Hi! Just wanted to post a quick update letting you all know where we’re at, because I feel like I’ve left this hanging a bit! 😉
Our family took a much needed complete break from everything last week and went to the lovely, warm, sunny island of Maui with some good friends! By the end of the trip, we were all looking up housing prices (as usual) and scheming how we could justify moving our families to the sunshine and sand! LOL
Alas, now we are back in town, hit with the starkness of real-life like a ton of bricks in the gut! The three hour time difference is taking its toll, and we are going to be really scary looking zombies by the time Halloween rolls in!
As you know from three weeks ago, we received our “judgement” which is the first half of a 2-part process leading up to obtaining our Adoption Decree. Right now we are still waiting for our decree – but confident that it could come any time in the next few weeks! We have a tentative travel-plan for Kris and I to go down to visit again the first week of November, however our “plan” is to take that trip only if we receive our decree before then. The reason being, if we have our decree we can take W from the orphanage and he can stay at the hotel with us and get some fantastic bonding time outside of the walls of the orphanage. If we do not get our decree by then, we will push out our travel til the first week of December (and pray that we have it by then!). We are continuing to pray for a miracle of expedited process in getting him home! We are certainly in the homestretch here!! After being in this 3 1/2 years, a 6-month stretch til homecoming seems like nothing! We are super excited! We are starting to finally get his bedroom ready – which is an amazing step for us 🙂 W loves avengers, and his favorites are Captain America and Iron Man. When we were there a few months ago, I asked him what kinds of pictures he would like on his wall, and he said he wanted Captain America AND Iron Man on his wall. So, His room will be a simple Avengers theme, (nothing too overwhelming), which is fun to put together! His bed and dresser are arriving on Friday, so we’ll take some pics and post them when the room is done 🙂 Makes it even that much more real in our household!
Homecoming in the Spring is pretty reasonable expectation at this point, with the way things are moving, however we also got a pretty clear promise from God a couple months ago that He was going to expedite this entire rest of the process, which He has done at each step since then. So, we are ready to hang on to our seats and ride this one out! We say, bring on the rollercoaster, because we want him home!
I was at Bible study yesterday with some great women, and we were going through the story of Abraham and Isaac, and God’s testing of Abraham in Genesis 22. If you don’t know the story, read it – its pretty incredible! If you know it well, read it again! You never know what God wants to show you unless you pay attention! 😉
Anyway, every time I read that passage, I can’t even get through it without getting emotional. This man took his only son, that was the absolute essence of his heartbeat, and followed a direction from God that would seem completely asinine and downright insane to any normal person with a shred of humanity. God told him to take his son up to the mountain and offer him as a sacrifice in obedience. This guy, Abraham, was a loving father, even though he was old, and this boy was his entire future wrapped up in a boy-man’s body. Theologians put Isaac’s age somewhere between 14-20’s which is way more than old enough to fight back, and know full well that something was not quite right.
Abraham immediately answered the Lord with obedience, packed up his stuff and headed out with Isaac by his side. Abraham told the rest of his household that he and Isaac would return later (hang onto this thought). Then, the pair traveled for THREE DAYS up the mountain, with Abraham telling his son that the Lord would provide a lamb for the sacrifice. Imagine being that man, in absolute agony over something that would be the hardest thing you were ever going to do in your lifetime, which was to take the life of your child because the God he knew and loved had asked him to. Not only just living with that momentary fleeting cold dread, but having to live with that weight and emotion for three whole days – not really certain what the outcome would be. I imagine there was a ton of tension between the two, because there’s no way Isaac was blind to Abraham’s emotional torture. Here’s where we get back to that thought I asked you to hang onto – years prior, God had made a promise to Abraham that He would make Abraham’s descendants as numerous as the stars, and that his lineage would come from this one son, Isaac. To most people back then (and further on for centuries), having a son who could carry on your family line was massively important. Abraham and his wife Sarah were also extremely old and God had given them this child as a miracle because Sarah was way too old to be pregnant, but God had promised them a son by birth.
What gets me is that not once did Abraham question “hey, God, you remember that promise you gave me awhile back? You promised to give me an infinitely long line of descendants, and they were all supposed to come from Isaac…how are you planning to give me this lineage if my son is dead?” He didn’t whine and complain and plead with God to spare Isaac’s life or spare him the emotional torture of having to go through this duty. He actually turned to his staff at home and said “we’ll be back – both of us.” He had 100% complete trust in the Lord that He would honor his promise in one way or another. He fully expected that God would raise Isaac from the dead to carry on the family line. I truly don’t think Abraham ever expected that God would intervene the way that He did – Oops getting ahead of myself. So, they get all the way up to the mountain – at one point, Abraham loaded the wood for the altar on Isaac’s back – so obviously he was a strong kid/young adult to be able to carry all that wood! When they get up to the top, Abraham built the altar, and then TIED ISAAC DOWN ONTO THE WOOD. This is like a scene from a horror movie seriously. I cannot even imagine being in that position. He literally raises the knife in the air, preparing to bring it down and kill his son, when God’s voice thunders through, stopping his arm in mid-air. I can imagine the emotional collapse at that point. The sheer relief and the flood of love for a God who would not allow him to continue on through such a torturous experience. God then provided a ram, stuck in the bushes nearby to be the sacrifice in place of Isaac. (lots of foreshadowing here on Christ’s sacrifice to come later on in the New Testament)
The biggest thing I was impressed with this time around, is that Abraham followed God’s direction even though it seemed absolutely CRAZY. God was testing him to see how he would respond – if he would follow God at all cost. The funny thing is, it wasn’t a surprise to God how Abraham responded – God knew he would be faithful, but I wonder if Abraham was convicted by the amount of faith that he had in his God?
God has given us promises about our adoption, about our son, and there have been so many times where I have to stop my anxiety and my worry and say (metaphorically) “we’ll be back – both of us” basically shaking off the doubts and fears and reminding myself of the promises that God has made – and that even though the current situation just makes His promises seem absolutely crazy and impractical – He is the God of impossible things, when we say impossible He responds, “I’M POSSIBLE”. (For the record, I know Audrey Hepburn said it too, but I’m pretty sure that God thought of that WAAAAAYYYYYY before she did! LOL)
At the end of our study yesterday, a friend of mine was praying for our adoption and she said, “God you ask for the desires of our hearts, and the desire of our hearts is that this little boy would be home for Christmas!” I know He’s not made any specific “Christmas” promises (yet!) LOL but I was also impressed with the reminder that we serve a God who loves to listen to us, He loves to hear the pulsing of our soul, and He delights in the desires of our hearts! Sometimes I’m so concerned about my prayers that I constantly pray “Thy will be done” and forget that He loves to hear what my heart is passionate about! I don’t need to be tongue-tied when it comes to sharing with Him my longings and my passions 🙂
Anyway, this “quick update” turned into a long devotional! LOL Just remember to take stock of His promises that He has given you – and rest in those, especially when worry and anxiety comes. And don’t be shy about being honest with the God who carefully wove together your entire being! He knows you more intimately than you know yourself, and what a great safe One with whom to share the desires of your heart!
Blessings, and hopefully we’ll have a decree to post here shortly!! The amazing thing that can come with decree is NAME, and REAL PHOTOS!!!!! 😉 So be on the lookout!