A year ago…

I started this yesterday FYI…

This weekend… heading to Matt and Lauren’s wedding!!!! 

We started our annual women’s summer Bible study. I really love it a lot.  I feel like I’m able to grow and process what I’m learning when I’m not turning around and teaching it during the school year.  It’s a time for me to soak it all in… I like that.

But on my way to Bible study… I was thinking about what was going the last time I headed to our first summer Bible study.  You can read my blog from exactly a year ago here.

A LOT has changed in a year. This time last year I…

  • was just brought to my knees AGAIN over adoption at Student Life camp
  • had not started the adoption process
  • had not been to Belize
  • had not been to Costa Rica
  • had not yet gone through the waiting process of the adoption
  • had not had the joy of Stephanie living with us yet
  • did not know my girl Jubi
    • He is who He says He is! 
    • He can do what He says He can do!
    • I am who God says I am! 
    • I can do ALL things through Christ! 
    • God’s Word is ALIVE and ACTIVE IN ME! 
  • was totally different… 
Literally… a year ago I was with my BFF Emily and I told her while I visiting her that Jacob and I had agreed that we would probably have a biological child first and then adopt.  We wanted to practice on our own genes before messing up “someone else’s” child. We thought that might be a good idea…  HAHA. God is hilarious. 

This past year has been crazy… the wildest ride yet… the longest wait of my life… and the richest time in my relationship with Jesus. It has been a rollercoaster… and it’s not over yet. I have learned so much… hard to put into words. I am truly a different gal than I was a year ago today. Here’s 13 things I’ve learned while pursuing adoption of our 13-year old son:

#1 God’s love towards me, towards us, is great! Like… He really loves us! He really wants to do good for us and through us.  You know the song, “Jesus loves me, this I know… for the Bible tells me so…”  It’s truer that we can even fathom! HE LOVES US!
Praise the Lord, all you nations;
   extol him, all you peoples.
For great is his love toward us,
    and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.
Praise the Lord.
Psalm 117:1-2

#2 God is waiting too! I believe God hurts when we hurt and longs to give us things when it is good and is glad when we are glad. He is THE Good Father… and Good Daddies empathize with their children.  I know that God is just as excited to unite us with Eric and Ziggy as we are to have them in our home! And that, my friends, comforts me. 
Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!
Isaiah 30:18

#3 God is faithful! So so so faithful! After this year and all He has been to me… REGARDLESS of what happens… I trust Him completely. He is completely good and completely faithful. He is perfect! He is love! 
He is the Rock, his works are perfect,
    and all his ways are just.
A faithful God who does no wrong,
    upright and just is he.
Deuteronomy 32:4

#4 If He calls you to it, HE WILL DO IT! HELLO – He called Jacob and I to adopt… with no money… with no clue how to parent a teenager from a different country… to adopt the sweetest 13-year old from Belize.  He provided (and is still providing) the money, the encouragement, the struggle, and the rich resources. He called us to work hard and to pray with all our might… but MAN! our God provides!! WHEN He calls you to do something and you FOLLOW HIM… no doubt… all your needs will be met in INCREDIBLE ways! Try it… 
By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, 18 even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” 19 Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death.
Hebrews 11:17-19

#5 I am NOT good at waiting… Yep… just not good at all.  When I think I am waiting… I am really just distracting myself with other things – Origami Owl, more projects, cleaning the house, traveling, etc… All are good… but all are my forms of “waiting”… oops. 

#6 The Bible gives me permission to be CRAZY!!! what what!! This is my verse!! I can’t believe it took me 25 years to find it!!!! I think I want a tatoo of it!!! 
 If it seems we are crazy, it is to bring glory to God. And if we are in our right minds, it is for your benefit.
2 Corinthians 5:13

#7 I am NOT in control. Yep… definitely not. And when I think I am in control… I go through puberty again and discover MOUNTAINS on my face that you may call pimples! Really… when I try to take over… I revert to 14-year old Anna… pimples and emotional instability! haha! 
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,     so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Isaiah 55:8-9

#8 I am NOT all that & a bag of chips… I am to be selfLESS! Pride is an issue for me. I get into the mindset of striving for self-righteousness very easily. As ugly as it is judging others is a struggle for me. Loving others UNCONDITIONALLY and with ABANDON doesn’t come naturally to me… I have to continually humble myself… ugh. Nothing… even the ‘good’ stuff… can be done with a prideful heart – not adoption, not Bible study, not serving in church, not being nice, not doing the Connection… NOTHING. Seek Him… THEN serve from the overflow… not from my pride… golly… when will I learn.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
Philippians 2:3-4

#9  I should NOT go and do until I KNOW God has blessed it! So… I have a lot of ideas… I mean a lot… it’s really annoying to live in my mind. This year I have definitely learned STAY STILL until God pushes me. Jesus’ ministry was successful because of His relationship with the Father. He didn’t move until God said MOVE. He didn’t speak until God said SPEAK. The highest form of intimacy and AWARENESS… that’s what Jesus had. This verse from Isaiah (one of my fav passages) is prophesying about Jesus… God’s anointing was ALL OVER Jesus’ ministry.  I must WAIT (there’s that word again) to ACT on my IDEAS. I have to dream the dreams/ideas of my Father. Hard to do…
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
    because the Lord has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
    to proclaim freedom for the captives
    and release from darkness for the prisoners,…
Isaiah 61:1

#10 I REALLY REALLY like peanut butter… ’nuff said.

#11 FEAR steals our joy, distracts us from obedience, and is a lie. Yep. Fear… it’s no good. It will absolutely paralyze you. When I live in the “what if’s”… and the “how’s”… I will sink. 
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.
2 Timothy 1:7

#12 I must seek His FACE… not His HAND!! …AND NOT WORRY!
 IT’S ALL ABOUT HIM! I do not worship Him because of what He DOES for me… I worship Him because of WHO HE IS!!! PERIOD! If my relationship with Him is based on Him answering my prayers (the way I want Him to)… it’s not a fulfilling relationship… it’s a parasite relationship with Him… me getting and getting for only my satisfaction. YUCK…
But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
34 “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Matthew 6:33-34

#13 He works on my/our behalf!!! I have learned… yes I have learned… that He works on my behalf even when I can’t see it or feel it. He is working. He is fighting for me and my family… for ERIC and ZIGGY. He is fighting for every orphan on this planet. He is raising up His Church to be His hands and His family… but He is not sitting back and watching… HE IS A MIGHTY WARRIOR!!! 
The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.
Exodus 14:14

So… there you have it. It’s been QUITE A YEAR! I hope a year from now I have tons of pictures of Eric and Ziggy and amazing testaments of how big my God is. BUT IF I DON’T… there will be much more learned and a much richer and deeper knowledge of my God. Either way… I trust Him. 

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