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The Cost

I have recently discovered a band that seems to have the most precious spirit of worship and service.  While I don’t know much about The Rend Collective Experiment, what I get from their lyrics is that they have a pure love of Jesus.  Each one of their songs has lyrics that are so pure and real.  My favorite is “The Cost.”  Here’s how it starts out…

I’m saying yes to You
And no to my desires
I’ll leave myself behind
And follow You

I’ve counted up the cost
Oh I’ve counted up the cost
Yes I’ve counted up the cost
And You are worth it
(lyrics from http://www.newreleasetuesday.com/lyricsdetail.php?lyrics_id=73467)

I recently finished Kisses from Katie, a book about a young missionary in Uganda, who is doing amazing things for the children in that country.  All the way through, I felt her story rocking my world.  But it wasn’t until the end of the book that something struck a deep nerve with me, especially in light of this song that’s been on repeat in my mind.

Then, NO JOKE, several weeks later, I start an online bible study through Proverbs 31 Ministries called “What Happens When Women Say Yes to God” by Lysa Terkheurst.  So I’m starting to see a theme here Lord….So what exactly is God trying to tell me?  Apparently that He wants all of me.  That He wants me to say “Yes” to Him.  That He wants me to trust Him with all that I have and all that He has for me.  But that it’ll cost me something.  But that it’ll be worth it.  Because He is worth it.

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You must be present to win

In my short 35 years on this planet I have learned something.  I’ve learned that when you don’t step up to what God calls you to or what God has laid on your heart, He will move on to someone else.  In reading parenting books over the years I’ve read that “slow obedience is no obedience” and while I relate it to whipping my children into shape, God gently revealed to me that quote goes for me too.  Ouch.  Growing up I never dreamed about my wedding day.  I was never the little girl playing dress up and dreaming of a magical day, didn’t have a fairy tale wedding planned out or fantasized about my Prince Charming.  When I thought of my future what I saw we me on a lot of land surrounded by children, of all colors and abilities, who didn’t belong to me biologically living on a lot of land, just doing our thing.  We had a children’s home in our area that has long since closed down that was run by a single woman named Gertrude Ramey.  The home closely resembled an orphanage.  My mom called me “her little Gertrude Ramey” I guess because I was always bringing strays home and showing empathy to others around me.  I remember being in grade school and telling people on the playground that we were going to adopt children from Africa.  The idea really excited me.  I watched “Feed the Children” commercials and even as a small child would ask my mom, “If we adopt a child, won’t they miss their families?”  I quickly learned that it didn’t quite work like that…Anyway, I went through high school, met a boy, went to college, got engaged, married, etc.  It was always the next thing.  You go to college, next you get married, next you get a career, next you have babies, next, next, next…So apparently with my husband of 15 years, 4 children, dog and a cat, I lost my dream.  I’ve always felt that something is missing.  I wonder if that “something” that’s missing is the missed call on my life.  A wrong turn so to speak.

So in the past couple of weeks I have found two women who have picked up my very calls.  I was on Facebook and I found a girl who picked up my call of adopting children of all types.  A woman named Jenny who is adopting a boy with Down Syndrome.  Her story is amazing.  She has 3 children, 2 biological and one adopted.  She’s single.  And apparently not allowing fear to rule her life.  She’s about my age.  I can’t help but think that this desire that I’ve had since I was little wasn’t transferred to her since I didn’t take it up.  Who knows.  I guess I never will until I get to Heaven one day.  My heart is SO full for her and the little family she’s creating.

The other woman who’s doing what I should have done is Katie Davis.  She’s a young girl who left every comfort of America and after graduating from HIGH SCHOOL!!  she became a missionary to Uganda adopting almost an entire village.  Again, no man in her life (yet) (not that I’m an ultra-feminist, “I don’t need no man in my life” kinda gal…quite the opposite).  But I see and read the things she does with these children, the work she’s doing for the Lord, and the heart she has for people….I feel like that’s what my life would look like had I not been worried about the “next thing.”   I remember being on break from college, really struggling with what I wanted to do with my life that a degree could fulfill.  Starting out a Biology major so I could go to Physical Therapy school, wasn’t turning out as well as I had hoped.  Finally after I was talking to one of my aunts telling her that I wanted to major in missions and minor in French…two degrees I felt would be a perfect fit in my quest to change the world.  After talking to someone I admire about my decision, they said, “Oh honey, don’t you think you should work on the people in your own country before you go to another?”  Eventually their words kept me here.  Sadly I can’t even talk to that person about adopting kids from another country for that very same fact.  “Don’t you think there are so many kids in your own country that need adopting before you go adopting one from another country?”  But knowing them, if I announced tomorrow that we were going to do a domestic adoption they’d say, “Oh aren’t you worried about the parent coming back or all the emotional and/or mental problems the child will have?  You just don’t ever know what you’re getting when you get into something like that…” Ugh.  It’s exhausting.

So what do I do now?  Wallow in the fact that I missed big time the major calls God had on my life?  No.  I can’t do that.  Like I said, I have 5 people and 2 pets depending on me.  I can’t ruin what God HAS given me because of my lack of understanding the implications of NOT listening to the Lord.  He has MORE than abundantly blessed me despite my disobedience.  I love my little family so much and I can’t taint what I do have with what I could have had.  What I can do is be listening for God’s leading.  His possible leading of us to adoption, international or domestic, and NOT, I repeat NOT allow the words, attitudes or beliefs of others, even those closest to us, to deter us from doing what God’s leading us to do.  I can also be willing to allow my children to go and do whatever God has called them to, not matter how afraid it makes me.  I refuse to allow my fears and own selfishness to rob them of a life well spent fully sold out to the Lord.  If God calls one or more of them to the mission field, adoption, singleness…they will have my full support, initially and every day after that.
No.  Matter.  What.