navigating life's shadows with chocolate & reluctant yoga

When The Times Ripe, I Will Answer You!

When The Times Ripe, I Will Answer You!

I’m setting you up as a light for the nations so that my salvation becomes global. When the times ripe, I answer you. When victory’s due, I help you. I form you and use you to reconnect the people with me, to put the land in order, to resettle families on the ruined properties. I’ll make all my mountains into roads, turn them into super highways. Isaiah 49:6-12 Message

I happened upon these straight shooting words this morning as I was wrestling around trying to settle my mind and heart to hear. I had marked in my bible another time these words became walking letters on the pages, it was the same month exactly four years ago in 2008. It became quickly clear to me there was a message for me here and it would serve me quite well to pay close attention.

It’s been almost exactly one month since we became aware that the New Family Edition chapter of our book was not going to be written the way we once perceived it might. Over the past month I have processed through more emotions than I care to really talk about. Shock, Anger, Deep Sadness, Confusion, Concern, Worry, Doubt, Fear, Unbelief, Gratefulness, Peace, Belief, Trust, Hope, Joy and the list goes on. You see, something happens inside of our physical bodies when life does not go the way we plan. I think I forget that even though the word says, man makes his plans and God directs his steps; I make that out to mean, if I make my own plan, surely it will come to pass as I plan. Rarely have I found that to be true. At least in my own life, more often than not, it’s not even close to my own plan. You see, when this happens, my physical body wants to fight, resist, push back and wrestle to the ground “the way things are” with the weapon of “the way things should be.”  Not only does this cause my body to become weak but it opens my heart and mind to attack.  I begin to question the plan of God for my life. I become fretful, worrisome and take on a victim mentality and in moments like that, I am most certain I am the only person ever to feel this way.

When disappointment happens, when discouragement tries to set in, when lies do their best to embed in my mind, I begin to think back. I begin to make a list of all of the things that have turned out well for me. I make a list of all the ways God has sustained me. I remember when it started out this way but turned out that way. I remember how I felt, what I saw, how that moment changed the entire course of my life and I stop for a moment and exhale the words, I am grateful.

Gracelynn RoseMichelle will be five years old in May. She came to our home for the first time in July of 2007, she was barely 2 1/2 months old. She had just underwent a major surgery for the removal of a teratoma tumor from her tailbone. She was brought to the states on a Medical Visa. We had the honor to visit her at Detroit Children’s Hospital days before she would arrive in our home. At that time we were going to be the host family that would give her the care she needed to gain strength and recover. She would spend the week with us and on the weekends a nearby college student would come pick her up and bring her back to campus. In the beginning this was to be a short term thing and knowing that we were able to give her all the care in the world during the week and open our hands palm side up on the weekends, I told myself “I can do it.”  After a month of this arrangement my heart began to ache inside. Initially I couldn’t understand why until it hit me, I was falling in love with this little princess from Haiti, this precious child born to another mother hundreds of miles away. I began to tap into this mother’s heart beat. She released this baby into the hands of a stranger with the faith and hope of a better chance of life, knowing full well she may never see her again. For months I made that my strength, I recalled what it must have been like to let her go and every weekend I would.

The Holiday season rolled around that same year and through tears one morning I told my husband, “I cannot do this arrangement anymore, the bond is getting stronger and the thought of her leaving forever is more than I can bear.” He went into action with a phone call requesting that we be allowed to become her forever family. A few weeks later, we were granted permission to begin the adoption process. Little did I know what would be in store. Little did I know the fear I would have to face everyday hearing the words, her medical visa extension could be denied, medical visa babies are never adoptable and the list goes on.
Everyday there was something staring me in the face trying to cause worry and doubt. Everyday there were the walking letters on the pages of God’s word that reminded me, He never forgets me, ever! He always has a bigger picture in mind.  Gracelynn will be five in May. She is ours forever, not without heartache, not without pain, not without a driving will to trust and believe, but she is ours. Recently we have learned that our New Family Member Edition chapter is just starting to be written. Everything belongs, nothing is wasted and it all has redemptive value. Maybe God used our last experience to ready us for the one He has had in mind since the beginning of time. Hope has found its way to my heart once again and I choose to believe that regardless of what I see or feel, when the times ripe, He will answer.


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