Monday, February 8, 2016

Look What God Can Do!

Here is my story that I read at the Created for Care retreat this weekend.  My prayer is that if you are someone going through hard things right now that you read this and feel the presence of our Lord.
That you know that He is there.....
"Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, 
and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."  
Joshua 1:9

 That you know that He did not turn his back on you....
The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save: he will rejoice over you with gladness: he will quiet you by his love: he will exalt over you with loud singing." 
Zephaniah 3:17

He is waiting for you to turn to Him and trust Him with everything you've got...
"Behold, I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears my voice and opens that door, 
I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me."  
Revelation 3:20

All that He is waiting for is for you to simply follow him.....
"I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, 
but will have the light of life." 
John 8:12

There was once a time in my life where I had no understating of what faith was.  It was a very dark time filled with anger and bitterness and I don't every want to live that year again.

Some of you know that 8 years ago while I was 5 1/2 months pregnant with our twin girls, Avery Love and Grace Louise, I heard the four words that will haunt me for the rest of my life.......
"We have no heartbeat."
I was devastated to say the least. The pain that entered my heart at that moment was nothing that I have every experienced.  Nor ever wanted to feel again. It was a physical pressure in my heart that would cause me to weep uncontrollably-
My heart was and still is broken. 
I would never be the same.

And then later that year while 3 months pregnant those same four words came haunting me again as I suffered a miscarriage.  I did not understand the pain that was happening or why I was having to endure this again.  I was angry, at everyone.  I was bitter with every family & friend around me. To see another women pregnant was just a stab into my already broken heart.  I was filled with emotions that I had no clue how to navigate and continuously turned away from God to cope.
After all, I thought He had turned away from me.
He couldn't of existed and allowed things like this to happen.

In 2009 our little miracle came as we welcomed our son into this world!  Overcome with joy is an understatement but that joy quickly turned to heartache as he was rushed to the local Children's Hospital for an issue with his spine.  I vividly remember the moment that we received his diagnosis of Spina Bifida.  We were at the nurses station in the NICU and our neurologist was patiently trying to show us his scans and explain to us his diagnosis.  It was a complete blur.  I barely remember what he said.  But what I do remember is feeling something that I had never felt before.  It was a physical presence of our Lord.
Almost as if he placed his arm on my shoulder and said, "Just watch what I can do."
I knew at that moment I was at a crossroads and could very much see clearly what those two paths would be.
There was a path filled with anger, despair, pity and depression.
There was a path filled with faith, trust, joy and love.  

I found myself asking myself, "What kind of mom did I really want to be?"

Needless to say, I am here standing before you saying that I chose the path of faith, trust, joy and love. I chose and to embrace His perfection......not my own interpretation as to what my perfect life should be.

Today a boy that we didn't even know would walk, runs through my house everyday.  He beat every text book and google search. His birth saved me and opened my heart to big real faith. It was very clear that God gave him to us because we needed him in our life just as much as he needed us as parents.
Each day and he grew stronger I constantly found myself saying, "Look what God can do."

Fast forward to May of 2015 as we are in China meeting our almost 2 year old daughter for the first time. It was certainly not the moment we had romanticized about as we all know how "Gotcha Days" really go.  With great training from our agency we were supposed to be prepared for this but all the training in the world could not have protected my heart from the same anxious feelings to creep back in. For doubt and fear to consume me in those first 24 hours. We were faced with a child who could barely hold her head up, screamed at the sight of my husband, teeth grinding and such fierce anxiety that we thought she was having seizures.  Our first night together was filled with many tears.  Tears from both of us.
I was scared and actually thought to myself, What have we done?
We are crazy!  (But aren't we all adoptive moms actually crazy??)

I cried out to God and prayed for my heart to fill with peace with our new life.  I needed to be broken again in order to fully depend on Him.  After all, he has already told me "Just watch what I can do."
And he fulfilled His promise to me. 
He showed me that he was always there. 
He never left my side even when I felt all alone or tried to leave Him.

Our daughter has now been home for 8 months and I could not imagine our family without our little Asian love.  She is my sidekick and certainly has had no problem catching up in the past few months.  That once timid weak anxiety filled little girl is now thriving!  A little girl who could barely hold her own head up just a short 8 months ago now runs through my house and holds nightly dance parties. 

As Psalm 40 says, 
"I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard me cry.  
He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; 
he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand."

Just look what He can do!