"God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble." Psalm 46:1 (NIV)
"Mom, I didn't make it. Please pray for me. I just feel confused about God."
My heart sank. I felt my daughter's deep hurt. I felt it as clearly as if it were my own.
I know what it feels like to want something so badly and have that dream shut down. That door close. That opportunity slip away.
She'd been talking about going for this special achievement at summer camp for three years. Every time we talked about camp, she talked about going for this achievement. But she wasn't old enough to try until her fourth year at camp.
Finally, this was going to be her year.
She met every challenge and could see the goal in sight ... until the fire. She was supposed to light a campfire with nothing but three matches, one small square of newspaper and a few sticks of wood.
She struck the first match and held it up to the newspaper. It didn't ignite. She struck the second match and held it up to the newspaper. It still didn't ignite.
She stared at the third and final match. Knowing that a big part of the challenge was teaching the kids how to communicate with God and fully rely on Him, she'd been praying through every stage of the challenge. But now, she didn't just pray — she cried out to God.
"Please help me, God. Please," she mouthed as she struck the third match. She held the flame up to the paper once again and watched in complete disbelief. The matchstick burned but the paper did not.
As soon as the final match burned out, she lowered her head in defeat, and gave all her wood to the girls still in the challenge.
When I arrived at camp to pick her up a week later, she asked if we could go sit by ourselves and process this situation.
The fact that she didn't get the camp honor was not what was bothering her the most. What was bothering her the most was not experiencing God's power like the other girls. They all had stories of God answering their cries for help in amazing ways that carried them all the way through the challenge.
"Mom, I didn't get that with God. Why?"
This was a tough question. One of those questions as a mom that you don't want to mess up in answering.
I asked her to help me recall every step of her challenge so we could intentionally look for God's hand. As she recalled every part, I listened intently for anything unusual and unexplainable.
And when she got to the fire, I found it. There was no reason her newspaper shouldn't light. None at all. Everyone else's paper lit. Hers should have. But it didn't.
"Honey, that can only be explained by God intervening. He was there. He was listening. And we just have to trust that there was some reason you shouldn't have continued that challenge. We may not know that reason, but we can certainly trust God was right there ... protecting you ... loving you ... revealing His power to you."
She put her head on my shoulder, "You really think so, Mom?"
I whispered, "I know so."
I know so because I trust the truth God has given me. Truths like these are anchors that hold me to the reality of who God is:
He is the One in whom I find comfort and reassurance: "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world" (John 16:33, NIV).
He is right here with me in the midst of my trouble, I am not alone: "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble" (Psalm 46:1).
Yes, I know deep hurt. But I also know deep hope. So, I whispered it again, "Yes, sweetheart, I know so."
Sometimes God's power is shown as much in preventing things as it is in making them happen. We may never know why. But we can always know and trust the Who.
Dear Lord, thank You for knowing what I need and what I don't — even when I don't agree. Help me see Your "yes" and "no" as protection and guidance. Today, I choose to trust You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.This was the post from Proverbs 31 Ministries this morning. What an encouragement. This journey has been definitely with it's ups and downs. Definitely with it's times of questioning like this little girls thought of why was God not listening to our cries and other times of He definitely has heard our cries.
From the beginning of our adoption journey my prayer has been please let this be nothing about what we have done but about what YOU have done God. There have been times that I wish I hadn't put that out there because maybe, just maybe this journey would have been a shorter one. But I know that nothing in this life can really be about what I have done and be successful! Life can only truly be wonderful with GOD steering the ship. I know that God has wonderful things planned!
Just about 3 weeks ago we were contacted by our agency about a little boy that might be available to be adopted. They knew that this was opposite of what we were requesting but were we interested? I contacted the girls and both of them said sure (big A said as long as we could domestically adopt a little girl as well then sure, Daddy said you know I have always been open to adopting a boy and little A said sure). We then contacted our agency and said can we have more information about this little guy. It took about 1 week before information came and this is really where I saw God's hand at work. I then let another contact know that we were interested. A few days past ...I was away and spending time with a friend, this little guy was on my heart and in my prayers when I was trying to get to sleep and so I was praying earnestly for him. When I woke up I found out more information came about this little guy our second contact couldn't find any of our conversations about our interest in this little guy so she reached out to others. I found out and contacted her and she said she couldn't find any of our conversations except a non-helpful conversation so she figured I must have deleted it. As we were communicating she looked back and she found it right there. To me this was definitely a GOD moment! We were trying to figure if this little boy was to be part of our family and then found that there would have been great struggles that I wasn't sure that I could handle and GOD gave me the answer I needed. Another family said yes. PRAISE GOD!! They will be able to meet his needs so much more that we could have. He is going to be a part of a family where he is loved and his needs will be met far better that I believe that we could have. God saved my heart from agonizing over how to make that choice.
I have also been encouraged through a missionary in Honduras that these changes from one organization to another really should be a good one for adoptions. I do hope and pray this for these children that just want a family to love them. In the meantime I pray that for our little one, that God is protecting their heart and bringing people into their life to share love with them until we can.