His plan, not mine

Sometimes God uses the closest person to you to make His plan clear as day. This is exactly what happened to me a little over 2 months ago. But let’s rewind to 2 years before that. Nick and I had just found out we were pregnant with our first baby. What an absolute thrill and blessing! We were able to tell our family in person (which was a big deal since we live 13 hours away from most of them) and everything was perfect. Shortly after we arrived back home, however, I miscarried our sweet Patience and was devastated.  I know many woman who has also miscarried and can relate: You’re pregnant one minute and the next, she’s gone. My heart goes out to every woman who has felt this pain. Fast forward a several months: I was sitting in the doctor’s office and was assured I didn’t need to worry about any permanent damage from the miscarriage and I needed to simply slow down and de-stress my life….and a pregnancy would soon follow. Well, apparently God hadn’t been told this was the way “it was supposed to go” because this sure didn’t happen. I waited…prayed..waited..prayed. Nothing. I don’t say all of this to get pity or even to draw attention to the fact that I’m not pregnant. I simply want you to catch a glimpse of how God changed this girl’s hard and frustrated heart in an instant.
Back to June 2014. Nick and I were celebrating our 3rd wedding anniversary by going to beautiful cabin on a lake to unplug from life for a weekend. We had no internet connection, no TV, no phone signal. We had each other, our Bibles and a couple of books. Little did we know, it was there that we would make a decision that would start what I think is going to be one of the most amazing journeys of our lives. For a couple months prior to this trip, God had been chipping away at my hard and bitter heart and leading me to scriptures that tore down the ideas that “We deserve to be parents, God will give us kids!” and “God says children are a blessing, why isn’t He blessing us??”. He brought me to one of the very verses that I would quote, Ps. 127:3 “Behold, children are a gift of the Lord..” Gift. Something that was given. Usually not deserved or required. That is why it’s a gift. At a birthday party for a child, the child’s friends bring gifts, not expecting that they will receive the very same gift in return on their birthday. They bring a gift that is specifically for their friend and one that will make them smile and bring them joy. Children are a gift. They come in all shapes and sizes,personalities and strengths. So if God chooses to give a gift of a baby to a friend, am I supposed to expect I receive the same gift in the exact same way? I pondered this over and over. The Lord revealed the conclusion to me, I’m never promised a baby. Not one place in the Bible does it promise this gift to everyone. I had to come to terms with that.

So, here Nick and I are at the cabin and I head to the dock to soak in the beautiful sunshine and work through this hard reality. After some reading, I started praying and the words and tears flowed. I give in. I’m done holding on to a non-promised gift. I’m done entitling myself to a gift that didn’t have my name on it. I’m done allowing this sin of bitterness steal my joy. I AM DONE. I literally said that too. I confessed my bitterness and said I was willing to allow Him to take over from there.

After dinner that night, Nick and I were sitting on the deck in rocking chairs (yup, we are 90 years old at heart), and we began talking about the next couple of years–where we saw ourselves and what ministries we could pour more into. Now, I’m not proud of how the entire conversation went because I was a little raw after giving my dream of being a mom over to God. But, if I am going to paint the whole picture here, I have to be real with you. *disclaimer* I tend to be extremely practical in my thinking and it comes across harsh at times. Please bare with me. Me:” Soooooo, if we aren’t going to have kids, is there a children’s ministry or something that we can put energy and money into instead?” Nick: ” Well, I’ve been reading this book and it challenges Christians to adopt more…what about that?” Me: “Pshhhh, if we are going to spend $40,000 on a child, wouldn’t that money be served better elsewhere???” (I now cringe when I think about those words coming out of my mouth) Nick’s words still ring in my head: “But wouldn’t any amount be worth it to bring a baby out of complete poverty,sickness, and loneliness and give them a family to belong to? Not to mention be able to bring them up in a godly home?”. That sentence stopped me in my tracks. Nick was completely right. What the heck was I doing and thinking? What was any amount of money when a little human being was involved? My eyes filled with tears when I looked at Nick. I told him he was right and the next sentence came out of my mouth,”Let’s adopt.” I think I surprised both of us as we looked at each other and smiled. We spent the rest of the anniversary getaway in prayer and thinking about the big question, “Where do we start???”.

This is the journey of an East Tennessee couple who will walk through the open doors that God provides to see the beautiful plan He has in store for them. God leads, we follow.

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