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Finding God’s Goodness in the Broken and Beautiful

Katie Davis Majors gave up college and moved to Uganda where at the age of 18 she started what would become a thriving organization. Read Transcript


NARRATOR: Katie Davis Majors always dreamed

of having a few kids and a house with a white picket fence.

But when she moved to Uganda 10 years ago,

Katie fell in love with and adopted 13 girls.

After the biological mother of one

of her long-term foster daughters

showed up to claim her, life as Katie

had known it ceased to exist.

In her book, "Daring to Hope," Katie shares

how she chose faith in the midst of her circumstances,

what she encountered in the least expected places.

Well Katie Davis Majors joins us now.

And Katie, you're one of my heroes.

I think the world of you.

I think it's awesome, your story.

Thank you.

I want to catch viewers up real quickly on it.

You were head of your class in high school,

you could have picked any college in the nation.

You were 18.

You said no, I'm not going to follow the American dream.

I'm going to follow God's dream.

Yeah.

I'm going to go to Uganda.

And then you wrote a book about it.

Yes.

"Kisses from Katie," it became a New York Times best seller,

which is just awesome.

It surprised me.

Looking back-- here we are 10 years later--

looking back, what do you think of 18-year-old Katie?

Oh, gosh.

I mean, I admire her a little bit,

just this willingness to just go, and just do,

and just love people, you know, without caring really

what was expected, or what other people thought,

or what I could and should do.

But I also think I was very optimistic, you know,

just that everything would always go well.

And I think in the last 10 years,

God has really showed me who he is, even

when things don't go well, and even when

there isn't this really optimistic, happy ending.

If you knew things weren't going to go well,

would you still have done it?

I think so.

I'm usually up for a challenge.

But it's been much harder than I originally anticipated.

And at the same time, God has shown himself to me

so much more than I could have ever imagined.

Well let's talk about one of the things that didn't go well,

where you lost one of your adopted daughters, Jane.

What happened?

Yeah, Jane was a long-term foster child.

And we had fostered other children kind

of short-term and interim placements,

intending to put them back with their families.

But Jane, we were all set to adopt.

We hadn't been able to find any family for her to go live with.

She'd been completely abandoned.

And so it was very shocking when,

after having her for three years,

her biological mother showed up and wanted her back.

And part of my heart thought, OK, this is good.

This is birth family, this is what our ministry is about.

This is what it should be.

Right, but at the same time, I'm thinking, no, she's mine.

In my heart, she had become my child.

And so I was devastated.

And our family was devastated.

And at four years old, I was really the only mother

she had ever known.

So it was also watching her walk through confusion and hardship

as well.

And I cried out to God, you know, please,

to not let it be this way.

And truth be told, he did not answer that prayer in the way

that I selfishly wanted him to.

But he was near to me.

And his presence was real, and his goodness

was real to me, even in the midst of our hardship.

What did you do with that?

When prayers go unanswered, where you start saying,

God you're not running the universe right today,

I'm having problems here.

Where did you go with that?

Yeah, we start to say to God, OK, God this

isn't my idea of good, right?

You say they are good but I'm not seeing it right now.

And there were a couple of things that really helped me

in that time.

One was just the practice of gratitude.

I began to kind of list down and think about OK,

what has God given me that is good?

What do I see that is good?

And as I did that, I realized that my blessings,

the things that God had done for me, far outweighed my hardship.

And there is no way to be angry with God

when we're looking around and recounting back

to him all the things that we're thankful for.

And I found so much comfort in scripture.

I felt like even David, you know,

he can cry out to the Lord honestly

and say this is what I like and this is what I don't like.

And I felt like God was OK with that.

Like he could take my honesty, and he

wanted to comfort me in the midst of my hurt.

Well I think that's one of the keys to your book,

"Daring to Hope."

You know, you don't just--

you go through the hardship.

And from a spiritual journey standpoint,

describe what it takes to get through.

You also had a close friend, Katherine.

What happened there?

Katherine was a woman who came to live with us.

She was very, very ill and she had five young children.

So she came to stay with us so that I could help her

with her children, who she was too

weak to care for at that time.

And also because our home is a lot closer

to the local hospital than hers was,

so she needed to be right there for her treatment.

And, again, I really believed and trusted

that God would heal her.

I fully thought that that was his plan, and he didn't.

We ended up being with her while she

died and went to be with Jesus.

And while that was a very beautiful time,

it was also a very difficult time.

And I think I felt angry towards him,

that he had seen me believing that he would heal her,

and he didn't.

But I felt like I could be honest in that.

I could bring my sadness, I couldn't bring my anger to him.

And he was grieved, too.

You know, there's so much suffering, world over.

Not just in Uganda, everybody has their hardships

and their suffering.

And I think it was just such a comfort to me

to know that God saw that, and he still loved me,

and he still wanted to be my comfort.

And ultimately, he wants the world

to not be like this anymore.

One day, he will come back and we won't suffer like this.

Did you ever tell God, why did you get me into this?

I think so.

I think I had a lot of questions.

I said no, I can't do this, and no I don't want to do this.

And, you know, I felt comfort.

I even asked him, you know, why?

Why would you pick me?

And I felt like he gave the answer to my heart

that, I knew that you would.

I knew that you would love these people well.

And I think he says that to each of us at different times.

When we say OK, God, why me?

And he says, because I know that you can be faithful to me

in this.

Wow, that's an incredible revelation.

Have you ever thought--

and this is a dangerous question to ask, but I'll ask it,

would you do it all over again?

I would.

I would.

And, you know, there's part of me that it's hard to say that,

because it has been a hard journey.

But to know God intimately the way I know Him now,

I wouldn't have experienced certain sides of God

and certain parts of his character without the hardship.

Mhm.

In reading Paul's letters, you see

a lot about the fellowship of suffering.

Yes.

And we make up in ourselves what is lacking.

It's very curious verse, what is lacking

in the sacrifice of Christ, which I've never really

truly understood.

But in times where I'm going through it,

I get a glimpse of it.

It's that shared suffering where you find a bond that you

don't find any other way.

Absolutely, yes.

Do you get a better sense of why Jesus went to the cross

because of what you've gone through?

Absolutely.

I mean, I think first and foremost, he can relate.

Any pain, any suffering that we are going through,

Jesus himself has already borne.

He understands it.

And that is so comforting to me.

And also just that when I can't do it, when I feel

like I just--

I can't do it, he gives us the grace.

He gives us the strength, because we

see that he has the grace and the strength to endure.

I've got to ask this, and we don't have a lot of time.

But you ended up getting married.

I did, yeah.

Which, congratulations.

Thank you, thank you.

Did you think you were ever going to marry?

I didn't.

I mean, even sitting here with you six years ago,

I had kind of put that notion out of my head and thought,

that's probably just not something God has for me.

Now, here we have this big family.

We have this crazy life.

Who-- who would God bring to enter into it?

And he did, so faithfully, bring just

the right patient, loving man.

So we've been married almost three years now.

He took a--

it took a long time to convince you.

Yes, it did.

I was hesitant.

What finally got you?

I had just watched Benji and his servant heart

and his love for others.

He has this true love for the Lord,

and this true desire to see the gospel go forth to all nations.

And of course, I found that so attractive.

Yeah, yeah.

All right, Well the book is called "Daring to Hope."

it's available wherever books are sold.

And I trust that it will help you on your journey.

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