Your servant is listening.
Yesterday I called Amanda again in chaos. I can't get this song out of my head...I just keep hearing ''Whatever You're doing ... inside of me...it feels like chaos yet somehow there's peace..." We are still trying to piece it all together...we are seeing signs but this is a big decision that needs to be made fast. Could God really be asking us to do this NOW?. What she said gave me so much clarity. She said "it's not about the timing. Maybe you shouldn't be focused on the timing: Is God asking us to MOVE NOW...maybe you should be asking 'is God telling us this is our little boy?' b/c if this is your child...then you have to move now". The peace that brought was remarkable. I shared it with Dean and it helped him too. We should be praying about this boy...not about the timing.
Also I was reading a friend's blog who just returned home from China tonight with her 2 little children they just adopted. The blog is called "have you heard the salt". I must ask her b/c I have NO idea what it means. However...last night especially I kept hearing "have you heard the salt?" over and over and over. At one point I was cleaning the master bathroom and I remember stopping...looking up and saying "I have ZERO idea what this means...so you are going to have to spell it out for me...SALT!??!"
... Fast forward to this morning...
As we walk into church we were handed our notes AND...are you ready...A SALT PACKET! I'm not joking. I looked at Dean and said "ok you have got to be kidding me..." not b/c of the confusion of a packet of salt on my way to church but b/c of this line that would not stop coming to me last night about 'have you heard the salt'....Pastor Dave explained that the salt was to be used as a reminder this week to stop and pray. So I have a packet of salt in my pocket and this is much more than coincidental. God...seriously...You take a weak, often faithless person and You graciously...graciously show up time and time again..
A big part of my battle with God this week has been "I just wish I could see". I know it's always the battle when you are asked ot step out in faith. I'm a missionary's kid...so I grew up watching my parents living day to day never knowing how next month's mortgage was going to be paid. I'm sure I determined sometime in those young years that I wouldn't be a missionary b/c well...living 'by faith' ... is a little stressful sometimes. It's SO much easier to live a life that you can 'see' what lies ahead. Predictable. Safe. Secure. Ahh. Bliss. See... we planned on adopting again. If you asked us (many many people have...) "are you done" a few weeks ago...we would have said "well we see another adoption a few years down the road. But see this adoption would have been different. God called us ONCE to go totally blind...by faith and wow that was a crazy road. We passed that test right? So next time would have been the comfy route. Work hard. Save up a ton of money. And sacrificially take that money and adopt. A newborn. Avoid a lot of issues, especially RAD. ahh. Bliss. But wait...what...? You are really calling us to another trek out in faith? Just trust you and go? Just jump in...? No idea where the funding will come from. No idea about much...Just trust You? I just want to see...show me a glimpse of how You are going to provide. Show me the final picture so I can look back and go "ah not a problem, it's going to be great...let's do this". No He's asking us to step out in faith...
We walked into church half way through a song...and the first full song we heard was..."Be Thou My Vision". I didn't even look at Dean. I didn't sing. I sat, feeding baby Izrael. With a lump in my throat, my eyes watering...I could see my Father looking down, smiling.
God was answering my cry. I AM your vision. I AM your eyes. You cannot see. I can. Use my eyes. Trust Me.
Pastor Dave spoke this morning on Esther. I was sitting with baited breath to see if he was going to use the verse God gave me weeks ago...but he didn't. Instead he spoke about it without mentioning that particular verse. (but he referred to Jonah, Job and Galations...hmmmm). A book all about God and His hand...with no mention of Him. But don't think He wasn't there and that it's not His works you are reading about. It is all God. He orchestrated all these events that may have appeared like 'coincidence' if you didn't look with faith...you could say "oh look at that...funny!" or you could see it from God's eyes...WOW.
Regarding this little boy...
it's all happened so fast..
~.the way God poked me last Sunday regarding China and a cleft child
~the way I, out of desperation, called Amanda and went for coffee to talk.
~The way she said it was so much like her call to China...her surrender.
~How she asked me about Lifeline. (I had never heard of the agency)
~How that night I went on the waiting list...saw no one for us (looking for a girl!)...
~I called Lisa (from Lifeline) the next morning asking about a little girl with a cleft on a different waiting list...she says no that's only offered to families deep into the adoption process, I tell her we are looking for a girl and she says "have you thought of Ethan or Tommy" I said 'no'. She said "let me just send you their files...look at them and pray" I told her that's fine but we feel strongly about a girl.
~I look at Ethan's file and I could not stop staring at him. I read his story several times. I immediately say to Dean...with scoliosis I wonder if he has Goldenhar Syndrome like Azlan....
~I view his video. I viewed it several times. I viewed it Friday evening AGAIN and the video ENDS with a close up shot of his left ear (he's walking away and the shot ends on his ear...) and I stopped in my tracks. I could see ear tags on his ear. Oh. My. Goodness. He does have Goldenhar. He has the same exact diagnosis as our son. He likely has hearing loss. (Azlan is 100% deaf in his rt ear). My heart was pounding and I felt like God had just hit me over the head with "ARE YOU LISTENING??". Just to make it clear he is NOT diagnosed with Goldenhar.
~His medical file states that he basically has a mysterious assymetrical thoracic cavity. Today I googled that. I have no idea was a 'thorax' is (Sorry all I could think of was the giant LORAX painted on my playroom wall...) and see it's the midsection of the body. I thought...hmmm...I'm sure that's related to Goldenhar. Yes it is. It's one of the symptoms and Azlan has it too. Further confirming the diagnosis. Could God have given us Azlan...for such a time as this?
~He even has this happen over Labor Day wknd so guess what...we don't have the 72 hours to hold his file...we have 5 days as everything is closed til Tuesday. (and He knows how much time we needed!)
~Oh and just to be sure we emailed our accountant to request a letter for the agency stating income (there are income requirements for China adoptions) and this man is amazing but busy. And slow. We usually call him 5 times before anything every gets done. The very next morning he called me! I told him what we needed and he asked (as expected) "Can I do this next week?" I said 'sure'. 30 minutes later my fax rang and he had already faxed me the letter...!
Pastor Dave ended with these three points:
-Watch. (see what is happening, see God in the events...is He speaking to you?)
-Move. (Step out in faith...take action to what He's asking you to do)
It's interesting to add that our church is one week behind. This message was spoken live LAST SUNDAY...we hear it a week later. Last week it wouldn't have had the impact it did today.
My heart immediately softened and all I whispered was "Ok Lord..." and immediately I heard "Speak Lord, your servant is listening". (Samuel).
Last Sunday it was soft whispers. Things that made me go 'hmmmm'. The whispers grew as the week went on. There are no whispers now. God is speaking loud and clear.
I never once thought during the message about this being for Dean. I was only applying it to my own heart. So when we talked after church I was surprised to see how much the message was an answer for him. He said it was as direct as you can get seeing as we had JUST talked about 'signs' and 'dots' and how to connect them. He said tonight that he was seeing this as a very strong 'yes' by Saturday night but after the message...it was pretty crystal clear. I asked about the 'big moment' in our African adoption being how his sister had called us out of the blue mentioning needing a family to adopt the twins...just a few days after we had surrendered to God and asked Him to drop it in our lap if it was from Him. This was a huge 'to top it off moment' of all the things God has given us in the last 7 days. I asked him what he thought of the three final points: Watch, Pray and Move..he looked at me blank and said "I never heard that!!" I knew he hadn't. He was holding Izrael and I was pretty sure he was distracted. So that was a cool moment to tell him how the message ended with a very direct: WATCH, PRAY and MOVE.
Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.
Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.
Be Thou my battle Shield, Sword for the fight;
Be Thou my Dignity, Thou my Delight;
Thou my soul’s Shelter, Thou my high Tower:
Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.
Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.
High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.