I seem to have the adoption on the forefront of my mind this week. In preparing for our trip I just can’t stop going back over the last year of being in this journey….and thinking back to how we got to where we are now. The other day I was thinking about last fall when I was sitting in church as a video clip on our church’s Zambian orphanage was put up on the big screen. As Jake and I sat there watching that video it was then that I felt about a 15 second surreal experience of God very clearly speaking His plans for our family to adopt into my heart. It may seem kind of ‘out there’ to some in reading that I felt God ‘speaking to my heart’, but through the Holy Spirit that lives inside of me, I can feel it when God is pointing something out to me. It’s hard to explain, but easy to feel. It’s clear, loud, and unmistakable. But, even when his voice is perfectly clear, the way I felt it was that day in church, it doesn’t mean it’s easy to obey. In fact, after those moments in church I began doubting that what I experienced was real, and questions and doubts about this proposed adoption flooded into my mind…..when? how will we afford it? this isn’t how I had intended to form my family….how do I get past my fears? how do I get past my vision of what I thought my family would look like? how do I get past my inhibitions? questions? worries? I was consumed with these thoughts and I could not stop doubting what had happened. But then, over the course of the next few days, God gently grabbed my attention in very specific and personal ways that brought up adoption….and each time something happened I thought maybe it’s just a coincidence, but then things kept happening….and my heart kept softening and softening towards the idea. By Day 3 of all this, it even got to the point that when I looked up at our family picture on the fireplace I was sick to my stomach, because I knew there was a little boy that was missing. And, I knew he didn’t look like us. I knew our family was not complete. It wasn’t a gut feeling. It was a feeling that God put into my heart that was undeniable by this point.
I wanted to share one of the things that helped soften my heart to God’s plan for us to adopt. This is an excerpt from a book that I was reading at the time that this all happened. I just happened to be at this exact point when I picked the book up to read for my devotional time the day after that church service. This was one of the things that God used to tell me that I wouldn’t have all the answers, but that I/we needed to obey:
George Mueller was a man of faith. As the founder of numerous orphanages in nineteenth-century England, he depended entirely on God for food and supplies for the orphans under his care. He never asked for a dime in donations but rather, through faith, prayed about every need. God richly blessed Mueller’s life of faith, and the orphans never went without. Concerning anxiety, Muller said, “The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith, and the beginning of faith is the end of anxiety.”
What would our lives look like if they were characterized by less worry and more faith? If we moved forward in faith instead of worrying about how to make something happen ourselves? Just think about the impact our lives would have if we were to prayerfully live a life of faith day by day. We may never be famous or have an opportunity to influence thousands of people, but if we each walk in faith right where God has placed us, together we can make a positive difference in this world.
Faith is stepping forward as God directs, even when we don’t know what the outcome will be. It’s doing something bigger than ourselves- so big that we are dependent on God and not on our strength and ability. When we step out in faith, God gets the glory, because whatever is accomplished is done by his Spirit at work through us. (The Power of a Positive Woman by Karol Ladd)
The author then went on to give examples from the Bible of ordinary characters who God used to accomplish great things as they simply stepped out in faith to obey what God had asked them to do. Obviously these words of wisdom were exactly what I needed to hear to encourage me to move forward in opening my heart to adoption.
To end….I came across this saying regarding obeying God on a blog that I read, and I love it:
OBEDIENCE TRUMPS WORST CASE SCENARIO