Wednesday, October 24, 2007

I think this was my Billboard

Blech! was the last post. I've thought many times to update since then, but what could follow, Blech?

I got home Friday night. When I awoke Friday morning it was pouring down rain and I was still in a funk so I came home.

And, the week has been busy preparing for the appraiser to come today. For our home equity line, we were "99.9%" certain we wouldn't need another appraisal. We, are apparently the .1%. Someone has to be, don't they? This was covered in "Blech!" He came today. I explained to him why we needed the appraisal to come in the same as it had the last two times. I told him that it was for our adoption. I gave him the amount. He explained he would really try but that the real estate market is down and that he could only use comps from 2-3 months back, not up to 6 months like before the rules changed. This one is now filed in the "God" file. Hands are washed here over it. He will give them his report tomorrow and we will hear from them on Friday. God is already there with the answer. We are just waiting.

AND THEN... (settle in here folks -- you might want to go ahead and get a soda and popcorn as this could get long -- I might be able to publish it as a thesis, who knows?), I went to lead my Beth Moore class tonight. I remind you, gently, that I lead the class, Beth Moore teaches the class. As I am perpetually behind, I spent from 1:30-5:00 cramming in the whole week's worth of lessons. (Ok, yes, I'm an unfit leader, but better today than not at all). Day 4 was on "The Gift of Support" -- allowing others to help you and how we are not autonomous. Beth Moore fittingly wrote, "God delights in allowing us the privilege of experiencing spiritual victories. When we refuse to allow anyone to share our personal battles, we risk two negative consequences: (1) We often lengthen the battle (how long has this adoption been going on now?) (2) When we do not ask for support, we cheat others of the joy of victory. Some of the greatest moments of ecstasy I have experienced in my Christian journey have been others' victories. I, too, remember the ecstasy of sharing with Brea Wusterbarth's family as she received the heart transplant we had all prayed so fervently for and how victorious we all felt knowing that we had played a tiny, tiny role in her life.

God has been dealing with my heart for a long time about this and our adoption journey -- my pride with not wanting to ask for help. Financially, this just doesn't make sense on paper or in our heads. God has blessed us with this project work, but it's a drop in the bucket for the total costs. We have some money we will get back from our first agency; we have some money saved; we will have some money from the yard sale; we have a grant from Shaohannah's Hope. All this adds up to a little over $8000. We hope to get another $8000-$9000 from the home equity loan. This is if we get the full appraisal amount. Assuming we do,we have $17000 of what will be a $26500 adoption. *sigh* So the burden is now "on paper". I know that to God this is small, but to us, it is large. "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7

We, both Kevin and I, are really tired -- physically, emotionally and spiritually and know that we are going to have to stop trying to do this all by ourselves. The joy of the adoption seems to have left us, and we really want to ENJOY this. Beth Moore writes, "You are a gift to the body of Christ. The body of Christ is a gift to you." We are going to have to begin to reach out to others from our church to lift us up during this process -- to pray God's will and divine intervention in this process. We need to share the victories of this process -- and to eventually to share the fulfillment of a dream in the gift of a little girl from Vietnam with the church family she will be coming to, growing up in, learning and sharing about Jesus with, and loving other members of the body of Christ.

The Bible says:
Two are better than one;
Because they have a good reward for their labor
For if they fall, one will lift up his companion.
But, woe to him who is alone when he falls
For he has no one to help him up.

While we are SO FAR from alone in this journey, I felt so utterly ALONE last week in South Carolina when things seemed to be just falling apart. I remember pulling over to the side of the road and just sobbing and asking God, "What have I done to deserve this pain and all this trouble we are going through? Why is this so HARD? Why are you DOING this to me? Am I such a bad parent that you don't think I deserve another child? Did I miss the cues -- do you not want us to adopt? What more do you want? What am I doing wrong? Please, please, please, give me the answers." I remember my heart physically aching and my thinking I was going to be sick from the absolute pain of this hurt. I remember my mind wondering what I had done to deserve this, why having a child was so hard for us and yet others just seemed to be able to have them one a whim. I thought of all the stories of abortion, abuse, unwanted pregnancies and all my heart could do was cry out to God, "Why? Why? Why?" Later in the day, while pulled over in a church parking lot, after talking to a friend, I blatantly said to God, "Ok, I need a miracle. I want the miracle. Please give me a miracle."

To close the discussion part of our class tonight, I read what Beth Moore had written, "God is detailed. He is not a God of generality. Do not let Satan convince you that God is not actively involved in the intricate design of your life. Do you avoid asking certain things of Him because they seem too trivial?" I don't remember exactly how the conversation went, but Lea said that she needed a billboard, and yet, even if it said, "Lea, this is your billboard" she would probably say, "Well, I wonder if that was from God, because it didn't have my full name on it." How true!!! I mentioned that I ask for an email, and occasionally get them and went over to start the video.


Who KNEW that God was going to speak directly to ME!!! through Beth Moore on October 24, 2007 at 7:00 p.m. in a classroom at First Baptist Church Joelton?? And yet, He did. It was if, half way through this video (Session 6), God took the class away and began to speak directly to me. I began to hurt in my chest, choked on my tea, cried, and in my heart said, "Yes, God, I hear you."

I wish each of you could have seen the video. I wish I could capture the words she used. She recounted the story of Zechariah and Elizabeth from Luke 1:5-25 when Zechariah went to serve as a priest at the temple and was visited by the angel Gabriel who said to him, "Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer is heard." It is no accident that Ellie's full name is Lois Elizabeth and God used the story of Elizabeth from the Bible. Beth Moore went on to utter the words of my prayer, "Why God does it come easy for some, but is so hard for me?" She used the example of infertility and the ache to have a child when babies are born to moms on crack. She addressed the insecurities felt by people who try so hard to live lives for God but yet have blessings and desires seemingly denied. She made the comment that every time in the Bible you see God dealing with infertility, it's when He is always on the VERGE OF A MIRACLE -- Sarah, Hannah, Elizabeth, Mary. Did I ask for a miracle, specifically, last week? Yes, I did. Is He on the verge of a miracle? Yes, I think He is. I wouldn't be surprised, in the least, if my Ellie isn't born TODAY. Today's lesson touched me that much. She said, directly to me, "Listen to what God says to you in this class tonight. It is not an accident you are here tonight." She went on to tell me that God doesn't do these things TO you, He does these things FOR you. He allows you to be a part of something SO SUPERNATURAL that it is a blessing that everyone can not be part of. I wish I had the words to convey the message she gave to me from God. It was so moving, I'm going to watch it again with Kevin after Joshua goes to sleep.

Psalm 145:18-19 says,
"The Lord is near to all who call upon Him
To all who call upon Him in truth
He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him;
He also will heart their cry and save them."

God never receives more glory than when we can say beyond question, "The Lord has done this for me." John 1:25.

"Father, I thank you that You have heard Me. And I know that You always hear Me" John 11: 41-42

When class was over, and I was fully in tears, I said to Lea, "I think this was my billboard." What a wonderful class of women God has blessed me with to share this study. They are each so very, very special and precious to me!

1 comment:

Roy and Lori said...

Just wanted to say hi! You
have a very nice blog! I
really enjoyed reading it.
Take care!