Written by Brenda Gray
On May 11, I received a text from Whitney proclaiming an incredible victory as she was just moments away from achieving a milestone in her life. Whitney’s text read, “I am about to walk at my graduation ceremony, and I’m praising God for it all!”
Whitney overcame significant obstacles to reach her milestone. You may remember the story about Whitney from July 2022. As a young girl, Whitney rebelled against her parents who served as missionaries. She spiraled into a lifestyle of drug addiction and found herself living on the street.
Whitney attempted rehab programs several times, but this last attempt would be different. After being clean for 30 days, Whitney began to see signs that she could be pregnant. When a pregnancy test confirmed her suspicion, she remembers thinking it was the worst day of her life.
“There was only blackness. I was broken,” she recalls.
In the midst of the darkness, Whitney cried out to God. She shares that “on the worst day of my life God saved me.” She says that when she turned to God moments after confirming her pregnancy, “God truly set me free and the Holy Spirit opened my eyes and tuned my ears to His truth.”
Whitney contacted Christian Adoption Services, Baptist Children’s Homes’ adoption ministry that comes alongside expectant mothers, and was soon on her way to live with a family in Indian Trail. This family gave her a home and poured God’s love into her every day throughout her pregnancy.
With the support of Christian Adoption Services, Whitney made an
open adoption plan where she would be able to maintain a relationship with her child through the adoptive parents that
would become his family. One particular couple, who was also working through Christian Adoption Services as they awaited the birth of a baby to be adopted, caught Whitney’s attention. It was this couple – Darren and Dana Murph – that Whitney would choose to be her unborn child’s parents. The couple named the baby Maverick.
Whitney testifies: “I know the depth of God’s mercy and grace. I know because the magnitude of my sin was met with the greatness of His love.”
When Whitney walked across the stage at Liberty University
to receive her degree in nursing, there was no one cheering louder or clapping harder than Maverick, the Murphs, and Whitney’s mom, dad, and siblings. Her graduation was not only a milestone for Whitney, but also for each one of them as they celebrated and praised God for all of it.
The theme of milestones in our lives is so very important. In scriptures, we read where Jacob, after an encounter with God in a dream, rose and took the stone he had used as a pillow and set it up to mark the spot where God promised to bless him — a milestone in his life. Later, we read that after crossing the Jordan River into the Promised Land, God instructed Joshua to take twelve men and remove twelve stones from the river and make an altar. In the future, children would ask what these stones meant and they would tell the story of God’s miraculous activity in the crossing of the Jordan. Whether we are talking about individuals or nations, spontaneous events or the culmination of a long-sustained effort, milestones are important to all of us.
Whitney’s accomplishments are an example of the milestones that the birth mothers, children and families we have the privilege of ministering to through Baptist Children’s Homes. Many of our boys and girls, for the first time in their lives, heard that they were valuable creations. They and their families were treated with respect and dignity and shown the positive potential they possessed. Many of them experienced the milestone of responding to the good news of God’s love for them. These “faith in Christ” events are the most important milestones of all!
For all of this, we thank you! It is only through God’s providence and your generous support that milestones in the lives of everyone we are privileged to serve are possible. For Whitney, her milestone is even larger than being the recipient of a diploma – she is a recipient of love. Thank you for helping to create special milestones that will be an encouragement for years to come.
Note: When you give, you make milestones possible in the lives of people like Whitney and all who turn to Baptist Children’s Homes. To make a life-changing gift, visit bchfamily.org/givenow.
Written by Brenda Gray, Executive Vice President, Development & Communications