Friday, March 29, 2013


She didn't mean to do it.  It was an accident.

I could feel her excitement.  I could see her nervousness.  Her little hands struggled to stop the shaking.  Balancing the tiny, plastic cup filled to the brim with the dark juice was so much harder than it looked, particularly for a five year old.

It was her first communion in "big church".  With her sister, with us and with everyone else.  It was the first time she'd been able to participate since coming into God's family.  The first time she could walk up to the table, take the bread and the juice and remember...just as He said to do.

..."This is my body, broken for you. 
Do this to remember me...
This cup is my blood, my new covenant with you. 
Each time you drink this cup, remember me."
1 Corinthians 11:24-25 (The Message)

As soon as our family of four returned to our seats and attempted to sit down with our cups and crackers, I felt it.  The splashing wetness landing on my knee and trickling down my leg. 

And then I noticed the effects on her.  Looking down, I saw the consequences of what had just spilled onto her lacy white socks.  A bright red stain.

Instead of huffing during such a holy moment, the Lord halted me with this thought:

What my daughter spilled...her juice...
completely accidental.
What my Savior spilled...His blood...
completely intentional.
He meant to do it. It was no accident.
Because His precious, perfect blood spilled from His body, because it poured down from the tip of His head and trickled to the bottom of His feet, we are stained.  And amazingly, His stain makes us clean.
"...without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness."
Hebrews 9:22b (NIV)

He wants us in His family.  He wants us to have eternal life.  He wants to forgive our sins.

And I am grateful.  Forever grateful that because of His lavish love, the blood He shed on the cross He did so willingly and purposefully.

It was no accident.  He meant every drop spilled.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

A Wall That Must Fall

Ever feel like things are going really well in a certain situation in your life?  Actually, better than well?

But then suddenly, and without warning, out of nowhere...BAM!

You run face-first, smack into a wall.  Not just any wall.  But an enormous, unexpected, seemingly-impossible-to-scale wall.

Yeah.  Well...if you have, then we understand.  Completely.  Because we have officially hit our wall

Almost three weeks ago we got an email update from our adoption agency.

Our India coordinator had just returned from an international adoption conference in India and from the exact city where our orphanage is located.  Fortunately, she had the opportunity to visit our orphanage and to speak with the caregivers and social workers there. 

Good news.

Unfortunately, everything else she told us after that was the exact opposite.

The bad news is summed up in one line from her email..." seems extremely unlikely that there would ever be a potential for a match for your family..."

Discouraging.  Disheartening.  Disappointing.

Following a conversation on the phone, here's what we know for sure:  Our orphanage is tiny.  Extremely tiny.  Like, only 10 kids in the entire orphanage, tiny. 

And only a "few" children there matched the specifics listed in our Home Study.  And then those "few" children would undoubtedly be adopted to one of the hundreds of Indian families on the domestic waiting list, according to Hague Convention law.

The only silver lining we see so far is that we are the only international file in the orphanage at this time.  At least we have no other "competition" and at least we definitely stick out.

So...even though those are the blatant facts staring at us right now, here's why we have not lost heart.  Hang with me as I try to explain.

I started reading the book, The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson, the day before we got the email from our agency.  I am going through it with an amazing group of women from my church.  The premise of the book is the encouragement to pray circles around your biggest dreams and your greatest fears. 

Bold, persistent, specific prayers honor God and God honors bold, persistent specific prayers.

Pertaining to the infamous battle of Jericho in Joshua 6, the author asks this question in chapter 3,
"What is your Jericho?" 

In other words,
Like the Israelites, what promise are you praying around? 
What miracle are you marching around? 
What dream does your life revolve around, right now?

When I read this crucial question, I thought to myself, "I don't have a specific wall I'm marching around right now."

The very next day I did. 

BAM.  Hit. The. Wall. 

After our conversation with our agency coordinator, I asked my husband, "So what do we do now?"
He responded, "We pray through.  We gird up our loins and we just keep praying."

When I opened my Bible the next morning, the pages fell to the book of Daniel chapter 10.  Skimming the page, I read these highlighted words spoken to Daniel in verse 12 when God sent a messenger to him, "Do not be afraid, Daniel.  Since the first day your words were heard...." 

The messenger goes on to tell Daniel that even though he was now there, he had been delayed for 21 days by a powerful spiritual being. Daniel's prayers had been hindered by unseen obstacles.

After reading that scripture, I noticed something I had written in the side of my Bible about 10 years ago when I first heard a message about this passage, "Battles exist in the spiritual realms." 

Really.  They do.

At that point, I said out-loud, "Okay, Lord. The battle has now begun."   After a year of "easy" in this adoption journey, here we go.  Game on.

I opened my book, The Circle Maker, to read chapter 4 and nearly choked when I saw the title, "Praying Through".  Remember?  They were the exact words Derek had just said to me the night before.  I mean, seriously?

Then I read Joshua 6:2, printed right there in the middle of the chapter,

"Then the LORD said to Joshua,
'See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands."
But when I read it, I did not see the word, "Jericho".  I saw the word, "Pearl", the name we will give our little girl. 
God didn't just promise Joshua, "I will deliver."  No.  He used past tense.  "I have delivered."
Here were the author's next words in that same chapter:
"The battle was won before the battle even began.  God had already given them the city.  All they had to do was circle it."
The battle was won before the battle even began.
The battle was won before the battle even began.
The battle was won before the battle even began.
Yes.  I typed it 3 times in a larger font because it IS that profound to us!
As soon I read those words, the floodgates opened and I went into the ugly cry right there in my very own bed.  I sensed the Lord speaking that promise to me, tenderly, passionately, and fiercely.  Here I had just told Him, "Okay, Lord.  The battle has now begun."  Yet He promised me, "The battle was won before the battle even began."
So...yes, while we are disheartened about this latest news with the adoption, we have not lost hope.  God is SO real, y'all.  And He is FOR us.  ALL of us. 
Our coordinator gave us three options before we ended our conversation on the phone that night nearly three weeks ago.  We have chosen the last one: hang tight and keep waiting.  And while we wait, we're praying through.  Circling an intimidatingly, gigantic wall, praying it will fall
Would you consider joining us?  It took a huge army of Israelites, obeying God, believing God, and waiting for God to crash that wall so they could step into their promise.  Even Especially when it seemed impossible. 

Lord, this wall must fall.  It must if we are to move forward in this journey to adopt our little girl.  Make a way where there seems to be no way.  There is no limit to Your power and to Your might.  Set the stage for Your glory to be revealed and allow us the privilege of having a front-row seat.  We believe You have delivered Pearl into our hands.  Give us persistence and perseverance as we keep circling and keep praying for this wall to fall.  Amen.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Joy, Oh Joy! Celebrating Baptism Day!

"Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name,
He gave the right to become children of God." John 1:12

One morning last September, six years of prayers were answered when our baby girl's life was changed.  Forever.

During our time in the Word that day, the girls and I began discussing two contrasting groups of people in the world: those who accept the message of Christ and those who reject it.  Those who say "yes" to His amazingly free, underserved gift of salvation and those who don't.  Those who have been adopted into the family of God and those who have not.

At one point in the conversation, Gloria looked at me, concerned, and stated, "I don't know whose family I'm in."

My simple response: "Whose family do you want to be in?"

Her reply:  "God's family."

We talked.  We prayed.  And then my daughter came to Him just as a child should, in complete and total faith.

In faith, she believed Jesus, God's sinless Son, died on the cross for her. 
In faith, she asked Jesus to take away her sin. 
In faith, she said "yes" to Jesus as her Savior and "yes" to following Him.

And by grace, at that moment, she was adopted into the family of God, forever belonging with Him.  (Click here to read a previous post about the wonder and privilege of our own spiritual adoption.)

Five months later Gloria told us she wanted to get baptized.  Though once quite timid about the whole thing, now she was SUPER excited to show everyone else what Jesus had done in her and for her. 

Last Sunday, my husband had the privilege of baptizing his second daughter in front of our family, our sweet church family, and our dear friends.  It was one of the most joyful experiences for all of us!

Here are a few pictures of our celebration:

One happy girl right there!
Mama about to pray...

Nothing but joy and peace. :)
We will continue to celebrate!  Not because of anything we have done, but because of everything He has done for us. 
And most of all, we will continue to pray, pray, pray for both of our daughters. 
Pray they will keep saying "yes" to Jesus as they seek Him and the paths He has planned for their lives. 
Pray they will be warrior-princesses for His kingdom. 
Pray they know and rely on their Father's lavish love and the security of their eternal family. 
"Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name,
He gave the right to become children of God." John 1:12

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...