Friday, August 14, 2009

we could have missed this.

"I will praise you forever, O God, for what you have done."
Psalm 52:9a (NLT)

"To think we could have missed this." This phrase has been spoken over and over again by Geoff and myself. We've also heard our close friends speak the very same words. We were all faced with the same choice several years back.

Should we:

(a) Continue to enjoy the 'simple and comfortable' lives we were living?
- or -
(b) Embark on what felt like the most terrifying journey we would ever know?

Choosing to start the adoption process felt like jumping off a cliff. (Something I've never done personally, but my brave man did when we honeymooned in Jamaica 14 years ago!)

It was a complete and absolute leap of faith. I won't lie and say that we weren't completely scared out of our minds. So many questions and concerns filled our minds. Many people in our lives thought we were crazy to even consider adopting a child from another country, especially one with "special needs."

Yet, in the midst of our own fears and worries, we could feel God leading us, protecting us and preparing us. Many times, we felt Him carrying us.

I'll be honest in saying that the past several years have really taken it out of us. We've been stretched beyond our wildest dreams. This journey is far more challenging than we could have imagined. We have lost a lot.

Amazingly, however, what we have lost pales in comparison to the amazing blessings and goodness that God has showered upon us.

Some of the biggest losses have been our own personal weaknesses and impurities. God has used the challenging times to refine our characters and remove those things that have separated us from Him.

I. Could. Have. Missed. This.

The truth is that every reason that screamed at me to choose path "A" was rooted in selfishness. What about me? My time? My security? My welfare? My space? My money? My sleep? My comfort? My sanity? What about ME?!?

The arguments against adoption seem well-founded. Really, they do. To the flesh.

And yet, deep down within me I heard the quiet voice of my Creator whispering to me. Quietly, gently, patiently, His Spirit called to me. "Follow me. Trust me. Come to me."

Looking back, I can tell you that my flesh has been gloriously crucified. Yes, it still tries to raise it's ugly head and can be seen in my moments (sometimes DAYS) of impatience, irritation and self-pity. However, when self-centeredness begins to take center stage, I am quick to remember just how far the Lord has brought my family.

I don't have to look very far to see His answer to our fears and doubts. She's a beautiful black-haired little girl that loves to spend her time with me. She has a precious smile and a contagious giggle.

She has taught me about faith, love, trust, healing and forgiveness. She has filled my life and home with amazing joy and blessings.

When my flesh screams, "What about me? My time? My money, My space, My sleep?!?"

I can boldly answer to my flesh, "When you decrease, He increases."

I remind myself that He has made my days more meaningful, more rich and more full than ever before. He has replaced my desire to live for myself, with a desire to live solely for Him. He has given me His passion for a lost, hurting and broken world.

He has broken my heart for the things that break His heart. He have given me the courage to step out of my comfort zone and trust Him in this path that He has called me to take.

When I see photos of children suffering around the world, without food, without homes and without family, the words "What about me?" still come to mind. This time, however, they are no longer filled with fear and selfishness. Now they are filled with hope and excitement and followed with the words, "What can God use me to do?!?"

On my own, I may not be able to feed, clothe and shelter all 147 million orphans. However, I can pray for them. I can share their stories with others. I can use my money to support a friend's mission trip. I can support fair trade and buy products with a cause. I can give money to support another family's adoption fees.

I can invite you on a most amazing journey with the guarantee that you will never be the same.

The options and opportunities are endless. In fact, I would wager to guess that the ways we can bless an orphan number far more than 147 million.

Please don't miss out on this incredible opportunity, my Friend. Bringing a child into your home and family may not be what God is calling you to do. However, He is calling all of us to invite them into our hearts and invest ourselves in their care and well-being.

What can we do today to make a difference?

I know that many of you are already on this journey with me. I'm so thankful for the blessing that you bring my life. I'm so thankful for the difference you have made in the life of a child in need. I also know that the blessings you have received are far greater than any sacrifices you have made.

I pray that God uses your family as a living, breathing example of His goodness and glory. There truly is a miracle that happens through adoption. One that I pray everyone on this planet can experience in one way or another.

I'm so very glad I didn't miss this. Sara is one of the biggest reasons I am LIVING A BLESSED LIFE!

Thankful to be on another amazing journey,


Amy said...

Oh Amy...I just love you! Thank you for being willing to take the path less traveled. My favorite line from your post is "He has replaced my desire to live for myself with a desire to live solely for Him.". I can so relate to that! We serve an amazing God who pours out His mercy and compassion on us when we choose to live a life of obedience. I am inspired by you, friend. Where would we be without our Savior? Certainly not living a blessed life! :)

Joy Portis said...

What a beautiful post! Could be written about myself! I love your heart and your willingness to share your journey with us all honestly!

Sara is a lucky girl and will enjoy reading this one day and understanding how loved she truly is!

Nicole said...

Amy, GREAT POST! I made a similar one but the topic was about reluctant husbands! When you get a chance, please visit me!
Love your blog!

Jennifer said...

Beautifully said, Amy. It's such a blessing to be able to read all that God is doing and has done in your life. I so appreciate your honesty, your sharing from your heart, the realness of your posts.

Also, thank you for the comment you left for me the other day. You have no idea how much the Lord is using you in my life right now.

You are spurring me on to live a blessed life!

Melinda said...

Beautiful post, friend. :) And, if I had not embarked on this journey, I would have missed making a friend like you. :)

Here's to an exciting week full of real news about our respective little ones.

Pam said...

Amy, this is by far the most powerful post you have written. You have put the adoption journey so beautifully into words.

Anonymous said...

I had bookmarked your blog a couple of months ago, and just came back to it this morning. We just finished our home visit part of the home study for our adoption from Ethiopia. And the reality of how soon we will be adding a family member is "freaking me out" today. Thanks for this powerful reminder that it is only my selfishness that makes me long to hold on to the comfortable, status quo! AmyE