Thursday, January 12, 2017

It's Like Taking a Walk on the Beach

After my first year in South Africa, I visited my family in Texas. I took a walk… No, a stomp down the beach on Galveston Island, spiritually arrested with the choice God had laid before me. He gave me a “Yes or No only invitation for a very special kind of life and family.
When I ran out of beach to walk, I took a spiritual leap. With sandy feet and a tear-salted heart, I said, “Yes, God. You can write my family story. From this day forward, I will commit to being Lifa’s mom, no matter what happens.”  

There was no paperwork to validate the invisible covenant I had made and things only got harder from there. When I returned to South Africa, I spent countless hours advocating for justice for the invisible children around me, with one especially in mind.
Lifa is a person – real flesh and blood with a beating heart – but there’s not a piece of paper in the world to prove it. Lifa deserves an education, health care, protection, a hope and a future in his nation.
I’ve heard “It’s impossible,” a trajillion times out of every type of social justice officer in South Africa. Everything changed once my feet landed on Yes in the sand that day. Everything became possible. Not easy. Not immediate. But possible.
A few years later, I took another fateful walk down a wedding aisle. We made a covenant to be a family that walks in God’s miraculous love. We knew we were better together and committed to live in a way that shows and requires God's miracle-sized love. 

Some days, that journey is tough.
South Africa started school yesterday, and Lifa had to stay home.

Lifa has never had the right or access to a proper education. I’ve lived in South Africa for seven full years as of yesterday, and I have spent six of them fighting for his rights. My husband’s YES to stand in the gap with us has been a game-changer. We believe in the power of our united prayers- the impossible doesn’t stand a chance when a Miracle Family brings it to the throne.
We brought it. We had an excruciatingly disappointing day while all the other kids went to school, but we know all things are possible with Christ - in Cape Town and to the ends of the earth.
AND GUESS WHAT: Impossible started losing this morning.
The God of all things possible started “The Great Cape Town Takeover." 
Mission: All Things Are Possible. 
Today is the first day of my 8th year in Africa
Today Lifa started his first day of school. 

Legally. Validated. Visible.
Invisible and impossible is broken off forever.
There was just one school in all of Cape Town that did not send us away with an impossible “No.” The principal invited us into his office and said “Yes, if…” If we were able to make the invisible boy visible to the government.
The school’s admissions counselor has not eaten breakfast or had coffee in a week because she’s spent all of her mornings on the phone with me and the education department. She's denied herself push for possible, fighting for the "Yes, if" with us.
Yesterday, I made my way into the big boss’ office in the Department of Education. I went with folder full of paperwork and a boatload of prayer. I sat in the office and watched everything impossible become possible. She made a phone call, sent an email, and IT WAS DONE.
She told me Lifa could go to school the next day. I kept my cool: I burst into tears and asked if I could hug her before I went to cry in the car. I called my husband, and we wept miracle’s tears together. I drove straight to the school to give hugs, flowers and chocolate to the admissions counselor. I went home to hug my guys HARD. And we got to work… there were books to cover, lunches to pack, ties to tie, stuff to do.
EIGHTEEN notebooks covered by the incredible Mr. Ladd.

Getting the tie ready for the first day.
Lifa is also really good at keeping his cool.

This morning, as we headed TO SCHOOL, I looked at Lifa and said, "It's like we're walking through the Red Sea this morning." I asked him if he remembered when everything felt impossible for the slaves who were trying to get to freedom, and then suddenly God made it possible His way - He simply opened up the ocean. Lifa looked at me and said, “I was thinking the same thing, Mom.”

“Lifa, this drive to school is like taking a walk on the beach.”
We’ve faced fears, struggles and a lot of impossibilities, but impossible has parted like the ocean and made way for the possible. It took a lot of work and a lot of people, but we know Who made the sandy way.

Lifa was full of questions about what the day would hold, but not about Who held him. We’ve got a lot to learn here, but we’re going to keep our feet sandy and our hearts set on Yes.


  1. What a blessing!!!! Congratulations to your dedication and love!!!! God is Good All the Time!!!!! Love you!! Kim Robbins

    1. Thanks Kim! God is so so good! Love to you too. - The Ladds

  2. Amazing!!! I love it!!!! And I love that it happened on the start of your 8th year. Isn't 8 the number of new beginnings?

  3. My heart is overflowing with gratitude! He has done great things for us! He is merciful. He is extravagant. He is close.

  4. What a beautiful journey. I'm so thankful you chose "yes" from the beginning. This is one life that will continue to grow, to live and to love because of your commitment and dedication.
    Lifa, reach for the stars, search God in everything you do.
    Hugs to your beautiful family.

    1. Thank you so much Lisa! And a big, happy "AMEN!"
      Love to you and your family as well.