Have you ever been there? When your heart longed for something? When you were certain you heard His voice? You thought hearing His voice meant NOW? So much so, that you jumped–you followed–and then you heard WAIT.
I’m convinced the word–WAIT–can be one of the hardest words to hear. Ask my 3 year old. He doesn’t like it either. In fact, he doesn’t even understand it. I have to get on my knees, ask him to look in mommy’s eyes–and tell him, “Sweetheart. Not right now. Mommy will give you this good thing. But right now, I need you to…”
I wish I could tell you his response was always (if ever!), “Okay mommy. Frankie baby will wait and trust you–because you love me–and I know you are good. And want good for me.” Nope. It usually doesn’t happen that way. I’ll spare you what it usually looks like. But if you have or have had a 3 year old–then I think you can guess:).
Don’t worry…I choose my battles–and frankly, some times even letting him wear a pirate dress wins;)…
Last March–almost a year ago, Richard and I heard the Lord speak EVER so clearly to our hearts–that He wanted us to adopt a special needs girl from China. We both heard Him clearly. We were so excited…and couldn’t wait to share our exciting news!
I know my Shepherd’s voice. I know it was Him.
We talked about the WHEN–and really, we didn’t hear anything. We looked around and because we didn’t see anything in our way and we agreed having little ones grow up together would make the most logical sense–we decide to take steps forward in bringing home this little girl the Lord has for us. We started the CRAZY paper chase that adoption requires. We did the home study visits. We scheduled all the fingerprints and did all the blood work. And in my heart–truly, I could felt something wasn’t quite right about the timing. I know my Shepherd’s voice.
But this time–oh…we had already done so much! We were almost completed with our home study! Putting it on hold–just wouldn’t make sense. (That’s our sense–not God’s mind you. It would only inconvenience us for a short time to stop–but wouldn’t it inconvenience us for a life time to act out of His will?) I would ask Richard ever couple of days, “Do you think we need to wait? Do you think this is the best time?” I could tell he wasn’t sure. Our friends and family were all on board. Everyone was excited. Every where we went–people would ask how the process was going. Really…it was such an exciting time!
In the midst of everything, I felt the Lord telling me something wasn’t okay–and to wait. I told Richard about this and I started going to doctors but my adoption blood work had been crystal clear and all was good. I didn’t realize how basic that was and how little it would pick up. I finally went to an eye doctor because I was beginning to have eye infections every week and blurred vision–which is usually a sign of something else. This doctor referred me for more blood work and finally they found I had Sjogren’s Syndrome, possibly also Lupus and another doctor found I had Lyme’s disease.
I can remember coming home and being broken hearted. Truthfully, the Lord had prepared me in the months ahead by putting questions on our heart IF this was the best timing for our family. In many ways, I wasn’t surprised. But for now–I knew we had to put our adoption on hold. My holistic doctor felt confident that if we could get Lyme’s cleared from my body that the Sjogren’s and Lupus symptoms would disappear too. For the first few weeks I was really sad NOT that I had any health problems because I was actually GLAD to have an explanation for my fatigue, hand and feet constant tingling, blurred vision and weight loss. The thing I was most sad about–was putting our adoption on hold…for what I felt like could be forever.
But I know my Shepherd’s voice.
Months have passed–and truly–I could not be more thankful. I know that might sound really strange–but this is really good…and even this health stuff–has been a blessing in disguise. Almost 2 years ago, I felt the Lord calling me to minister to moms–specifically moms with a heart for adoption and for orphans. I prayed that I could truly UNDERSTAND their hearts…their joy…their heart ache many have endured.
Here I sat wanting to adopt so badly–but I couldn’t. God said WAIT. Not now. Many of these moms He has called me to love and minister to have a similar story–they have longed to be mommies…but the timing…has been dreadfully long, the journey hard…and one thing after the other has seemed to cause another twist and turn in their what feels like a never-ending journey. YET–she also knows her Shepherd’s voice. She knows she heard Him. Doesn’t He love her?? Is He really good?
Richard looked at me one day and said, “Well, if we can’t adopt–can’t we have another baby!” It can take years to get Lyme’s disease out of your body–and it can be passed on to your baby…so for now–this wasn’t an option either. We had gotten pregnant quickly with Parker and Laney–but it wasn’t until we had to try for a year for Frank that I understood this LONGING. And really–it isn’t until now that I feel a deeper understanding when that option is taken away from me as well…that I begin to understand some of the hearts of other moms in this same position as well. Can’t you heal me Lord? Why me?
Yes–the Lord loves you. And YES–when you know His voice…you know His voice. Only some times–He tell you today what He wants for your tomorrow. He’s simply saying, “YES–this is what I have for you. Some part of this is my plan for you. Just…not YET. Trust me.”
I wish my reaction at first was, “Yes Lord–AMEN! I’m going to trust you! I can’t wait!” But instead–it looks much more like my 3 year old.
Yet–He is full of grace. And my King bends down to little old untrusting me–grabs me by the hands–looks me in the eyes and says, “Sweetheart. Not right now. Your Father will give you this good thing. But right now, I need you to wait…and trust Me. It isn’t because I don’t love you–because I DO! It is actually because how deeply I DO love you. Rest in Me. Wait. I will show you…and it’s going to be good, pleasing and perfect.”
Almost 6 months later when the testing craziness began and 3 months after putting our adoption on hold, my heart rests and rejoices at what I see…
Being called to homeschool my two little ones and working through a challenging visual sensory disorder. I see a 3 year old that needs MORE of mommy–not LESS of mommy. I have a 2 year old that some times pulls away–and who needs me to be sensitive to his need to be treated like a baby…to give him something he missed with me for the first year of his life. I remember when the Lord put homeschooling on my heart–I had SO MANY fun ideas I wanted to do…all of which were put aside during paper chasing for the adoption checklist. I’ve pulled that list back out–and I want to run the race well that He has put before me. I know if we were preparing to travel to China in a couple of months–my focus would be completely different. I would probably be trying to toughen my littles up when they whine verses the way I’m handling it right now–because I truly have open arms more than ever…and I can’t WAIT to give them everything I have. I want to give the ones He has ALREADY given in my care ALL I can–before we grow again. And I DO believe ONE day that WILL happen…just not now.
YES, it will stink to have to do a home study ALL over again. And YES–there are millions of orphans in the world. But right now–the Lord is calling me to do the job well He has already given me. And one day, Lord willing–that will include a little special needs princess from China. (That just makes my blog more exciting right…now you have to wait who knows HOW LONG to see this story unfold?! But you know what–doesn’t that make your journey THAT MUCH MORE exciting too?! That many times YOU too will hear something–you TOO will have something so strongly on your heart–and many time you TOO have heard the voice of God!!! And it’s not a NOT EVER–but a not YET! His plans–and His timing–are perfect!)
My heart overflows!
For anyone still reading (anyone actually made it this far?!), I have a word of encouragement for you from Philippians 2:
If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross!
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.
Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life—in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing. But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.”
A few things I take from this–we ALL have different callings–and we need to have the same spirit and the same purpose in pointing one another to Christ. Not all of us will be called to do this or that–and we need to simply encourage one another. SOME will be called to have Duggar size families–and others no children at all so they can do fully whatever the Lord has for them. It is about HIM being glorified and NOTHING to do with what we have done.
Secondly, I have really been trying to NOT complain about my health or hurt. I can’t tell you what JOY He has given me as I surrender complaints to Him and give everything to Him instead of letting complaints leave my mouth. I can’t always see with my right eye–but I CAN always see with my left! I am trying in the midst of frustrating things to find things to rejoice in! And surely–I can’t complain about not being able to grow again…He has given me such a beautiful family–I am thankful!!! Mother Teresa said it is not HOW MANY you love–but how MUCH you love! I need to love the many He has ALREADY given me with MUCH, MUCH, MUCH! I do believe my hands and heart are quite full:).
Thirdly, I’m thankful for what He is teaching me in this time of hardship. BECAUSE HE BRINGS ME COMFORT! His Word tells us that we are to comfort those with the same comfort we receive from Him so they might see Him. This scripture above says, “BUT EVEN IF I AM POURED OUT LIKE A DRINK OFFERING ON THE SACRIFICE…I AM GLAD!” Being poured out as a drink offering is what was done after a sacrifice was made. It’s being willing to sacrifice for others. When we go through hard times–some times it’s so we can minister better to others and bring more glory to Him through it. A few months ago, I would have probably pitched a fit like Frankie baby that I didn’t want to be a drink offering…but today–I can honestly say that I am glad.
Truly–His plans are perfect. I can’t wait to see if and how He heals. I am excited to see how a little princess in China will tie back into our story ONE day. And I’m so thankful for how life has slowed down in our home so I can focus on the ones He has already trusted into my care. I know that He loves me…that His plans are good–and I know as I take time to rest and slow down–I will continue to hear my Shepherd’s voice.
Be encouraged. Stay strong…He is with you all the way!