Q: I don’t know if we will ever be in your shoes, but I would like that very much. I have been wondering if it would be much easier, emotionally, if we were to save the money to adopt before picking a child so that there wouldn’t be such an amazing pull there already. I have read of families not getting there in time, or someone else was already promised that child…I guess I am wondering if my heart would be more guarded if I could just have the money, show up with it in hand, and pick the child the Lord would want for us at that point. Who knows if this is all even possible…it’s a lot of money for us and my husband has not been poring over the several adoption blogs I have and gotten bitten by this adoption bug personally. ~Kim, in a comment to this blog
A: These are such thoughtful ponderings, Kim. Thank you for voicing them here.
These truly are significant issues. What I say in response will necessarily be heavily influenced by how God has been writing our story, as well as by what we have been learning along the way. This isn’t because ours is the only way, but because ours is the one we know best.
Before I go on to address your specific questions in future posts, I want to lay some groundwork in this one.
Last year was a challenging one for our family. We now have the ability to look back on it and judge it as a whole. What we can clearly see from this perspective is that while we were looking ahead to the difficulties, or looking back on the difficulties, they felt much more overwhelming than they were when we were right there in the midst of them. In purely human terms, when I imagined what was ahead, I wondered how in the world we would do it. Looking back, again in purely human terms, I wondered how in the world we did it.
But when we were right there facing the hardness in the present tense, God was also right there in the present tense with His grace. He met every need, often before we could ask. He bore us up in palpable, unmistakable ways. It was hard, but it simply did not feel as hard in the present tense as it did in the future or past tenses. There were very few exceptions to this in the whole year. I could list those half-a-dozen exceptions for you right now and explain how we have seen God use them for a far greater good.
You know, He commands us so many times in His Word not to fear. But He doesn’t just give the command! He Himself removes our fear and distrust and gives us the gift of faith! He has His ways of purifying His people’s faith until we don’t have faith in anything but Himself. Not faith in outcomes, not faith in our financial, emotional, or any other resources, not faith in possibilities, not faith in our own ability to have faith!
He knows exactly how to train each of us to walk in faith instead of fear.
He is able to dramatically sweep away our fears. He has done that for me at certain points.
But most of the time, He trains us by giving us increasingly complex and difficult tasks, until we reach our limits. As we stare impossibility in the face, we cry out to Him to give us what we need to obey Him. He of course does give us what we need, and He grows that much bigger in our eyes. The next time, He turns up the intensity. The task is greater, more difficult, more vital. We cry out for help, and He helps us. He has just grown greater in our eyes again! Each time, the task grows bigger and more impossible, the stakes grow higher. Each time He goes before us and does the impossible, and we grow less fearful and more confident in Him. We’re somewhere in this stage. Sometimes our first reaction is still fear. More and more, though, it is faith.
And we believe that one of God’s goals for us is that we greet each next impossible task with fearless anticipation. Unafraid of the pain and hardness, even glorying in them, because we know He will show His greatness all the more against that dark backdrop.
Oh, may He never stop increasing our faith! Because no matter how our faith grows, it can never be as great as He is!