Monday, April 29, 2013

We Got Nothing

Yesterday, in one single day, we had three different friends approach us to ask specifically about the adoption. 

One told us she had a list of friends she'd been praying for, friends just like us, who were adopting.  She went on to tell us that we were the last, and only family, still waiting for their child on her list.  (Keep praying so you can mark us off next, Helena!)

Another friend excitedly told me about her colleague who just recently announced she and her husband have also been called to adopt from India.  (Thanks for sharing this amazing news with us, Katy!)

And last night, I got a private FB message from a friend who stated, "I believe Pearl is on her way."  She has been praying for us and for several other friends adopting internationally. (Such encouraging faith, Shannon!  Thank you for praying!)

All three of these interactions in one single day was just the inoculation of encouragement we needed at just the time we needed it.

It's only been six weeks since the last adoption post.  (You know...the one about the giant wall of opposition we're facing?)  Only six weeks.  That's nothing, really.  It's not like months, or years or decades.  Just weeks. 

But in this short time, lots of precious friends have asked, "How's it going?  Any updates?"

My response:  "No.  We got nothing."

I have affectionately deemed this time our "land of nothingness".

The last year has been a flurry of activity.  We've filled out paperwork, prepared for home visits, and organized fundraisers.  All progressive, moving forward activities.  But the land of's that time where we cannot see any progress.  We've not heard of any changes.  It's the time between what has already transpired and what is to come.

It's the dry area in the middle.  We left what we'd always known and stepped out in faith.  We've seen God's amazing and miraculous acts with our own eyes on our behalf and for His glory.  And we can see the hope of what lies ahead, according to His promise.

But for now, we are forced to wait.  Lingering in this land of nothingness.  We want to see.  We want to hear.  But right now, we got nothing.

For some, seeing is believing.  I mean, let's all admit that seeing sure helps believing, right?  When we have visibly seen, with our own eyes, the mighty hand and outstretched arm of God work, our faith goes up exponentially.

But what about the times when we can't see a thing?  When we feel we are groping around in a fog, hoping to catch just a glimpse of something, anything to lock our eyes upon.

That's where we are now.  The place where God is hitting the refresh button in our minds with this truth:  believing, is in fact, seeing.

As my husband prayed the other day, "Lord, we believe you are still working.  We have to believe, because we see nothing right now."

Similar to when I was pregnant with the girls, I had no clue what was going on inside of me.  Visibly, I could not see all the intricacies of my pregnancies.  I did not know exactly how God was forming and creating and knitting together my daughters in my womb.  But I knew He was at work, even though I saw nothing, except a swollen belly.  And I trusted Him.  Period.

I've been reading about the Israelites in the Old Testament a lot lately.  And at different times in the last year and half, I have been drawn to different parts of their story. 

Recently, it's been all about their time in the desert.  What did they do there?  What did they not do there?  How long were they there?  Why were they there?  And my most pressing question, where was God while they were there? 

So God, in His overwhelming kindness, reassured me with this verse the other day:

"He led you through the vast and dreadful desert..." Deuteronomy 8:15

It's what Moses said to the Israelites, God's treasured possession.  He said it to encourage them to always remember what God had done for them.  How He had never left them alone to find their own way.  It's the same words He has used to encourage me, thousands of years later.

We will get through this land of nothingness.  He will lead us through to where He wants us to be at the exact moment we need to be there.  (Just selfishly praying it's not forty years, because well, I'll be really, really old then.)

I choose to believe that, even especially when I got nothing.

I trust you, God.  Period.

"But be assured today that the LORD your God is the One who goes across ahead of you like a devouring fire."
Deuternonomy 9:3a

Friday, April 19, 2013


I found a little note yesterday.  I uncovered it in a stack of papers as I was tidying up a cluttered corner of my desk. 

It only took a second to remember the day my five-year-old wrote it.  The same child who can't seem to resist a cube-shaped stack of brightly colored sticky notes and some glue.  The same child who has recently started leaving us notes in special places hidden around the house.

We've been studying Asia for the past few weeks here at home.  Along with the land and the culture, we've read stories and accounts of people who'd been called and who'd given their lives to serve in various countries such as India and China.  Amazing people such as Amy Carmichael and Gladys Aylward. 

On this particular day, we were watching a quick video about Asia, specifically the unreached people groups in hard-to-reach, never-heard-of places on this continent.

Several minutes into the video I heard, "How do you spell 'people'?"


I didn't ask what she was doing.  I confess I was too preoccupied, eyes to the screen, and so was my oldest daughter.

The result: 
She's right.  We do. 

From the horror in Boston to the tragedy in Texas this week.  We do.
From the conversations I had with my sweet friends last night at the ballfield.  We do.
From the moment we're born, to the moment we take our last breath.  We do.

We want to be independent.  We want to have control.  We want to handle things on our own.  We want to be self-sufficient.

But we can't.

We need Jesus.  And He knows it.

Two of my favorite verses in scripture:

When Jesus says,

"Apart from Me you can do nothing."
John 15:5

and when Paul writes,

"I can do everything through Him who gives me strength." Philippians 4:13

Both are true.  Put them together and it's like two sticks of dynamite, creating a powerful explosion in our spirits.

Apart from Jesus, we cannot do a thing.  But with Him, we can do anything.  We are self-sufficient because of His sufficiency.

We do need Jesus.  Will you declare that fact today with me?

In the midst of difficulties, in the midst of stress, in the midst of pain and uncertainty, we need Him.

Father, I pray for my friends who are reading this today.  Those who are dealing with smaller issues and those who have bigger complexities to face.  Those who need to be saved by You and those who need provisions from You.  I pray each one of us will humble ourselves and declare that we need You.  It doesn't mean we are weak.  It means we know and go to the One who has ultimate strength to carry us and our burdens.  Amen.

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