5.23.2019

The enemy made us stumble, but the Lord made us DANCE!

After being allowed the privilege of walking beside dozens of families who adopted children or became foster parents, we knew we would not walk a bumpless road when we chose to follow in their footsteps. We have witnessed the loss of jobs, sickness, injuries, disheartening diagnoses for children, estranged family relationships, legal troubles, depression, marriage struggles, and spiritual battles. All of these before a foster child or orphan entered their homes!

And yet, each of these families kept moving forward. One foot in front of the other, one day at a time, sometimes one hour at a time, for they knew every obstacle thrown in their path was an attempt of the enemy to keep them from moving forward. He does not thwart the path of those who follow him. He seeks to destroy those who follow Christ. So, of course, anyone following the Master to an orphanage to visit orphans in their distress becomes a target.

It was no surprise to us, therefore, when scarcely two hours after we turned in our foster care application, we took our first hit. I will never forget that moment. Standing in our backyard on a beautiful, sunny day, letting the news sink in while we soaked up the warmth of the sun. One word kept spinning through my mind. AFTER. We found out AFTER we turned in our application. Had we heard the news one day earlier, even that very morning, we would have (at best) hesitated or (at worst) not turned it in at all.
BUT GOD.
He knew our resolve would have weakened with the news.
He knew we would have questioned if we should move forward.
He knew we would have to trust Him, not ourselves.
He knew we would have to surrender what we thought was logical and necessary.
He knew the answer before we knew there was a question.
He knew.
We did not.
And so, as we stood on the cement slab in our backyard staring at each other that lovely afternoon, we had to make a choice. Will we follow the Lord down this new turn in the road without a word of worry or complaint, trusting Him to work out the details of the unknown?
It may have seemed like a choice, but there was really only one answer. "Yes, Lord. We will follow!"

Since that day, He has shown us that He is in control. He is aware. He sees us.
He has faithfully ministered to us through the reading of His Word, the preaching of His Word, and quotes written by godly men and women.
This Scripture passage comforted me more than any other:
“Is not this the fast that I choose:
to loose the bonds of wickedness,
to undo the straps of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry
and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover him,
and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?
Then shall your light break forth like the dawn,
and your healing shall spring up speedily;
your righteousness shall go before you;
the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;
you shall cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’
If you take away the yoke from your midst,
the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,
if you pour yourself out for the hungry

and satisfy the desire of the afflicted,
then shall your light rise in the darkness

and your gloom be as the noonday.
And the Lord will guide you continually

and satisfy your desire in scorched places
and make your bones strong;
and you shall be like a watered garden,
like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.
Isaiah 58:6-11

He has also ministered to us in tangible ways, reminding us that He IS Jehovah Jireh (the Lord will provide) by moving the hearts of others to join Him in unique and fun ways. And our brothers and sisters had no idea we needed them!
A friend threw us a "virtual" baby shower to provide the items needed for the babies who will come into our home. Another friend provided four days of paid physical labor which covered unexpected expenses. Two dear sisters prepared our bedroom to be a nursery. Notes of encouragement were placed in our hands. A family member filled a Costco cart with household supplies. Baby clothes were delivered. Gifts arrived in the mail. The government sent us an unexpected tax return. Dear friends added us to their "monthly missionary budget" because they see orphan care as a mission field. And most recently, the thoughtful family of my college roommate surprised us with a generous check that made me cry and caused Dennis to choke up, for it arrived during one of the hardest weeks we have yet endured in this journey.

George Mueller has long been one of my favorite pillars of the faith, and every time the Lord provided for our family in tangible ways such as those listed above, I was reminded of Mueller's seemingly unequaled faith in God's provision. "Faith does not operate in the realm of the possible. There is no glory for God in that which is humanly possible. Faith begins where man's power ends."

Praise God that He sees all when we see only what is in front of us.
Praise God that He knows all when we know only a piece of the whole.
Praise God that He knows what was, what is, and what is to come.

The day we turned in our foster care application was a great day, though not what we expected. I literally danced my way down the stairs after handing the application to the smiling woman at the front desk, not knowing that Dennis and I were about to trip and fall over the gigantic obstacle the enemy threw into our path hoping we would run away in discouragement and fear.
Little did he know that our God keeps a stockpile of sparkly shoes ready to slip onto the feet of His children after He faithfully and joyfully turns their mourning - into DANCING!

... for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him. Matthew 6:8

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