Sunday, August 30, 2015

Where my Trust is without borders

Note: this blog post was intended to be all about our home study visit that happened yesterday, but I just couldn't get myself to push this other post out of the way.  For those of you anxiously waiting to hear about the home study visit- I will update on that soon, I promise.  Just know that it went well, and was a nice, informative, encouraging afternoon.

A few weeks back I saw a really cute shirt in one of the fundraising groups I belong to on Facebook that said "Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders"  and had the outline of China printed in the background.   I had never heard this phrase before but I thought it was so fitting for this international adoption process.  I liked it so much I almost ordered it, but I didn't because we're really trying to save money for our adoption, and if I ordered every shirt on that site I loved, I'd have a new wardrobe every week!

Fast forward a few weeks and I found myself in church today, and the worship team started singing a song with the same phrase in it (in hindsight, I'm sure the song is what inspired the shirt idea).  I just can't emphasize enough how closely this song aligns with our adoption journey. (see lyrics and video at the bottom of this page)

We are embarking on the journey I've always known I was meant to take.  From a young age, I knew I was called to adopt, but since James and have been married, I've let my fears convince me that it wasn't the right time.  Well, as I shared in one of my first posts, I was called out by the Holy Spirit in March that I need to TRUST and FOLLOW and let the Lord lead us through this journey.

Shortly after deciding to move forward with the adoption, we knew that we needed to re-balance our schedules and make church attendance a priority in our lives, and have been blessed beyond our imaginations by joining a new church congregation at Madison: North.
Even though I think we've only been able to attend maybe 5 or 6 times total due to summer travel and house guests, I know beyond doubt that this is our church home.

At one of our first visits they had an insert in the bulletin advertising a parenting workshop for parents of adopted children (which I wasn't able to attend, but at least I know I must not be the only adoptive parent in the congregation!)  Since then, one of my close friends has told me her neighbors attend this church, and they have adopted multiple children.  I have yet to meet them, but look forward to that encounter.
Every other time we've been in attendance, the message has spoke directly to something I've had on my heart that day or week, and this morning was no exception.

I decided two weeks ago that I'm going to make a concerted effort to focus my Sundays on gratitude.  I will make every effort to get thank you cards written to those who have shown us help that week, and I will spend time in reflection for the many blessings we have witnessed in our life that week.  It is important for me to do this type of exercise when going through a stressful situation -- it's all to easy to get sucked up into the whining, complaining, fatigue, and annoyances of the endless tasks, paperwork, and fundraising efforts.  However, every time I take a step back and think about the people who have spoken kind words to us, who have said they are praying for us, who have donated money, pop cans, or garage sale items to our cause, I am AMAZED at the love that is being shown.  It is so humbling to think that there are that many people who even think of you, and who are interested in your lives.
It's also important for me to give acknowledgment that God is doing what He said He would-  He is providing a way for us to bring this child home.

This morning I woke up about an hour earlier than I needed to, which is normally something that I find really annoying.  What usually happens is I wake up feeling awake and refreshed, but convince myself to take advantage of more sleep time, so I fall back asleep, only to find myself feeling exhausted and cranky when that alarm goes off.  Today I decided to break that habit, so I got out of bed, came out to the living room, and sat down with my breakfast in front of the window overlooking our yard.  I was amazed at how quiet and still the neighborhood was. I enjoyed taking in the sights and the sounds of a foggy, wet morning after 24 hours of off-and-on rain showers.  The crickets and cicadas were still chirping, and a few birds could be heard in the distance.  I could hear the gentle "drip, drip" of the rain drops falling off of tree limbs, and for a moment, it seemed I was perhaps the only one in the neighborhood awake.  I was overcome with gratitude-  for our house, for our yard, this neighborhood, and again, all of those who have helped get us to this point in our adoption journey.  I also found myself reflecting on the dear Granddaughter of a friend who nearly died in a tragic near-drowning 2 weeks ago today.  Despite original Doctor reports that it may be weeks before she even regained consciousness, and threats of brain damage and a long, long road of recovery, that little girl walked herself right out of the hospital just two days ago-12 days after her accident.  She had thousands of people praying fervently for her, and God has heard our prayers and has saved her for a bright future.  Hallelujah!

Fast forward a couple of hours, and what does Pastor Joy talk about at church?  GRATITUDE.  She challenged us to spend the next two weeks jotting down items each day we are thankful for, and talked about the importance of reflecting on gratitude, even in times of difficulty.  The message was based on 2 Kings 6, and how things are not always as they first appear.  How when God gets involved, our circumstances seem so much different (a fish turns into a feast, a sacrificed man turns into a Risen Savior, a Giant falls at the stone from a slingshot, etc).    Of course my mind immediately added on "and two people from Kentwood, Michigan, will travel across the world to rescue an orphan and bring them back home to show them a lifetime of love and guidance."

So that's all I have for today- I encourage you all to spend time reflecting on the seas in your life you feel are uncrossable, the mountains that seem un-passable?  What is holding you back from taking that step of faith into the unknown?  God has promised us if we put our trust in Him, He will provide, and He will lead us through.  I pray that He might speak to your heart and show you the way to love and trust.

Perhaps God seems far away right now.  Perhaps you feel as though you are sinking in oceans deep, and have no life line in sight to grab onto. Just remember, that even when you can't hear or see God, He is always there.

Here are the lyrics to the song I mentioned above, and a video clip if you'd like to hear the song for yourself:

"Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)"

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You've never failed and You won't start now

So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

Oh, Jesus, you're my God!

I will call upon Your name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine 

"May the Lord bless you and keep you.  May the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you.  May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you Peace."


  1. What a wonderful and inspiring post! Can't wait to hear about the home study and follow this wonderful journey you have started.