WARNING: This blog is very convicting. Please pray for Katie & her ministry, and then ask God how we can be used to ACT in practical, tangible ways. These things should not BE. These things should not have to happen to innocent children. Yes, suffering is part of life on this broken world, and yes, there is hope in Christ who will end ALL suffering, but there are things we in WEALTHY America can do NOW to help stop these attrocities. Please be on your knees. I know I will be. And read Katie's blog at www.kissesfromkatie.blogspot.com/
Although we're still recuperating, things are going EXTREMELY well! We have such a love bug! Gabriel is a happy, easy-going little guy. Although nap time and night time are a little hard, he's slowly gaining trust and exhibiting less fear. The kids are so in love with him and he with them. Praise God for such a smooth transition so far!
I needed to share my thoughts in this post as we prepare for our departure in only 5 days. I have been reading John Piper's book "Don't Waste Your Life". Last night I read a very timely chapter called "Risk is Right--Better to Lose Your Life Than to Waste It". As some of you may or may not know, I struggle with the "fear of flying". It stretches me out of my comfort zone and I tend to worry irrationally about it. Having young children that are relying on us to raise them and take care of them amplifies my fears. I know they will be in good hands and will NEVER be abandoned or alone, but I want to always be there for them (God willing). I know these are not uncommon thoughts and fears. I constantly give it to God and try to think rationally that all will be well. After all, so many families have gone and come back just fine! Obviously I struggle with letting go of control and trusting God to take care of the details of life. But reading John Piper's take on it made me feel better about the adventure we are embarking on. Here is an excerpt from his book that I wanted to share:
What is Risk? I define risk very simply as an action that exposes you to the possibility of loss or injury. If you take a risk you can lose money, you can lose face, you can lose your health or even your life. And what's worse, if you take a risk, you may endanger other people and not just yourself. Their lives may be at stake. Will a wise and loving person, then, ever take a risk? Is it wise to expose yourself to loss? Is it loving to endanger others? Is losing life the same as wasting it? It depends. Of course you can throw your life away in a hundred sinful ways and die as a result. In that case, losing life and wasting it would be the same. But losing life is not always the same as wasting it. What if the circumstances are such that NOT taking a risk will result in loss and injury? It may not be wise to play it safe. And what if a successful risk would bring great benefit to many people, and its failure would bring harm only to yourself? It may not be loving to choose comfort of security when something great may be achieved for the cause of Christ and for the good of others.
I am remembering Matthew 6:25, 31-33--"Do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? ....do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?'...your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you."
I hope this is helpful for all of you other fellow EX-"worry worts" out there! God has it all under control. Just hang on and enjoy the ride!
When we come to Christ, God not only forgives us, he also adopts us. Through a dramatic series of events, we go from condemned orphans with no hope to adopted children with no fear. Here is how it happens. You come before the judgment seat of God full of rebellion and mistakes. Because of his justice he cannot dismiss your sin, but because of his love he cannot dismiss you. So, in an act which stunned the heavens, he punished himself on the cross for your sins. God's justice and love are equally honored. And you, God's creation, are forgiven. But the story doesn't end with God's forgiveness.
For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out "Abba! Father!" The Spirit himself bears witness with our Spirit that we are children of God (Rom. 8:15–16 NASB).
But when the fullness of time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, in order that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons (Gal. 4:4–5 NASB).
It would be enough if God just cleansed your name, but he does more. He gives you his name. It would be enough if God just set you free, but he does more. He takes you home. He takes you home to the Great House of God.
Adoptive parents understand this more than anyone. I certainly don't mean to offend any biological parents—I'm one myself. We biological parents know well the earnest longing to have a child. But in many cases our cribs were filled easily. We decided to have a child and a child came. In fact, sometimes the child came with no decision. I've heard of unplanned pregnancies, but I've never heard of an unplanned adoption.
That's why adoptive parents understand God's passion to adopt us. They know what it means to feel an empty space inside. They know what it means to hunt, to set out on a mission, and take responsibility for a child with a spotted past and a dubious future. If anybody understands God's ardor for his children, it's someone who has rescued an orphan from despair, for that is what God has done for us.
God has adopted you. God sought you, found you, signed the papers and took you home.
So, for all of you concerned about my anxiety, I have been practicing deep breathing ever since Friday morning's call. Details are coming together. Our flight is booked (with Emirates), our lodging is booked (at Bejoe' House), paperwork is mostly done, humanitarian aid items are collected (almost), many other items are purchased for the trip just waiting for me to organize and pack into suitcases. I'm feeling on top of things so far. Now I just pray I don't overpack, which is my tendency! The best news of all is that rather than feeling dread and anxiety about the flight, I have a giddy excitement to finally get to go pick up our son! It will be not only a good time away from life's stresses (somewhat of a vacation, if you will), but an exciting time of bonding as my husband and I depart on this adventure together-- knowing our son is waiting there for us. As I am writing this, however, my heart aches for those families who are STILL waiting on things that are totally out of their control to bring their children home. I wish this process were easier, but in the end, God's will prevails and we are made stronger so that we can persevere and bring glory to Him in our obedience to His will and timing. It can be "a long obedience", but the ultimate goal is pleasing God as we wait, as we hope, as we prepare, as we worry, as we long for the time when we can hold our children in our arms and tell them we love them. God is holding US in HIS arms too as we walk this slow, tedious journey called adoption. What a blessing to be part of it!
I "stole" this from another blogger, but loved it so much I had to share, too. We are ALL in this together and God is the ONLY solution! Let's be His hands and feet wherever we are placed in this world.