do what is clearly set before you

a few weeks ago at church, a missionary spoke about his life. he said to just daily do what is set clearly before you. this is how we can know we are doing God’s will. this sounds so simple, but what if there are a million things set clearly before you? what if there are just two or three things, but all two or three seem worthy of your time and effort? how do you decipher what is important and what isn’t?

i started this post on september 1, 2005. for some reason i got stuck and couldn’t get past that first paragraph. i wasn’t just stuck with this blog, but with my life too. earlier this year i started what i thought would be my career. it could have been very lucrative. it would have given me great success, lots of money, cars, a big house, etc. it would have also taken very valuable time away from my family. and the money, the cars, the house, will all amount to nothing when Jesus returns. but, it still made so much sense. or did it. on september 1, it wasn’t all that clear.

on september 1 we had already made the decision to adopt, but where? public, private? from ohio, from another state? i even wondered if maybe we should adopt from another country. nothing seemed to be clear.

now, almost two months later. i get it. the questions are gone. doing what is clearly set before me no longer seems like a mystery.

God does set things clearly before us. sometimes, when faced with many “things”, most of them seem gray, but 99% of the time, one will be very black and white. very clear. there can be literally a million things flying at you all at one time, but God can very easily show you which one He wants you to grab on to. which one He wants you to follow.

when you are in His will, you will know it. when you are daily surrendering, worshipping, praying, singing, dying to yourself, God sometimes walks right in your room and gives you an answer. He sits next to you in the car and holds your hand. He whispers, or even sometimes yells through His Word, or a song, or another person, or a part of nature. He sets out stepping stones, all lined up, and all you have to do is walk on them(thanks to my earthly father for this visualization).

i am walking. and He is revealing. He has made it all so clear.

if you are having trouble doing what is clearly set before you because it doesn’t seem to be clear, let go of yourself. step out on that first stone. move forward. hold on to Him. where He will take you is beautiful.

three men and a little lady

many of you know that over the past two years, i have learned a great deal about God, my husband, my world, myself. i am overwhelmed with all i have learned. overwhelmed by the grace of God in my life. i am moved to tears with the mere thought of some of the things He has taught me.

i realized just a couple of weeks ago that while i have always, since age 5, been a Christian, i am now just beginning to grasp exactly what that means, for me. i always knew i would marry a Christian. i knew i would somehow be involved in a church. i knew i would be a mom. i had no idea that i would marry a man who would become a leader in the church. a sought after leader. an answer to a church’s prayer for a leader. i had no idea that church would become so much a part of my life. that i would live for Sundays. that i would feel i couldn’t make it through a week if i hadn’t first attended church at the start of that week. i had no idea that i would be infertile. that God would replace my desire to birth children into a desire to love children that were birthed from someone else. i had no idea that my desire to gradually grow my family would turn into a desire to gain a whole family overnight.

we entered into this adoption “thing” hoping to find one child. ah, maybe two. well, maybe three. four? sure, we’ll take four.

we have found a possible match. three little boys and their little sister. i can’t share many details here, for the sake of privacy, for their lives, and ours, at this point. much has to happen before we will know if they are meant to be our children. much that will take a great deal of patience and grace on our part. trust in the process. trust in God that if they aren’t meant to be ours, He has an even better place for them.

we are a little scared. a little overwhelmed. but, really excited.

four.

sounds difficult, busy, tiring, challenging.

exciting, fun, joyful, loving.

sounds like a possible answer to prayer. a prayer that started one night, two years ago this month. or maybe it started twenty years ago, give or take a few, when i knew without a doubt that God made me to be a mother. and maybe that prayer was added to when He showed me that the children didn’t have to be my own for me to love them like they were my own. maybe that love started when He first loved me. before He knit me together in my mother’s womb. before time began.

three men and a little lady. can you believe it? part of us can’t believe it either. but, it might happen. it just might happen.

sara and sarah

groves and well, i am going to keep this name to myself for privacy reasons.

sara is my favorite Christian music artist.

sarah is our social worker.

sara had a concert with jars of clay and donald miller on sunday the 16th.

sarah came over for our first homecall on tuesday the 18th.

sara is from minneapolis, minnesota.

sarah is from an adoption agency.

sara helps me grow in my faith.

sarah is helping to grow my family.

both are Christians.

sara sings to me about her faith.

sarah and i were able to talk about our faith.

sara has helped me with words like,
this is the ONE thing i know You said You won’t let me go.

i keep wanting You to be fair, but that not what You said.
i want certain answers to these prayers, but that’s not what You said.
when i get to Heaven, i want to go find Job, i want to ask a few hard questions,
i want to know what he knows about what it is he wanted
and what he got instead
and how to be broken and faithful.
what i thought i wanted and what i got instead leaves me broken and grateful.

it’s going to be alright, i believe you’ll outlive this pain in you heart,
and you’ll gain such a strength from what is tearing you apart.
when some time has passed us, and the story if retold,
it will mirror the strength and the courage in your soul.

we come with purposes written on our hearts, written on our souls.
and i want to add to the beauty to tell a better story.
i want to shine with the light that’s burning up inside.

when sorrow fills your life, when in your grief and pain,
you choose again to rise, you choose to bless the Name.

sit with me and tell me once again, of the story that’s been told us,
of the power that will hold us. of the beauty, of the beauty
why it matters.

on the 16th, i was able to talk with sara about how the above lyrics have impacted my life,especially over the past two years. she seemed truly grateful to know the gifts the Lord has given her are really enabling her to do His work. through her lyrics, i know it is really the Lord speaking to me.

sarah has helped me with words like,
we are going to do our best to match you with the children you are supposed
to have. it’s so exciting to see you open to adoption and God’s plan for your life.

sara and sarah.

same name, different spelling.

different jobs, same purpose. to bring glory to the Lord.

both involved in my life, one directly, one indirectly.

both an answer to prayer, prayers i never knew i would pray.

but God did, and He knew the answers.

excited…and scared

do you know that feeling? butterflies in your stomach because of excitement and fear? did you ever notice that those two emotions often trigger the same feelings in your body?

remember the first day of school? at any age, the feelings are the same. remember your first day on a new job? moving? new house, new neighborhood, new school, new friends, new church? remember your wedding day? your wedding night? anything new. anything unknown.

exciting and scary, all at the same time.

i feel that way about becoming a mom. maybe it’s not that i am afraid of becoming a mom, but the way i am becoming a mom. there are so many unknowns. if i were pregnant, i’d have a few months to prepare. i’d have a new baby that would learn most new things from me. a child that had no outside influences until i allowed them. a child that would not be exposed to the bad in this world because i would protect it for as long as i could.

my children however aren’t starting with me. someone else gave them their start, and it likely wasn’t good. otherwise they wouldn’t need me. what have they been exposed to? who has hurt them? how badly have they been hurt? can i help them heal?

it could happen sooner than we think. me becoming a mom. talk about scary and exciting! if we go through a public agency we are looking into, we would start training november 4th and be finished december 17th. if we are matched with children, they could start visiting with us, even while we’re in training. and then once we’re finished, they would come home. to me.

what if they don’t like me?

what if i don’t have what it takes?

what if i can’t do it?

“for God has not given us a spirit of FEAR,
but of POWER and LOVE and SOUND MIND.”
II timothy 1:7

it is HE who dwells in me.

in Him there is no fear.

in me, there can be no fear.

faith and fear cannot occupy the same space.

“I took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you. I said, ‘You are MY servant’; I have chosen you and have not rejected you. so do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
isaiah 41:9-10