I find it interesting that what starts out as a great sounding dream can become such a difficult, incredible journey of faith.
I guess God intends it to be like that or we would never take that first step.
We would never have the courage to say, “Yes.”
I am encouraged by the way Joshua responded to the forty year journey through the wilderness. Though he believed they could take the Promised Land, he needed to travel along with all the others who didn’t believe for those forty years. He endured all their grumbling and complaining. He witnessed their rebellion by worshipping the golden calf. He heard Aaron and Miriam complain against their brother, Moses. He saw the ground open and swallow up the men of Korah and all their families. He heard the people’s complaints that brought fiery serpents.
But he also won the victory in the battle against the Amalekites. He saw the stone tablets God etched the ten commandments on. He saw the evidence of God’s presence over the ark of the covenant; a cloud by day, and a pillar of fire at night. He experienced the supernatural provision of God as He sent manna from heaven and water from rocks.
And all along the way Joshua was watching and learning from Moses. He eventually became Moses’ assistant. Joshua would go and wait by the door of Moses’ tent when he met with God. He would lay face down at the door while Moses talked with God.
Joshua was observing the beauty of being in God’s presence. He learned the importance of hearing God’s gentle whispers for wisdom and direction to lead the people. He saw the glow on Moses’ face when he came out from talking with God.
Joshua was learning to hear the gentle whispers of God!
Joshua was learning to love the presence of God!
This forty year roller coaster ride of a journey through the wilderness was a training time for Joshua. Though he didn’t know it at the time, these were the experiences that were preparing him to be a well-equipped leader of God’s people.
Our, “Yes” to pursue the adoption of baby Kayla set us on a journey filled with many reasons to grumble and complain, and to fear and doubt.
But, it was also a journey filled with whispers of God that encouraged us to love the presence of God and to keep believing no matter what.
Our home was still open and available to have foster children, so it was just a matter of time to have Kayla transferred to our home. We were eagerly waiting to find out when.
It was June and that meant it was time to prepare for Creation Fest 2003. We were once again taking the youth group of around 50 teens and leaders. It was during that time of preparing and packing that I received a phone call from Kayla’s foster mom. She said she just heard from Kayla’s case worker that Kayla’s aunt was interested in having her. The case worker wasn’t sure yet, but would let us know that week what her aunt decided.
Wow, how do I respond?
“I know Kayla’s family loves her…
but, my heart, O Lord, please not another disappointment!”
Creation was a good distraction, but when my cell phone rang Friday evening and I saw it was Kayla’s foster mom my heart stopped.
There on the hill of Creation’s natural amphitheater, surrounded by 80,000 people worshipping God, I heard the news that Kayla’s aunt had decided not to take Kayla!!!
I went back to our camp site that night and had an incredible celebration with my family and friends, praising God for the answer to our prayers!
We came home from Creation on Sunday afternoon tired, yet overjoyed of all God had done in the hearts and lives of all who were there, including how He was fulfilling our dream!
Monday morning I had a doctor’s appointment. While driving there I was stopped at a traffic light. I happened to notice a bird with her beak filled with straw, obviously she was building a nest.
It was a gentle whisper from God…
After my appointment I went to a store and looked at cribs. A salesperson asked if she could help and I explained my situation to her, that we were awaiting a foster baby. She said to me that I should wait until the baby was actually in our home before I bought a crib. Now, I realized that that was good advice. I knew it was still not a for sure thing. So, I left the store without a crib. But something rose up within me, I remembered the bird with her mouth full of straw, the whisper from God in my heart, and I drove straight to another store. I didn’t talk to any salesperson. I bought a crib. The “nesting instinct” accomplished I drove home with a crib in the back of my car.
When I went home there were several messages on my phone. As I listened I heard Kayla’s foster mom begin to talk…
“Wilma, Kayla’s aunt has decided that she does want Kayla.”
“Why did she even say, “No” to begin with, and now change her mind?”
“Why did You show me the bird this morning? Wasn’t that a whisper from You?“
“I guess I should have listened to the salesperson.”
I threw myself on my bed and cried till…
God whispered this verse into my heart…
“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,” Ephesians 3:20
I went outside and just meditated on that verse, and was amazed the way God brought peace and comfort to my heart even though everything was just turned upside down.
I was learning where to go with my “Whys,” with my pain…
I was learning to hear the whispers of God!
I was learning to love the presence of God!
When Mark and the boys came home from work I told them about my day…the bird building her nest, the whisper from God, the salesperson, the crib that was in the back of my car, the message from Kayla’s foster mom, and the verse God gave me after I had a meltdown. We decided to leave the crib in the back of my car.
Wednesday, two days later, I woke up with this thought…
Another gentle whisper from God…
“Baby Kayla will be in your home on July Fourth.”
July fourth was three days away!
I went out to the kitchen and told the guys at the breakfast table what the Lord told me. I’m not sure what they thought, but it didn’t matter because I wasn’t sure what I thought either. But we believed it enough to take the crib out of my car, out of the box, and set it up that night.
Friday was the day baby Kayla was to be picked up from her foster home and taken to her aunt’s home. I was helping out at Solid Rock Day Camp, which is also where baby Kayla lived, so I was given permission to hold Kayla as much as I wanted until the driver came. When I saw the state car drive in I took Kayla down to the house and as we were talking with her case worker and the driver it came out that Kayla had asthma and needed nebulizer treatments. Her aunt didn’t have a nebulizer and so Kayla couldn’t go to her house until she got one. Kayla’s foster mom had just taken in another infant that morning causing her home to be full…the only place baby Kayla could go was to my house!!!
Kayla slept in her crib that night!!!
Kayla was in our home July Fourth!!!
In God’s presence He whispers incredible things that we do not know. Things that will bring peace and hope into our pain and chaos.
But, Monday morning came…
and, yes, Kayla’s aunt had obtained a nebulizer…
I was once again at camp, holding baby Kayla as long as I could before the car came.
The Bible story that morning was about Lazarus. Jesus loved Lazarus and his sisters, but when he got sick Jesus didn’t go and heal him, instead, Lazarus died. Jesus said that He didn’t go to heal Lazarus because there was a greater purpose. Jesus did finally go when Lazarus was dead for four days. Instead of a healing, Lazarus experienced a resurrection!
This was the story on my mind as I saw the car drive in. This time there was no other reason she couldn’t go. As I placed baby Kayla into her car seat, with one last hug and kiss upon her sweet cheek, I felt as though I was placing her into a tomb. Once more my dream was “dead.”
But there was a gentle whisper of God…