Adoption, Prayer, and the Unexpected

by | Jun 25, 2024


Adoption, Prayer, and the Unexpected | Special Needs Adoption

On today’s special episode, Pastor Isaac Adams interviews one of his church members, Brittany Elmer. Brittany and her husband have adopted three special needs children, none of whom share their ethnicity. Her son, Isaac, went to be with the Lord earlier this year. Brittany shares how the prayers of her friends carried her through that tragedy, and how she is still learning about special needs and transracial adoption. We hope Brittany’s testimony and example are an encouragement to you.

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Episode Transcript

This is Isaac Adams back on the microphone (0:27) And I’m joined by a dear sister today, Brittany Elmer. Thank you for joining me on here (0:32) Thank you so much for having me. It’s a real pleasure to have you sis at the beginning (0:36) I want to say just a couple things to even kind of frame this but (0:40) One is we have had by God’s grace. We’ve had lots of different people on united (0:45) We pray as you might imagine some of those people have big platforms at least publicly (0:50) and many don’t and I just highlight that because I think one thing we’ve always tried to value is (0:59) faithfulness (1:00) Over famousness if I can say it like that (1:03) I think anyone who is more well-known is a faithful person who’s come through here (1:07) But sis, I just want to say I think I’ve been thinking more about the Bible talks about make it your ambition to lead a quiet (1:13) And godly life. I think you lead in an exemplary (1:17) Quiet and godly life and it’s just a real privilege to have you on here. Thank you. Thank you for that encouragement (1:22) Well, I want to I wanted to give that on the front end and just some even some caveats and just so even you can (1:27) Speak more freely for our listeners. You’re gonna hear about Brittany’s story and her experience (1:33) Which is a tender one and her experience and their family’s experience is their family’s experience. So we’re not having you on here to be (1:40) the parenting expert or the all the the know-all on (1:45) Every transracial adoptive case or special needs are all of that. Okay sister. So you speak freely? (1:51) Okay, and I just wanted to set that up. I mentioned it a second ago (1:55) I want to talk to you today about adoption across racial lines and prayer. Okay (2:00) Before I specify that even further I thought there’d be no better place to start though (2:06) Than God’s Word, which I know you love (2:09) Would you mind sharing just a scripture or two that encourages you when thinking about adoption? I would love to I think (2:17) Initially what I think of is kind of the framework for adoption that we see in the glorious passage of Romans 8 (2:24) Specifically in verse 15 (2:26) That just says for you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear and instead you received the spirit of adoption (2:33) By whom we cry out Abba Father the Spirit Himself (2:37) Testifies together with our spirit that we are God’s children and if we’re children then we’re heirs (2:43) Heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ if indeed we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him (2:49) So I think about people who you know publicly declare adoption is the gospel and they’re right (2:54) That is where we where we see that in God’s Word (2:57) more specifically in like Jesus’s heart towards (3:02) children (3:04) I think a great example of that is in Mark 9 (3:06) In verse 36 where he takes the child and brings it to the group (3:11) And yeah, it takes him in his arms and says anyone who welcomes this child in my name welcomes me (3:17) And I think about in James 1 27 where (3:20) It says pure and undefiled religion is this to care for? (3:26) The orphan and the widow and their distress and to keep oneself unstained from the world (3:30) So I think there are so many places throughout scripture where we really see (3:34) Jesus’s heart for the disenfranchised the broken the lowly the orphan and the fatherless and (3:43) Yeah, so those are some of the passages that come to my mind good passages (3:47) I mean even when you just read the Romans 1 I just struck me. I was like, yeah, God does this (3:51) This is something we do to in our in our in our imaging of God that reflects him that reflects (3:58) what he’s done in the gospel with us and (4:02) Praise be to God (4:02) Yeah (4:03) and it’s born out of brokenness just as our earthly adoptions are like we were separated from God because of the fall and the fact (4:10) He’s adopted us and made us (4:12) his children (4:14) Even even after that chasm is yeah, really that’s a fuller picture of earthly adoption as well (4:23) You felt led (4:25) to adopt with special needs and again (4:28) Sister part of the reason you’re on here is because I know in saying in saying this and in highlighting this you’re not saying that (4:34) Makes you more special or anything like that. So no one’s assuming that um (4:38) But can you tell me more about how the Lord put (4:41) Adopting kids with special needs that ministry on you and your family’s heart. Yeah, so my husband and I grew up together (4:48) We dated through high school and college. And so we grew up working at different camps and then I don’t think I realize y’all (4:55) We’re high school sweet (4:57) On my 16th birthday. So we’ve been together a long time (5:01) And so working with kids with cognitive and physical disabilities has just been a shared passion for a long time (5:09) I also went to nursing school. I was a nurse for seven years before we adopted my first child. And so in having that (5:16) Medical background. We also have family members with medical backgrounds special education backgrounds (5:22) So when Chip and I have been married for several years and we were talking about starting our family (5:26) We really just felt the call of God to include (5:30) Those friends that we’ve always had in our lives as part of our family (5:34) We already had a really rich network here in Birmingham in the special needs community (5:40) Because we grew up with those kids and their siblings and their families, you know (5:44) Raising a child with special needs can be an incredibly isolating experience and we felt like what the Lord had already blessed us with (5:51) You know kind of confirms that calling (5:54) for us and we talked about (5:56) International versus domestic adoption for a while and ultimately the Lord led us to a group called the National Down Syndrome Adoption Network (6:04) so that felt like the right fit for us because we would know the diagnosis and it was also a way to (6:11) Adopt stateside and bring home a younger child. I mean, I mean (6:15) Okay, so as you know, do we pray? (6:17) So obviously there’s gonna be a racial ethnic component to what we’re talking about here (6:21) And I say that because you’ve adopted children with special needs (6:24) Who are also of a different ethnicity and I don’t know if that’s intentional or not (6:28) But I want to say two things about that first sister. Your family is beautiful (6:32) And the second is just a question having adopted across lines of special needs and then on ethnicity on top of that (6:39) Have there been unique challenges unique encouragements? (6:44) Certainly yes to both so the way that the (6:47) National Down Syndrome Adoption Network works is like this woman Stephanie Thompson who is a gym (6:52) Runs a registry of families who are just ready educated willing to adopt a child with Down syndrome into their home (7:00) So she’ll work with women who are pregnant and have received that diagnosis (7:04) Families who received that diagnosis at birth something that they were unprepared for and she also does some really good work (7:10) advocating for youth in foster care that have Down syndrome, so (7:15) It was a way for us to adopt a child that could be from anywhere in the United States (7:19) I think it is a little bit unique not to say it never happens, but the families who chose us (7:25) happen to be from India and Nigeria and so (7:30) Just in a story that only God could write we have an interesting blend of like international children who were domestically adopted (7:37) in terms of challenges certainly (7:41) Especially babies with Down syndrome or any kind of special needs they’ve gotten off to a rocky medical start (7:47) So my nursing degree comes in handy (7:49) We’ve had specialists and surgeries and you know feeding tubes oxygen all that stuff (7:55) but the Lord has been faithful to provide in terms of the (8:00) Adopting across ethnic lines and how that will impact my kids. I know it certainly will impact them (8:06) I think the question is with them also having Down syndrome. We don’t know. They’re still really young (8:11) We don’t know what they will understand about some of those harsh realities (8:16) In some ways I pray that the Lord would use that to protect them and shield them from some of that (8:22) But my fear is that they might experience that hard and not be able to articulate it (8:30) So that’s a challenge and I find myself like wanting to read and understand the experience of other (8:36) Adoptees across racial lines because I want to be looking for what my kids might be experiencing and not able to express (8:45) Now in terms of encouragements there have also been many and (8:51) One of them has just been it’s been delightful to learn about other cultures and really exciting (8:57) Practices that we’re trying to adopt in our home that kind of helped my kids (9:00) understand where they came from and know their culture of origin and (9:05) I’m gonna try to not sit here and just quote Shylin’s book the children’s book. God made me (9:11) And we’ve had shy multiple time my gosh that book has like put so many like delightful words to the things that I’ve been mulling over (9:19) but (9:20) Yeah, when he says like diversity is for our joy and for his glory like we have found so much joy in (9:27) Learning about other people groups and and having those things in our home (9:31) And I think the education that we’ve received we’ve now worked with three different adoption agencies (9:37) and that has been encouraging because I think there has been a shift and the education is (9:43) All about it’s it’s adoptee centered and it’s focused on (9:47) Really affirming that part of your child’s story. So that has been encouraging as well. Praise God (9:52) Well, even as you’re talking just two things I want to highlight (9:56) Number one, I just think it is always humble when someone just even just says I don’t know or we don’t know like we don’t (10:02) Know that part about me you’re talking about (10:04) How young your kids are and to just how the Lord has built you sister just with your background in being in medicine (10:09) Just like you’re just tailor-made for this and I just I praise the tailor for that (10:15) in talking about even the shift and making this about (10:18) About educating better in the adoptive world and making an adoptee centered and as opposed to just about us (10:25) It leads me to this next thought slash question slash story (10:29) I remember once many years ago a white young sister shared (10:33) With me that she really wanted to adopt one day and then she went on to add (10:38) basically quote and I want to adapt adopt a little black baby and (10:44) While I appreciate it felt odd to me (10:47) And I want to be really careful I can’t read this sister’s heart I trust (10:52) Many if not, all of her motivations were pure but ah, it did just feel odd (10:57) Like are you saying that adopting across ethno ethnic lines makes this more special? (11:03) Does the child have to be black? I like like why does that? (11:07) And I raise this because I think it’s what people get at when they talk about a white savior (11:11) Complex or at least some of that like is this good deed more about you and your image or is it about this child? (11:18) And I just raised that sis because while you’ve adopted across the ethnic lines (11:21) That is so clearly not your mentality of mindset and anyone listening to this free (11:26) Like can easily tell that that’s not your heart disposition and the ministry the Lord’s given you but I guess my question is (11:33) Have you seen that mindset? I’m talking about. Is this just like Isaac? (11:38) Really sad, but I think isolated experience and (11:42) Or have you had to ever wrestle through it? I mean, I just I know it’s a pretty vulnerable thing (11:47) I’m cringing because I’m afraid that probably somewhere in my past. I’ve said something (11:52) Like I have always wanted to adopt children (11:56) My very weakest defense would be that maybe that’s a God-given desire placed on her heart (12:03) Because the Lord is gonna bring those children to her home and as he did for mine, but (12:11) Okay, I see this a lot and (12:13) I’ll just speak to my experience. Yeah, I’ve had to wrestle with it (12:17) And that is I grew up in primarily white spaces my neighborhood my church my school. I think there’s something (12:27) Really (12:28) Awful about growing up in a culture where the only time that you interact with someone of a different (12:35) Ethnicity is in and I’m reaching out to you. I’m ministering to you. I’m sharing the gospel with you (12:42) I’m showing mercy to you like all good and wonderful things (12:47) But if that is your only context for interacting with someone who doesn’t look like you to a developing mind (12:56) I (12:56) Mean, I’ll just name the scent like it’s pride. Yeah, and it the roots run really deep when that is your own experience (13:03) And I’ve certainly had to look at that (13:07) in in my life, I (13:10) Keep thinking about this conversation. I had a with a co-worker like years ago (13:16) and (13:16) A dear dear friend and sister. She had prayed for years to have a baby the Lord finally blessed her and she was pregnant (13:22) Well, I’m talking to her about gender and she desperately wanted a girl and I’m like (13:28) Boys are so much more fun. Girls are so expensive. Like I’m just being funny (13:32) I thought it would be fun to raise boys and she looked up and like in all seriousness said (13:38) Oh Brittany, this world is terrible to black boys (13:42) And we can discuss the extent to which that is everyone’s experience (13:46) But the the pain and the fear for her was so real and visceral and I realized in that moment (13:52) Like how much I don’t understand how I’ve never had to consider (13:57) Anything remotely related to that as a white person thinking about the gender of child that I would raise (14:04) And so and and now that my youngest especially has entered my home. I’m thinking about it all the time (14:11) and it is so (14:14) Concerning that all the things that make my little boys so cute and adorable right now as babies like might be the reason that they’re (14:21) Perceived as more of a threat as teenagers to their white counterparts (14:26) Like that’s just an unfair reality and a scary thing as a mom, you know (14:31) so that’s why a comment about wanting to raise a black baby like (14:35) Made in a flippant manner at its most benign is incredibly ignorant (14:39) And that’s what I’ve realized about my experience and at its most sinister. It does have roots in (14:47) something so prideful and it can be pride in (14:51) Our ethnicity or our education or a material I think you know, it can be built and entangled in so many different things but (14:59) The Lord has done a lot in my life and I know he will have to continue to work (15:04) In ways to kind of root out that that’s in (15:07) He will be faithful to do that for the sake of my children (15:11) Well sis listen one thing I had a friend I was talking about this with one thing. I appreciate that. I think the (15:20) Some of (15:22) Let’s just call it I think when people are rebuked (15:27) the best rebukers are the best challengers (15:30) They do it and yet it doesn’t it’s like they can punch and it doesn’t hurt and I think like your your answer is is (15:37) Helpfully doing that and in just so I just want to say it’s not that it’s unnecessarily punchy (15:42) But I’m just like that’s just those are just I’m just listening to talk about like this is a very thoughtful challenge (15:49) Thank you for that. Um, those are some challenges any (15:53) Encouragements you would give to someone seeking to across adopt across racial lines. I (16:01) think that I would (16:05) Well, I would counsel people especially have grown up in primarily white spaces to (16:12) Educate themselves. Honestly, you’re not paying me to say this (16:15) I’m not here to be a commercial for United we pray but this podcast has meant (16:18) So much to me and if you’re a newer listener, I would say like starting at episode 1 (16:24) Listening all the way through I think you could 181 episodes (16:30) Austin and Adriana series just (16:31) Keep you busy for a while. You could you could go through the show notes and pull all of the books. I (16:39) Have so many on my stack right now that I haven’t read (16:41) I’m not allowed to purchase anymore until I finish the ones but (16:44) It has helped this this podcast is one I can give like a blanket endorsement to all of the content being really gospel-centered and also (16:52) Really helpful because you guys cover so much more than just like the black and white divide (16:58) Yeah, like other other ethnicities that people might adopt. So this has been a really rich resource for me in terms of like heart work (17:06) I would say counsel that I would give to people who just have that desire to adopt transracially (17:12) is (17:13) Is bridge building something that you also feel called to or that you have (17:18) opportunity to participate in in your life and in your space because I think that (17:23) Bridge building and transracial parenting are callings that are really closely paired (17:30) You guys talk about it all the time on this podcast (17:33) But like as a white person (17:34) Historically bridge building has been something I can pick up when I’m having a good time and when it benefits me and I can put (17:39) it down and walk away when it’s (17:41) Getting hard. I think now as a mom to black and brown children (17:46) I’m feeling convicted by the Holy Spirit that I kind of lose that luxury (17:51) for the sake of their experience in the body of Christ like that work is (17:55) Ever before me and deserving of my time and my energy (18:01) So, you know (18:02) I think that that I think when we listen to people who have been transracially adopted what they are (18:08) Reporting as adults is that not only were they the only nine non-white person in (18:14) Their school and their church and on the soccer field they went home and instead of recharging (18:20) Like you have to do as a minority. It was more of the same and (18:24) Then if they brought up to their families that they felt lonely (18:27) Isolated, you know exhausted. I think we tried to say like race doesn’t matter just ignore them (18:34) I think the heart under that is like we thought if we raised them in white culture (18:39) What difference does it make what they look like, right? (18:41) They’ll just fit in and this has just been to their cost like we just know that that isn’t true (18:47) and so I think being aware of those things but then also like (18:52) Wanting to make sure that your kids have opportunities that are going to be (18:58) ripe with (18:59) friendship, you know, I (19:01) Keep thinking about that quote from The Four Loves by CS Lewis where he says (19:07) Friendship is born at the moment where one man says to another you two (19:10) I thought I was the only one and I’m like, I need to make sure that my kids (19:15) have (19:16) Space and time for that to occur like this, you know for us specifically. I’m like are they hanging out with? (19:22) Other children who look like them of their same ethnicity who are adopted who have Down syndrome (19:28) And so I feel like we’re still kind of in some of the early phases of that but my husband and I are trying to (19:34) be really thoughtful about (19:36) Where we live where my kids go to school where we go to church and like bless the Lord (19:42) I was thinking the other day in Iron City, which you guys have said on this podcast (19:46) It’s a predominantly white church (19:47) But my kids both my boys can look up on the stage in leadership and see their skin tones (19:54) Reflected back at them and I that’s a gift and I think that’s him. I think that is important (19:58) Yeah, yeah. Amen. Amen. Well, it’s clear that y’all are thoughtful about it. It’s clear. Y’all are prayerful about it as well (20:05) So let’s let me transition us to prayer (20:08) Because one one reason I wanted to have you on here was to talk about prayer (20:12) Because I’ve had the privilege and I mean that word privilege of (20:17) Watching you undergo a terrible tragedy (20:20) We don’t and yeah, you just say as much or as little about that as you want to but we you don’t have to say (20:27) Much of anything about it. It was a tragedy though in which a lot of people came around you and your family to support you (20:34) Making meals and such and you just made an awesome meal for our family, right? (20:39) And so you do that kind of work, but you also made (20:42) clear (20:44) that (20:44) You were so genuinely thankful for the meals and the babysitting and all that you were Jen, of course (20:51) Thank you yet you also mentioned how going through this people would ask you questions like (20:55) What can I do for you besides pray and I’ve encountered that in the past in my own so like people are like (21:02) And they mean it (21:04) With all the godliness in the world, but it almost it can’t feel like it’s like (21:09) Don’t tell me to pray. What what do you really? (21:12) right and (21:14) And yeah, and of course people can hide behind prayer (21:16) Nonetheless going through the tragedy seemed to change your perspective on that question and I couldn’t and I wondered if you could share (21:23) Your reflections about that. Yes, I would be honored to (21:28) Yeah, just for the sake of your listeners understanding the context my youngest son had a twin Isaac (21:34) we had the immense joy of adopting both of those boys and then four months after (21:41) they joined us Isaac went to be with the Lord and (21:45) Experienced perfect healing and we are grateful for that even in our very deep sadness. We miss him dearly (21:52) But yes, so that season of life was obviously chaotic and challenging for our family (21:59) We were trying to work and trying to maintain a sense of normalcy for our oldest child (22:04) We were living away from home for much of that time (22:07) yeah, and people kept being like what can I do besides pray and (22:11) I just realized like while I was in the middle of that circumstance (22:15) I’m like, first of all what I need no one can give me no no human hands can provide (22:22) What I’m lacking which is strength and encouragement and supernatural ability to face really deep suffering (22:31) and (22:33) You know at the same time (22:34) Nothing was more powerful than the way that God worked in his people just in the messages that would we would receive from people (22:42) Saying that they were praying for us or sending a scripture or sending us their prayers. I’m like nothing (22:47) Will make you feel more loved or more seen by God (22:52) Then to know that like his spirit is moving among his people and putting your life and more importantly my child’s life (23:01) yeah on the heart of another believer it was and (23:04) And the timing of it was always this sense of like God had not abandoned us (23:08) He saw what we were going through because people were even sending you voice memos of their prayers (23:14) But even in when I would listen to them like I just saw the Holy Spirit really moving and encouraging us in that way (23:22) So that’s why the question like what can I do besides pray? (23:25) I think it insinuates there’s something better that you could be doing and I just feel like I now know (23:31) There is nothing better that I could be doing for a struggling friend than taking them before the throne (23:36) There is no better way to care for someone who is suffering than to take time to lift up their needs to the father (23:42) And there was never there is never anything. I really need more than that (23:48) encouragement, you know (23:50) And after I shared this at an ICC prayer service (23:54) Somebody wrote me a note and like said it more eloquently than I’ve been able to but she was like it’s helping me flip the (23:59) script on my grieving friends to like I (24:02) Wish that there was something I could do to I have the most powerful tool at my disposal in praying (24:09) And I’m like, yes, that is exactly what I’m trying to communicate (24:14) Yeah, that is a great way to look at prayer and its power (24:19) I’m just sitting I just did not know that (24:21) That happened after the prayer service. So that is (24:25) Awesome and just why I I mean I have that testimony of bounds even after folks listening to this podcast (24:32) And yeah, yeah, my god, of course, we want to we don’t want to be like be warm and fed (24:37) See ya, like, you know thoughts and prayers, which is a callous and empty phrase (24:41) But sincere heart-wrought spirit-filled prayer is lifting people before God and any it is just like it is (24:49) It is so (24:51) In some sense (24:53) Well, I’ll just say everyone can every Christian can do that for someone and so thank you sister for sharing this (25:01) This tragedy and yeah, I mean, I’ll just I’ll never forget the eulogy you gave (25:06) And I want to ask you if I in terms of even the eulogy I’m gonna come back to that in a second (25:12) But what I want to ask you is there anything else you want to share on this topic before we pray because you know you (25:17) United we pray before we try to pray on the show faithfully (25:21) And do the very it’s very easy to talk about prayer. It’s very hard to pray (25:26) No, I would just say like in praying for our kids just to put a bow on the transracial adoption topic. I just think (25:34) There are so many things that I want my kids to know about themselves and their history and where they came from (25:39) But I have a really dear friend (25:43) Cherelle and her mom Cynthia and (25:45) Some of the people that I’m talking about the Lord put in our lives (25:49) Because he knew the children that were coming, but she gave my son a book (25:53) for his birthday, and she wrote the most gorgeous inscription of (25:57) Like a summary of Psalm 139 in the phone. It said you are a child of God (26:02) Wonderfully made dearly loved and precious in his sight (26:06) I’m like (26:06) I love all those daily affirmations that people do with their kids or are they like stand in front of the mirror and say you’re (26:12) Important and you’re beautiful and you’re kind and you’re smart, but we’re repeating those words that Cynthia gave me (26:19) in my house because I think before our kids are black brown Indian Nigerian cute clever like I think (26:27) the unifying work of Christ and the fact that these kids are made in his image and dearly loved by him is what makes the (26:35) Journey of adopting across racial lines like doable worth it (26:40) And I think the Holy Spirit can bless it. Even if the world says like this is dangerous (26:45) You know, I think that we can put our hope in something (26:50) Higher and in a world that is coming. Yeah. Yeah (26:53) That’s my hope for for families like ours and and what we’re praying for to see, you know (26:59) Even in the land of the living. Amen. Amen. Well, we’re gonna pray about that in one second (27:04) One thing I just want to say I try to give you an encouragement on the front (27:07) I don’t want to end with an encouragement and just even reflecting upon (27:11) your eulogy which (27:14) And I also just resonate with the experience of receiving a note from someone like wow (27:17) That is much more eloquently than I could ever say it (27:23) But yeah sister the Lord gave you so much grace for that eulogy and (27:27) Second Timothy is a book. I really love as a pastor and (27:31) Suffering is mentioned in each chapter, but in an interesting way Paul actually says share in it. So it’s a command (27:38) It’s a weird thing Paul’s being like, you know, I want you to make the choice to suffer not in any kind of weird (27:48) Like we delight in suffering for suffering sake thing (27:51) But like take on the suffering for the sake of others and for the sake of the gospel, right? (27:55) So that that phrase share in suffering and I literally like that day when we’re at your precious boys (28:02) Memorial service. I wrote this down in my Bible (28:08) Share in suffering think of the Elmer think of the Elmer’s seeking special needs kids (28:13) And in some sense, I want to say this with the right caveat (28:16) And if I’m making one of these ignorant statements that you’ve said before but in some sense what wouldn’t I think let’s just say the (28:22) word naturally in the flesh be a parent’s worst nightmare or for their kid to like have (28:28) have disability have disabilities like (28:32) and (28:32) What a lot it’s what a lot of people would run from (28:35) Y’all are running toward and I just want to exhort you with that because to me it was such a clear picture of Paul saying (28:42) Run toward it. I mean you’ve been blessed because of it (28:46) Right you and all the beautiful things of like and doesn’t God say you you thought this was a nightmare (28:51) And I’m turning this into something (28:53) And so I just wanted to (28:56) You guys have left an indelible mark in my Bible (29:00) with that with that verse and with that concept of (29:03) Not for our fame not for our Instagram (29:05) And again, it’s just like you didn’t do this thinking one day. I’ll be on the United. We pray podcast and five people will hear (29:13) But you know that (29:16) Yeah that one sister who emailed you (29:19) Doesn’t he doesn’t get that concept without you deciding to share in suffering and whatever else the Lord is doing that we can’t see and (29:25) I trust he’s doing a lot. I hope you’re encouraged with that. Thank you. Thank you (29:29) I praise the Lord that that is yeah opportunities that Isaac and his sweet little life (29:37) Listeners that was that was (29:39) Yes (29:42) Great well sis, do you want to open us in prayer and then I can close this. Thank you so much for traveling through some really (29:50) heavy waters dark waters (29:53) and (29:54) Not just sharing and suffering but sharing that suffering with us. So, thank you

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Political Convictions: How We Hold Them

Political Convictions: How We Hold Them

Christians and Politics Pastor Joshua Chatman joins Austin to talk about how to be agents of unity in difficult political seasons. We learned during the last election cycle of the deep divides within the Church over politics. Josh and Austin talk about what we should...

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Political Convictions: What Are They?

Political Convictions: What Are They?

Political Convictions Dan Darling joins the show once again to talk with Austin and our community. It's no secret that this is a difficult political season for a lot of Christians. Without diving into the weeds of any specific issue, Dan and Austin discuss how we...

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July 4th Special: Black and Patriotic with Bobby Scott

July 4th Special: Black and Patriotic with Bobby Scott

Black and Patriotic Happy fourth of July! This week we are joined by special guest, Pastor Bobby Scott. "Bible Bobby" is a friend of the ministry who has been on the podcast and has written for us several times. He has a particular interest in black history and all...

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Recent Articles

Repentance Is Your Superpower

Repentance Is Your Superpower

We’ve all seen the public non-apology apology. Whether it’s a college president, corporate executive, or government official caught in a misdeed or unpleasant situation, they all look the same. They acknowledge a less than favorable outcome, express wishes that things...

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Gospel Hope Creates Space for Lament

Gospel Hope Creates Space for Lament

I’ve noticed some strange behavior from some friends of mine. It has come up in several different relationships over the last few years. They are all intelligent, successful, and pretty happy people. I love them dearly. But these friends are not Christians.  The thing...

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Confidence in the Wrong Place

Confidence in the Wrong Place

In 1908, G.K. Chesterton warned Christian readers that various influences were eroding society’s ability to learn:  But what we suffer from today is humility in the wrong place. . . . A man was meant to be doubtful about himself, but undoubting about the truth; this...

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Author

  • United? We Pray

    United? We Pray is a ministry to help Christians pray and think about racial strife. We want to encourage Christians amid the strife to rely upon God in prayer. So our prayers can be informed, we strive to learn and write about race, racism and its effects, and theology. We aim to be biblical, beneficial, and clear in all our efforts. While we’re burdened for all racial strife, we focus on racial strife between Christians because of the unique privilege and stewardship God has given his people: to bear witness to Him and to love all people, especially one another (Gal. 6:10).

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