Yesterday was an emotional day. At any given point I felt like I would cry. I had to get up from my desk and take a walk because the tears just sprung forth, uninvited.
I don’t think I realized the toll that all the changes in the adoption world has had on me. Seeing so many families switch to the Congo, knowing that God wants John and I to stay where we are. The devil is doing all he can to get me down, to plant seeds of doubt in my mind, to make me question if I’m really hearing God correctly.
After feeling a little out of whack all day, I was eager to get to my women’s Bible study. We started a short Beth Moore study last night and as always God met me exactly where I needed Him to. If you’ve been reading my blog for any period of time, you know that Beth Moore rocks my socks off. Last night she started the lesson with powerful words. It’s like God was flashing a neon sign shouting “Jennifer, Jennifer, don’t miss this!”
Beth Moore said: “God has made a promise over your life and He will fulfill it! But until you put your feet on your promise land, the devil has his all over it.”
Before I could stop myself, the tears were flowing. It wasn’t a sniff, sniff kind of cry, but an ugly sobbing mess. God has pointed John and me to our promise land – Ethiopia. Right now the devil is doing ALL that he can to keep us, and many other families, from reaching the promise land that God has so clearly promised.
As we studied scripture in Joshua 1, verse 3 leaped off the page: “I will give you every place where you set your foot.”
Beth Moore made a comment about this verse and I wrote it in my Bible. She said “We receive this promise when we act; when we step out in faith.”
Then she read Joshua 3:15
“Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, the water from upstream stopped flowing.”
Next to this verse I wrote “God will part the waters for us but we have to be willing to get our feet wet.”
The whole lesson was about not letting fear rob us of receiving our promise land. It was about having faith in the same God who promised Joshua that he would (despite his fears) cross the Jordan River into the promise land. Time and time again God told Joshua “Be strong and very courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged.” I’m sure the devil was trying to mess with Joshua’s head the same way that he is trying to mess with mine.
But Joshua chose to believe God – “I will give you every place where you set your foot” – and he didn’t allow fear to keep him from reaching the promise land.
I am so thankful for the women that I do Bible study with. The majority of the group is older than me (by 10 or more years) but the wisdom, encouragement and support from these ladies is something I could never replace. I have had the privilege of studying the Bible with my friend Kim, her mother and her grandmother. Three generations of amazing Christian women who love the Lord and who lift me up in prayer. These ladies have been praying for me and my future children before John and I even started the adoption process. They were there through the infertility. They were there when God first whispered Ethiopia to our hearts. They continue to be there through the ups and downs of this process.
Last night (through the ugly cry) I spilled my guts and shared my heart with these ladies – my fears, how hard it is to stay on the path God has for me when so many others are going a different way and how I desperately want to reach my promise land – even if that takes years.
These ladies know me. They know each step that John and I have taken to get to this point of our adoption journey. They have prayed for my babies. They all believe and agree that John and I are doing the right thing by standing firm and continuing the journey to Ethiopia. They all agreed that God has brought us too far to turn around now. They encouraged me, they prayed for me and they loved me – a sobbing mess and all. They reaffirmed what John and I have always known – our promise land is Ethiopia.
There is a song called “Blessings” that really speaks to my heart these days. As I was driving home last night it came on the radio. God has such perfect timing. The lyrics are beautiful. They are a reminder that even in the darkest situations, those times when you have no idea how things are going to turn out, God is faithful. He can use those times to prove to us just how faithful He is. I want to close this blog with the lyrics of the song.