Dread to Joy
By Craig Dinsmore on December 5th, 2011

At the core of my inner man, I felt dread. Like I just ate 10 pounds of cold rocks. My stomach twisted and felt weighed down. I was trapped and saw no way out. My wife wants to adopt a child with special needs.

What does that mean for me when I’m 75 years old, and all the years from now until then? What does that mean for the 8 other kids in my family? I felt weighed down with the burden to care long term for a child with special needs, and trapped with how hypocritical that was for me to feel that way.

My wife had spoken many times over the years of adopting a little girl with Down’s Syndrome. I could handle it then because I knew it was in the future. I knew that when we became ready to adopt again the Lord would direct (more like re-direct..:-) . Now we are ready and a little girl with no family is knocking at the door, and I am a mess inside.

I know in my heart that our family has room for more children. I pray for the fatherless of the earth daily. My ministry is focused on justice for children ( How in the world could I say no to this one? I feel really trapped. So I presented my heart to the Lord.

Since before we were married I considered myself dead to my own life and alive to Christ. I have been living for Him since 1983. But when the reality of the life long commitment to a child with special needs in my family was presented to me, some areas of my heart that were still living for me were uncovered. My inner man was saying: “I’m just not made for this. There are others with the gifts needed to enter into this day to day care that goes on till you die. I need to be free to……be free….you know from …OK, just admit it… from long term burden”.

Enter the word of God: 2 Cor 1:3-5 “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God . For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.”

During a prayer time for orphans, one of our prayer team members shared this verse. It hit me between the eyes. I even felt a little numb, like some invisible sword just went down through the middle of me. I was in shock from the strike. This started a process that has turned my dread into dancing! I’m not kidding, it’s not an exaggeration. I experienced a real and true transformation of my heart from the Lord.

Over the next week or so the numbness wore off and revelation began to hit my mind and heart. As I realized that I was being invited into a deeper encounter with the Lord, the apparent sacrifice and feeling of dread was replaced with joy and anticipation. My heart was getting free from a lie of self preservation. “I believe you Lord. I can love well beyond what I can imagine because you will provide all my heart needs, all my family needs from me, and all our new daughter will need”! The revelation of His provision set my heart to a new place. I felt the Psalms 23:5 “My cup overflows”. This isn’t about my capacity, this is about the life of Christ in me. My heart has fallen in love with her. She is not a burden, she is beautiful! The word of God has freed me up to love like He loves. To see her like He sees her, precious, beautiful and delightful! I can’t wait to bring her home, to her new family, to our family! My heart cries “Abba, keep her and protect her. Bring her to us quickly. How I long to hold her and speak tenderly to her.”

It is the Father’s design of life that through our trials He pours out more than enough comfort so we have abundance to give to others in distress; that our hearts would be like His heart, burning with fiery love for the little ones. James 1:27 states that “pure and undefiled religion is to visit the widow and the orphan in their distress”. That word ‘distress’ is the same Greek word (thlip-sei) used for ‘trouble’ or ‘tribulation’ in the 2 Cor 1:4 verse that changed me. I don’t think it can be any clearer, their distress is to be visited with the comfort we receive from our God. This is the design of justice in action in the kingdom of God – hearts ablaze with love, living like Jesus did on Earth, His love overflowing through us to those in need.


-Craig Dinsmore   President of Orphan Justice Center  Dinsmore Family

Craig and his wife Linda are parents to 7 biological children, 1 adopted son, and they are soon to add Lucille to their family. Please pray for them as they begin the adoption process. To follow Lucille’s adoption story, visit


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