September 10, 2008

God's Audible Reply

A little over a year ago, I was driving home. I was praying for Keira, as I often do. "Lord, (I prayed) please watch over her mother, and her, and keep her safe...send someone to love her...and hold her...and care for her". In the corner of my mind I heard a voice say "Christie, you should pray for your child in Africa".

Now let me stop here for a minute. I have never claimed to hear God's audible replies to my prayers, or to anything else for that matter. I believe in God's "still small voice" - the one that essentially whispers to your spirit and guides you in that way. The Holy Spirit - that gently (and sometimes not so gently) moves you towards and through the many challenges and directions in your life. Well, this was the one time in my life, I can remember feeling - as closely as I can ever recall - God speaking to me abundantly clear with no room for mistake.

So back to the car...

In a panic - I laughed out loud to what I thought I had just "heard". Literally. Started laughing. I said out loud "you mean pray for KEIRA, my daughter from CHINA". I mean, hello! God cannot be so busy up there that He forgot which country we were adopting from?

"Christie" - came the reply - "you should pray for your child in Africa". I almost wrecked the car. I began to sob. I'm not talking sniffle sniffle. It was an ugly cry, friends. Know why? Because that's what happens when God absolutely instructs you to do something that you weren't planning on. And, for the record - it wasn't a happy cry. It was a "You've got to be kidding me after all I've been through with China and now this and I can't believe You seriously mean you want me to [sniffle] pray about Africa and a kid in Africa because You've got to be kidding me and there is no way I can do that I just can't." I was mad. Perplexed. Completely taken off guard. Scared. That's what happens when you know you've been told, not asked.

I walked in to our home to find Anton in the kitchen going through mail. I wasted no time - this was burning a hole in my mind. "Honey! I was just praying..." As I relayed to him the events that had taken place in my car not ten minutes earlier, I started to cry again. He looked at me calmly. He smiled, even. He said "Baby - don't worry. God hasn't told me that we need to adopt from Africa - so just calm down. He would not tell you and not me also. So until He does - we're adopting from China and that's that. No worries!" He was so nonchalant and relaxed, that I kind of felt my shoulders slump, and a big sigh escaped my lips. Ok. That was much better. Whew. He's right, I thought. God would never instruct me on something that big without bringing AB along for the ride. That's just what I needed to let it go.

Ahem.

One month later - almost to the day - AB approached me with a somber look. I thought he had wrecked the car, overspent on the budget, forgot to put soap in the dishwasher before running a load. Instead he uttered a sentance I will never forget for as long as I live.

"Babe, you were right...I think God does want us to adopt from Africa. I can't believe it - but it's been on my heart ever since, and I really think that's what He wants us to do".

From there we made all kind of stipulations for God. We put Him and His instructions to the test. We told Him "Ok Lord - the only way this will work is if our agency will allow us to pursue another adoption" Cleared. Gulp.

Well, alright then...only if we can find an agency who will work with us and our China agency. Six agencies said no and the last one we called said "no problem". Done.

Hmmm, this is getting blatant. Ok - only if You provide a way through this terrible paperwork hangup we're having with the state. Done. Gah!

Ok - only if You provide money to do it. Double Done. Next! (He seemed to say...)

Fine - last straw - we have no way to pay for the tickets to get there - how do ya like that one, God?!? A dear couple stepped forward within a week, unsolicited and without knowing our prayer and offered to buy our round trip tickets to Ethiopia.

Friends - when God says do something - He will make it happen if you are obedient to what He has asked. He will make a way when there seems to be no way. And here's another thing: God is big enough to handle your questioning Him. He can handle your fear, anger, resentment, and your tests.

A little over a year later - I captured this image of my beautiful son. He's from Africa, by the way (wink). When I was driving in the car that day - I didn't know I had a son in Africa who needed me desperately. If you had shown me my life in a year, I would have called you crazy. I didn't know that the timing had to be perfect for me to have him. That we needed to begin RIGHT THEN to pursue him in order to have him. I didn't know that when God said "pray for him" - it was my Quint I was praying for. Or that God knew full well that I needed more time than Anton to come to terms with it. I didn't know. But God did. Because He knew the beginning and He knows the end. For me and for Quint. And for you.

I encourage you - have faith in your steps whatever they may be. Listen to that still small voice. Trust it. If you began a journey to your child months or years ago - stay the course. You're there for a reason. You're on that road for a purpose. You're on that road for a child who needs you. If you're a mother to children at home, have faith in the wonderful purpose you're instilling in your babies everyday of their lives. What a gift!

I tell you all of this - not to preach to you or to dramatize my lightbulb moment. But rather to say to you - in my life, I never knew I would adopt from Africa. Or China for that matter. Obedience is not always comfortable, easy, or short lived. It can be painful, confusing, trying and back-breaking.

But if I had not been obedient. If AB had not been obedient. If we had not been listening...

We would have missed it. We would have missed out on him...



Don't give up.

17 comments :

Ani said...

Hi! Just recently found your blog - and this is one of the most powerful posts I've ever read. Thank you for sharing such a personal story with us - God is GREAT.

All the best to your family.
Ani

amy said...

Another beautiful written posts. I love to hear these stories. It so encourages my heart. thank you

Kayce said...

God is SO good!

S.Wise said...

Tears trickling down my cheeks....

Briana's Mom said...

This is a truly amazing post. I know it took me a long time to listen. My stubborness kept me on the path to try to have a biological child. But that wasn't the path I was supposed to be on - Briana was the path. I just needed to listen. I am so glad I did.

Jodi said...

Never imagined we would adopt from China either, let alone twice!! I am nervous now though - feel God is calling us to Africa too. If this is where God wants us to go - that is where we will go!!!

1INHIM,
Jodi Sue :)

Emy said...

Thanks, I really needed that today after an unfortunate conversation with someone at my new job.
She asked if we had 2 or 3 children, like those were the only options, and when I told her we only had one so far she said, "Oh, I know somebody who has an only child." Like, we're a cult or something. I just wanted to scream, IT's NOT BY CHOICE! Sorry for venting, I don't have the guts to put any of this on my own blog yet, so you're giving me a little courage!

blissfullycaffeinated said...

Loved the post. You are on my mind today. Thinking about 7 years ago, sitting in the office listening to the news in shock.

Our Journey to Jadyn Nicole said...

Christie - You are so truly amazing. I really needed to read this today. As you know we have been in the process for 26 months now and still waiting for our daughter. Some days are easier then others, yet today was not one of those days. God opened this door and has lead us to adopt and it will remain open as long as Jadyn Nicole is in China and we are here. Thank you so much for your encouraging words! You are a blessing. Give that CUTE little boy a big hug!

Norma said...

I prayed for a child also........happened to be in my car too, Must be the quiet enclosed space. All these years later I have not one but three beautiful girls from China. There are many,many times that I look at them and think "I could have missed this" except by the grace of God.

Elisa. said...

That is so wondeful.
God has a plan for us all we just have to listen!

Cora said...

So happy you found your way to Ethiopia.

Kristy said...

Christie I posted something pretty big to me today, so when you get a chance go by and take a look ok.

Love, Kristy

mindi said...

That post brought a tear to my eye - how wonderfully true!! I need to slow down and listen to God a little more often.
Your little boy is evidence of that :D

Joy said...

Exactly! We just need to listen and follow God and he amazingly will provide financially and circumstantially for His work. It was great to read the passion of your heart.

Shannon said...

Great post! Just what I needed to hear (even though I have been through the international adoption process before). We are LID 10-16-06 for our 2nd China adoption and just began the process to adopt a son from Ethiopia.

-Shannon

Annie said...

wow!!!!! Wonderful post....what an awesome God we have!!!