God has been up to so much good stuff in our lives lately, and today I realized just how incredibly blessed I/we am/are. It is so, so, so easy sometimes to get laser focused on all of the things that are not going the way we expect that we forget to look for and be truly overwhelmed by God's abundant blessing in our lives. These past few days, the Lord has been using circumstances, events and people I love to remind me that He is pouring out blessings on our lives like Niagra Falls. Please bear with me as I explain (in reverse chronological order, no less) what God has been doing with the Knotts these days.
Today we had our last, that's right, LAST home study interview. Wahoo! This is such huge thing for us. Summer is Adam's busiest season at work, and we are going to be in Honduras for a week this month, so the fact that we were able to get everything finished by only July second is an enormous miracle. Especially when we consider the fact that the interviews are usually stretched out over several months and we finished ours in about four weeks. THANK YOU LORD! We are waiting on our fingerprints to come back in, and then our home study will be pretty much ready to go. Along a similar line, we received our dossier information last week and have already been able to check several items off that list. I have absolutely ZERO doubt that the Lord's hand is on this process and that He alone is the reason we have been able to move through this process so efficiently.
Get ready to laugh at me, and probably roll your eyes, about this next one. Over the weekend I purchased my VERY FIRST parenting book! I know this probably seems like a silly thing to write about, but for me, this was a MAJOR milestone. I wanted to stride through Barnes and Noble, proudly carrying my book and shouting, "That's right! I am buying a book on being a mom. Why, you might ask? Well, because I am about to be one!" Fortunately for the other customers, and for my dignity, as well, I managed to restrain myself. Although, I am fairly certain the cashier thought I was a crazy woman.
Lastly (but first chronologically), my wonderful, beautiful parents came to visit us this past week/weekend. I cannot even begin to explain how good it was to see them. We were able to spend time together, talk and eat...a lot. I know I have mentioned it before, but let me say again that my two parents are two of the greatest blessings the Lord has ever given me. They are full of patience and incredibly wise counsel (of which I received plenty over the last several days). In our very first blog post, I talked about the fact that Adam and I always thought we would have biological children first and then expand our family through adoption. Over the last several months, the Lord has been making it very evident that we are supposed to adopt first. And we are so, so, SO excited about our little one from Ethiopia. There are days, however, when it is hard to let go of the idea of biological children for now. Let me be clear here. We do not, in any way, feel that God has called us away from biological children, but we do know that He has called us to adopt first. For a while this was a tough thought for me to get past, but our great God, in His unwavering love has shown me that His plan is absolutely perfect and that I have no need to worry. So why I am writing this in the same paragraph as my parents' visit? Well, we spent a great deal of time talking about God's calling on our (mine and Adam's) life. My mother shared a lot about what God has been teaching her lately, and she ended by telling us about a sermon that she heard Tony Evans (love him!) preach on the radio last week (perfect timing, no?). The sermon was about Jesus and Lazarus.
In case you are not familiar with the story, Lazarus, a good friend of Jesus, has died, and his sisters had already sent for Jesus. Jesus, however, does not show up until Lazarus has been dead for four days. When He gets there, everyone is mourning the death of Lazarus and being upset with Jesus for arriving too late to heal Lazarus. They now want Him to do the impossible, to raise Lazarus from the dead. Jesus tells the people to roll away the tombstone. And instead of immediately obeying, the people come up with all these reasons why they can't. But Jesus persists, and the people roll away the stone. Then Jesus, without even looking inside the tomb, says, "Lazarus, come out." And Lazarus does.
Dr. Evans' message had a few points. First, Jesus is NEVER late. We might think He is late, and according to our plan, He might be late. But He is never actually late. Jesus, just like God the Father, has the long view. He can see what we cannot. So while we might be tempted (and I certainly have been) to accuse God of being late or not working fast enough or not doing things the way we want Him to, we need to remember that His plan and His purpose are both absolutely flawless. Think about it. I am sure that Mary and Martha (Lazarus' sisters) would have liked Jesus to arrive before their brother died. It certainly would have been easier. BUT if Christ had done that, He would not have been able to be glorified through the resurrection of Lazarus. His ways are higher than our ways, and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts. The second point was that Jesus asked the people to move the stone, something that seemed impossible and crazy to them. The message here is that when we show God our faith, He shows us His faithfulness. When we step out for God's glory and the sake of His kingdom, He steps out with us and does something FAR greater than we ever could have imagined.
So, you can see why it was so good to spend time with my parents. They reminded us that we are on the path that the Lord has had laid out for us since before, "Let there be light." And while I might have thought for the longest that we would adopt later in life, I can see now that the Lord's plan is infinitely better than anything I could have ever come up with on my own. Adopting first has always been His plan for us, and the more time I spend thinking about it, the happier I am that things are happening in this sequence. We will be able to focus on this sweet, precious child in a distraction-free environment. We will be able to pour out our love on this little one until we are absolutely certain that he/she recognizes us as Mom and Dad and knows that we will always, no matter what, be there to love, support and protect. And so, I find myself thanking God that we are adopting first and praising Him for this incredibly humbling calling on our lives. And I cannot wait to see what else He has for us. When I think about everything that is going on in our lives, I am truly at a loss for words. God has blessed us abundantly more than we deserve.
"'For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways," declares the Lord. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts higher than your thoughts.'" Isaiah 55:8-9