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A Vision of Restoration

Dana Phillips is in the midst of God's restoration, and it began with a vision:

Jesus restores us in the middle of our failures, mistakes, hurts, and brokenness. Sometimes it is one step backward, two steps forward. Sometimes it is a defining moment, other times it is a long journey. No matter what, Jesus’s willingness to go to the cross for us is the doorway to restoration.

We have a multi-ethnic family built through birth and adoption: we have two white kids, one Korean kid, and two Native/Black kids. We are not noble by any means; we were called to build our family this way.

Our oldest daughter was nine when we adopted her. Our relationship with her was tough from the beginning: family counseling, parent counseling, therapy, and lots of prayers were the norm. At 16 she ran away, and our relationship was so broken, I wasn’t sure it could be repaired.

One night, when she was 18, traveling across the country on a bus with her 34-year-old boyfriend, I was such a mess I couldn’t sleep. I prayed, paced the floors, and cried. All of the suggestions to “let go and let God” were too painful for this mama in despair for her child. I sat down, exhausted at 3 am and said, “God I need to hear from you.”

You may not believe what I am going to tell you next because it can’t be explained, and perhaps doesn’t fit our Western understanding of Christianity.

God gave me a vision.

A book came down on my lap. I heard a voice behind me so clear, so warm, I still get goosebumps when I remember.

“These are the pages of her life, Dana. You are not in this chapter, but I am the author and finisher of her story. You will be in another chapter.”

Restoration began that night. God restored my broken heart through his son, Jesus. All my failings as a parent were forgiven and I held on to his provision for many years.

Today she is almost 45. Jesus has continued to restore. We have a relationship that she describes as closer than ever. Her adult kids are in weekly contact with us. In the Bible, restoration is always in abundance. When something is restored, it is always better than it was to begin with. No matter what, Jesus’ willingness to go to the cross for us is the doorway to restoration.

We must let him in to do the work.

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