First, grab a cup of coffee. Or tea. Or glass of water. Or whatever.
Second, sit down. No really…sit.down.
Are you sitting? Okay, this might get lengthy, but bare with me. I’m a bit of a rambler when I’m overwhelmed 🙂 (This is Emmie talking…not Zane. Zane isn’t a rambler, ever.) And please, PLEASE, read this. I really want you to share in this joy with us.
If you follow this blog at all, you know I love music and sometimes lyrics speak right to my soul. God uses music in big ways to speak directly to me. Earlier this week I heard “Say Amen” by Finding Favour on the radio. I had heard this song before, but I had not listened to the lyrics. That changed earlier this week. Here are the opening lyrics, and oh goodness did they grab my attention:
“This life is a journey we walk by faith
And there will always be the mountains in our way
But right here in this moment, may our strength be renewed
As we recall what God has done and how we’ve seen Him move
If there’s anybody here who has found Him faithful
Anybody here who knows He’s able
I immediately started thinking through the many ways God has been faithful to us in our journey. From closing doors when I so desperately wanted them open, to us getting pregnant unexpectedly the week we settled on our agency, to allowing us all to get Norovirus when we were supposed to meet with our representative….none of that was a coincidence. God was pointing us to Lesotho. From giving me the desire to learn to crochet while pregnant with our son, to allowing me to get ideas from craft shows that friends signed me up for….none of that was a coincidence. God was going ahead of me, showing me ways that He would use to raise money to bring our child home. From stirring in friends hearts to use their talents and gifts and businesses to help bring our child home….again, not coincidence. It was God moving. All along.
Last week, I started talking about $10,000. I told Zane that I wanted us to start praying that we would need less than $10,000 by August….God is able. He could make it happen. But, okay, maybe I need to be realistic and pray that we would just need less than $10k by the end of August.
This adoption journey is HARD. It is hard knowing what to pray for. It is hard praying in faith, praying in hope, praying for what lies ahead, knowing that it is all in God’s timing and that His timing is not always our own. A continuous prayer of mine is that I will be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s leading. I read adoption stories of people having a burden on a particular day for their child, still unknown to them, and when they receive their referral, that day is the day their child was abandoned, or the day their child was born, or something else along those lines. I want so badly to be sensitive t0 the Spirit’s leading and when my child needs prayer, I want to be on my knees praying. But I also want to be sensitive to the Spirit’s leading in all areas of my life. Not just in regards to adoption. Fast forward to today: I was on my way to meet with some girlfriends and turned off the radio. I just needed to pray. I prayed for my husband as He leads our family; for my children that they will know Jesus; for our child, wherever our child is developmentally (in the womb, born already, etc) to have warmth on cold nights, coolness on hot days, to feel loved, to be prayed over, to find favor with his/her caretakers, and that when our child is at it’s most painful point, full of grief, experiencing loss, that God will be there…hold our child. Oh please, Lord, hold our child and let our child feel Your peace and comfort! I needed to pray.
There were so many things on my heart and my mind. I just needed to vocalize them to my Father. One of my HUGE struggles is trying to do things myself. Especially with raising money for our adoption. *I* need to raise this money! How else is it going to be raised? Let’s just call this struggle pride <–let’s call it what it is. So I prayed for God to remove my arrogance and pride. Several months ago we looked back at all of our donations (whoa, what a spread sheet). When applying for grants, we are asked how much of our own money are we putting in. That question drives me bonkers, simply because we are putting so much TIME in. Why isn’t that on the application? So I looked through the spread sheet and looked at all of the ‘large’ donations we had received, totaling them. ($100 or more. This included different fundraisers that equated more than $100.) They totaled less than $4,500. Whoa, that means look at all the money *I* raised by crocheting beanies, us making growth rulers, me making necklaces, etc etc etc. Let me just say this is right around the time my back problems started and I had to take a lengthy break from all-things-crafting-or-anything-to-raise-money. Yeah, God doesn’t like it when I take credit due Him. And I knew it too. I was forced to rest. To sit back and watch Him move. After all, this was His calling, His leading, His heart at work.
So while I was doing nothing, literally nothing, He made Himself more and more visible. I have never seen the Lord more clearly than I have these last several months. Oh He is faithful. He gently, yet firmly, told me to rest and to watch Him do this. He called us to adopt. He will see us through. Many of you have read our post on our most recent fundraiser, Swap to Adopt (blog title is Tangible Love). God used that fundraiser…oh wow, in such a big way….to bring in over $3,000 to be split between our family and another family adopting. That brought in more than anything I could have done on my own…God brought in more than anything I could have done on my own. Fast forward to today….when I was told a story. A story I’d like to share:
Tragedy struck a small community car dealership and a non profit group held a charity raffle fundraiser to aid the victims of the tragedy. The non profit in conjunction with the dealership raffled off a new pickup truck to benefit those with medical expenses. The winner of the truck in turn took the truck, sold it, and donated the money to two families adopting internationally. We are one of those families…..
The winner of the truck has given us $10,000. TEN.THOUSAND.DOLLARS. Only our God would use something, a tragedy, to be used for good…to help an orphan in Lesotho and an orphan in China. He does that. He takes ashes and He makes them into beauty. He does that with our broken lives. He does that. I mean….it is just what He does. He sees where we are weak and frail, and where sin makes us ugly (i.e. my pride) and rather than turn His back on us, He shows us our sins, draws us to repentance, and reveals a different way. His way. Where He is our God, and where we can stand in awe of His goodness and grace. Where I throw up my hands and say I can’t do it on my own, and He answers “but I can. And I will.”
And when I learned that God had just done that….just, whoa, worked in someone’s heart to donate that amount….to where we now have over $27,000 raised of our $31,090 total….I was speechless. Still pretty much am. I’m a rambling mess. I’m praising God, and feeling such overwhelming joy. He leads me back to Him every time I try to make it on my own, and His way is always better. Always more hopeful. Always more beautiful.