Something has stirred in my soul that I can't quite explain. With each child we set out to adopt, we say 'it's the last adoption.' While we (maybe tongue & cheek) say 'as many as the Lord calls us to'. And, well, we honestly mean both statements if that's at all possible. In the flesh, we only ever wanted one child. So in the flesh, we keep thinking we are personally not making plans for another. Yet, God intervenes into the thoughts and plans of man and stretches us a little further each time, challenging us (for His Kingdom) a little more each time. Each time He calls us to add to our family, at first, my heart is hard. I go through the 'no' list. And the no's are very reasonably validated. No money, no time, no room, no patients, my pride (what will people say?), we stand out enough! But, my no-list slowly dwindles over time.
Pastor hit me with a doozy one Sunday. I'm pretty sure it was around summer time. We dress casual at our little church. And so his suit seemed to stand out that day as we passed in the foyer. But, then, when he got up to preach, he had added a Christmas tie and a ball cap to his attire. And if that was not enough to strike peculiar glares, he stood up on the front pew. Yes, our crazy little pastor was standing on the pew which caused us all to wonder 'what is he doing now?' and then he began to yell. We were all either laughing or had heads cocked because, to be honest, it made us all a little uncomfortable. But if I know our pastor, I'm pretty sure that was his point. He wanted us to squirm in our pews. He began to preach on John the Baptist. He began to tell us that we, like John, need to stand out for Christ. And that is when I knew. I knew I had wanted to follow Christ as long....as long as I fit in. And here, in this place, with all my kids and homeschooling, I stood out and it made me uncomfortable. So even then as God was calling me to add to my family, I had been struggling with it for months. That day, I laid my pride aside and began a deeper journey of a life surrendered to our Lord.
It was some time before the Lord showed us our next child. Our newest daughter, Joy, is now home. But on that Sunday in Church, it was not necessarily Joy that the Lord spoke to me about. It was about a heart surrendered, a life surrendered. Not just one more child. But my whole life given over to His service. I know in my heart, somewhere there could be another child waiting. And if so, I'm okay with that, already. So as we move forward in a life surrendered, we wait. We sit and we wait and see what God has in store.
And since Joy came home, I have a peace I've never known in my entire life and maybe that is why her middle name is Ning Guo (peaceful fortress). I have a peace that all is well. That God really, really does orchestrate events for those he's called, those he predestined.
A few Sundays ago, all my children and two teens were sitting with me at church. I looked up and down the row of seven children and my heart swelled with a pride and a peace that only comes from God.
I was walking in a field looking for horses with eight young ladies this weekend and as they raced ahead of me giggling, again that swelling of pride and peace occurred once more in my heart.