“While he was still speaking to the people, behold, his mother and his brothers stood outside, asking to speak to him. But he replied to the man who told him, ‘Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?’ And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother'”.
Years ago when my arms were empty and void, I was met in the darkness and suffering with a promise. In that moment when Isaiah 54 became the slow burning oil to my passions and longings, I learned that all of God’s promises find their “yes” in Christ. I cried out and lifted my soul to the maker of the Heavens and earth, and the maker of my broken body that could not carry a child. My longings for a family were met with their exuberant “YES” when Christ took those longings and revealed His Kingdom family to me. Over the course of the past 5 years I have been given a family whose tree branches are stretched out across oceans and continents, states and cities, towns and houses. A tree whose roots go deep with a rich heritage in teaching and loving and standing on God’s Word regardless of our cultures influence to disregard it. Calvary Baptist Church is where I found sisters, brothers, mothers, fathers, and children. MY sisters, brothers, mothers, father, and children. The longing for family revealed to me my longing for Christ’s brotherhood, the Father’s unfailing love, and the unity the Spirit brings to it all. The people who are doing God’s will in loving and treasuring Christ are my family. This has been especially true when I think of the Beacon ministry out of Calvary Baptist Church. This precious gathering of college students has become my family. I have gained numerous children, sisters, and brothers in this covenanted community of 18-25 year olds.
The success of my family is not determined on its biological make-up. It’s not even determined by a paper trail spanning across states on continents in adoption. Nope… The success of my family is love.
“Better is a dinner of herbs where love is than a fattened ox and hatred with it”.
If you came into the home of Brian and Louisa Saylor you would hear laughter. You would hear forgiveness. You would hear so many “I love yous” that you would lose count and kisses and hugs to match. You would see this small community of like-minded believers madly in love with their Creator worshiping their God into the early morning hours as Scripture is being poured over the hearts and souls of those listening. You would see a mother and a father tenderly wiping away the tears of their children who long to be satisfied by God, but had forsaken Him for a time. You would see the same arms of that mother and father welcoming those who were once on the run. Our home mirrors the church. It is full of those who love and follow Jesus. It means we have set Jesus as the greatest love in our home. And if that is true of us, it will protect us from having a dream for our home than what God wants for our home. Even if that dream is deemed a good dream in having our own children. The quality of the relationships when Jesus is the love of the home determines our success.
So, to my family, my sisters, my brothers, my children who have made this home in Kentucky full and beautiful and Christ centered: thank you. Thank you for teaching me about my motherhood. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to watch my husband become a father (which I’ve heard there’s nothing like it… and I believe folks are right! Fatherhood looks good on Brian!).
The promise God gave me was that my offspring would “spread abroad to the right and the left and will possess the nations and people the desolate cities” (Isaiah 54:3). These spiritual babies have already done that. They are all over this globe declaring the love of Jesus Christ! When we “enlarged the place of our tent, and let the curtains of our habitations be stretched out”, when we did not hold back, but “lengthened our cords and strengthened our stakes”, when we made our home a home enlarged with love and acceptance where Christ is the first love, well… family happened. A precious, deep, intimate family happened. Birthed out of suffering, unified in love, kept by the Savior’s grace.
I can’t wait to write the next chapter of our family’s love in Monticello, Florida. How many more babies will be added? How many more brothers and sisters and mothers and fathers will we gain? Will it span across nations and cultures and ethnic backgrounds? Will our family grow and continue to look more like the interracial bride of Christ? I guess we will have to see in the next five years…