While We Wait: Sacrifice
Sometimes some things just need to be shared. They BEG to be shared. As much as part of me would like to blend in, not make any waves and go with the flow – be NORMAL – the events scream out, “Don’t keep me to yourself! It’s not fair!” Or maybe it’s not the events at all that scream out, maybe it’s Someone. Someone who is guiding my life and its events and is weaving me into His story…
About a month ago, I received some misinformation. Someone misunderstood something that was said and called me upset about the possibility of Ethiopia closing its international adoption program. Not knowing all the facts, I got upset too. I spent a very long weekend wondering about all the “what-ifs.” What if Ethiopia really put a stop to all international adoptions? What if we couldn’t adopt from Ethiopia? What would we do? I spent a few days mourning the potential loss of our Ethiopian adoption. What it came down to for me was that I grown to love Ethiopia. It had ceased being just a means to grow our family. We have grown to love the country like they are somehow already our extended family. Just thinking about the possibility of losing that was gut-wrenching.
As Sunday rolled around, it began to dawn on me that if I really love Ethiopia – particularly the children – then I want what’s best for them. If there is corruption, then my prayer is that it stops. If children are being trafficked, then it needs to stop. No matter what. In worship on Sunday morning, we were singing a song that says,
You are the everlasting God,
The everlasting God.
You do not faint,
You won’t grow weary.
You’re the defender of the weak,
You comfort those in need,
You lift us up on wings like eagles.
Of course, I’ve always sung those lyricsthinking of myself. But as I was thinking about them, I started thinking about the children of Ethiopia. THEY are the weak ones who need a Defender; THEY are the ones who need a Comforter. Of course, He comforts and defends me too, but singing that song that day, my heart changed and all of the sudden this adoption wasn’t all about me anymore. My desire was that first and foremost God would protect His children.
As I was singing and praying, another thought came to mind, “What if we didn’t adopt at all and just gave all of our disposable income away? We could sponsor tons of kids each month. We could even help fund projects like building wells or schools. We really could do a lot of good with the money we’ve already saved and continue to put away.” And it was those thoughts that exposed what was really in my heart. My heart cried out, “NO! I want to be a mom! It’s the deepest desire of my heart! I can’t give that up!” And that’s when I heard Him. A still, small ,powerful voice. “Will you give Me your desire to be a mom? Will you sacrifice that to Me? Will you lay it on the altar and let Me have it?”
What do you do? When the Creator of the universe, the God who you say you worship, the God who gave HIS Son for YOU, asks for something you hold most dear? You let Him have it. You say, “OK, God, OK. Take it. I want You to have all of me. Do with me what You will. I will sacrifice my desire to be a mom to You. You can have it. Take it.” At least, that’s my story. I just couldn’t hold onto something when God was asking for it.
That hasn’t always been my story, though. I like to plan, and I like to control, and I like to think I know what life will look like in 6 months or a year. But God wouldn’t allow me to think that way any longer. And what I’ve realized is that by giving Him my deepest desire, I’ve actually given Him complete control of the future. (I “gave” God complete control of the future – how delusional are we to think we have any control over that anyway?) But my heart has changed. And the way I feel about the future has changed. I feel like I’ve given Him the lump of clay that I’d molded into what I thought the future would look like. He’s taken it and is molding it, and will eventually let me see what it looks like. And while there are parts that may look exactly like what I thought they’d look like, I suspect there will be some parts that will look very different. I have no idea which parts those will be, or what they will look like, but I totally trust Him.
While the information I received about Ethiopia closing its doors was not quite accurate at the time, there really is a lot going on over there right now. It’s hard to know how much is really accurate, and how much is really just speculation, but for sure things are changing. I really have no idea how it will all play out, but getting caught up in the details right now doesn’t seem to matter much to me. God is completely in charge of my future, and I trust Him to work all things out in His timing – whatever that may be.
I was asked today if we have a Plan B. No. Plan A all along has been to trust that God is writing our story. He has, and is and will continue to do so. I have no idea what that looks like, but I know it will be beautiful.
Rebecca and Robert are in the process of adopting their first child from Ethiopia. From Tennessee and Mississippi, they met and married in Fort Worth, Texas where they currently reside. They enjoy delighting in good friends, food, and fellowship and eagerly anticipate where God will lead them next. They invite you to follow their adoption journey on their blog.