Monday, September 23, 2013

If You Say Go

Where to start? This weekend, along with my sweet mother-in-law, I attended the Unfailing Love retreat here in Birmingham. This two day retreat focuses on equipping, encouraging and refreshing adoptive and foster moms. And it was WONDERFUL!

Any time I am able to pass the hours with women who share the same heart is always a deep blessing from the Lord. Adoption is such a unique thing, so unlike anything else I have ever experienced. As we have walked the adoption path, I have learned more and more from women who have gone before me. And I am beyond grateful for these women, women who will share the true stories of their hearts and their lives, not just the adorable pictures and videos we love to see once it is all over and your child is home. Not just a flawless tale of a child who instantly fell in love with his new mom and didn't mind at all being taken away from everything he has ever known.

Instead, these women provide an honest look at all facets of the adoption journey. The beautiful moments, of which there are too many to count. And the difficult ones, the ones we might be hesitant to talk about.

And I grateful for their honesty and transparency.

For today, I want to talk to you about one particular thing from this weekend. A song. There was a time of singing worship before each of the main sessions began, and one of the songs we sang was new to me. It spoke to my heart in such a deep, clear and tangible way, and I want to share it with you.

Please listen to it first.

I am sure that just from listening (and ignoring the Matthew chapter typo at the end of the video) you can see why this song has become so dear to me.

It was obvious to us back in March and April of 2012 that God was saying, "Go" to us as we ventured into the world of adoption. And now, He is clearly saying, "Wait." While I am a much bigger fan of "Go" than I am of "Wait," I do know that the Lord is right here with us in the midst of whatever it is He is asking us to do.

Right now, we are waiting. And that is so frustrating. I was talking to one of my favorite friends today and telling her that this is all so hard because I know my children are out there somewhere. They could be alone, scared, hungry and hurting, and I cannot do anything about it. I cannot begin to tell you what that does to my heart. But I have to trust that the same Lord who created them will also take care of them.

It is just like this beautiful songs says. If He calls us to a fire, He will not withdraw His hand. He has not abandoned me or my children during this difficult hour (that feels like WAY more than an hour!). Instead, He is in the fire with us. We just have to look for Him.

Do you find yourself in a similar place? Do you feel like what you are being asked to do is not what you want to be doing?

It's hard, isn't it?

And I get it. I am right there with you.

But even better.

So is He.

The very One who made you and called you to this storm you are standing in is right there with you.

I have often thought of the story of Peter walking on water as we have walked through this adoption process. I like to think that I totally get how he feels. He has such faith. Truly believes that Jesus is who He says He is.

And so he asks for it.

"Lord, if it is you, tell me to get out of the boat."

And Jesus does. Jesus calls Peter to do the impossible. To be a mortal man who walks on water.

And so Peter steps out of the boat. He is doing it. He is walking on water.

But then he notices the storm, sees his precarious position and takes his eyes off of Christ. And when he does that, he sinks.

But Jesus is right there. And our gracious Savior pulls Peter back up and walks with him through the storm.

I am so glad I serve this Christ. The One who told us to get out of the boat and start working to bring our children home from Ethiopia. The same One who, when I get distracted by how incredibly impossible this all seems, takes my hand and pulls me back up and walks with me through the storm. We are walking on water with Christ as we walk through this adoption. So much of this seems impossible to me, seems like it will never end. But my Christ is here.

He is here with me in the storm.

And He is with you in your storm.

And no matter how high the waves get and how hard the wind blows, He is not going anywhere.

I hope you take comfort in that, dear friend. It is the only thing keeping my head above water.

"'Lord, if it is you,' Peter replied, 'tell me to come to you on the water.'

'Come,' He said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, he cried out, 'Lord, save me!'

Immediately, Jesus reached out His hand and caught him. 'You of little faith,' He said. 'Why did you doubt?'"
Matthew 14:28-31

Immediately, Jesus reached out to Peter and caught him. Immediately. He could do that because He was right next to Peter in the storm. And He is right next to you, too.


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