"Once our eyes are opened, we cannot pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows that we know, and holds us responsible to act." Proverbs 24:12



“There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven’t yet met.”- William Butler Yeats





Monday, April 28, 2008

Many Unknowns (Part I)

I've been thinking about whether to share this with my readers or not, but since a vast majority of you are faith-filled, God-fearing-persons that would understand, I decided I would share what God has been doing in our lives. But I'm mostly sharing, because this blog is intended to bring glory and honor to our Savior, Jesus Christ. (Since this is quite long, I will be writing about what is transpiring in several parts.)

Do you remember this post I wrote on March 3rd? And you remember I said "...but I when I pray this lately, I come up with the feeling that He wants something BIG..." Oh yeah, I just knew it was going to be something big! Well, God is now finally revealing to me, in bits and pieces, what He wants from us. Oh, His plan is not complete (at least to us it's not) but I think He was waiting to see if we were obedient to His calling.

Lately, He has fed me through His word, through His servants and through prayer and fasting that we are in fact being obedient and He is again leading the way, as it should be.

A couple of months ago when I wrote that post God began to stir my heart. You know, that "God feeling" that you get when you pray intensely and you are finally resting at His feet, in silence. Waiting. The more I prayed and the more I told Him I would be obedient to whatever his will was, the more I felt peace about what He was asking of us.

Going back today and re-reading that post, I chuckled when I read the words, "I feel God wanting more from me. I know it. What I don't know is what exactly it is that He wants. I hope it's not another child! heh!". Well now, I do in fact know that it is exactly what He is calling us to do. Will it happen? I don't know, but was He asking to see if we would be obedient if in fact that is what He wanted? Absolutely. We have learned, at times the hard way, that we must walk by faith and not by sight.

After questioning Him for what seemed like everytime I prayed, it finally hit me that I need to shut up and let God be God and do His work. One afternoon, on my knees, in a flurry of tears, I surrendered it all to Him and told Him that I am here. I am his servant and I will be obedient to whatever His will is. I felt peace surround me and was reassured that noone loves me more than He does. He repeatedly tells us,"Do not be afraid. I go before you always."

Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; Be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed:For the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest." Joshua 1:9

But, I also did tell Him (as if He didn't know) that there was NO WAY Scott would go for another adoption. Scott told me with Anna Grace's adoption that "we were done, finished, put a fork in it. Our family is perfect and complete." I even kiddingly said in prayer one day when thinking about my dear husband and another adoption, "Lord, I know you are God, but boy...you've got your work cut out for you when it comes to Scott agreeing to this."

Still, I have continued to pray daily about this. God has put people in my path that have, without knowing, affirmed His decision in my heart. This post was yet another affirmation. Adoption is not something we take lightly, especially with the finances involved and the time you have to dedicate to a child.

At church, during the homily, I would receive affirmation after affirmation. Everywhere I went, God was showing me "signs" that I was on the right track and just to be still and know that He is God. How was I ever going to bring up another adoption to Scott? I couldn't. I knew it would be a reason for an argument. I've also been trying hard to be submissive to my husband and allow him to be our spiritual leader. I wanted God to speak to His heart, not me.

Little did I know that while all of these struggles were going on in my mind, God was whittling away at Scott's heart. One evening after the kids were in bed, Scott went to his computer and was playing his World of Warcraft game while I sat on my computer and was reading blog after blog.

One particular blog hit me so strongly that I had tears streaming down my face. I tried looking the other way so that Scott wouldn't see me. But he did. He didn't say a word. He knew. I then said, "Look at these children." It was a Liberian blog. Yes, God had put an African adoption in my heart.

A couple of weeks ago I began journaling my thoughts, not only to keep track of everything that is so quickly happening around here, but again, to glorify God as we see His hand in the midst of all of this craziness.

Here is my first entry:

"April 16, 2008

I'm not sure exactly where this is going to lead, but I have been moved to write my feelings down and so here I am.

For the past few weeks, I have felt closer to the Lord than I have in a very long time. As he has healed Anna Grace’s heart, and is s-l-o-w-l-y working with me and my patience, he is also moving my heart towards adoption again.

This past week, especially, he has offered confirmations over and over that I should start thinking about another child. Sometimes I think it’s crazy! It totally is….financially and emotionally. With Anna Grace’s coming home, I was convinced we were finished. Our family was complete. I praised and honored him for using us as His hands and feet and for allowing us to raise, not 1, not 2 but 3 precious gifts in His name.

I guess you can’t tell God when you’re finished, huh? I don’t even know if these are His plans. Maybe we won’t be adding another child, but boy…those feelings and questions are becoming awfully familiar now.

Even the fears that I face have been answered in some way or another by Him. Sometimes in prayer and sometimes through others, without them even knowing.


My heart keeps telling me I have a child in Liberia. Ironically, just this past month, Liberian adoptions have been halted for revamping. Is our child not born yet? Is he not in the orphanage yet? Many questions I don’t know the answer to, but He keeps telling me, (as He did with every single one of our other adoptions) “TRUST ME”.

Some of my fears:

First and foremost, I want Scott to be the one to say, “We have another child waiting for us.” He is the head of our household and although on a bit slower walk with Christ than I have been lately, his heart loves Jesus and he truly is a Godly man. I have asked the Lord to either change my heart about this adoption or Scott’s, but we both have to be in it 150% percent.

Liberia. In prayer, I have told God my fears about whether or not a child would be happy being raised by a family of a totally different color (since we are already multi-ethnic here) and have to deal with the prejudices that the secular world seems to embrace. His response was loud and clear one day. “Did I not create EVERY child? Do you think I would love one more than another? They are ALL MY children made in MY image.” And being no coincidence, for the first time in years, I heard the song “Everything is beautiful” being played a few days later while in the car with the kids. “Red and yellow, black and white. They are precious in His sight, Jesus loves the little children of the world”. Enough said.

Although my family and friends love my children to death, I must admit that I have a fear of sharing what is probably another one of the most joyous moments in my life with these people. I truly do not want to hear, these phrases, “Another one? Isn’t 3 enough? Don’t you already have your hands full? How about finances with only Scott working and ALL those kids? I can’t believe you guys are adopting again! Are you crazy? You guys will never be able to afford any luxuries again. You're adopting a black baby?”

Well, God answered this one also. My new blog friend, Laine, from the Ferrill Bunch (someone whom God just happened to in my path, as if He didn’t plan this out, right?) entered the following in her blog. She was referring to her own experience, but God used her to speak to me. She wrote: “Can you see whose signature is behind all those whispers of excuses in my ear, making me not want to share my testimony? Uh-huh. I'm sorry to say I bought in to those lies too many times. My faith has wavered, I have questioned God again and again, "Are you SURE you want us to adopt again?"

I am so thankful for those words. It truly made me see that God has a HUGE heart for adoption and for His orphans, as if I didn’t already know this.

Mother Theresa once said, “…love means to be willing to give until it hurts.” Those words resonate so deeply in my heart. Most people give, but they give what they can give without it affecting them. Do you think it’s more important for my 3 little ones to go to Disney 4 times a year, or maybe go once every two years, but allow another one of God’s children to have a warm bed, a full tummy and a healthy life knowing Jesus? Is it more important for our little ones to have Nintendos, Wii games, name brand shoes and clothes, their own rooms or is it more important to know the love of Christ and what it is like to belong to a family and know the true meaning of love?

We love our Lord with all of our hearts and want to serve and honor Him for all that he has blessed us with and walking by faith not by sight is definitely a mighty way to show Him our trust. He has never failed us.

While reading the bible today, God took me to one of my favorite parables in scripture:

Luke 21:1-4

The Widow's Offering

As he looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. "I tell you the truth," he said, "this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on."


I know that the Lord wants us to live comfortably. Hec, he even wants us to have some of those luxuries as long as we tithe, but in my heart of hearts, how can we possibly spend money on luxuries, because that’s what they are, when there are millions of children dying yearly worldwide because they don’t have any food to eat. I just can’t do it.

We live in a very selfish society and I feel a moral obligation to not buy into those lies anymore, but instead ask myself, “What would Jesus do?”

As I pray daily about this, my heart is very much at peace that He is in control and will reveal to us His perfect plan.

Lord,

I ask that you give us wisdom and guidance as Scott and I seek Your will into what lies ahead in our future. May whatever Your will is, be used to glorify and honor You, who is so worthy of praise.

In Your Blessed Name,

AMEN!"

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8 comments :

The Ferrill's said...

Ohilda, how beautiful! I can't wait to see how His plan unfolds for your family! Your heart is so committed to Jesus and He is blessing that! I'm right here with ya! Well, maybe hundreds of miles away, but right here with ya in spirit! ;)
Praying for you friend!
Love,
Laine

2China4Ayla said...

O. You are crazy.....I love crazy people....specially when they are crazy for the Lord and for children. Your hands are also full....of love, joy, mischief and cuteness galore, how could anyone resist wanting their hands so full? Finances? Well it may be a challenge but honey, you can't take money or luxeries with you when you leave this earth but if you teach your children in the ways of the Lord even if they leave it they will return and follow you to the Father.....what better luxuries are there? So all I have to say is "I AM JEALOUS!" sort of....I actually hate the thought of paperwork, waiting, worrying, and adjusting....but the thought of another precious love to hold, now that is worthy of the big green monster! :o) Can't wait to see what God has in store for you!

Walker said...

What Awesomeness!! I can't wait to see what's next for your precious family!! I will be praying for you!!
love ya,
Keisha

Waitingfaithfully said...

Ohilda,

Oh my! I am so excited for you, and you are so right . . . money is only money, we can't take it with us.

Just today I was recounting all that the Lord has done for us since we started this journey for Teddi. I had prayed for so many years to go to China, yet always wondering how God would make the way . . . About the same time we had Brogan, Bryan received a long overdue bonus from the military. By long overdue, I mean years overdue. . . BUT, it was overdue in our timing . . . "just in time" in God's timing. Still, I struggled with knowing that we needed to provide for the four we already had . . . braces, college, cars . . . and on, and on, and on.

It took one final sermon to remind me of something I already knew . . . that our treasure is in heaven and everything here on earth is just stuff.

Last Mother's Day our family stood in a huddle as our pastor prayed over us. I had admitted the money fears and that I was trusting God to make a way. Our pastor's final comment on our hopefullness to adopt, "It may make a difference in a soul being saved, and you CAN'T put a price on that!"

One month later I found Teddi! And as Mother's Day comes around again, I pray to be on my way to China to collect my treasure!

Oops, I think I just did a whole blog post in your comment box!! I love you girl, and I am so blessed that our paths have crossed.

If Liberia is the plan, HE will make the way . . . oh, how well you know! TRUST HIM, He is Able!

Thank you for sharing your heart, you truly do give God the glory, and you bless many of us in the process!

Blessings~

Tina

The Byrd Family said...

Just when I had this all settled in my head and heart about NOT having another one because of finances and how we are almost 45 years old this year.....YOU oh blessed Ohilda have shown me I am wrong.

Thank you for this post. Thank you for your transparency in your faith in our Lord. Sometimes even the strongest of Christian women need someone a little big stronger to lead them and show them the way.

Big Hugs!

Sara said...

Hi O~ You are just wonderful....you already know what I think of you :-) Thank you again for the "angel" work you did for us. I'll email you soon.

Becky said...

I knew it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
LOVE you!
xoxooxox,
B

Nicole said...

Ohilda, What a wonderful post! It's all the things I would say if I could get them out so eloquently! A lot of people have said mean thing to us since starting Logan's adoption. Although my heart hurt... it was soothed quickly by the knowledge that we were following the Lord's will for our lives. Can't wait to hear how the Lord moves you and Scott!!!
HUGS,
-Nicole
www.bakerssweets.blogspot.com

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