Firelilies is the name I have given to a personal ministry birthed in my desire to help people overcome trauma and find healing in Jesus.  My desire is to encourage young people, as well as adults, to find their purposes in Christ in order to be inspired to forge strong, supportive friendships grounded in His love, and to respond to him by sharing the love he has given to them with others.  God has blessed me with my own “firelilies;” teenagers who have encountered severe traumas, but whom God has plucked out of tragedy and placed into his beautiful plan of redemption.

Allison was one of the first of my “firelilies” I encountered outside of my family.  I was blessed to watch the process of Allison’s faith journey take root. The two girls featured above; my daughter, Brielle, and her lifelong friend, Allison, were brought together over a decade ago as Allie, still in diapers, climbed through a gap in our backyard fence with her sister.  Leaving the chaos of the drug house next door, she and her sister came to color, drink juice from sippee cups, and eat goldfish crackers with my kids. Allison spent a year in foster care and was reunited with her mother.

Prior to knowing Allison, I had never known a child who had spent time in foster care, but little did I know what God was preparing me for.  Years later, I would be trained and prepared to bring home my own foster son. Ryan, who was a former student of mine, who came to live with me just before his 13th birthday.  He had lived in the foster care system for seven years in 11 different placements.  He has now been with me over a year and the courts closed his case in May of 2019 and I became his permanent legal guardian. Today, Ryan is a thriving young man who has given his life to Christ to begin his own miraculous transformation.  I can’t tell you the road has always been easy, but I can assure you that if you submit your life to Jesus, whatever path your life may take, He will be with you every step of the way, even when you don’t feel Him.

God had greater plans than I could for Allison and for my foster son as he does for all of us.  God orchestrated the friendship between Allie and Brielle as he orchestrates many friendships and families.  God worked out the timing, finances, and details to bring my son into our home.

Throughout our lives, he brings joy, healing, and His love to tragic situations that seem for a time to be painful and bleak.  Yet, he has a way of slowing shaping and crafting our struggles and tragedies into beautiful pieces of art.  We are all firelilies in one way or another.  We have smoky times where the world around us seems to be burning, but then His grace comes and we get planted into the soil where we have been destined to grow.  Seeds germinate and shoots sprout and over the courses of our lives, if we let him nurture us, we grow into beautiful flowers and mighty trees.