When "One Day" is Now
A lot of times fear keeps us from doing what God is calling us to do.
And often, it's fear wrapped and disguised in practicality.
It doesn't look like fear.
It looks like being reasonable.
It's not that we're completely opposed to what He is calling us to do - we want to be obedient - but we expect to have a few other things in place first. Like, "Okay, God. But, first..."
I've said this myself. Being a planner, it seems reasonable to follow a predefined order.
Maybe you have, too.
But, if we have the courage to peel back the layers, we know it's not a voice of reason but a voice of fear.
God is calling us to step out and rest in His perfect love, for
Perfect love casts out fear. - 1 John 4:18
Last week, we met The Parker family and saw how God did the impossible to bring their family together. Today, we'll see the same God moving in the lives of another family.
This family, well, they're not what you initially expect when you think of adoption. There are some "requirements" we associate with a step of this magnitude that aren't met.
But, we'll see society's requirements are not God's.
So glad you're here, I pray these stories are inspiring you to step out and overcome the "requirements" that are keeping you from doing what God has laid so purposely on your heart.
Adoption "Requirement" - Must Be Married
"Sell him! He's more expensive anyway..."
If her youthful enthusiasm for an adopted sibling wasn't clear in her words, her handmade sign for sure was. She'd been begging for her parents to adopt a sibling, but it was always met with an explanation of how expensive kids can be.
Eh, easy fix for that...
Sell the "more expensive child" (aka - her brother) and get a new one!
All kidding aside, the desire for adoption was always on her heart. God kept bringing people in her midst - at church and even family friends - who had either been adopted, had adopted, or were fostering.
She came to recognize this was something she could do one day. But, "one day" seemed farther out in the distance. She thought there would be a few things she needed first.
Like a husband and a house.
She couldn't do this alone!
So she started serving and meeting the needs around her. First, it was the church nursery. In this, she realized the impact the church could have on orphans if we would rise up. Even just one family per church would be enough to house all the foster children in our country.
Why is there such a crisis when we have so many churches? It was a question that plagued her then and still does now.
After seeing this for eight years, she had a moment where she realized,
"What am I waiting for?"
When God commanded us to take care of the orphans, He didn't say, if you're married and have a mortgage...
"Those aren't God's requirements. Why are they mine?"
God started putting people in her path who were single, not much older than herself, and either fostering or in the process of adopting. She dove in a little deeper, volunteering to help other foster parents who needed a night or weekend off without the burden of paying a babysitter.
In this, she met a 4-month old baby.
The child's foster mom at the time quickly recognized the connection between them and would often drop little hints, "You know this baby will be up for adoption soon..."
Set on being married first, her sarcasm was quick, "You're hilarious..."
The days ahead were nothing short of small miracles. She had the opportunity to share a first Halloween and Thanksgiving and even Christmas with the child. It was such a gift. She loved this baby and began to pray for God to make a way for her to become a mother to this child.
Loving this child didn't completely remove all of her fears of being a single mother, but it opened her heart and allowed her to fear less.
It didn't happen overnight, but God answered her prayer, and she got the child a few days before the first birthday, allowing her and her family to share in another one of the special firsts.
Adjusting to life as a new mom was tough! She loved her baby with all her heart but it was more than she could handle most days to work full-time and care for a little one.
A few months go by and she gets a call. She knew what this would be and she already knew her answer. There was a sibling needing care, but she was in no way able to take care of two children as a single mom.
God's ways are not our ways... In order to bring His plan for this family to fruition, He used a judge and another man's story.
The judge appointed to this case had previously had someone return to her years after she had placed him in a home. His anger and distress for not keeping him with his siblings - it's something she'd never forget and she would fight for children to stay with their siblings in every case going forward.
It became apparent this was in the children’s best interest and something the judge wanted, so she felt more open to what God had already put on her heart. She would trust God would provide for her family of three.
Even as she faces the next challenge of how to tell her children they were adopted, she has support. For her, she has decided to use children's books and intentionally interact with other families who have adopted children. She hopes this will help create normalcy around adoption.
Her message to her kids will be honest and open, one filled with love,
"Mommy got to choose you. God chose you for our family."
Being a mom is way harder than she ever imagined. She admits it has made her rely on God, saying,
"I can't do it in my own strength - not even for one day."
She'll hear other parents comment on how five o'clock is rough. Meltdowns are almost inevitable as kids start to get hungry and tired from a long day of play.
For her, she doesn't have someone coming in as a reinforcement at five o'clock every day.
"Everyday, I'm praying, 'Lord, help me.' I can't do it alone."
And she's not.
She may not have a spouse beside her at this time, but God is faithful. He has been with her every day - through the ups and downs, and He has brought people alongside her to help.
I recently reread The Prayer of Jabez. It's a small but mighty book. I've read it before, but this time it meant a whole lot more, for more reasons than one.
In sharing my friend's story, I'm reminded,
"...for the Christian, dependence is just another word for power." - Bruce Wilkinson, The Prayer of Jabez
Maybe it's not adoption God is calling you to, but you know He has laid something on your heart and you're telling God, "Okay, but first..."
In these times, let's find strength not in our own ability but in God's ability. God is limitless. Our "but, first..." rebuttal is rooted in doubt. Let's choose to remember He is above these things. And, if we believe He is above these things, we can rest in trusting and depending on Him as our good Shepherd. He knows our needs, and He will meet our every need.
We find peace knowing He is a God of order, not chaos. Just because things don't go according to our perceived order, does not mean it's out of order. And, let's find complete joy in fulfilling the purpose He has for our lives!
The good life, well it starts with a good day. Then another. Then another. Let's choose to live #TheGoodDay one day at a time.
I love hearing from you, so go ahead. Leave a comment. Be brave. Maybe your comment will speak life into someone else!
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