Friday, April 26, 2013

A Guest Post by "The Writing Career Coach" Tiffany Colter

Tiffany Colter loves to write and she is fortunate to be able to do it for a professional career with her work appearing in national magazines, local papers, E-Zines and blogs.  

When I first found Tiffany, it was through an article she wrote for an issue of the ACFW Journal Magazine. The acronym stands for American Christian Fiction Writers. The article described Tiffany as "The Writing Career Coach” who provides “affordable options to aspiring writers”. As a person who loves to write, I knew I had to make a connection and thought perhaps Tiffany could coach me in my professional writing endeavors. So I found Tiffany’s e-mail (it was in her author bio at the end of the article) and I wrote a note. She responded to my inquiries and gave me a few pointers on how to take my writing to the next level. 

A few months into corresponding with Tiffany, I invited her to contribute a guest post to my blog, "God is Love" requesting that she write about an issue that’s on her heart and talk about how her faith in God helped her through the journey.  Tiffany came up with two themes: salvation and adoption and then wrote a story that beautifully correlates the two. So without further ado, here’s a word from Tiffany Colter. 

~*~ 

What God taught me about Salvation through Adoption 
By Tiffany Colter 

“The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’” (Romans 8:15, NIV) 

Three times in Romans, once in Galatians and once in Ephesians the apostle Paul uses the idea of adoption to describe the salvation message. I’d read it many times but just glossed over it. The idea didn’t hold much meaning to me. I knew people who were adopted. Growing up it was one of those secret things, something you learned about when you were an adult. To be honest, I used to secretly believe that I’d been adopted. I think it was my way of articulating a deep sense of rejection and “otherness” that I felt as a child. It wasn’t that my parents didn’t love and care for me. In fact, although my parents divorced when I was 5, my step-mom had had always treated my brother and I as her blood children. My mom and dad went to great lengths to give us a normal life and to show my brothers and I that they cared for us. My parents tried to express love to me, but I’ve always felt unlovable.

Despite my own issues, this story isn’t about me, my upbringing, or my hang ups. It is about what God showed me in March 2005, just before I began the hardest 7 years of my entire life. That month of that year we were in the midst of finalizing paperwork to fly from Detroit, MI to central Siberia to adopt a 4 ½ year old deaf little girl. We had 3 biological children, but we’d decided after our first was born that we’d give birth to 3 and adopt our 4th from Eastern Europe. This was a result of seeing a special report [I think on Dateline] about the large number of orphans over there. Since I was fluent in sign language we further decided that if all of our biological children were born hearing we’d look for a deaf child to adopt.

If you’ve ever tried to deal with the US government, you know it can be a trying experience. Now try dealing with TWO governments. And try doing it with 3 small girls [ages 6, 4, and 2] running around your feet. The cost of the adoption [including travel, legal documents, and all the rest] was about $55,000, slightly more than our family’s annual salary. We’d raised the money selling everything that wasn’t nailed down, getting donations from friends and, in the end, about $15,000 in debt. Even then there was no guarantee the Russian Court [through the Ministry of Education] would ultimately give us our daughter. I cried many nights from Aug. 2004 when we began the process until April 2005 when we boarded the plane. My heart broke each night knowing she was our daughter, but that she was over there going hungry. Each night she went to bed alone, not knowing that we were moving heaven and earth to get there as fast as humanly possible. She lived each day not knowing that on the opposite side of the globe, a 12 hour time difference, her family prayed for her every night.

And then, only about two weeks before we left America to go get her, I received a daily devotion in my email that had this verse at the top. Suddenly I saw it. I am a broken, fallible human who messes up every, single day. I am at times selfish, at times angry, and at times without faith. I pray at night that God will heal any wound I may have caused in my daughter’s hearts.

Yet even I, this imperfect human, anguished, suffered and sacrificed [along with my family, of course] to adopt this child we’d never known. She was our daughter before she even knew we existed. We loved her and welcomed her and fought for her harder than even our biological children who came…in shall we say…the usual way.

And if we could love and accept this little girl who’d never done a thing for us. If we could sell things we treasured most to pay the cost of her freedom. If we could welcome her in our family.

How much more God? How much more a loving creator who has loved me since the beginning of time? How much more the one who broods over us like a hen for her chicks?

The day I opened that email God began the process of intense healing. I saw that I was God’s little girl. He took what was most precious to Him and gave Jesus up to pay the cost of my freedom. And even though I’m imperfect and am not always a perfect Mommy, God is a perfect Daddy. He will never fail me.

After we adopted Viola we faced many challenges. Some were adapting to her, but also 6 months after the adoption my then 29 year old husband was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer. In my scary moments I curled up in my Heavenly Daddy’s lap and remembered that I was his adopted little girl. I remembered He loves me. I remembered that everything would be okay.

And now our little girl is 12 ½. On April 11th we celebrated her 8th Gotcha Day and my husband is 6 ½ years cancer free. She knows she was born to another country—another Kingdom, if you will—but she also knows that we are her family. Despite her language delays the sister closest in age to her recently explained salvation to her. Viola accepted Christ and told everyone about it. She understands the full meaning of adoption. She understands what it feels like to be suddenly plucked from loneliness and lack then delivered to love and provision. Those verses the Apostle Paul wrote will have special meaning to her as she grows older.

And they will carry her through dark days when they come, just as they carried me.

~*~

Author bio:

Tiffany Colter, The Writing Career Coach, is the author of dozens of books, CDs, webinars, DVDs and articles. This mother of 4 girls—tween up to teen—is married to her best friend, Chris, and they live the dream on their hobby farm with 2 sheep, a few ducks, 3 chickens, a dozen or so cats and 3 big guard dogs. [To keep the boys away]. She speaks across the country on radio, at conferences, to writer’s groups and at business events. She also shares tips on earning money with writing on her website, www.WritingCareerCoach.com.

4 comments:

  1. We're made in God's image; how beautiful when our hearts echo His.

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  2. Career coaching helps you in identifying the right time to pursue the next job. They help you realize the real talent and skills that you wouldn’t have recognized otherwise, and help you find the right career path for you that compliments your potential.

    Career Coaching

    ReplyDelete