Sunday, September 11, 2016

It Took 4 Years

Since that day, I have a grand list of life occurrences that have taken place. Since that day, I have rested my head at 8 different addresses. Since that day, I have applauded my husband’s accomplishments in completing his masters and excelling in leadership in his field. Since that day, I, too, have attained my masters and am finally employed in a position where I am serving people with my talents. Since that day, I have owned at minimum 12 pets. Since that day, I have held employment at 8 different establishments. Since that day, I have owned no less than 10 cell phones. Since that day, I have driven 5 different cars. Since that day, I have had at least 20 different hair styles. Since that day, I have lost my mother and both of her parents. Since that day, my husband’s parents have divorced and remarried. Since that day, my husband has survived 4 life-threatening experiences. Since that day, my house has flooded twice. Since that day, cancer has taken many people dear to me. Since that day, I have had a scare with that beast myself. Since that day, I have had 3 pregnancies. And on that day in 2012, one came to an end.

I said goodbye to a dream. I accepted the not now or maybe later. I grieved the death of a child that I never got to hold. I curled up in the lap of my Heavenly Father and wept on his chest as he held me and told me that He hurt with me. I was showered with love by others, which were extensions of His mercy and grace upon me as I was not allowed to walk this alone.

Yet, today, as I watch the 15 year memorial on the History Channel of September 11 in our great nation’s history, my frailty resurfaces and I am aware that there is still more grieving to take place and there is so much more going on in my world than my selfish obsessions. God, in all his great patience (15 years and more) is awaiting my response to His call to action. There are people who have also lived at 8 or more addresses since September 11, 2001. There are people who have juggled more than 8 jobs since then because they had to, not because of choice like myself. There are people who have not driven a car at all because they cannot afford one. There are people who lost multiple loved ones that day and are still not sure about life after death. Yet, here I sit in my own pity party wondering what I am to do next when all the while, I hold the answer. I know what happens next.

Since that day, I have seen God move our family through His leading into each of these new addresses and I have rejoiced in the excitement and deliverance each time - EACH TIME. Since that day, I have seen my husband thrive in the education of the church and in turn pour out his wisdom to others as he strives to serve people. Since that day, I have seen God give me the ability to juggle 2 children, teaching, coaching, and leading a small group all while getting my master’s degree. Since that day, I have watched my mother pass AND I, YES I, got to say goodbye unlike the over 3000+ families that did not get that closure.

This day is so much harder for me since 2012. I should have a 3 year old to tuck in tonight. I should be packing 3 lunches for school tomorrow. I should lay out 3 outfits. I should be outside practicing with training wheels again. But I am not and it is good. Now here is where I am.

For nearly 4 years, I have been in deep conversation with God about accepting this desire of my heart and discovering how else He intends to fulfill it. Here is my reality that He is finally getting through to me. He is not going to fulfill this desire. He is not.

Did you just catch your breath as well?

For 4+ years, I have been trusting God to fulfill the desire of my heart for more children to care for and I have been creating different ways for this desire to transpire. I just know He wants me to share our loving family with other children. If I cannot birth another one, than we must adopt. A foreign adoption makes so much sense as we will be able to give a child in an impoverished land a greater opportunity to know God, to know family, to know their abilities, to thrive.

But we didn’t raise enough money…and then we moved…and our situations shifted…but I still tried to make my vision His vision.

We will foster and that will most likely lead to adoption and oh how God will be honored through this experience. We went through the classes. We met all the requirements. We got a house with enough room. We found excitement. We got a placement.

They were beautiful babies that I fell in love with instantly. But this was not what God wanted for our family. So he took things in which I had found security and stability and caused them to create great instability and anguish in my own personal being. I cried so much. At the time, I thought my tears were from exhaustion and fatigue. Now, I know. They were tears of grieving.

I grieved not only the realization that we could not keep these children in our lives, but that God was painfully telling me what He had been trying to tell me all along. The desire of my heart for my life are my desires and not His. My heart was bleeding for His broken and fallen world and that gave Him great joy. Yet, the calling I was trying to call myself to answer was not His voice, but only my own.
How can you do the things I long for you to do when you keep trying to do everyone else’s assignment, Jodi? Why are you weary? Because you are trying to be anybody but who I designed you to be. Be still and listen.

That baby you carried for 11 weeks was a creation that I made and I allowed you to experience because you so desired that feeling once more. Yet, if I had allowed that baby, with the conditions that were present, to come into your life, your hands would be tied to not do other things I have designed you to do.

This baby you sought to adopt from a foreign land; a land full of MY PEOPLE that I have formed and have a greater love for than you will ever be able to experience; that baby would also take time away from your sharpening of your gifts. These precious little ones need so much more than you can give right now, Jodi. I did not desire to watch you weep with the agony of despair and failure that I know you to experience.

I gave you two at an age you requested and I knew your heart would be one with their’s immediately, because I know YOU. I formed you and I know how you tick. I gave in and allowed you to weep with agony and despair and the feeling of failure that you experienced as things did not line up for you to keep these two precious ones that I also spoke into existence. I gave in to your continual pleas as I knew you had come to a place where you needed to see for yourself what I was trying to speak over you so many times before.

Now, do you hear me? I love you more than you will ever comprehend. I have plans for you to prosper. I have given you a spirit of power and self-worth. The world has sought to tear you down, but I have come to restore you and pick you up out of the mire. I have come to watch you spark a flame and eventually become a blazing fire that draws people to my name. I am holding you now and steadying your gait as fear seeks to wrap your feet like cement and prevent them from taking even one step further.

Begin the plunge back into my Word and hide it in your heart as the world will now more readily attack your vulnerability. Reach out for my promises and close your ears to the chiding and laughter and discouragement. Remember that the same heart I gave you to love those babies is the same heart that now needs to love the offspring of those who were devastated by life and are just not sure I am real and I am here. That same heart that you had to rescue those in another land where prosperity is limited is the heart I want you to use to recognize the absence of prosperity everywhere and bring that awareness to my throne. Let me hear you speak of what you see as I see you trust me to deliver just as I have delivered you.

Though you are acknowledging the difference in my vision and your vision, I am completely OK with your grieving resurfacing. I created you. I made you an emotional being. I expect you to feel and I long for you to let me be a part of that process - even if it means that you look at me with those eyes of great disappointment. I only wish I could get through to you sooner so that this is not so painful. Too often I have seen you dream wild and freely only to have it crash. I want you to dream and I want you to run without fear towards impossible goals, but I want them to be the goals I HAVE for you because they are THE BEST.

Since that day, I have watched the widows and orphans increase and the care for them fluctuate. Since that day, I have watched people release their linked arms and begin to fill with hate again. Since that day, I have watched people live like tomorrow is given even though you watched with intense awareness that it is not. Since that day, cancer still attacks. Since that day, terrorists still lurk. Since that day, jealousy still eats the flesh and the Sabbath is no longer holy. Since that day, my heart for my people has only grown more sorrowful and my army of men and women of faith is depleting into a weak and self-absorbed sit-in. Where are you? I go before you and I stand behind and I am always by your side. I reign forever. It will take my angel armies to help you, but if you trust me, they will come. Since that day, I have been waiting on you to see MY BEST FOR YOU. Trust that just as I was with Caleb and Joshua, I will also be with you.

May you never forget…again.

(No this is not my foot...but maybe it should be)