I have been thinking alot lately about the path that God has taken us on to bring us to this point in our lives. Where out of the blue...out of left field...out of nowhere, crazyville, tim buck too...at the point in our lives where we were seeking independence and rest we would be adopting a 5 year old from China. A friend of mine called me last night and asked the questions...the hard ones that I know are going through alot of people's minds as they hear the news of our adopting...I appreciated it. I loved it that she asked me instead of talking about it with others. I loved it that at that quick moment, being unprepared to give her an answer the Lord spoke to my heart and it made sense:) The bottom line is that it doesn't have to make sense to anyone, although its nice if it does. But it does have to make sense to Charles, Vivienne, Ben and I.
The truth of it is that He has been working on us for years. The first thing that stands out in my mind is the short term missions trips that he has called us on. The first one we went to support at a VBS in Hungary, the next one we led a group of young people to Leatherhead, England to do youth outreach at a small Calvary Chapel that Matt Kottman pastors. The third was to an orphanage in China, The Shepherd's Field Children's Village where we met Henry. Short term mission trips make a difference. They matter to the people you are going to support...they bring unity to the body and share the love of Christ with the world. But they also make a difference in the lives of the people who go and that is my favorite part. You can see the fire being stoked, hearts learning to trust Him, and lifelong relationships forming around His love.
The second thing that the Lord used to change us to the core was Vivienne's health. She is 16 and we have spent the last three years battling Ulcerative Colitis as well as a related inflammatory joint disease called Ankylosing Spondylitis. For a person who found a way to control everything and every situation it is exhausting, infuriating, frustrating and yes, humbling for your child to be in pain and the doctor's to be filling her with medicine "trying" to see what would bring it under control. The lessons we learned were that God is in control of everything and God wanted control of our finances. Vivienne is doing well. Still on a lot of medicine but she has learned to manage her disease and is one of the strongest people I know.
We are changed. Our finances are completely dependent on God, but are simple and stable. We have learned to live at the feet of the Father, knowing that He is sovereign and that He loves us. And I have done a year long study on Peace which God has shown me countless lessons on. Foremost of them is that Peace is the opposite of control...you can't have both. You can have the Peace of God but you have to trust Him with the control OR you can have control...He will allow you that but you will not have His peace because.....YOU are not trustworthy! (Speaking to myself, of course:)
God is Good...All the Time. These two things together has brought us to the point where when we saw the faces of the fatherless and heard the call of our Father our hearts were ready. We could see the lack of necessity of independence. We could fathom His provision. What we could not imagine was ourselves retired if it meant not heeding His call.
It may not be "normal" but at the end of the day Jesus is not normal...nothing He did was normal and he does not call us to live a life that is safe...He calls us to be extraordinary....In Him, Through Him, Alongside Him.
Matthew 14:27 "But Jesus immediately said to them: 'Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid'"