Tuesday, November 20, 2012

giving thanks :: day 2 {the promise of completion}

today i introduce you to someone special in my life.  her name is linda.

linda has blessed my family by serving as lucy's small group leader at our church.  she has made such an impact on my girl that we pray for miss linda almost every night.  she was also at the top of lucy's invite list for her birthday party this year...

{that's linda on the right at lucy's party...along with lucy's other leaders from church}
this morning i shed tears over the way that God is blessing someone who has been such a blessing to me.  i had one of those moments when i wanted to go out and cut cartwheels all down the street shouting 'yay God!!' {but i've never really been a good gymnast so this blog post will have to do}.

a couple of things you should know about my friend linda...

{1} God has given her a deep desire in her heart to be a mother.
{2} God has allowed the obstacle of infertility to be part of her story.

now i am not going to spend this post arguing whether or not God {or some other force or being} caused linda and her husband to be unable to conceive a child biologically.  the title of this post is not 'why bad things happen to good people' or anything like that.  these are valid topics of conversation but in this story they are moot points.  see...there is one more thing you should know about linda...

she believes God can be trusted...and so she does...she trusts Him.  with all of this...

linda and her husband, robert, have been praying about the possibility of adoption for years.  as anyone who has prayerfully considered adoption will tell you...God speaks in amazing ways when you approach him concerning this subject.  


for linda and robert the answers weren't completely clear at first but in hindsight they can see how God was guiding them all along.  at first the couple began researching different adoption agencies but doors kept closing, so they moved forward trusting that another one would open.  sometimes that is all we can do...turn our back on a closed door and take those brave first steps towards the next one.


last year linda had the opportunity to try IVF {in vitro fertilization} once her new insurance took effect.  she and robert thought that perhaps with the financial costs of this procedure covered maybe this was the way they were to proceed in growing their family.


that door closed too...and it was a painful one to face.  in linda's own words...this was what it felt like to face two failed rounds of IVF after years of desiring children...



i went through a very difficult time of doubting I knew ANYTHING about God's plan for me...that i had no idea how to hear him or know what i was supposed to do. i was never angry with God, but i questioned myself in many ways...was my faith not right, not strong enough, was i just not listening?  after our second failed round of IVF we took some time to recover, then plowed ahead again, feeling God was leading us towards adoption...

the couple soon found themselves with a conviction to adopt from the czech republic {where robert is from}.  there was one problem...there are no agencies that facilitate adoptions between the u.s. and the czech republic.  there are an estimated 92,000 orphans in the czech republic but it looked like robert and linda were not going to be able to provide a home to a single one of them.

this did not deter linda and robert.  they {along with a few of us privileged enough to be on this journey with them} kept praying.  and while we were all praying there was a little adoption agency in north carolina praying too.  the folks at the agency were feeling led to pilot a new adoption program but they weren't sure where.  amazingly God's answer to the agency's prayer was also an answer to our prayers.  the agency chose the czech republic...linda and robert chose that agency...and to make a long story short...

we are now all praying and waiting for the child {or children} we believe God has already chosen for this couple.  

robert has already traveled to brno with the agency director to help them navigate the czech systems and culture.  i think it is safe to say that this pilot program would not even exist without the prayers and help of linda and robert. 


this morning linda sent a message to let me know that the paperwork has arrived at the appropriate czech agency and now the wait for approval {and then referral} begins.  


it won't be easy.  

it won't be quick.  
it won't happen the way linda dreamed it would when she was a little girl.

but that's what happens when we discover that God is faithful and trustworthy.  we trade our dreams for his.  we let go of the ideas and expectations that have kept our stories so small and so safe...opening ourselves up to a bigger story that He has written specifically for our lives.


in her little girl dreams linda could have never imagined that God would use her to open up an entire country to the possibility of providing homes for tens of thousands of orphans.  she could have never imagined that her relationships with her friends, her family, and her God would be strengthened and deepened through trial and struggle.  she could have never imagined that she would breath these words about her husband...

i have leaned heavily on my husband's faith and prayer life. he is a rock. he has never wavered in knowing we were following the right path, he has "talked me off the ledge" several times when i would get anxious and start questioning everything we were doing. i clung to him, even in ways he is unaware, i stood on HIS faith many times because at times my own seemed so weak. he endured my outbursts, my doubts, my questions with a quiet confidence and assurance. And I KNOW that was God.

and these words about her church...
coming to new charlotte church again reassured me that God was carrying us through this. meeting you, the other ladies, volunteering with the kids, really becoming part of this church family...it is hard for me to explain it clearly, but the connection and the compassion, kindness, support...it was God. i can explain it no other way.

and these words about an unknown future...
even if for some reason God's plan is not for us to be parents, we know that this will be the pathway for SOMEONE, for a child who needs a family, and we actually are comforted in that.   i think that through other ways, he HAS put children in my life, he HAS blessed me with some.  i think specifically about the kids at church, about lucy wanting to invite me to her party though I had no idea she even knew my name, about the little ones who remember me and want to sit next to me or show me something, about my nephews who I adore, about my friends' children...but of course, these make me want to be a mom even more! 

none of these things were part of linda's little girl dreams...


...but they were the dreams of a God who is able to do immeasurably more than we could ever imagine through HIS power at work within us.



today i am particularly thankful for this promise...
...and i claim it for my friend linda.  i can't wait to see where He will carry her next.