It’s not often that you have a ‘full circle’ moment, where you get a significant look at how God is at work in your life, but when you do, you should shout it from the rooftops because it is beyond profound and utterly beautiful! It all happened at a gathering of women pastors and leaders at a conference recently. It was one of those networking things that you secretly dread, when all your insecurities bubble to the surface and you wish you’d worn your suck-in pants because everyone else looks like they lost 10 kilos since you last saw them – except you! I gathered my courage and approached two women. I’m not going to lie, it was a ‘crash and burn’ moment, as they both gave me the unspoken vibe that I’d just interrupted a private conversation. We’re networking, people! Seriously? Anyway, I excused myself, brushed off the rejection and dove in for another crack at meaningful connection. I approached a table of women and introduced myself and was warmly engaged. (By the way, that’s how it’s done, people.) I asked a young girl in the group where she was from (Hillsong) and what she did (Communications) and suddenly the conversation got very interesting. As I dug deeper into the nature of her role, I discovered that this extraordinary young woman was responsible for the photo shoot that was used at Colour Conference this year – the same photos that I mentioned in a former blog, in particular, the spectacular photo of my daughter’s birthplace in China. Barely containing my excitement, I asked her if I could share my story with her. I began to describe the significance of that one photo for me and my daughter, Charlie. Tears welled up in her eyes. She told me that her team never get feedback about the wider impact of their work. She shared the story of the incredible opposition that they faced in doing that photo shoot – battles with Chinese authorities, a mess of red tape, frustrating waits. They had wondered why God had sent them there to do that shoot – who was it for? What would be the impact of it? She stood in wonder as I told her more of our miraculous journey to adopt our precious girl. Together, we felt the awe of the situation, realising that, as our stories came together, we could see an incredible demonstration of the love of God and the lengths He goes to, to pursue us and place worth and value on us. Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” While we were still locked in sin, unrepentant and ungrateful, and entirely unaware of what it was costing our Heavenly Father, Jesus sacrificed himself to pay the ransom on our lives. He rescued us from eternal separation from God, from the smoking ruins of our life choices, from the abuse and abandonment of others, from loneliness and despair. He pursues us still, ever desiring us to fully grasp the depth of His love for us, and to fully embrace the truth of who we are and what He has called us to. I’m so thankful to God for that encounter with this young woman. I’m grateful that I could be such an encouragement to her. I’m grateful to hear more of the story that heightens my understanding of God’s love for us. I’m grateful for the revelation of what He does for the one and how He communicates such value to us. And I’m stirred to try to catch more of these ‘behold’ moments that could be happening all around us but we’re too preoccupied to notice. 1 John 3:1 says, “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!” Behold! Can we possibly appreciate, apprehend, assimilate or comprehend what it is to be loved by God? Can we catch, compass, conceive, decipher or decode it? Are we able to dig, discern or grasp the immensity of being called His children? Can we know, perceive, recognize, register or remotely understand what He feels for us? That’s what it means to behold! I encourage us all to pause and have a ‘behold’ moment. Don’t miss it! There are demonstrations of His love all around us. And perhaps Jesus would invite you to be part of His message of love and value to another, to share your story and bring encouragement to a heart in need. You might just provide a ‘behold’ moment for someone else.