Warning: this is not a light-hearted post. The last two weeks have been some of the most intense and chaotic weeks of my life. While I won’t share details for our boys’ protection, we have ridden every roller coaster of emotion, fear, worry, uncertainty, and any other unsettling thought you can insert. We have had friends and family take shifts praying through the night while our boys were in danger, and unanticipated circumstances have arisen that now leaves much to be discovered about the adoption process moving forward.
Traumatic and tragic wouldn’t be too dramatic to describe some of the information and experiences we’ve gotten the past 12 days. And yet, God has shown himself faithful. He has brought to us realize with fresh eyes aspects of his Truths that only the Spirit could teach us. In all of this, he has allowed me to say honestly, “Thank you Lord for this. Thank you for using this for your glory.” I don’t say this because he has resolved all of the circumstances in the way I would hope; circumstances are far from resolution right now, and they may not resolve in a way I would have chosen for our family or myself (how often does that happen!?). Even so, he has brought me to the core of what it means to trust in an unfailing God.
Two weeks ago, while on a morning walk and grieving the death of another’s family’s adopted son stuck in Congo, the Spirit brought to mind the passage “In this world you will have tribulation, but behold–I have overcome the world.” I think at times, even in our comfortable western culture and society with infrastructure, comfort, and safety nets all around us, we see glimpses of how an eternal perspective through the saving blood of Jesus Christ is the only thing to which we can cling. Indeed, clinging to this one hope out of desperation is the daily life of many fellow men, women, and children around the world. Even here, believers are not promised an easy life; we are not promised a life without heartache and tragedy. Yet God promises because of his Son’s sacrifice to redeem all of this and make it right one day.
Since that first passage that has become a theme verse over our past 12 days, the Lord has been working several other things in our family’s hearts and minds. Firstly, the Lord has reminded me that our children (whether biological or adopted) are not our own. God may choose to entrust us with children for a time, and we are to take the posture of stewardship toward this role. Yet they are (have been and always will be!) his and that should allow us to say “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.”
Secondly, our view of missions work has altered dramatically. When reading Romans 10, “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent?” I always thought of a distant “they” that was somehow separate from myself and my real life. But what if the “they” are children whom you have grown to love with every fiber, pray for constantly for over three years, and invested so much of your family, love, (money!), home preparation and prayers and prayers and prayers in? If these precious boys never come to live with us, how will that affect our family’s participation in missions?
Lastly, the Lord has been teaching me about the True Vine. John 15 tells us about the father being the “true vine”–the one everlasting saving power to which we must cling. Regarding him as the true vine would naturally suggest that there are false vines which may be good things, such as adoption, security in our homes, work, children, etc. but they are not where we place our hope, comfort, and security. The Lord has brought to light that while adoption is a naturally consuming process (especially when working alongside hundreds of other families to advocate for a political suspension in DRC to end!), it is not the true vine, and the past 12 days have shown a painful pruning and reminder of who is the True Vine.
Friends, I ask for your prayers for two little boys in Congo and for the Lord’s provision to be shown in a very difficult and confusing situation. I ask that you would be voices of truth in the lives of people in your communities, churches, and circles who need that reminder of a trustworthy God. I ask that you would join me in opening up your hearts and minds to where the Lord is leading you, what lessons he is teaching you, how he is lovingly calling you back to remember, with an eternal perspective, the life and faith to which He has called us.