I remember agencies closing and praying to find the right one. I remember having a room all set up even though the wait could be two or more years. I remember having to take pictures to send with our dossier. I remember walking past that room and gazing. I remember every painful step that led to us having to stop and change directions. I can even remember the moments that I thought maybe I didn’t quite hear God right and this wasn’t what he wanted for us. I remember telling God NO- yes “I” did.. I said yes to everything “but Lord I just can’t adopt from a birth mom or foster a child it’s way to risky for my heart and my kids.” I remember every almost foster to adopt placement and see their faces to this day in my mind. I pray each one is in the loving home that He had for them that wasn’t ours. I remember the walk of faith that led to pain, hurt, and questions. And then after a journey of 4+ years, I remember the call that would change our lives. A pregnancy that would seem so long. The prayers I would pray for a mom I would not meet for another 2 years. In retrospect, I now see- GOD’s amazing LOVE, and Presence, and His Perfect Timing in it all. Nothing went as I had planned, nor hoped. It went even better. And when times are not as planned I have a daily reminder of His Great Faithfulness.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
When we say Yes to Anything in His Name and have a heart that is All-In, even if we take the wrong turn, He will use it for His good. It’s a promise to us as a believers.
I currently stand looking back a choice we made for our family. Walking in obedience to be more within our own community. A change I thought we had to make to have impact. I wasn’t sure it was really the right choice. It came with a huge sacrifice for one of two of our children. We were in a good place after a really hard season. I went. I trusted. Put my heart in it.
I wasn’t planning for that detour. I never plan for detours. It is a running joke in our home “it wouldn’t be a Young adventure if we didn’t have at least one turnaround” when we go places. I am usually in the passenger seat mad that we had that unnecessary turnaround. Just to keep it authentic and real. Urgency, I often think of it as a beautiful gift. I am certain however, if it is by watching me display that beautiful gift- others would not always see the beauty. I know this and commit to trying harder to make it a gift to others, rather than feeling like a curse I have thrust upon them. Thankfully, my husband is very patient and loves me.
God doesn’t keep the same calendar as I do. Mine is even on paper and open for all to see. He places things in our heart and we get to choose to act or write it into our plans. We can drag our feet, even try to procrastinate in a mask of doubt. Truth is hiding behind excuses is still disobedience. He’ll finds ways to let me know when I am getting in the way of His urgency!! And often, things look different than I planned.
If your heart is aligned with His- Trust and Do!!
Have you ever stopped to look back? Gain a new perspective on the reflection of seeing where God was in the struggles, the big moments, the decisions that were really hard? I am not old, but at 43, my soul maybe old. My grandmother used to tell me I had an old soul when I was just a little girl. I heard it a few more times along the way from older ladies I would meet and it stuck. Not in a let me dig around on that, but almost as permission to change perspective on “what had happened to me” into “who I have become because I endured.”
For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. Hebrews 10:36
Endured… Endurance. In our struggles He shows up. We believe He will. It strengthens our faith in that active act of believing. He gives us full assurance of faith.
I recently walked through and had the privilege of leading the Restless bible study by Jennie Allen. Likely one of the hardest and yet most powerful studies I have ever done. A small group of amazing ladies would meet in our barn. We would dig deep into areas of our own lives that were so uncomfortable, yet fruitful. It put words and validation to things I already knew, hidden deep and tucked away into my private spaces. I thought had been dealt with and healed. They were for sure things I thought no one needed to see and certainly not something I wanted to share. Looking good on the outside and broken to pieces on the inside. It is a horrible place to live. People don’t want to see our perfect lives. The journey gave meaning to sufferings that can be used to bless others. And gave permission to dream bigger- allowing Him to use me in ways I may fear, but I have victory through Jesus in it all. And there is someone God has waiting for my courage, my vulnerability, my story to release them into the place I now stand. How crazy and powerful is that? God uses the most broken places in us for good. I am standing other side of misery . I endured, I loved through, prayed through, I came through; because He alone loved me enough, met me in my need and was my ultimate healer. I am enough in Him.
Reflecting back on the blessings that came way of so many struggles, were opportunities to Need Him more. He rescues us in our weaknesses. He is our strength. I am a picture of imperfect progress that trusts and seeks Him in the battles. My prayers have become more bold and intimate. I trust that obedience leads us to truth. I trust that through obedience is where we find the blessings He has for us. I trust when we love the Lord, it is through obeying his commandments that others see not only our faithfulness but His. And when we fully surrender our heart, soul, and mind to Him- the overflow becomes an absolute desire to be more like him. A desire to see and love people with a heart of grace and mercy, that meet needs, share, and cultivate genuine relationships. Desire to see your place in His story and seek His presence in your every moment. He’s began a purpose in you, the one He designed and weaved within you, and marked out before you. Start, begin to clear the chaos and clutter, & fix your eyes on Jesus.
Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21
I spoke of detours when I began this post. When your faith is big and you know He’s always there, often our perspective will allow us to see His presence in our detours. How do we know we won’t get it wrong? I am going to tell you that you won’t always know. I do believe with all my heart, when we step out in faith to do what we believe the Lord wants, He wastes nothing when our hearts are sincerely his. When we draw near to him, he promises to draw closer to us (Hebrews 10:22). You begin to see, know, and trust the ways he reveals himself to you. But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. Jeremiah 17:7
One foot in front of the next, boldly abiding in what He asked. But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, “You are my God.” Psalm 31:4
His plan for YOU; may take you from your current place, it may call you to build something new, it may make you stay when you want to go. It doesn’t promise to be easy, or be without resistance, or even a little shaking finger trying to tell you (or someone else about) how you are wrong…. Friends, that isn’t God talking… That is absolutely the enemy trying to slither in. God doesn’t have the same plans for everyone and he doesn’t go about telling you his plans for others plans to hold them accountable (although I have often wished God would tell someone mine, so I didn’t try pushing my own agenda so hard- that’s honest and real right there) Grateful when he puts something so deeply in our hearts- it often means He has a plan to use us in ways that further His kingdom not our own. When we don’t listen or act- We flat limit what God can do!!
Don’t worry yourself over anyone’s opinions. Keep following after what His plans are for YOU!! What God wants for YOU, may be totally different than rest (usually so-). You don’t need to have it rubber stamped. You don’t need to anyone else to like it. Some may have been on this journey with you and share your heart and they are not being asked to act on theirs, but YOU CAN!! When he said Follow Me, I am sure it wasn’t His full plan for us to pick and choose when it fit into our plans or made others happy with us.
We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5 ESV
Pray, Hear, & Obey… over and over. Your obedience is blessed by Him, not Man!!