How we saw our invisible and invincible God today…
As we pulled up to the assisted living today–I heard my children going back and forth about the words invincible and invisible (Harriett, thank your daughter for me for teaching them the difference!) They came to the conclusion before they jumped out of the van that although our God seemed often invisible to us–He is EVERY WHERE–and He is, indeed, invincible.
Invincible: adj. incapable of being defeated
He ALWAYS wins in the end.
That isn’t to say that there won’t be many times in your life when you FEEL defeated at times. The truth is though, when you surrender your life to Christ–when God is for you–His ways WILL prevail in and for your life…always.
(If you’re a new blog reader–you must know on Fridays our homeschool day begins with volunteering at a sweet assisted living Alzheimer’s wing. You can read our last entry about our assisted living day here.)
This morning, we ran into the assisted living carrying art paper (I was so proud of the frame paper we found for our group to put their masterpieces on!) and dot art paint markers (I was SURE this was simple enough to be a hit! Let me just say my kids loved it–and yours would too!) We brought plastic tea cups for tea party fun and play dough. I was so excited…and while it WAS fun–it didn’t quite go as planned.
I passed out the frame papers, and explained what we’d be doing today–all the while Frank and Isaac were making their rounds putting Marti Gras beads on all of our friends.
Everyone had different feelings today about our planned activities. Michael* was upset with me for bringing dot art. He said he didn’t want to do things kids were supposed to do (I can hardly blame him), and today he refused to participate. Daisy* was thrilled and just wanted to watch Parker paint. And Betty*…well, she was at the play dough table and asked for a spoon. I was sure she wanted it for the same reasons my children ask for utensils for play dough fun–simply to cut and shape it with.
Our sweet friends were not coordinated enough to do the dot art. Paint was on the tables, and I was running around quickly wiping them off with baby wipes before the stain set in the wood. We quickly put up the paint and set up shop for Parker and Laney to paint masterpieces while some watched. After each piece was completed–they gifted their art to one of their older friends–and even Michael was pleased with this.
A nurse ran to me wanting to know what was in the play dough we had delivered to Frank’s table at Table 1. Frank was busy making “spaghetti” with the purple play dough–but the friends at Table 1 thought it was really spaghetti and ate it. Sweet Betty didn’t even bother with the spaghetti. She just used the spoon I had given her as if the hot pink dough was yogurt. To Table 1’s disapproval (they weren’t done with their purple spaghetti), we quickly put up the play dough. (The side of the tube only warned CONTAINS: WHEAT – So, I’m hoping colorful stools is the only harm done today.)
Table 2 had requested water–and they were pouring water in all the plastic tea cups we brought, and they were having a tea party. Daisy* decided it would be funny to spill her water ON HER PANTS to make Isaac laugh…which she WAS successful with. He thought it was hysterical–and she adores his cackle giggle. So she preceded to pour all of the water in her cup on her pants. I thought maybe it was an accident so I ran to stop her. She grabbed my arm and said, “I am doing this on purpose. I love to hear him laugh.” And then…I realized the art, the play dough, the chaos WE WERE CREATING wasn’t necessary at all.
I sat down for a moment to catch my breath, and I introduced myself to Thomas* for the tenth time in our morning. I was wearing a Wiphan shirt, and he asked me for the tenth time as I sat there what that crazy word was and what it meant. I explained it again…and he smiled. He asked me if I knew God–and I assured him that I did. Thomas told me he became a believer at 41 years old, and it was a miracle that he did. I love that he remembered that. He asked me my name again…and what that crazy word was on my shirt again…
What are we doing here???
The nurse across the room must have read my mind because she walked over and grabbed me.
She said,“Don’t worry about the art or the play dough or bringing any thing but yourselves. Look at them. Just look. Do you see their faces when your children walk in the door? Look at them laughing and smiling. These children are enough. Please don’t stop coming. They need you here.”
I stood there thinking of their beautiful lives. Memories long gone…and like Michael*, it wasn’t his dream to sit around in a room with friends and their oxygen tanks waiting for the next activity or coloring book to be placed in front of them. But their lives are far from over. And I feel we have so, so much to learn from them.
Some might look into this picture and say, “Oh Lord–PLEASE take me before I get that old!” But I have a feeling our invincible God still has a plan for each of these precious people. And for us being there too.
Most of these precious new friends are widows. James 1:27 tells us to visit orphans AND widows in their distress…AND to keep yourself from being polluted by the world.
Micheal* grabbed Harriett’s* hand. They sat there. Content just being together.
WHAT IF??? I can’t help but ask this question: What if God’s plan for us to not be polluted by the world would only be fulfilled through our visiting orphans and widows??? What if He wanted to teach us how to live through our visiting them??? What if God’s plan for them was to actually minister to US as we visited???
Many times–we have and see situations where it seems God is INVISIBLE. Situations where we want to ask, “WHY??!!!” Or “Where ARE YOU God?!”
But the truth is…my “invisible” God isn’t invisible at all. He has a couple of extra letters to His nature–He is invincible. His ultimate purposed always prevails…even for the widow sitting behind a blank piece of paper on oxygen.
Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21
SHE IS CHANGING ME. And I am humbled. Although to us His plans don’t always make sense…
His plans are PERFECT. How could I ever forget…
On April 7, 2010–my cell phone rang unexpectedly. In another part of the country–another mom’s phone rang too.
That sweet day–we both received calls that would CHANGE our lives. Yet, we didn’t know each other YET.
Our God is omniscient…all-knowing…how His plans are perfect!
We had received the referral call telling us we had a son across the world that afternoon–and so had my new found friend Laura. I read on the list serve that she had also received her referral–so I called her to celebrate our news with one another. We immediately hoped we would travel together to meet our boys and bring them home.
As different complications came up (as they always do with international adoption it seems), our family ended up traveling first and Laura’s family would travel 4 weeks later. I had such a special place in my heart for her son–as we had been emailing and I was heartbroken to know her son would have to wait longer at the orphanage before getting to finally come home. I promised to give him hugs, take lots of pictures and to visit him as much as possible while we were there. I discovered OUR BOYS had been roommates–with their cribs side by side…and they had spent MONTHS there together. I had a HARD time getting my new sweet son to stop crying, but if I sat him next to Luke–he’d stop…and his world was well again.
Meeting him was such a precious moment for me. When you WAIT for your CHILD for MONTHS across the world–your heart is SO PULLED. Some days, you literally feel SICK. Really, unless you have been there, it’s unexplainable. I captured EVERY moment I could. I went back to the orphanage to visit him daily. And I took a gazillion pictures and video footage to take home with me hoping this would hold them over for four long weeks until they got to travel themselves.
Finally a month later, he came home–and I got meet Laura in person for the first time at the Created for Care retreat the following February. We talked here and there–but the real excitement came when she told me her husband MIGHT be taking a job close to us…which HE DID–and they moved JUST down the road from us this past JUNE!!!
Now…this might not seem that amazing to you. BUT–it really is…
At one point, these two little boys went through some very difficult things…God brought them together–and they were put side by side in an orphanage. He would place them in families on the OTHER side of the world…and eventually–he’d bring them back together again.
Can’t you just imagine God smiling on the afternoon of April 7th when I called Laura to tell her we also got our referral and maybe we’d travel together??? Or when we called one another disappointed that we wouldn’t be traveling together…so we wouldn’t get to experience our boys together or meet??? I just love how we serve a God of details. And that so often things do NOT make sense to us…and when we are in the THICK of it…we can wonder what in the WORLD He is up to!!!
But all along…He has a perfect plan…
And today’s plan for us–included fist bumps between best buds…
So thankful Isaac and Luke get to see each other on a weekly basis and how much joy they STILL bring to one another! I’m convinced their hearts are connected like brothers…
God promises that He will NEVER leave us or forsake us. And that–really is ENOUGH.
BUT, He loves us more than we could possibly EVEN DREAM. And He loved these boys enough to not only NEVER leave them. But to put them in families that adored them to pieces. And to even take them across the world…and make their paths not only cross–but to stand still and grow together once again. Isn’t HE amazing???!!!
Could *I* have planned it ANY better? Absolutely not. How I love His ways!!!
Trusting Him with you for the days ahead…and through times that don’t make sense. And so thankful we serve a God of details, a Maker who knows everything from beginning to end, and whose plans are absolutely perfect!