks at your face and is overwhelmed with delight. You are chosen…

But now, this is what the Lord says – he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.

For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I give Egypt for your ransom, Cush and Seba in your stead.

Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you.

Isaiah 43:1-4