Crippled But Not Broken

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.—Isaiah 55:8-11

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Before Anah’s adoption, I was on my way towards developing a speaking and writing ministry. I was rather amazed because those speaking opportunities led to more invitations and the articles led to publication…and a paycheck. It was a stretch for me, but okay—if God is asking me to speak up on His behalf, I will do it.

So when the adoption opportunity was announced at church, I struggled with the idea. When my husband and kids started talking about it during dinner, I was thinking to myself, “No way. I’ve got three kids already and can barely keep up with them. I don’t really have time to add another kid—much less a child with special needs—into my already full life. I think God has something else for me.”

Or did He? I was confused. Did I hear Him wrong about the speaking and the writing? Do I hold on to my plans or will I surrender and submit to Him? The past five years has been a spiritual battle for Lordship. I have fought Him and stubbornly insisted on my own way—and lost every time. Sometimes I wonder if this is what Jacob experienced when he wrestled with God—and ended up with a crippled hip for his pains.

If you’ve read Paul Miller’s A Loving Life you’ll know about the “J-curve”—that downward path of dying to self that we must take if we desire to experience resurrection glory. I wanted the glory yesterday! Let’s take the easy road and skip this dying part.

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But no, that is not the way of our God. These past five years with Anah has been the beginning of the breaking of my stronghold of pride that if left unattended, would be the undoing of all the good things He could do in me. He is using Anah to deal with this area in my heart that He saw—and knew would get in the way of any future ministry. However, I am learning that when He cripples me, it is not so that I will be broken, but so that I will be better. Out of the ashes, He will raise up something even greater than I could ever imagine.

And so, I am in a period of waiting--waiting until He determines it is time to move forward again. The writing and speaking dreams are still there but right now, they are put on hold. I am learning to trust His wisdom and surrender to His timing, instead of fighting Him, which leads me nowhere. As Isaiah says, it will not return to Him empty.

In His time.