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God's Purpose Prevails

Many are the plans of a man's heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.  Proverbs 19:21 NIV

Photo courtesy of pixabay.“If ever there is a tomorrow when we’re not together, there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart, I’ll always be with you.” - Winnie the Pooh. 

Children have no idea how profound these words are, yet I inscribed them in a goodbye letter to a little boy who forever changed my heart. I adopted my first son from foster care, and when a second little boy arrived 18 months later, I knew I would adopt him too. Because of his situation, I didn’t have to worry about him returning to his birth parents, and I had promised God a child would never enter my home that I didn’t commit to for the rest of my life. Yet, I didn’t know I would only be his daddy for 14 months.

The year he was with us was brutal. Such unbelievable trauma to work through. So many layers of every kind of abuse. I aged, and every day I tried to teach him everything he had missed. Then at the same time his adoption papers were being readied, he walked over to my chair and said, “Daddy, I don’t want you to cry, but I think I am supposed to have a mommy and a daddy.” Those words revealed the Creator’s grander plan.

We often harbor the unknown until a flash makes it crystal clear. I prayed for a larger confirmation than I had ever prayed for in my life—a dream, writing on the wall, a burning bush. That night, I dreamed my little boy went to live with someone else, and peace claimed my heart.

If we knew what tomorrow held, I don’t think any of us could handle it. God blesses us with breadcrumbs that lead the way until our eyes adjust to the light of His path.

Had I known the outcome, I would have lived those 14 months differently. God knew that child needed me to treat him as if he would be my son forever. I could not have done so with future knowledge. Even as I wailed, clinging to my prayer bench, I knew this had always been the perfect plan.

As you mourn and wish things could be different, believe each moment is exactly as the Lord requires.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

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Cecil Stokes

Cecil Stokes founded Tentmakers Entertainment in 1999. He is an Executive Producer/Writer/Producer/Director. He has worked on over 500 cable television shows for networks such as A&E, Court TV, DIY, ESPN, Food Network, HGTV, History Channel, and Turner. For his television programming, he won multiple awards including the New York Film Festival, the Communicator Award, dozens of Tellys, and an Emmy. Cecil’s award-winning documentaries include “A Man Named Pearl” and “Children of all Ages.” Cecil also co-created and produced the feature film “October Baby.” Most recently, he has written, produced, and directed over 100 branded entertainment projects for the Scripps Networks (HGTV, DIY, Food Network, Cooking Channel, Fine Living & GAC).

In 2015, Cecil adopted his son Boone from foster care at the age of eight. He has learned first-hand the beautiful and the brutal of raising a son from foster care. Though he had traversed 13 countries and 46 states, walked the Red Carpet, and lived what felt like a dream life, Cecil says his life did not begin until the day he became a father. With new awareness of the great need we have for the adoption of legally free foster children, Cecil now campaigns for Christians to step forward and become the forever families Christ’s children deserve.


  1. Beautifully written, this caused me to feel emotion, for the first time, in a long time. This is pure truth about the way God works. This clarifies so many of my thoughts. Thank you for sharing.