Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Consider Yourself Blessed

When you don't have enough of something you need - time, energy, money - consider yourself blessed. Why? Because when you need something that you cannot get for yourself, you're more likely to realize what you actually need the most: Me. You learn to depend on Me.

He sat in the kitchen watching me wash dishes, reading these words. I made him read it twice.

Did you catch that, son? God says to consider it a blessing when you feel like you are lacking. Lacking energy, lacking money, it doesn't matter, really. It's only when you don't have enough that you are able to know Him as Enough! I know it sounds backwards, but it really can be a good place to be. It may feel hard and bad and not any fun at all, but this is good. This is when we best learn to look to Him, and not trust in ourselves. I tell him these words, and pray that he gets it, that all my children would get it, that they would learn that they are strongest when they feel the weakest...

I pray I will get it too. It's so very easy in this world to forget.

An hour couldn't have passed before his Daddy walks in the door, and I could tell he was flustered. In the middle of our usual morning craziness, he tries to explain it to me. As I'm changing a diaper, I hear something about his meeting with our accountant. Numbers different than what we anticipated. Something about higher percentages, and I'm trying to take it all in. I'm trying to do the math in my head, and all of a sudden I feel like this little guy who apparently forgot all of his math facts after a week at the beach. My mind is a muddled mess.

We have to pay the government how much? Are you kidding? Now? Of all times to experience a financial setback? Could this really be happening now?

Her little picture sits on my window ledge. Little Girl With Feet That Don't Move. Her dark eyes are staring at me, and I'm wondering where in the world her ransom is going to come from. Thirty thousand dollars.

Gulp. Trying to remember to breathe. It felt like a lot of money when we were going through the process last year, but now it really feels like a lot of money.

I look at Will's face and I can tell that he's worried. And as I'm forming words in my head, silently praying that I will know what to say, just how to encourage him, I see Web's little devotional book still sitting on the counter where he had left it just a few minutes before.

When you don't have enough of something you need...consider yourself blessed... The world tells you that if you depend on anyone, you are weak. But the world has it all wrong. Depending on me doesn't make you weak. It allows Me to make you strong! Because when you feel weak and empty inside, then there is plenty of room for Me to fill you up with My power.

So we count our pennies and count, even this, a blessing...

And we remember that adoption is a journey of faith, and that we are called to walk by faith, not by sight. That sometimes the path ahead is dark and we can't see the way. We remember that we are not called to see in advance how it's all going to unfold, we are simply called to walk, keeping our eyes on Him. We remember that He is our Faithful Father, and we trust Him as our Provider. We acknowledge that absolutely nothing can touch our lives that has not been filtered through His loving hands first, and we choose (once again) to believe that what comes as a surprise to us, doesn't surprise Him in the least. 

We also acknowledge the spiritual warfare that surrounds every adoption. We remember how the Enemy despises a little one being plucked out of these horrible and hopeless institutions and chosen by families that will not only love them and value them, but will also boldly proclaim the name of Jesus. We know that he will do everything in his power to thwart these rescue missions, and so we press on! 

The Enemy is on the move. He hates us, hates our family, hates what we believe in, and wants to stop us in our tracks. But here's the thing. Her little feet might not be able to move, but by His grace and through His strength, our feet will keep moving. On we go, one step at a time. Until He directs otherwise, we will continue to take the next steps.

One more home study visit to complete. A few more papers to sign and have notarized. Waiting on some clearances that our state is notoriously slow getting processed. One step closer to her. Every step closer to Him.

One morning earlier this week, Barrett brought me his wallet and told me in a pitiful, little voice that he had "no money".  I told him not to worry, that this was an easy problem for me to fix. A few pennies and nickels later, and he ran off with a big smile on his face. It didn't take much for me to provide what he wanted. A few days later, it dawned on me what a beautiful and simple picture of provision this was. I can approach my Heavenly Father and tell him "no money" and I can look to Him to provide what He knows I need. Giving Barrett what he wanted and needed was easy for me, and the same is true for our Father...

Thirty thousand dollars. On top of a much higher tax rate than we expected (courtesy of being a self-employed, small business owner). Add the monthly bills that keep rolling in. Include the cost of groceries for 8 people. Don't forget at least a gallon of milk a day (why couldn't it have been a cow that showed up in our backyard instead of a duck goose?) It's all pennies and nickels to our Father.

You know, it's so easy to forget. What feels massive and outrageous to me is nothing to Him. So I take a deep breath and count another mercy. It might be dark now, but I know in the morning there will be a new sunrise, bringing new mercies and perfect provision for what each new day requires.

Awareness of your inadequacy is a rich blessing, training you to rely wholeheartedly on Me.

Sarah Young, Jesus Calling

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.

And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. 

But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

But let him ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.

For let not that man expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being unstable in all his ways.

But let the brother of humble circumstances glory in his high position; and let the rich man glory in his humiliation, because like flowering grass he will pass away. For the sun rises with a scorching wind, and withers the grass; and its flower falls off, and the beauty of its appearance is destroyed; so too the rich man in the midst of his pursuit will fade away.

Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life, which The Lord has promised to those who love Him.

James 1: 2-12


P.S. We went on our first big family adventure with S - a trip to the beach! We had a great time, and she (our sensory child) soaked up every minute she could of the water and the sand! I'm thankful we had these few days of rest and play before this latest blip popped up on our radar. We were able to enjoy our time without being distracted by finances. Such a blessing.

I'm also thankful for the extra set of hands that helped me prepare meals, clean up messes, and, most importantly, take care of this little girlie. She loved the beach too! 

I consider myself blessed... so incredibly thankful for each of these little treasures, including the one an ocean away! I hear she likes the water, and I can't wait to introduce her to this special place!

1 comment:

  1. Melanie, this is such a good post. I was nodding in agreement with you through the whole thing. Yes!! if there is one thing that adoption has taught me, it is that it is God's work, His thing, His faithfulness and provision that will accomplish this, and we are the privileged ones who get front row seats to watch Him work! I'll be praying for ya'll as you wait and watch. I'm excited for you! You ARE blessed! :)