My Family

My Family
Summer 2015

Friday, September 26, 2014

That We May...Believe and Obey (7 of 7)

This is post 7 of 7...
Seven
The number of perfection right?
I'm not God, so don't expect perfection...lol

(this is post 6  all the other posts are listed in this post, so you can read all of them if you'd like.)

In the Fall of 2013, after Peter returned from a mission trip to Thailand he had a bout with Guillain-Barre syndrome which really caught us all off guard, but God used it in His plan and for His Glory.  Peter recovered better than anyone expected but it was a moment of "checking in" with life and our purposes and making things matter.  This disease landed him in the hospital for 5 days, but had the potential for paralysis and breathing machines.  It took him many months to fully recover but he is now back to normal. In it we both were hearing from God that we should stop running and submit.  I had anxiety issues over money because we were about to send a child to college and adoption is expensive.  Especially if we are serious about TWO!  I think we both struggeld with releasing everything in our lives with open hands and submitting ALL.  God had supplied for our needs, but it was hard to release it ALL.

In the spring (2014), I was having some real anxiety issues waking up at 4 a.m. thinking about "how could we even make this happen?" 
One Sunday in April, Peter had headed off to church early to serve and I laid in bed praying and pondering this thing.  I got up and suddenly the name "Todd Peterson" popped into my head.  I was in search of some wise counsel on the subject.  Todd works at our church  and is our community group leader.  He is also on the financial oversight team. But I didn't know him personally that well. We go to a relatively large church.  I felt like God was telling me we needed to meet with him. Would he even meet with us?

Random.
Maybe.
Or Not.
I thought I would talk to Peter about it when we both got home from church.

In the meantime, 
I went to church that day, with Lucas.  Planning to talk to Peter later in the day about this sudden development.

Most Sundays our pastor Louie speaks.  It's only ocassionally that he has someone else do the speaking.  And we don't know who is speaking ahead of time.

....guess who was speaking that day?

Todd Peterson. (he speaks just a few times a year)
Um.
OK.
I was surprised to see him there.
Care to guess what he was speaking on?
Care to recall what I was struggling with?  
(hint: stepping out in generosity with our finances and our lives)

Todd was speaking on Generosity!

It rocked my world again.
We were reminded it is a Privilege to be Generous--That We May.
That theme kept coming back around.
He had so many rich things to say but here were some that stood out that day:

"We cannot outgive God"
"God wants FAT- Faithful, Available, Teachable --people"
"God calls us from obscurity into extravagent lives"
"What we believe affects what we give"
"When we enter into the work, it points people to God"

The messages kept getting stronger and more obvious.  And the tug at both of our hearts was getting intense.

We ended up meeting with Todd and seeking wise counsel from him about our thoughts and ideas about adoption and he was very encouraging saying our community group would support us in our decision if that is where God would lead.  He offered a phone number of a friend who also had adopted from China with Special Needs kids.  This was huge to us since we had such a tight community when we walked other journeys in life like with Jacob.  Neither of us realized until Todd said that, how important that piece was to us.  Since we live away from family, our community becomes our family when our family cannot be there.

In our conversation he also brought forward:


Mark 9:24  ...“I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!
and 
Proverbs 11:25
“A generous person will prosper;
    whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.”

Paraphrasing something else he said:

By adopting these kids and being generous not only with our finances but with our lives we would be a part of “refreshing” them and in it we would be refreshed.

I think we've often looked from a "flesh" perspective on this whole thing and how we think it might tap us dry.  How could taking care of special needs kids from another country that are "older" possibly "refresh"?  
Yet this is a great reminder of how things operate flipped upside down in God's economy.  He wants the last to be first.  He wants to refresh through things that seem like they could make us thirst.  When we are generous and pour out our lives or service or finances, in some way, He gives back to us what we are fearful to lose.  Of course we don't enter in with an expectation that He will give us a million dollars or make the path "easy".  
But, we Trust.  
We Believe.  
We Obey.
Because of what Jesus did for Us.  We need to live extravagent lives.

In April, I also had a precious dinner and conversation with my dear friend Katherine, whom I respect dearly. This is a journal entry I made on

April 29, 2014 (Jacob's heaven date 2004)

Katherine said: “Can I say something to you?”  
with a very penetrating but precious look.  

I have to admit I was a little afraid of what she was going to say. 
 (maybe she'd say "you're crazy" or "what are you thinking?"  or "you need more counsel on this")

But, she welled up with tears and she said, 
“Go get those babies”.....
I started to cry and got shivers.
I was overwhelmed.
She also said our life has really mirrored the life of Job.  And look at what happened to him...
He lost all 10 of his children and after the storm was through, God restored to him 10 additional children.  The exact number he had lost.  She said we too had lost 3 children.  And perhaps God is restoring what we have lost.  Not that these kids would replace our other 3 kids (Ben, Sam and Jacob) by any means.  But, perhaps God is trying to restore to us what we have lost. 
Again I found myself choked me up.  In no way are we trying to "replace" the numbers, but God is in the restoration business.  He can restore anything or anyone who has been lost.  What a wise and precious friend she is. (we didn't go in search of this, God brought it to us through our Lucas boy)


Regarding the finances, we talked about how God has been faithful in the past.  We need to remember His faithfulness.  If He is indeed calling us to be generous with our lives and money in doing this, then we don’t need to worry about what our future looks like.  He will provide.  

Today is Jacob’s “anniversary” date again.  One year ago today "the boy" appeared back on the list.  And he’s still waiting.  Maybe it’s time we get the lead out?
About one month later...
May 27, 2014 (journal entry)
(keep in mind we were processing all of this and listening to Lucas's prayers as they were intensifying, but he had no idea about all the conversations we had had or the wrestling we were doing or how intense the pull was getting at this point)
Lucas woke up this morning and these were the first words out of his mouth from upstairs.
L.  “mom, guess what?”
me: “what Lucas"
L. "I think we might get to adopt (the girl) and (the boy)”
me: (slightly shocked that those were the first words out of his mouth...)
“oh? why do you say that Lucas?”
L: “Because God just told me in my dreams”
me: “what did He tell you in your dream?”
L. “He said, You have to be patient and tell your mom and dad your going to be able to adopt (the girl) and (the boy)”
…pause..a few tears rolled down his precious cheeks…

Mom, I just can’t let them go”

shaking my head AGAIN!
I mean really?

sort of gives me a pit in my stomach that we apparently aren’t listening and he says God told him…
you have to be patient and tell your mom and dad”…

I’m rather speechless.
I emailed the above to Peter.  His response.. “Wow”.  

Later that day...
Peter came home told me he also had a revelation in the morning in the shower before all of this even transpired but he hadn't had a chance to tell me yet.  He felt God stirred this up in his heart:

"Do we believe or not?"

We looked at each other while sitting on the sofa and realized this thing was Sealed Up.  The conviction was strong.  We both knew the answer had to be "yes" even though we didn't have all the details figured out.  We both knew we were being propelled forward into a new adventure.  

God had spoken directly to my husband and challenged him and in doing so had challenged me.  Of course I did find it funny at this point that I had 80 (yes EIGHTY) pages in a journal on the subject, and he gets FIVE words from God in the shower...and it's Done and Sealed up!  =) hmmmmm  
I love God's sense of Humor!

We waited to tell Lucas until we had some initial footwork done.
and here is his response:



video

He was overwhelmed with all the implications of having his "friends" become a part of our family.

Precious boy.

Believe it or not, I could give even more details on Bible verses and songs and sermons and conversations and prayers and circumstances that led us to this place.  But, our prayer is for all who read and follow this story, God's Glory is the Top Theme.  It is obvious, we have struggled and doubted and prayed and sought and even attempted to run or wait.  But, God's Sovereign Plan is greater.  His Timing is beyond perfect.  His Glory and His Renown are to be Praised.  This story is His.  This story is not about perfect people.  And His Extravagent Generosity toward us could never be repaid in anything we have to offer.

We've been called to
Believe
and
Obey

To God Be the Glory Forever

stay tuned.....

(PS. Many close family members and friends were a part of the wise counsel and prayers associated with getting us to this place.  Like I said I have 80 pages of journaling from this process.  I would love nothing more than to mention every one of you by name and the sweet words and prayers you shared.  I'm just limited here for sake of everyone's sanity and eyestrain.  So please know you were also an important part of this and I cannot possibly name you all...but thank you thank you thank you).

4 comments:

  1. My wife and I are adopting a special needs little girl from China. We don't know her name yet and have been trusting God through it all–especially financially. We can't do it on our own and our daily prayer is just that, "God you are our provider. You have to do this because we can't. We trust you to accomplish Your will in this. Please provide!"

    This past week we had someone say, "I think Christians 'romanticize' adoption." That just angered me to no end. It ruminated in my spirit and tainted my Saturday which we happened to be doing a fundraiser that day. I was just down after a long summer of fundraising and little discouraged afterwards. That night, however, when we got home God reminded me once again that He is in control and He will do the providing! In the mail was an significant unexpected gift more than we could have possibly imagined.

    Then reading your blog post this week it reminded me again. God is the one who told us this is the time and that He would provide if we obeyed. So, we "Believe and Obey" even through our unbelief.

    I'm in the process of putting together some songs I've written about this journey of adopting a little one from China and ironically I wrote one called "I Believe" all about this verse. Here it is. I hope it blesses you:

    https://soundcloud.com/halswift/ibelieve

    Thank you again for your wonderful blog post!
    -Hal

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great song! Thank you for sharing your story. God is Good. He will accomplish what He plans.
      Adoption definitely should not be romanticized. Bahaha to anyone who thinks it's "romantic". Those people have obviously not been spit on, hit, yelled at, told "I wish I was never adopted in this family"...that's not too romantic.
      What we do have is a God that is For Redemption and Restoration. And I suppose that is definitely Romantic. Because only a Loving God that loves His children would redeem and restore us and show us right in our face what we look lke to him sometimes.
      And then we go in for more.
      Maybe we are crazy. That's truly possible....lol =)

      Or
      Maybe we know a God that is BIGGER than us!

      thanks again for sharing your story.

      Delete
  2. What a lovely story and a touching video. You have a special son. I love his tender heart.

    ReplyDelete
  3. What a lovely story and a touching video. You have a special son. I love his tender heart.

    ReplyDelete