"The answers God gives us in our tomorrows often flow from our faithful todays." - Author, Beth Moore
God has heard the many prayers offered on behalf of our family and He has moved on our hearts in a very real way. I love how He does that! Thank you so much for praying for us. The prayer cover has been so tangible, I feel like I could stand on my tip toes and touch it. It is during times like this that I know that I am serving a real God. He is not a figment of my imagination.
After weeks of wrestling with this decision, Pat and I decided yesterday that we are continuing on with adoption from Liberia. As soon as the decision was made, I felt like a TON of bricks was lifted off of my shoulders. I didn't realize until after the decision was made how much this has been weighing on me. I've been holding my breath, wondering how Pat was feeling but not wanting to push.
I've also had a fear that I heard wrong, that there never really was a "call from God" to adopt from Liberia. I worried I had made this all up, and it had been me all along trying to take matters in my own hands because I want more children so badly. I prayed Wednesday night about it. I cried out to God, saying, "Was this from You or not? Did I make it all up? Is my family following me off a cliff? How am I supposed to KNOW if You spoke to me or not?"
I was reminded of Ethan Larsen, a missionary from our church, who spoke about his decision to take his family away from America, to the Ukraine and then eventually to Hungary. He said that before you do something big for God, you need to be convinced of your call to do it because when opposition comes and things get hard, that is all you have left to rely on. You KNOW that God told you to do this so you press on through the tough stuff.
I kept asking God, was it truly a call as I believed or just a romantic idea? Thursday morning I woke up and read my daily devotion on the Proverbs 31 Ministries website. It was all about living in the "Hear and Now." Hear was misspelled on purpose which drove the teacher in me crazy : ) The point of the study was are you acting on what you hear from God. At the end of the devotion there were two key verses printed:
John 10:4, “His sheep follow him because they know his voice.” (NIV)
John 10:27, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” (NIV)
I felt God gently whisper to me, "Becky, you belong to Me. You know my voice."
The above quote from Beth Moore was also in this devotion, and I felt God telling me, the answers for tomorrow will flow out of your faithfulness today. It wasn't until the priest stepped into the raging Jordan River that it divided and dried up. Obey first, get your feet wet, and then watch me work.
I was also reminded of a concept I learned and have often quoted from Blackaby's "Experiencing God" study. So many times people beg God to reveal His Will to them, when really all along what they want is His plan. He tells us that we already know His will, He has told us in His Word what His Will is, we need to leave His plan to Him.
God's heart for orphans has not changed. It is very, very clear in the Bible that God has said that people who follow Him are supposed to care for widows and orphans. That didn't change when we lost Ben's referral.
By Thursday morning, I was convinced that we were supposed to move forward in faith and be cautiously excited about whatever referral we receive until our child is home. Once he is home, here in our arms, he will become our own as we give of ourselves to him. I remembered this quote from Dale Evans Rogers that I've posted on this blog many times:
"Time and experience have taught me a priceless lesson: Any child you take for your own becomes your own if you give of yourself to that child. I have borne two children and had seven others by adoption, and they are all my children, equally beloved and precious."
As Pat and I talked on Friday, I knew that God had softened the pain and frustration and anger in him. We talked about how God had blessed us so much and that it is clear in the bible that to whom much has been given, much is required. We don't want to bury what God has given us, but give it back to Him for His work, and there is no denying how much God cares about those in this world who are considered the least, the abandoned, the poor, and how it is His desire to place the lonely in families.
In our individual prayer times, we both came to the conclusion that God was calling us forward and has good plans for us, but this isn't just about us. It is just as much about the child that He puts into our family. God has great plans for that individual child and I am so thankful to be a part of watching those plans unfold.
Love always requires risk. I'd much rather risk hurt and heartache and be able to love, than to be safe and unable to love and be loved. I am so blessed.
I feel a peace and joy today that I'm so grateful for. I hope that soon we will have a son home in person to love. I can't wait to celebrate that day.