God Told Me

watching the rain

I don’t like the God told me card. Don’t get me wrong, I do believe that God can speak to us through his word and through prayer and other means. We ought to sense and discern the will of God. There is a place to say that God told me to do something. However, in a discussion, that “God told me” card can act as a trump card against all other arguments or points of view. Who can argue with “God told me”? For this reason, I hesitate to speak this way. I would rather say, “we sense that God is calling us to….” Some might view that as a lack of confidence or lack of faith, but I mean it to be an openness and sense of humility. I want to be open to correction and rebuke. I want to discern God’s will alongside others without playing the trump card.

That being said, I was encouraged lately to speak more freely and passionately when I feel God directing me. To not hesitate to speak with conviction if I believe God calling me or the people I lead in a certain direction. While “God told me” is not a card to be played, if I believe that God has called me to something, to follow that boldly and speak about it with conviction.

Meanwhile, recently some people have been puzzled about our adoption, not understanding our reasoning or not understanding why we would pursue adoption when we don’t have the funds to pay for it all. So here it is: God is calling us to adopt. I have no doubt in my mind. This is not simply our wish our desire or motivated by self-fulfillment. We feel called by God. In fact, I have never been so sure about anything else, save my call to be a preacher of the gospel. In both cases, this call came not from a want or desire, or a selfish motive. In fact, in both cases my life would have been much easier if I took another route. But in both cases there was a fire in my belly call from God. A divine must. To the point where I believe to withhold any longer would be sinful. When God calls so clearly and powerfully we must obey.

This call has been re-affirmed in me at every step. When Melissa and I both felt called to adopt. When we both agreed that we were called to adopt internationally. When we both believed that God wanted us to pursue an adoption from Guinea. When we first talked with our social worker. Over and over again, God has re-affirmed this journey to us.

And while we knew, deep in our hearts with complete conviction that God was calling us to this journey, there’s a big problem. Our adoption could cost us as much as $30,000, which we simply don’t have. We have a stable home and job in an awesome community and church. We have a great marriage and family that is eager to welcome another member. We have a loving and supportive extended family. We have a great network of friends to support and encourage us. But we don’t have $30,000.

So what do you do when God calls you to do the impossible? What do you do when the call of God and the bank account don’t agree? In our prayers and conversations we felt that God was calling us to move ahead in faith. As a pastor, I talk about faith a good deal. But here God was actually calling us to step out and do the impossible. To trust him with what we couldn’t control. To believe that if we obeyed and trusted and surrendered our plans for His that he would meet all our needs in his timing and his way for his glory. And so we move forward in faith.

We are realizing that God is calling us on a journey that will stretch our faith in him and will teach us to pray like never before. He is calling us to an impossible situation, because that’s the best place for us to be as a family. He’s calling us to rely on others and live the way I teach people to live: in community. In calling us to raise funds, he is pushing us to share our journey with others and hopefully inspire others to also adopt or at least support someone who is. He’s calling us to teach others about God’s heart for adoption and that we are his adopted sons and daughters in Christ.

Why are we doing this? Because God told us to. It’s the scariest, most exciting, all-encompassing journey we’ve been on, but we take heart, because God told us to.

-Steve

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New bracelets in stock

I am blown away by the support we’ve received through this fundraiser. After running out of bracelets thanks to generous family and friends in Ontario, I have reordered more stock and have another large supply available. I also have a new circle charm bracelet available. All supplies are limited, so please don’t wait if you’ve got your eye on a certain style. There are six styles to choose from and three colours available. They come nicely packaged and make great gifts! They are $15 each or 3 for $40. Click here for more details and pictures. Thanks for the kind support!

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Envelope #2 and counting…

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Okay, so I thought I had a pretty good grip on the paperwork part-time job I began with this adoption a few months ago, but the documents I’ve been working on this week have been nothing short of ridiculous.

At this stage, we are working on autobiographies, family trees, a support system map, medical clearance checks, photocopying and notorizing all our marriage certificate and our IDs, criminal record checks, and Prior Contact/Child Abuse Checks for every province we have lived in while over the age of 18.

For every province we have lived in while over the age of 18.

Anybody catch that?

Anybody laughing right now? Goodness.

So in addition to the BC checks we are to complete two checks in Manitoba, two in Saskatchewan, and one in Ontario. To make things more fun, we have to dig up info on the process and the forms themselves required for each province.

Cuz’ the provinces not only don’t talk to each other about this, they don’t file paperwork, or even call this check by the same name!

Side rant: Why does everybody want these documents faxed? Faxed? On a fax machine. Who still has one of those giant machines taking up desk space? I asked Manitoba if I could scan and email them their documents and they said no, fax only. Seriously? I haven’t used a fax machine since I was a tween and sent primitive text-like messages to my friend whose Dad also had a home business and thus the budding technology of 1995. End rant.

So if British Columbia citizens reading this blog are even remotely interested in pursuing adoption someday, may I suggest not attending college in Saskatchewan, following your handsome preacher-husband to Manitoba for a three-year stint, or simply being born and raised in Ontario.

Cuz’ the paperwork, long-distance phone bills, automated phone voice people, information-tracking that literally leads in circles is RIDICULOUS.

However, just like morning sickness, heartburn, exhaustion, and an extra 30lbs 40lbs are worth it in pregnancy. (TRUST ME!) This paperwork headache is worth every minute on hold, since it brings me one step closer to our little one.

And seriously, does anybody have a fax machine?

~ Melissa

Six

We flew home Wednesday after a wonderful trip to visit my family in Ontario.
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And on both flights, we nearly filled an entire row of three and three. While we had no TVs on the flight home (thanks a lot westjet!) we did have an empty seat in our row on both flights.

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And it felt appropriate. Because next time we will need that seat. Because next time we will fill a whole row.

Because we are soon to be a family of six.

~Melissa

Thanks Ontario!

We have been so blessed by supportive Ontario family and friends who have bought up almost our entire stock of adoption bracelets! I placed an order for more supplies today and will be working hard to have more ready for our BC family and friends when we return home later this week. Thanks everybody for your support and kind words as we begin this crazy journey in faith.

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Early Days

I’ve thought a lot about our adoption today. I’ve felt prompted to pray for our little one lots. It’s hard, these early days. We aren’t matched with a specific child yet. We don’t yet know if Noah, Eva, and Jeremy will have a little brother or little sister, as we’ve chosen to be open to either.

I wonder if our child has even been born yet. If they’re sick today, or getting a first tooth. Maybe they’re sitting up for the first time or learning to crawl. I don’t know. And it’s hard not to know.

There is so much unknown, so much out of my control. Yet, my Mama’s heart yearns for our little one. For this special child we believe God will choose for our family.

In the same way I sometimes think about the three babies we lost to miscarriage, I think about our little one in Africa.

I’m Mama to all of them.

Those I hold in my arms, and those in the arms of Jesus.

And the little one, someday to come.

 

~Melissa

Manila Envelope #1

This post is a little late, but I wanted to commemorate the first of many large Manila envelopes that we have sent off. This one contained stage one documents and payment and I was thrilled to finally finish it all and send it off right before we left on holidays at the end of June.

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Next comes detailed autobiographies, more personal questionnaires, criminal record checks filed separately with all FOUR provinces we have lived in as adults (YAY), and medical clearance forms to be filled out by our Doctor.

And our agency has sent their THIRD formal request to the Guinean Government now. Please pray they receive this one and grant us permission to proceed!

Thanks for following our story.

~melissa