I almost quit yesterday. Not just on adoption, but on everything. I am so tired and weary.
A good friend sent me an email last night. In it he wrote, “I am sure losing Benjamin is not where this will all end for you guys.” I heard God’s voice say, “It could be. It could be the end of the story for you, if you quit. You can quit right now and be done and walk away and that will be the end of the story. Or you can press on to the blessings and assignments I have for you. It’s your choice.” It was almost like He drew a line in the sand for me.
I keep hearing God ask me, “Are you a soldier or not? Get up and fight.” Will this experience strengthen our resolve to do His work, or will this disappointment be the thing that makes us quit on Him. When my brother was a plebe at the Naval Academy, I remember them talking about the huge numbers of Midshipmen who would be weeded out. I had to ask myself, are Pat and I going to be weeded out? Are we going to desert, drop out of the program and walk away? Or are we going to allow ourselves to be trained into officers.
We are tired. We have been thoroughly beat up these past two years. I have four babies in heaven. I have a little boy in Liberia who will always have a piece of my heart. He will always be my spiritual son. I think you can say I am now officially an expert in the miscarriage department. I’ve delivered my son’s little body; I’ve experienced early miscarriage, late miscarriage, and now adoption miscarriage. But have I been destroyed? No!
“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.”
-2 Corinthians 4:7-9
I believe that because Pat and I are weak and tired and hurt, we have been marked by the enemy. He sneaks up from behind to attack us who are weak, just like the Amalekites did when the Israelites were leaving Egypt. We can sit down and say, “I deserve a break. I’m tired. I quit, someone else can take over.” That’s when we can be picked off; we need to be on guard as we are tired.
God is the defender of the weak and He has asked Pat and me to join him in taking care of the weak, defenseless, the abandoned, even if He has a different one for us then the cute little face that we decided we wanted. Another question he keeps asking me is, “Who is this about?” If you quit now you are saying, “This is about me.” If you keep going, you are saying, “This is about You, Lord, and the defenseless orphans that need us.” Are we in this to take care of orphans, and to be obedient to the Lord, or are we in it to get a prize for the pain we’ve been through, because we think we deserve it like a consolation prize. What is our motivation?
As I was writing these thoughts out, my five-year-old daughter came into the room. This was the conversation we just had:
Karissa: Mommy are you still sad because we can’t adopt Benjamin?
Me: Yes, honey, I am. How are you feeling about it?
Karissa: I’m OK. God gave his mommy enough money and food to take care of him because He knew he wasn’t the little boy for us. Can you get a picture of our new brother? What’s his name? Are we going to change his name again?
Me: I don’t know, honey, we’ll see.
The faith of a child. Karissa understands that God has our best interest, and Benjamin’s and his mother’s best interest in mind. He is good. He is love. He will work this out for our good if we will participate with him. Karissa knows to just keep moving forward, looking toward the best blessing God has for us. I need to follow her example and allow myself to keep following my Daddy.
How it will all play out for us, I don’t know, but I’m determined to not let this be the end of the story for us. Please pray for us to be strong and faithful to the plans that God has for us. As always, He is trustworthy. He didn’t change after that phone call came in on Wednesday night. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11