The Five of Us, Spring 2014

The Five of Us, Spring 2014

God Spoke To Me

I'm about to admit something that will perk up some of your curiosity and make this blog all the more interesting to you. But, which will also cause some of you to think I'm a flake (or worse) and leave me forever.

We're.... (gasp).... Charismatics. Not Charismaniacs, but we do believe that God is still involved in this world, and will, from time to time, speak to His people through His people. We believe in the gifts of speaking in tongues and prophecy as described in the Bible.

In fact, I believe in them so much, that I have longed and asked for God to speak to me directly, in a way that is clearly Him. Not that not getting that would diminish my faith in Him or love for Him in any way, just that when you have an ethereal, spiritual being as your Father/Lover/King/Friend/Savior/God, it's nice when He is a little more "obvious" occasionally. So, last night (or maybe throughout the day yesterday), He spoke to me.

Our church is hosting a Hope for the City campaign throughout this month and to kick it off, we "imported" a worship team that happen to be a family as well (or maybe the other way around!). If you're like me, you may be tempted to think that a family gig would be a little uncool. And, like me, you'd be way off the mark in this case. But, their coolness is really beside the point. Because it was a special event, Aaron and I felt a special impetus to attend. So, with the Poxy Punk being quarantined, we tag-teamed the two services. Aaron went to the early service, sped home, TAG, and I sped to the second service. I was only about 25 minutes late! Uugh!

I didn't get to be a part of much of the music-as-worship part of the service, but the part I was able to participate in brought me right up to the presence of God. I felt that I encountered His beauty there that morning. Then, the father of the family, Timothy Carr, gave a message on the spirit of adoption (I don't think he had any idea, really, that November is National Adoption Month!). His main thrust seemed to be that religion is about performing in a certain way, but God calls us into relationship as his sons and daughters where performance isn't the issue anymore--intimacy is. Many human parents emphasize performance over intimacy, and we carry that into our relations with God. That has certainly been the case in my life. I come from a very religious background (back when I was a kid, I "asked Jesus into my heart" oodles of times, and when I didn't "feel" him there, I tried to "perform" Him into my life by reading my Bible or praying or whatever) and it's difficult not to slip back into that.

The point of the message that most hit home for me, though, was "The trials God allows in our lives are not to teach us to perform a certain way, but to teach us to depend on God, to bring us into further intimacy with Him." Now, this is not a novel concept to me; I've probably said it to others, in fact! But, you probably wouldn't look at my life and my heart and say, "Oh, I see! God allows trials to bring intimacy!" If you had to know God by looking at me, you'd probably think that it is about getting things right. The truth is that He just plain delights in us, right or wrong. He just wants to draw us close to Him.

Most mornings Punk gets up first and A makes him some breakfast. My boys cherish this time alone with each other. When Pea wakes up and threatens that intimacy, Punk can go a little berserk (low blood sugar!). So, we've devised a way to smooth things over. Pea climbs in bed with me for a little snuggle. It's the best way in the world for me to wake up, feeling her warm body and cold toes! Smelling her hair. Holding her close, just being, just loving. Not because she "passed some test" or did anything right, just because she's mine. I think that's probably the closest we're going to get to loving like God loves.

So, after the service formally ended, the band kept playing and worshipping and I stole a few moments to stay and enter in. After a while, the mom of the band came and prayed with me. The theme of her prayer seemed to be "belonging." Do you ever have that feeling that you're trying to find that place you fit? Like when my kids play with puzzles and they try all the different possibilities and then, tada!, the piece fits! I've found very few of those places in my life. One is with my husband and I'm so grateful for that. Most other areas of my life, though, are imperfect fits. They work, but it's not a "tada!" kind of fit. But, there's something about God that is a perfect fit. There is belonging in Him. A member of His family. Designed with His purpose. This moment in prayer was good and helpful in nudging me into God, but it wasn't that plain-as-day obvious, God-is-speaking-straight-to-my-heart kind of moment.

During the afternoon, Aaron and I chatted about what we'd gotten out of the morning's service. We were both thinking about our time in WI. It was so blatantly obvious to us that God had wanted us there, but the next steps were kind of vague. When Aaron began keenly missing his engineering, I felt that the Lord was telling me to stay out of it, that it was something He was doing in A that the two of them needed to work out. So, I resolved to submit to the Lord by submitting to A's decision. While I would offer perspective and input, I would follow A's lead. In the beginning, I thought this meant that God would convince Aaron that we were in the right place, doing the right thing. But, Aaron's drive to return to the technology industry did not abate and he felt that God was allowing him to look for a new position. At this time, Aaron began feeling there may be something wrong with him (because he didn't care enough for the orphans or something) and like he was "failing the test." And, while I knew I was doing what God told me to do by staying out of it, I feared Aaron might be making a mistake too (which was okay with me, because I'm convinced that God is bigger than any mistake we might make and I didn't think that A was being rebellious).

When we found our way to NC, however, it wasn't quite like I'd imagined. I thought that things would be different here, that we would suddenly discover why we'd given up everything to go to WI and why we had moved on, but it's still unclear. I even have said, "Well, maybe it was just a test of our willingness to obey." Discussing all this with Aaron yesterday, with the new perspective given through the message that morning, we concluded that it wasn't about passing any test! It was about getting closer to God. Which we did. In some unexpected ways!

Then, there was also a special event yesterday evening to wrap up with the special guests. Aaron was gracious enough to let me go while he stayed home with the contagion. This was mostly a time of worship-through-music and as things were winding down, the band invited anyone who wanted more of God to come forward and be prayed for. So, I did.

After a short while, a fellow I don't know yet, but who is a part of our church, came up and said that he felt that God had given him a word for me. And, the word was "resolve." Now, resolve can me a settling of loose ends or it can mean a determination, so I didn't immediately know where this was going. This fellow said that he had the feeling that perhaps others had misunderstood what God had meant when He put this resolve in me and that they might have called it stubbornness. I don't consider myself overly stubborn, nor do I think stubbornness is necessarily a negative thing. But, the man went on to say that any woundedness over this misunderstanding God was going to heal up and that he was going to clarify the purpose of this aspect of my personality. Maybe even that God would clarify (resolve?!) my purpose, my vision, my reason for being here on earth. He also seemed to imply that this clarified reason for being would require a strength and resolve that has been perhaps somewhat latent. Then, right before he left me, the man said that this was all coming quickly and that before the next turn of the calendar, it would be clear, resolved.

Now, all of this is very interesting to me and I can see how it might apply to my life, but it didn't hit me at the juncture of my most pressing needs. Still, I'm curious about it and interested to see how (and whether!) God brings this about.

A few moments after this fellow left me, Timothy came to me. He put his hands on me and prayed under his breath for a few short moments and then said, "A couple of months ago, you were at a crossroads, and God is saying, 'You chose well. You did the right thing. You didn't fail.'" Well, friends and e-stalkers, there are tears erupting from my heart again as I write this. It doesn't get any more poignant and personal than that. Timothy couldn't have overheard my afternoon conversation with Aaron, but God did. How sweet it is to have Him affirm that we--I-- didn't fail Him! That we are on the right track! Timothy went on to say that we are (I am?) now primed and in position for what He's doing next (the resolve?) and that He's bringing me into a place of greater security in Him, a place where He'll be romancing me all the more (can I hear a Hallelujah!?!). There will be times of going into hurts from the past (I may have physically shook my head, "No" at this point!), but it's okay because He'll heal them and increase my security in Him through the process. In all, I got the impression from what Timothy was saying that, "God is pleased with you right where you're at and greater things are coming."

So, belonging-resolve-security... they all do seem to correlate. I honestly have no real idea of what God is up to, but I'm excited for it! And, I'll keep you posted!

1 comments:

DeniseinSC said...

What a blessing to read and to start my day with. It's so great to see God working in lives...!! Love, Denise :)

My Man and Me

My Man and Me
married 7/7/2001

Punk

Punk
ours through biology, born 7/25/2004, home 8/1/2004

Pea

Pea
ours through adoption from Liberia, West Africa, born 7/15/2005, home 10/25/2007

Pup

Pup
ours through domestic adoption, born 1/15/2011, home 2/10/2011, final 8/3/2011

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Round Two Timeline

  • 9/24/08 Home study update home visit for Ghana adoption
  • 10/15/08 Dossier sent to AOHG
  • 10/15/08 I600A application sent to USCIS
  • 10/30/08 First heard about possible domestic private adoption
  • 11/18/08 Last spoke with contact about possible domestic adoption; expected to hear back about meeting with birthmother
  • 12/3/08 Withdrew application from AOHG
  • 1/6/09 Found out another family had been chosen for possible domestic adoption
  • 1/21/09 USCIS fingerprinting appointment
  • 1/8/09 Received USCIS fingerprinting appointment notice
  • 4/11/09 Sent Pre-Application to Covenant Care Adoptions for Domestic Infant Adoption program
  • 6/8/09 Social worker visit to update home study from International to Domestic
  • 7/24/09 Received completed home study update
  • 8/25/09 Went "on the list" for birthfamilies to choose from
  • 4/28/10 Found out a birth mom had chosen us
  • 5/8/10 Met the birth mom
  • 5/11/10 Got the call that birth mom changed her mind
  • 5/19/10 Birth mom's scheduled c-section
  • 11/30/10 Visit from DSS sw about foster parenting
  • 11/30/10 Got the call that another birth mom had chosen us
  • 12/21/10 Met with the birth mom
  • 1/15/11 @1:42 PM BB was born!
  • 1/19/11 ICPC (interstate) paperwork sent to GA for approval
  • 1/31/11 ICPC Clearance Approved
  • 2/10/11 Placement Ceremony and Pup comes home!!!!
  • 8/3/11 It's Official! Pup's Adoption Decree was issued