I can’t believe it’s been almost one year since the team traveled to Bogota. This weekend I have been missing the kids a lot. I bought a blue flowered picture frame and put in a photo of one of the girls who really softened my heart (although they all did in their own unique ways). I wonder how a year has changed the children- have they grown taller, smarter, and kinder? Have they been adopted, and did our week there make a difference and leave a lasting memory? It did for me! I realize that I am only a small piece of the lives I came to love, and that made me sad at first. I want to be the one to love daily and teach consistently.
God has been teaching me about seasons and His perfect timing. I go through periods where I will be super passionate about adoption ministry for months and then taper off. I feel bad about this- like I should be uber involved 24/7. I feel that God gives me these one and off times to both grow and renew myself as a Christ-follower, teacher, friend, and maybe even future mother. I question God’s timing: “Why now?”, and “Why not now?” are things He’s heard from me often. Yet, I will choose to give the emotions-good and bad, the fears, the heartache. I will choose to give and wait on Him for all desires.
The blessings are plenty, but they must be waited for. This weekend I received an email from a future adoptive parent asking me what memories I had of his future son from my trip. Although not much, I am blessed beyond measure to be able to offer these memories and hope that someday I will be the one asking! Our prayers for a family have been answered, despite the period of waiting!
This weekend, He humbled my heart about giving. Jesus said to “Give it all away”. So I will. My time, my money, my emotions, my desires, my fears, my life.
The world tells me to give up- too young, too broke, too insignificant, too afraid. But my God tells me to keep going- He’s adequate strength, perfect peace, and joy unspeakable.
Yesterday, my church celebrated what they call Orphan Sunday. Usually celebrated in November, the church invited 40 adoptive families to come and celebrate the goodness and triumphs God has shown them through adoption. There were testimonies, songs, and a sermon on encouraging those who are wavering to stop waiting and get involved. There was a full presence of God’s greatness in the church, and there were many opportunities shared on exactly “what we can do”.
Lately, I’ve been feeling like the world doesn’t want me in this “we” category. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not mad at these people who seem to be tying me down, it’s just so human to give looks of “You are too young” or “That’s nice, But you probably just came up with that idea yesterday, right?” I spoke to the adoption advocate about what I can do if I wanted to work from the states, and she jokingly said, “Are you afraid to go?” I smiled, but it stung. I have a full-time career waiting for me post-graduation, and I feel God is putting me there, as well as preparing me for adoption work. Why do we think everyone who is pro-adoption should live overseas, have 30+ years, and be a psychologist?
I wish I could get others to understand that this dream is the most wonderful and difficult action God has placed on my life. I have been praying for 6 years that God would reveal if this is His will, and slowly, He is, but I can’t seem to get anyone else on board. I search for mentors, but I get a business card and end up leaving without the mentoring and learning relationship I crave so desperately.
I believe that in order to start saving lives, we need to get over the stereotypes. You don’t have to be a middle-aged couple to be involved (although it helps), and you don’t have to be a certain age for God to give you a heart of ministry. The church isn’t growing because we are too busy looking for the “perfect person” when the seekers are right in front of us.
Why give to Campaign 143? I chose the number 18, because it’s my lucky number. I’m not a superstitious person, but the day of my birth when selected has always brought positive results. BUT! Even though it was so easy to chose a number, it was more difficult to come up with a reason for donating because it just felt right. Still, I want to give others a solid reason for donating, not because it “feels good” or because it’s what Christians are supposed to do. So here’s my reasoning:
If you’ve read my blog before you’ve heard me mention the name “Daniel” several times. This kid touched my heart so greatly in just a few short days. Daniel is silly and playful, but kind and gentle. He’s proud of his sister, and full of life. I’ve come to the conclusion that every kid is a Daniel in their own special way. Some are shy, and some are sociable. Some are carefree, and some are serious, but they all have something unique about them. Each one of these children has been uniquely created by God with a unique story. There are families God is preparing the hearts of to love these children, and when you come to love someone, you desire the best for them. You long to see them grow and be loved not for what they do, but who they are. Christians, these are our children. Will you love them?
Last night I was starting to feel down again, so I got up to take a shower. I squeezed the soap bottle and two bubbles right after the other circled up to my nose and popped right on the tip. I was tickled- how simple little things Jesus uses to show that He cares. That’s why I know he is with four children in Colombia right now. Project Hope put out this message yesterday from CRAN in Bogota:
We received an email from CRAN Orphanage in Colombia today. It asked if we have been able to find a family for a group of 4 children yet. Their names are Natalia (age 11), Carlos (age 7), Brayan (age 6), and Sara (age 5). The orphanage worker said that they ask her EVERY DAY for a family. This breaks our hearts! And to make things even more sad, currently there is almost NO ONE that even knows they are available for adoption. Due to mistakes and paperwork issues, NO ONE is advocating for these precious children. They need a home, and maybe YOU know someone that God is already working on.
We have met these kids and they are fantastic. They have heard about Jesus during our weeks running camp at CRAN, and they are open and waiting for a forever family that will show them God’s love. This is a chance to completely change the life of 4 children and give them the opportunity to have a meaningful and life-changing relationship with Jesus Christ. PLEASE pray for them, and tell others. God may want to use YOU to tell someone this story. Please pass along! You can visit our website at www.project-hope-ministries.org and contact us for more information.
Choosing to adopt four children from another country is a huge decision, but I pray that there is a couple who God has been nudging softly to give these children His love and home. Jesus sent me kisses through two simple soap bubbles, and I know He hears the prayers of these children as they ask for a family.
This past week seems like an eternity. I got to school on Saturday night before the Monster Blizzard hit (which I’m thankful for) but other things I wasn’t so happy about. I spent 3.5 days in my room alone when the temperature outside dropped to -30. Campus was closed, no one was around, and I was sick. I laid in my bed aching and calling my mom to tell her about how I couldn’t breathe well, I was lonely, and how much I was really trying to be okay.
I spent a lot of time ranting on Facebook. Many people offered me advice about getting medical treatment but the thing is- I felt stuck. No one could come and help me until Tuesday (Day 2 of no classes) and that was only if they could get out of their driveway safely. I think a lot of people thought I was being stubborn by not taking their suggestions, but the issue I had was that I did not need an ambulance, just an doctor, and I did not feel comfortable asking someone I didn’t know for help. (Friends, I promise I was not being stubborn, I was being introverted).
Wednesday it was made official that I just have a sinus infection, which is good that I don’t have bronchitis like I had thought, but it seemed like all the symptoms I had didn’t matter, so I really am not that sick. The truth is that as hard as I try to be “okay” I have been miserable on and off all week, especially at night. Last night I could feel my entire body fighting as I laid in bed with my sinuses completely dried out by my medicine.
I don’t write this to complain, but to maybe explain myself. I joke that my body started falling apart at 17, but it is kind of true. Some may tell me I’m exaggerating, being whiny, etc. But I fear my body. Every year I seem to get worse- allergies, eczema, sinus infections. More than my physical body failing, I fear my spiritual life will fail. Unlike last year, I made no resolution to be in devotion with God. To make matters worse, God gave me 3 days of complete solitude and a reason to trust Him through my sickness and I was so caught up in my own world that I now regret that opportunity was wasted. I’m trying to start new, but it’s difficult when I am still sick, when can’t sleep at night, and when I can’t concentrate. I am getting better, but I still have a long way to go.
Jesus Calling for January 9th says, “I am with you and for you”, while January 10th says, “Every time you affirm your trust in me you put a coin in my treasury. Thus you build up equity in preparation for days of trouble.’
I want to say thank-you to everyone who has been praying for me- there’s probably many other people you could have mentioned in your prayers but the fact that you mentioned my name means so much to me. I will be okay. 🙂
This morning I woke up to the song “Just a Kiss” by Lady Antebellum. I’ve heard it several times before but never actually listened to the words and put meaning to them. I am so floored at the power of the song.
Just a Kiss on your lips in the moonlight
Just a touch by the fire burning so bright
No, I don’t wanna mess this thing up
I don’t wanna push too far
Just a shot in the dark that you just might
Be the one I’ve been waiting for my whole life
So baby I’m alright,
With just a kiss good-night
Growing up takes a long time, as does building a relationship. It doesn’t have to start at 17 or 21 or 35. It’s worth waiting for and worth savoring every moment.
I find it fascinating to listen to parent-child conversations when I’m out shopping. Most of the time I find myself laughing over the funny things kids say to their parents, but also the conversations adults feed to their children is intriguing. College (and Supernanny) taught me that every opportunity is a learning experience for the young child. A parent can either chose to see the trip to the store as a hassle or a valuable teaching moment.
I was browsing the selves at the bookstore when I overheard a young girl shout, “Mom! I found two books I LOVE LOVE LOVE!” Her mother gently tried to quiet her as she walked back to the shelf yelling, “I just love ALL books!”
We then went to the Goodwill store. I heard two boys getting excited over some toys and a mother getting annoyed. “You don’t need that ball! Freakin’ Christmas is coming! Put it back!” I headed for the checkout and waited several long minutes until my favorite angry cashier was ready. A girl behind me stood impatiently with her mother. “I know what that says” she said. “Thank you thank you thank you” she said as she read the bag. “We are in G…Goo…” “Goodwill” her mother says, “now stand back here with me. Would you like to buy this for your sister?” Distraction is a great weapon. The cashier looks at the child, “And how are you today sweetie?” (Yet to me she scowled). “We’re almost ready to check out” she says to her mother as I say, “Merry Christmas and thank-you”.
Now I’m not a parent, so I can’t say I understand at all how frustrating one or more children can be when they are in that parent’s constant care 24/7, but it does irk me to hear parents speak harshly to their children. If we want our kids to grow up to be effective communicators, employees, and kindhearted citizens why wouldn’t we be the example? What good is it if we yell at our kids to stop yelling?