Image by hoyasmeg via FlickrI took a step of faith, obeying God and following Him way, way, WAY out of my comfort zone. I don't know if I can convey just how far out of my comfort zone this was....you'll just have to trust me on this one. (One example, I used to get nervous driving to CANADA. seriously. I used to be so fear-based, it blows my mind, looking back.)
I went on my first short term mission trip ever last year at this time.
When our church started planning the mission trips for that year, there were 3 or 4 separate trips planned, to different countries. In the early planning stages, the meetings were held jointly for all the different trips. The various leaders would present information on the country and the projects that the team would be doing while in country. Then we would split up into smaller groups based on the country/team/trip we were most interested in.
I went to the meetings, because I have always been interested in missions.
But I never had the __________________ (time, money, ability, group to go with, faith, etc., you fill in the blank with any excuse you can think of, and I had it) to go.
I would listen to the plans and discussions and think, that'd be neat, but I never did anything about it.
Eventually it came time to commit (*uh-oh, I have commitment issues also) to one trip, one country.
Haiti just "floated to the top" of my interest list. It wasn't like there was a big flashing neon sign or an audible word from God, but more like it just felt right. Haiti got "under my skin" and "into my heart" from the begining.
And so, I went about making plans.
Time off work. Check.
Gathering supplies. Check.
Reading all I could about Haiti and Three Angels Children's Relief. Check.
I remember the anxiety mixed with excitement.
I remember the full blown fear that tried to turn to panic at times.
I remember thinking of all the good I was going to do. (this one is funny in hindsight)
I remember wondering if I was doing the right thing, for the right reasons.
I remember getting negativity and objections and an overall lack of support from some people. Some of which I expected. Others were a shock.
I remember raising exactly the amount I needed to pay for this trip, down to the dollar, by the deadline/due date.
Even on the day of departure, there were things that came up that in the past, would have made me change my mind and stay home. But somehow, this day, this time was different. When the "things" came up, I became more determined-I viewed the obstacles as confirmation that I was indeed on the right path.
And so, I took a leap of faith.
And I will be forever grateful that I did.
For it is on that first trip that I met the children that God had chosen for our family from the beginning of time.
And I began what I have come to call our "adoption adventure". And what an adventure it has been and will continue to be.
I still don't know when the boys will come home, but God does.
I still can't see how I am going to pay all of the adoption fees, but God has a plan.
I don't know what sort of emotional or behavioral issues the boys are going to have or not have. But God does, and He will equip us to deal with whatever it is that we will need to deal with, in the right time, His perfect timing.
What I CAN see is this:
I now have now is a deeper and closer relationship with God. It is mind-blowing at times.
I am starting to get and really understand what words like: surrender, acceptance, trust, love and faith look and feel like.
I have a stronger and more intense prayer life.
I have a building confidence in God as my provider.
I have many many more opportunities to share with all sorts of people what God has done in my life, how He has adopted me, into His family. How I am not who I was.
I have friends all over the world who share the same passion for people less fortunate than we are. I have friends, oh, do I have a whole new network of friends: for prayer, for support, for venting, for encouraging, for learning, for understanding, for listening, for crying together.
And I have a family. A mother's love. A connection to two children that I did not give birth to.
And even if these children never come home to live with us, I will have gained much. No matter what happens in this world, I have gained much from this "adoption adventure" that started with a simple step of faithful obedience.
And for that, I am grateful.
Readers, if God is telling you to do something, please do not delay and miss out on the blessings He wants for you. Obedience is the key. Stepping outside of our comfortable lives is the key. I implore you not to put off obeying God.
God is good.
He loves you.
He's not mad at you.
He wants you back.
No matter what.
I get it now. I finally get it, God.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jer. 29:11
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Mathew 6:34