Monday, November 15, 2010

Friday, October 15, 2010

This was decision day for us. This is the day that God spoke to us in a way that brought me to tears over and over again throughout the day. By the end of the day, my heart was throwing its hands up in the air exclaiming, "I get it, God! I hear You! I hear you loud and clear."

I woke up that morning after many weeks of feeling restless, battered (as you may feel now after just reading my two prior posts), weary and confused. Here's my journal entry:

October 15, 2010

James 2:14-17
What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

(I can't remember the exact path that led me to that passage, but it really is irrelevant because for whatever reason that's the passage of scripture that I was led to that morning. I don't know if I've ever read that verse before. Amazing. Read on).

Here goes my heart again, Lord! Stirring, spinning, reeling, churning. Show me, Lord. Show me WHAT to do! How will it look? I'm terrified of imagining our life/lives without this home, JD's job, health insurance, retirement...all the things of this world that we've come in America to expect in life. All the comforts -- all the luxuries of the 'American dream.' Lord, show me how to ACT according to James 2:17. How am I supposed to move (emotionally, physically, financially) from this state? My prayer is for JD -- Lord, as has been the pattern in our marriage, move him and I'm ready. I just pray for my willingness to accept and support whatever action he may feel led to take. I pray for him to hear You clearly and I pray for his obedience. Father, may he obey WHATEVER it is You lay before him/us. May we step in faith. May we truly trust You that we will be okay. And, Lord, if JD doesn't feel led to act in a global sense, show me how I can locally. Show me how to love globally from right here in Richmond. What will that look like?

A little history might be in order here. The dynamic that JD and I have is one where I can leap with an emotional response to a cause. My heart breaks for someone or I feel pulled in a certain direction and I want to go! I am a doer. JD's more cautious. He describes himself as 'risk-averse.' Isn't that hilarious? I love his honesty. We have had other times in our marriage where I want to jump in head first about something and he's been the voice of reason to settle me down and sweetly say (as only a husband can say to his wife!), "Cool your jets, honey." Or sometimes he says, "Slow down; take a deep breath." Our opposing personality traits in this regard have actually served us well over the years because I can encourage him to push toward something he may not have pushed toward otherwise and he can be a voice of reason for me and help me to pull back and wait. This was my prayer that morning. I knew that if God moved in JD then I would know the course of action we were to take, whatever it was, would be the right one. Basically, I had to hand it over and allow JD to take the lead.

There's been one other time in our marriage when I prayed that prayer. JD was in his first year of law school and I felt ready to start a family. I told him of my desires. He (wisely) said he thought we should wait because he still had two years left of school. He asked how we would take care of a child. I trusted that God would work it out. I asked him to just pray about it and he agreed to do so. My prayer became that I would wait on him and know when he was ready and when God moved in him, it was the right time. Two weeks later, he came to me and said he was ready to start a family. We were expecting our first child one month later.

Not long after praying that prayer the morning of October 15th, I was checking my email. I got an email from a sweet friend who had read Crazy Love with me. She wanted to share a blog with us -- a woman who is truly living out a 'crazy love' for Jesus. Brace yourself. She is a modern day Mother Teresa. You must read this post: Reading that post caused me to melt into a puddle over my keyboard. I just broke down. If you read the post, you'll see why. But for me, there was more to the message than just the enormous sacrifice she's made. She references the scripture above (James 2:17: faith without deeds is dead).

Twice within just a couple of hours, God whispered the same exact verse into my ear. There are thousands of verses in the Bible. If there's one thing I know for sure, when God reveals a verse to me more than once in a 24-hour period, I better sit up and listen. And so I do.

After reading about Katie, it's as if God asked, "So Heather, you and JD are waiting for what? If I can equip a woman in her 20's to single-handedly raise over 10 children in Africa, what makes you think I can't equip you and JD to do it together here?"

I forwarded Katie's blog post to JD at work with one simple sentence:

Honey, I truly think we're supposed to adopt.

Now, let me assure you this is not the first time adoption has been mentioned between us. We have talked about it off and on for years. We've had what I would call a 'passive' approach to adoption. I thought, 'God's given us an open heart to adoption, so when He presents a child that needs a home, we'll respond.' Or, 'When we go on a missions trip one day, we'll likely meet orphans and will return home with great certainty that we're to adopt one.' After our boys were born, people often asked us if we were done having children and our response was, 'Biologically. We're open to expanding our family through adoption.' However, it was a very sit-back-and-wait attitude. And, frankly, I'm over that. That's not my nature. But, interestingly, I can embrace that position when something scares me.

I didn't hear back from JD all day (not uncommon). But I was wondering what his thoughts were and was sure he would come home and say, 'Honey, you know we can't do that yet. We have our hands full. Maybe in a few years when the boys get older.'

One funny story could probably be inserted here...

Just one year ago, I came home with a black lab puppy and JD didn't let me hear the end of it for 9 months (I kid you not). He must've said, 'we're not ready' or 'we weren't ready' or 'I'm not ready' a hundred times. I did not go out searching for our sweet dog, Lucy, but he could not budge off the notion that it was not the right timing. I agreed on some level, but our children did not. Lucy warms our couch nightly at the present. :) I tell you this so you'll understand the kind of man my husband is. I would not describe him as adventuresome. He's a practical, reason-filled, logical man. He worries about providing for his family. He thinks big picture. He is not easily swayed.

On the morning of October 15th, JD was going to attend his Friday morning men's group (the group that had chosen the book 'Radical' to read). It was the first time JD was meeting with them since starting the book and we were both looking forward to some other perspectives on this thing. I knew what I was going through internally and was curious to know if this book was having the same effect on others.

When JD got home that night, we were sitting downstairs in our basement rec room with our kids. They were watching a kid show and we were sitting nearby catching up. JD says, 'So I went to my men's group this morning.'

I answer, 'Ahhh, yes! What do the guys think of the message of the book?'

He says they're all rattled. But the crazy part for JD is that all the men were sitting there saying how much they get it and want to respond in a radical way, but don't know what their wives are going to think and if their wives will feel the same way they do. JD looks at me and says he couldn't believe it because he sat there thinking, 'Wow, my wife's already read it and she gets it.' I start to cry.

I get myself together. We talk for a few more minutes about the book and what certain men in his group had to say about it. One of the men in his group is a full-time missionary who's only in the States for 6 months or so and then he and his wife and children will be headed back overseas. This is a man who had the corporate job/American dream lifestyle and he and his wife gave it all up and began full-time work as missionaries. What a valuable perspective he can offer this group during the reading of a book such as 'Radical'! Coincidence?

So I ask if he got my email.

He says he did. I'm ready for the 'we're not ready' explanation, but instead he says, 'Let's do it.'

What? What did he just say?

I start crying.

We quickly realize we have a lot to talk about and the kids don't need to see me cry my way through it.

So, there you have it.

We're adopting.

We're thrilled.

God is leading.

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