The three desires I answered my sister’s question with, I would like to homeschool the boys, adopt a little girl, and be in ministry, each became a reality in God’s way, in His timing, and accomplished what He intended. I didn’t leave that conversation with Sheryl and write up a plan of how these would become reality. I didn’t come up with an agenda as to how to make these work out in my life. I wrote them down, prayed a prayer, tucked them away in my Bible, and lived life.
“Life” did lead us to homeschool.
“Life” was leading us to youth ministry.
But there was one more desire I spoke out that day…
We were several years into homeschooling and several months after our hearts were broken for teens, when God began to remind me of the third desire…”adopt a little girl.”
I remember it like it was yesterday…it began when I was sitting beside a bon fire Thanksgiving Eve, 1999. Families of our church were gathered together giving thanks to God for His goodness and faithfulness. One family was thanking Him for the precious gift of their new born daughter that year. Listening to their joy and gratitude to God for His gift to them my heart began to yearn for a little girl of my own. The following day as I was preparing the Thanksgiving meal I found myself overwhelmed with that desire. Mark could see I was very preoccupied and asked what was going on. Other than telling him about my answer five years before, we had never talked about adoption, and except for my initial prayer to God, I had never prayed about adoption. But that night at the fire, God fanned a flame of desire within me that began to burn. So, when Mark asked me what was wrong, I knew I needed to tell him what was happening in my heart. Thankfully, he listened and gave a wise, husbandly answer…”Let’s pray together about it.”
And so we prayed for God’s direction into very unknown territory. I knew of only one other friend who had adopted children and they were from Korea. Was Asian adoption what we were to pursue? We attended a local meeting about foreign adoption, but were overwhelmed with the rules, regulations, and the expense. Even so, it was the only type of adoption I really knew about so I was very aware of all the families I saw with adopted Asian children. I began dreaming of my own little “China Doll.” Over time the desire within me was becoming stronger and stronger.
Desire can become consuming.
Desire can become an obsession.
It came to where I would just see a family with children who were adopted and emotion would rise up within me.
I would just here the word “adoption,” and emotion would take over my thoughts.
“God, where is my little girl?”
“Why aren’t You answering my prayer?”
I was jealous of those who adopted.
I was angry that God wasn’t making a way for us to adopt.
Time kept going with no possibilities for adoption.
Why wasn’t “Life” leading to fulfill this desire?
But I have learned…
“Life” refines desire.
“Life” takes the “me” out of desire.
We all have our own “Life” journeys. We all have lessons God wants to teach us. We all need personal heart surgery done through the mistakes and trials we go through.
Our home was full and busy with homeschooling our three sons, and our nephew who spent several years with us. I was enjoying getting to know some of the girls from youth group and appreciated the opportunities to speak into their lives. Yet, there was this desire that I couldn’t let go of. It was a fire in my soul that was burning intensely! I was very fragile whenever the topic of adoption came up. I didn’t like the ways I responded, but I didn’t know how to change, and really, I didn’t want to change because I really wanted a little girl!
In October of 2001, some friends and I attended a Joyce Meyer conference. This was almost two years from the Thanksgiving that Mark and I began to pray about adoption. As my friends and I were finding our seats I noticed another woman also looking for seats near ours. She decided there weren’t enough for her group so she moved on. As we began the day worshipping through song the lyrics of a song touched on that desire that made me Oh so fragile! There I was having an emotional meltdown! I was literally crying, but thankfully the worship at the stadium was so loud I’m sure only my closest friends were aware. While I was undone with emotion I felt a hand touch my shoulder. I turned and there was the woman who was about to sit near us. She said she had a word from God for me and that she walked across the stadium to give it to me. She proceeded to tell me the “word.” As she spoke it into my ear I became even more undone! My mind couldn’t contain all that was happening…
I had all these thoughts crowding into my mind at once!
“God, this woman heard this from You and got up and came all the way over to tell me!”
“You care that much for me to do this?!”
“Wait, what is she saying? I am too overwhelmed by Your love right now I can’t even hear what she is saying.”
As she finished the “Word from God,” she gave me a hug and handed me a written copy. I was speechless, but I did thank her and shakily took the paper. As I sat down and read those words a peace came over me; I was in awe of God, and yet, it left me with many questions.
Here is what “Life” brought to me that day…a “word from God” from a complete stranger…
“10/27/01 Joyce Meyer
2 Corinthians 1:3-7
God is saying I have taken you through these trials in the past 2 years so that I can use you to minister to others through the things that I taught you through these very trying times. I am returning my joy to you because of your faithfulness to me.
This word amazed me! It let me know God saw me and He understood what I was going through. It validated my desire. It gave me hope when I had no hope. Even though it meant a lot to me then, I had no idea of how much I would need to hold on to this promise in the journey ahead.
I’m reminded that we are created by God to carry out His will here on earth. I may think that my life just happens, or that it doesn’t really have much consequence in the big scheme of things…but when I consider that my seemingly random answer to a question one day put into motion so much of what became reality in my life I see the truth found in these verses…
“Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4
“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:10
As a child of God there is nothing random about you, or about your life! The very fact that you belong to Him sets you apart for His purposes, for His glory! You are here by His design, to live in the identity He has created you to be, and to live out the destiny He has designed for you!
I’m here to tell you that God knows what you are going through. He knows the deep, burning desires of your heart that have left you emotionally fragile…jealous of others, even angry at Him.
I’m here to tell you that God sees you and loves you wherever you are, even if you are crying in a random seat in a stadium filled with people.
I’m here to tell you that I have been there. I’ve gone through those fiery trials, those trying times, and have found that God is able to bring comfort and peace in the midst of them.
I’m here to tell you that as Jesus endured the cross for the Joy set before Him, God has Joy for you as well on the other side! He promises to return your Joy when you choose to trust Him and delight yourself in Him and to live the “Life” that He has designed for you.