Last summer, Joseph and I traveled with a group from our church to serve with Back2Back Ministries in Monterrey, Mexico. While God made it abundantly clear that He wanted us on that trip (ask me about our fundraising sometime), I wasn’t certain how He would use me while we were there. In addition to using me that week, I wasn’t sure how He would change my life when we returned home. And aren’t those two of our top prayers when God sends us out: to be used and to be changed?
Upon returning, I wrote about feeling used by God (in a good way!) while we were in Mexico, but I was struggling with the return home. I didn’t feel like God was continuing to use me here at home, and I wanted desperately to be a part of God’s work. I wanted Him to change me and to use me for Kingdom work. So, why wasn’t He?
It turns out He was.
A few weeks ago, I remembered a moment from our trip. As powerful as it was for me, this moment was tucked into the recesses of my brain. If you asked my team members which activities were the most meaningful and impactful as we served, I suspect many of them would tell you about praying through the children’s home that was (still is) under construction. We were each given a piece of chalk, and we were instructed to walk through the building, praying and writing on the (unpainted) walls. Stopping in the kitchen, kneeling in family rooms, lifting up prayers in bedrooms, we wrote Scripture on the walls, claiming the truth of Christ for the future residents of the home.
And I wept.
There, in that cinderblock room with unpainted walls, my pain collided with the pain of the children in Mexico. My heart ached to be a mother, and my heart broke at the thought of the babies in Monterrey who would need caregivers. I wanted those babies to know they were made in God’s image, and I wanted them to experience Christ’s love for them through the house parents who would care for them there. I even prayed and asked God if Joseph and I were supposed to be those house parents.
I was broken, and I didn’t want to leave that room. I sat on a cinderblock and asked Joseph if we could stay a little longer. In that moment, I felt connected to those babies, and I didn’t want that to end.
I knew God wanted us to adopt, but I didn’t know who or when. Did He want us to work with babies in Mexico? Did He want us to adopt a sibling group through DSS? Or was it possible He wanted us to adopt a newborn through a private agency? My mind was swirly and frustrated as I waited for answers.
Fast forward to this summer. We’ve been spending time praying in a different baby room. This time, it’s ours. This time, it’s the room we believe God will fill with children over the years. Sometimes, it’s hard being in that empty baby room. I find myself sitting in there not wanting to leave. I long for God to fill it, and I trust He will.
If you had asked me last summer how our home would look this summer, I don’t know how I would have answered you. I was clouded by my deep desire to be a mother (I still struggle with that), and I was impatient to see God working to fulfill that desire. Truthfully, there have been many days over the last year when I didn’t think God would make me a mother. There may still be more ahead.
If there are, I will walk into the baby room, and I will choose to trust that God will fill it one day. He has affirmed over and over that we’re on the right path, that He has indeed called us to adopt. He just hasn’t affirmed the itinerary. :O)
So, where has God been at work in your life? Can you look back over the last months, even years, and see that God had a plan, that He was working in your life even when it didn’t seem like it? I’d love to hear your stories!