"Once our eyes are opened, we can't pretend we don't know what to do. God who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls knows that we know, and holds us responsible to ACT"...Proverbs 24:12

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Being Honest.

Sometimes it just blows my mind to see a tiny glimpse in God's enormous plan- it's so crazy:

Now, we do not deny that God has called us to missions. He has and by doing that he has shaped our lives differently. It's truly is amazing to think about (stay w/ me here)...

as teens we go on a mission trip and really feel like this is our life calling- we feel God calling us to missions and specifically we receive a burden for the country of India, we get married have a baby and move 1/2 way across the county to get missions training- still focusing on India,

when we came home I really thought that we would go overseas w/in a couple years. I wanted to Go so baddly- I love my family and friends but when God puts something on your heart...your heart takes over.

Our goal was to pay off debt and go. Mike got layed off and we both felt it was timing for him to open up his own electrical co. For years he has wanted to do this but this time I really felt it to. It was a God thing and his business explodes. At that same time God puts adoption very strongly on our hearts. It was one of those things that we could not ignore. We picked India because we really thought we would be living there one day as missionaires...why not blend in a little better w/ an Indian child? ;) (hmmm...trying to pay off debt to Go and God tells us to adopt...not your normal way of going)

Now, this whole time- even in the midst of adopting we were still thinking Missions...just maybe a couple More years now?

Then Sova has been home for 1 year and it happens again...an overwhelming burden for orphans. Specifically the country of Ethiopia was bombarding our brains...I kid you not...sleepless nights and all. At the time the kids were 6,5, and 3...I thought surely God is not calling us to adopt again? So like I mentioned in another post- I started looking into doing a short term missions trip to Ethiopia. But we both knew it wasnt that. So we waited a few months to see what would happen...but yup- it was still there...we are adopting from Ethiopia. Now please dont get me wrong- we are truly very excited, we cant wait for this new little one- But the fact that this will be #4 changes things. It made us have to really really really pray hard and know for sure that this was God. Because remember now- up until then we still had our 'missions' plan. I have told only a couple people this and here's where the honesy comes in...it was a very difficult decision for me. Two weeks after Mike told me to start the paperwork for this adoption I realized that I didnt want to touch it and that obviously bothered me...why was I not excited to start this?

Finally I could not take it anymore. Mike was working on the computer so I planned on going into my bedroom to do some 'wrestling' prayer. Those few weeks I was praying for God's direction but I never took the time to sit and listen! So I was going to purpose myself before God and I wanted answers! You see the reason I was terrified was because for the last 10 years of our lives we were thinking 'missions.' I knew that adding a 4th child could quite possible sabatage change this... and I did not like that idea.

But what was confusing to me was that it was God who said missions and then God who said Adopt. (hmmm...could He have a plan with this?)

I was scared to pray because I already knew the answer.

Back to the story.. While walking to my bedroom I find Sova standing in the kitchen looking like a dear caught in headlights. It was 11 pm and she was still up...impossible- this girl falls asleep in seconds! But it just so happened that one of our chickens died that day and she was scared to go sleep. Reluctantly I took her into my bed thinking that she was thwarting my prayer attempts. So here I am sitting up in my bed praying quietly while Sova is drifting off to sleep with her arms wrapped tightly around me.

At this moment I am asking God some serious stuff and I see Him standing before me gently nodding his head yes to my questions. He is strong before me yet so warm and gentle...I was in His presence and I was a wreck. I then look down at Sova who is still laying in my lap...the one who only 10 minutes ago I thought was going to 'hinder' my prayer time- I now look down and weep for her. I weep out of the pain I feel for not having her with me for her 1st 4 years of life and I weep out awe and rejoicement that He called me to be her mother. I think of what if I never adopted her. Ya see I was wrestling w/ God.

God of course knew that I was scared and right then and there He spoke a scripture verse to me,

Isaiah 40:11, "He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young."

That alone will carry me on...I took that as my personal promise from Jesus. He said,' Jill my lamb- you are in my arms- I will carry you close to my heart- I will personally lead you...will you take up one little lamb for me?' The fears the devil pushed into my mind about adopting another child where shattered, smashed forever to pieces- Love truly does conquer all things. The fears that I once thought were big, now looked ridiculous and petty in the face of Love. At that moment I believe I would have said yes to adopting a whole colony of lepers! But in His graciousness all He asked was for one...one child...one life. And that is sooooo miniscule ....sooooo small in comparison to the millions of orphans. Last year it depressed me... I would think- what's the point in adopting one when that wont solve the problem? I'm not denting the orphan crisis- a child will fill my child's bed the second we go get them! I felt like throwing my hands into the air, "God, deal with that!" So since then he has done just that. He asked us to go do it. I ask- '1 doesn't do a dent though God- shouldn't we adopt more...what about siblings?' He speaks- 'I am asking you for one. That one does count, that is my child ...will you do it for me?'

Come on now- the fact that we were born in the US and own 2 cars in a world where only 8% of people own cars! Should I ask God why does he not ask the Christians who are fleeing for their lives in other countries from persecution? Or what about 1.3 billion people who are living on less than $1 per day- why dont you ask them? or the 800 million in the world suffering form hunger and malnutrition? You get my point...my family is not hungry, my kids have too much clothes and toys, God has blessed us here in the US not to just kick up our feet and rest while others in the world suffer. I am not saying everyone should adopt- but I believe everyone should do something about something...passions are given for a reason.

It is just the first step of Faith that is always the hardest. Like when I was a teenager and I heard the powerful message of the Cross for the 493rd time. I 100% believed in Jesus and yet I did not want to completely surrender my life to him...just yet. The lump in my throat was all too familiar to me. I needed to make my move but I knew it would change my lifestyle and possibly be uncomfortable for a bit. This is no different. My Christian walk did not arrive and end the same day. It is a life choice...I lay down my life for Him because the one who gave His life for me deserves no less! That very same day I read in Romans about Abraham- 'the father of faith' and how he stepped out and believed and walked even before he saw. This is no different. It is something that we 100% believe in but we have a lump in our throats because we are human and it is scary to walk out into something new. And your right- we may not exactly be new to adoption and the miracles that God did financially in bringing Sova to us but it sure does feel that way. And yes it will be new to us to have 4 kids and all the responsibilities that come w/ that number. We can be hesitant and insecure about many things but the moment we cast our eyes back to Him and remember that there is no better place to be than in the will of God-than that is where we want be .

So back to that little glimpse that blows my mind...what if...what if God called us to missions and put India on our hearts because he knew we would go and he knew there was going to be a little girl at that same time who needed us? And what if he called us to missions and gave us such a love for other cultures so that our hearts and eyes would not be closed to the monstrous needs of Africa and would not be scared to cross racial barriers in bringing one of their children into our home?
And what if God called us to missions so that we can instill this in our children and take them to these countries on summer mission trips and opening up their eyes? And what if we took our whole crew to serve overseas one day or mike and I go when they are older? Im not sure...but I can rest in knowing the One who does.


Jocelyn Barker said...

Jill I'm so glad you shared this. I love how your life is unfolding as you follow God's call... I love you and I'm so proud of you!!

Elizabeth said...

Jill, I feel as though my my heart has just been ripped wide open and I am absorbing the honesty and weight of your words. I felt the holy spirit as I pictured your wrestling time with God...that just pushes me closer into his presence. I know what you mean about passions, things that make you weep and even this past sunday during worship the Lord spoke to me and reminded me that He has not forgotten the vision that He laid upon my heart...that I must not forget the dreams and visions I have had...but I must allow Him to continue to pour into me until I am overflowing...Thank you for this post...It encourages me soooo so much!!