This past weekend I traveled with wonderful women to the beautiful mountains created by the Lord God.
To be honest I am not the best at making friends and hanging out with women. Put me with children, high school students, or college students; I am good. So God was stretching me asking me to go. Not only going but stretching me and asking me to share the story He has written for my life.
I am completely fine with sharing our story with my fuse group girls, close friends, my blog, or one on one conversations. But to completely be open and vulnerable and share with women I didn't know, yes completely out of my comfort zone.
The day before we were to leave for this retreat, I woke up early in the morning to check my email like I have since last October. That is what you do when you are adopting, you check your email obsessively and pray for any sort of news.
You see I had prayed that God would send news of Israel before I left on this retreat. Going to this retreat with no news felt too overwhelming and daunting to my heart and mind.
So I opened my email and no news and I was broken but like every other morning I had a choice. I could have sulked in the "no news" or instead give God the day for His glory and purpose and earnestly pray He would work in my heart and mind.
But I thought I would email the home in Taiwan to see just maybe if they had any news. A few minutes later I got an email saying they had news and I could come to Taiwan to get Israel. I couldn't believe it and had to read the email a thousand times before I could tell Brennan and Lyndlee.
At the retreat, I remember being on my knees after practicing my words and just begging God to change things once again. Even though its been almost two years, I still beg Him to change things. I still ache some days as though the cross is not enough for me, as though the cross and His love hasn't changed everything completely!
I was asking for God to speak through me but I was demanding I didn't want to give this testimony, that I wanted my son Gavin here with me.
That morning for session God heard my begging and denied my request but met me in the most beautiful way.
The worship leader started playing the piano and it was beautiful worship songs.
And then she started playing "Untitled Hymn" by Chris Rice which was a song that was played at Gavin's funeral.
And God spoke to me in that moment and through that song. He reassured me that He had Gavin and that I was to speak and give Him all the glory.
Afterwards I went to thank the worship leader and she told me that at times like that she plays what the Spirit lays on her heart. Only God.
Another moment was weeks before this retreat I was looking on Facebook and admiring these beautiful pictures that families were getting taken. The photographer was capturing their families in beautiful and unique ways. And my mind immediately said, "God we will never take pictures like that because it will hurt too much with Gavin being gone."
And at the retreat and after I spoke this beautiful girl came up to me and said the most encouraging words and gave the best hugs. She then said she was a photographer and wanted to capture our family once Israel was home. And she told me her name and her website name and I almost fell to my knees. It was the very photographer and her work that I was admiring the weeks before.
God was saying to me, "You will take pictures, you will rejoice, and have hope because Gavin is with Me and Israel is coming into your life. And this is not the end."
God speaks. And don't you love when He speaks directly to your heart and to your soul?
There is nothing better.
What a generous and loving God we have. And yet I still demand things and beg Him to change things. I am so grateful He is forgiving and understanding of my weaknesses.
So in 10 days I am getting on a plane with diapers, wipes, little boy clothes and shoes, and my heart full of love to go see my Israel once again.
And Lyndlee is anxiously waiting as she sits in his bed and plays with all his toys.
On April 30th, Lord willing, I will be bringing Israel home to reunite him with his daddy and his sister.
And we will be a family of five. And I am blessed beyond words.
Brennan is our strong tower, the one who always points our hearts to Jesus.
Lyndlee is my joy and teaches me more about Jesus and His great love each day.
Gavin is my hero and teaches me to love others and to live each day to the fullest.
And Israel is my renewed hope, a taste of God's goodness through our famine.