The “word” I received in the stadium that day said that God had brought me through two years of difficult times so that the comfort He showed me, I would then be able to bring to others. In hind sight I see that the “word” was given to me half way through those two years. The year before had been one of praying and believing for a desire that had become an obsession, but with no evidence of an answer. The year ahead proved to be one of the most confusing years I have ever lived through.
Soon after receiving the “word” I became more and more drawn to a little girl who was in foster care living with a family from our church. I became aware that she was hoping to be adopted. I began to connect the dots. Mark and I were praying about adopting a little girl, she was hoping to be adopted into a family…
It seemed so clear…
Mark and I continued to pray…
Then we stepped out in faith…
We attended foster care classes so that our home would be available to her.
We had some construction done in our home to make a bedroom for her.
We believed this was the answer to our prayers.
June, 2002, my heart was overwhelmed with joy as this little girl came into our home!
My desire for adoption was finally becoming a reality!
With intense desire comes great expectations.
But, what do you do when the images and expectations you had while praying and anticipating are very different from the reality that you are facing?
I found that my desire came from a heart that was about fulfilling and satisfying me.
Adoption had become all about “my little girl.”
But, that’s not how God intends us to treat the desires He puts within us.
I needed heart surgery!
After seven months in our home it became evident that it wasn’t a good fit. She was very attached to her foster family and was returned to them.
I knew it wasn’t a fit. I knew she wasn’t happy, and I knew it was difficult for us as well.
“But, Oh God! Why?”
My heart was devastated!!
“God, it seemed so clear. Everything seemed to fall into place. I saw You work in so many ways to make this happen. Why would all these these come together just to fall apart? Why set me up for such a great let down, my heart can’t take it!”
It shook my faith.
It caused me to question my ability to hear from God.
But it was at this place, this place of brokenness, that God was able to do heart surgery.
This place of hurt and disappointment tested my faith.
Peter’s faith was tested…
Peter was filled with passion and desire to follow Jesus wherever He went; he said was even willing to die with Him. Desire and passion come from a heart of faith, but often our hearts need to be refined to rid them of self. Jesus gave Peter, and us, an explanation of what it looks like to have our faith tested…
“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift each of you like wheat. But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail. So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen your brothers.”
Peter said, “Lord, I am ready to go to prison with you, and even to die with you.”
But Jesus said, “Peter, let me tell you something. Before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me.” Luke 22:31-34
What the enemy meant for Peter’s harm, Jesus intended for his good. Jesus prayed for Peter, that his faith wouldn’t fail. Jesus encouraged Peter to repent of his sin and to turn back to Him, and then to encourage his brothers.
What Jesus said came true. Peter was humbled and broken when he looked into Jesus’ eyes as the rooster crowed. Peter had indeed denied Jesus three times that night.
But, Jesus had prayed for Peter…that his faith would not fail. Even though Peter was disappointed in himself, and realized how weak he really was, it was a defining night for Peter. A night he would never forget!
While it is true that God gives the desires of the heart; what I have found is that desire can become all about me. I can allow the desire to become something that I look to to satisfy me. I can become so obsessed that I begin to connect the wrong dots, assume things, and run ahead of God. While God is sovereign and I believe He works all things together for my good, there were things God wanted me to learn from this heartbreaking experience.
I needed heart surgery to remove the “me” out of His desire for the little girl He wanted to bring into our family.
It wasn’t about “my little girl.”
It was about “God’s little girl” that He wanted to bring into our family.
There is a big difference between the two and God wanted me to learn this lesson.
It began when I nailed my desire to the cross.
Yes, I literally nailed adoption to the cross. I drew a cross in my journal and wrote the word, “ADOPTION” across it. I drew a big spike that nailed it to the cross and wrote a prayer that basically said,
“Lord, I have nailed my desire to adopt to the cross. I am tired of my obsession that keeps me striving for a little girl. I am sorry for connecting the wrong dots, and for assuming Your will. I am confused, hurt, and disappointed by the death of my dream. I realize that if this desire is of You it won’t come by my obsession or my striving, and so I lay it down and refuse to take it up again. The only way it will rise again is if You bring it back to life.”
That is where I left my desire of adoption, nailed to the cross.
That is where I left my heart, no longer obsessing, striving, or expecting.
Adoption was dead!