Tag Archives: Faith

Just Waiting…An Adoption Update

Over the past several months, we’ve been asked the question “So, how’s the adoption going?” more times than I can count. I love when people ask about the adoption, but I don’t always know what to say. My standard answer lately has been “We’re still just waiting.” I feel like I need to give more of an explanation, but I don’t really want to pour my heart and soul out to everyone who casually asks for an update. So, I want you to know what I really mean when I say that we’re just waiting.

Waiting is not a strength of mine. Patience is definitely not one of my virtues, but I’m trying to rise to James’ challenge to “let patience have her perfect work”. Because, I know that in all of this waiting, there is a work being done. It’s not something that we can see right now, but it will all be evident in God’s time. In the meantime, here’s what I’m really saying when I tell you that “We’re still just waiting”:

  • We are praying. This experience has driven us to pray more fervently than we ever have in our lives. I find myself praying randomly throughout the day for our little one – the one we have longed for and dreamed of for so many years now. But, we’ve also felt such a burden for the woman who will suffer such a great loss through our gain: our child’s Birthmother. We pray for her salvation, for her healing, for her peace. There is so much to pray for, so we feel that it is vital that we continue to pray fervently as God is working.
  • We are seeking. We need wisdom. There have been adoption opportunities that we’ve pursued and they fell through and others we have felt strongly about not pursuing. This has been so hard, and it’s going to get harder the longer we wait, so we are seeking for God’s guidance. Please pray that the Lord would continue to lead us in a plain path.
  • We are living. We don’t believe that God’s Will for our lives is somewhere in the future when we finally receive the desire of our hearts. We believe that God has something for us to do right now, so we are living in the present. Don’t get me wrong, I dream of the day when I can hold my sweet baby. I am beyond thrilled about what our future holds, but we don’t want to live so much in the future that we miss the blessings that God has for us right now.
  • We are hurting. There are days that we struggle with the wait, and that’s okay. There is nothing wrong with hurting as long as we take those struggles to the Lord. The adoption process has been an emotional rollercoaster. We’ve had some exciting days filled with hope and joy. And we’ve experienced some of the lowest points in our lives. But, through it all, we understand that God is using both the joy and the sorrow to mold us, to test us, to bring us closer to Himself. We know that He will make everything beautiful in His time.
  • We are hoping. We’ve been working on the nursery. This has been so much fun! Making this preparation makes us feel closer to our baby. We’ve had some people tell us that it’s probably not a good idea to start on the nursery this early in the process. That it could take up to two years to get a child, so it will be hard if it’s still sitting empty in a year. I understand what they’re saying, but we’re so full of hope. We can’t help but make preparations for what God is going to do. Please pray for us. It could be a long wait, but we don’t want to ever get to a place where we lose hope.
  • We are sharing. 2 Corinthians 1:4 “Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.” The Lord has brought people into our lives who have been such a blessing to us. They’ve given us hope through their adoption stories. They’ve prayed with us and cried with us. They’ll never know how much God has used them in our lives. And I’m so thankful that we’ve had the opportunity to share the same comfort with others who are going through it with us right now. I know that I will love sharing our adoption story when it’s fully revealed, but we have a chapter to tell right now. It’s a chapter called “Just Waiting”, and it’s so much more than it seems.

Heather

Advertisements

Planning for the First Step

For those married folks out there, do you remember what it was like preparing for your marriage? You and your spouse-to-be planned for everything, right? What your dream house was going to look like, what motif your kitchen would have, how many kids you two would have, when you would start having them – all that kind of stuff was planned out long before the marriage vows were even exchanged.

     It was the same way with us, too. Heather and I thought of every possible scenario of life that would call for our forethought. Before we got married, we knew that the kitchen was going to be decorated with cherries, we wanted four kids, and we would wait one year (TO THE DAY!) to start enlarging our family. But there was one very important thing that we had not planned out completely:  a way to make a living.

     That’s right, when I promised to love, honor, and provide for Heather, I meant every word of it, but the truth was, I had no idea how to really do any of it, especially the part about providing for her needs. Don’t misunderstand, I knew how to work hard. Manual labor or desk work, it didn’t matter to me. If it paid the bills, I was up for it. But, when we got married, neither Heather nor I had any means of income. When we said “I do,” we had no idea what we would actually do. Imagine my poor father-in-law, watching his beautiful (wait, gorgeous) daughter give her life over to an unemployed schlub, knowing that she was also without gainful employment. What was he thinking, anyway?

     Who does that? Who gets married without knowing how to pay for all of that stuff you’ve planned for? Seems a little irresponsible, doesn’t it? Looking back on it now, it actually seems a little crazy, foolhardy at best. But, then I remember why we did it. You see, after we got married, Heather and I moved to Knoxville, TN, so that I could finish my last two years of Bible college. I didn’t know why, but I knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that it was God’s will for me to receive my bachelor’s degree at Crown College of the Bible. That life decision would require us to leave good jobs that could have easily turned into lucrative careers, had we stayed in our hometown. But, instead, we decided to follow God’s leading. So, we put in job applications in the Knoxville area, but nothing panned out, nothing.

     When we moved to Knoxville, all we possessed financially was a little under $1,000 and a bucketload of faith in God. But, little did we know how many dollars that faith would add up to. Our first year of marriage was awesome! We had food, the bills stayed paid (including college), we went out on dates; I mean, we had a blast! And, oh yeah, we did eventually find work. But, in all honesty, the money we were bringing in did not add up to how much we were paying out. Simply put, we were running on a deficit. But, that’s where the blessing of faith comes in. We had faith in God that He would provide for us, as long as we followed His will. We fulfilled our end of the bargain, and God did more than keep up his end. Every need we had was supplied, sometimes in amazing ways. Just like the widow of Zarephath, the barrel of oil and bag of flour always had just enough left right at the time that we needed it. Ever since then, we have tried to live our lives in a way that captures that same kind of faith in God’s ability to provide for us, and I can sincerely say that we have never lacked in one area of financial need.

     It’s funny to note, by the way, that most of those big plans that we made before we got married changed considerably. That’s right, we don’t have cherry stuff in our kitchen any more. But, I hope that we will continue to trust in God’s provision in our lives, because I know for a fact that His designs are so much greater than anything we could plan on. How about you? When is the last time that you forced God to take care of you because of your faith?

Jeremiah 29:11 – “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”

Brian

“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord”

I don’t remember my first steps, and since I don’t have children of my own yet, I haven’t had the privilege of teaching a child to walk. But I know that this “big step” in life is a momentous occasion. I imagine that this one small step for man can really feel like a giant leap in that moment.

Imagine with me: I’m learning to stand. This requires a strength that I don’t have. I cling to something solid – maybe it’s a coffee table or a chair. I hold on with all my strength to something that I know can hold me up. Those first few attempts are hard. I can’t stand for long. My legs are wobbly, and time and time again, I fall. But I don’t give up. I was made to stand. I keep trying, and with that practice, I gain the strength to stand for longer periods of time.

But what good does it do me to just stand for the rest of my life? I feel an urge to go somewhere, but I haven’t gained my balance yet. That’s when my father takes me by the hand and doesn’t let go. He holds me up while I take those first steps of freedom. I’m walking places I’ve never walked before, and it feels good. I’m not too afraid because I know that he won’t let me go.

I’m getting stronger, but I’m still holding on. I haven’t felt ready to let go yet. Letting go is scary. It’s uncertain, and it can be painful. But my father is coaxing me to try: “Walk to me.” He’s right there in front of me. Do I trust him? He doesn’t let go until he knows that I’m ready. With tender care, he releases my grip from his fingers and holds out his arms. He’s only a few steps away, but in that moment, it feels like a million miles.

I reach out to him in desperation and carefully lift my foot…one step closer to him. We’ve practiced this…another step. He feels so far away. Is this what it means to trust? A third step…I don’t know if I can go any further. “Come to me. Come to Daddy.” I want to be with him. I always feel safer in his arms, but it’s taking so long to get there on these unstable legs. I don’t know if I have the strength to make it, but I’m going to keep trying.

Do you see it? Do you get the picture? “The steps” referenced in Psalm 37 are baby steps. They’re steps of faith. These steps are laborious, slow, and scary at times; but we are called to walk them. Our Father is urging us forward – calling us to “press towards the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus”. He’s there right in front of us beckoning us forward: “Come to Me.”

Many times, He feels so far away, and we don’t understand why we can’t just be held safely in His arms.  But the truth is: He’s never too far away to catch us if we fall – as we surely will. It’s a struggle, but it is a growing process. We’re alive in Christ. We’ve been born into His family, but we are made for a greater purpose than just to be a safe, sheltered child of God. We were meant to move forward in faith – to walk the path that He has prepared for us.

We’ve practiced this. In those first days as a believer, He helped us to stand – strengthening our spiritual legs until we could stand upon the truth of His Word. We learned that the only anchor for our soul – the only Rock that we could cling to was the hope found in Christ. All other ground is sinking sand.

In this trial and error of learning to stand, we quickly learned what we could rely upon – what would hold us up. We may have tried to lean on something that we thought was solid only to find that it was not sufficient to meet our needs. We desperately clung to friends, to family, to our jobs, to our finances all in an effort to gain our footing. We placed our full reliance upon them, but they were not made to support the weight of the burden that we carried. We needed something made to withstand the storms of life that constantly try to knock us off our feet.

Psalm 40:2 – “He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.”

We’re growing, and now it’s time to step out in faith. He’s still waiting. It’s a life-long journey, and each day walked in faith is another step closer to Him. He’s calling me to Himself. I struggle for balance as I lift my foot one step closer to Him. He’s proven that He’s faithful…another step. Is this what it means to trust? I don’t know if I have the strength to make it, but I’m going to keep trying.

Lord, I’m walking to You!

Heather