"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."--Ephesians 3:20, 21 Even as we are awaiting Anah, the Lord has been using this time to teach me so much already. I cannot begin to imagine what He has in store for us (especially me!) when she finally is in our home! And so these posts in this season are more going to be about what God is teaching me. The Lord never wastes any time!
In case you were wondering, no, Dan and I never had any plans to adopt. In fact, we thought that we were already quite happy with two children, thank you very much. We had a girl and a boy, what more could we want? With the two of them, we felt that our lives were already comfortably full.
But as usual, the Lord has different plans. Over the past seven years, the Lord took me from an active campus ministry to moms' ministry. How did that happen? I don't know, but I also believe that the Lord never makes any mistakes.
I must confess that my first couple years out of ministry were very painful and difficult. I read about men who have a hard time after they are laid off their jobs, not sure of who they are, have doubts of their self worth, etc. That is what I went through. I felt like after feeling "useful" in ministry, I now was hidden away in a house with two kids.
But I also knew that this was exactly where God wanted me too. I could either choose to run from it or turn to Him and embrace it. I had to refrain from adding more things into my schedule, though I must say it was very tempting. It was a difficult season of my life to just be instead of filling my days with doing.
It was in this space that the Lord has come to meet me in ways that I would never have expected. It was here in the home that the Lord helped me to see what an important work I was doing at home with my children, even if no one else knew about it. There was healing and hope born in my life. Jonathan, our 3rd child, was born as a celebration of that hope and an affirmation that motherhood was a good work.
I can't explain how, but I know that God has changed my heart in ways I could never have expected since Jonathan was born. The dreams that I had are still there, but somehow I know that I have also changed. I think we could have played it safe and gone with our original plans, but I also know that having him in our lives has benefitted not only us, but Janna and Matthew as well. I only just beginning to understand and see why He wanted Jonathan to join us. Yes, he also brings in a lot of trials too. Of all our three kids, he is, shall we say, a little more challenging than the others? But with him, he has also brought joy, laughter, fun and companionship.
Sometimes God's invitations make no sense. But as I look back on our experience with Jonathan, it is definitely different than what we had envisioned. It is actually better. He has actually taken me farther that I ever imagined, which includes starting up Mom University. With this experience of faith, my understanding and trust in His wisdom has deepened even more. If I had gone with my own plans, I am sure we would have been okay, but I think I would have to live with the "what if's". I don't want a life of regret because I played it safe.
I believe it's probably going to be the same with Anah. From all accounts, we are learning that Down Syndrome kids are some of the most loving, affectionate and sweet-tempered children there are. Yes, there will be challenges, but on the whole, I have a feeling that we are going to be more blessed than burdened. That's the way our God is. He has proved Himself faithful once. I know I can bank on Him again.
Not because He has to because I am trusting Him. I have learned not to expect Him to come through in my expected way. He will come through because that is who He is, not because of my faithfulnesss to Him.
Perhaps the Lord is inviting you to take a step of faith and you know it. And yet, the fear of the unknown or the sacrifices involved are keeping you from taking that step. I hope and pray that you will trust His heart for you. If He is inviting you to this adventure, then I am sure that there is a good reason for it, one that is for your good and blessing. As you enter into what He has for you, He can then begin to do the unimaginable, not just for you but for those around you. There's no guarantee it will be easy, but if we don't follow Him, we may save ourselves from the pain, but lose out on much more.
Let's not live lives of regret! Let us be women of faith that steps out courageously into the glorious Kingdom plans of our Father.
Part 2 of Adoption Journey