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.

6 thoughts on “You must be present to win

  1. It is never to late to follow Gods calling for your life. I am a 51 year old mother of 14 adopted and one bio child. The funny part is im not done yet. People keep asking me when are you going to stop adopting. I used to tell them this is the last one now I say when God says that’s enough and he has not told me that yet. After growing up in an abusive and dysfunctional home I found myself 38 years old divorced twice. I met a wonderful man and we were married a year later. HE had never had children. I talked to him about fostering and he agreed that we could adopt one boy. Well now we are at 13 years of marriage and we just adopted our 14th child from the foster care system. Our adopted children range from ages 7 through 23. God has blessed us beyond our imagination with several special needs children. Here is a news clip on one of them http://dfw.cbslocal.com/video/8166018-texans-with-character-matti-rooks/
    My husband was not excited about fostering and our minister told us that if I was truly called that God would change my husbands heart and that is exactly what happened. So this can be a great adventure for your family. God bless you all.

    • That’s so exciting and encouraging Patti! Thank you for sharing it with me. I can’t wait to check out the link. I used to teach Special Ed and had severe kiddos. One family I had had a little girl who’d been shaken twice as an infant. They adopted her before she turned one once their parental rights were removed. They too have fostered hundreds of children and adopted 7 of them. Such an amazing family. They and you too have such a special place in Heaven! God will reward you for your faithfulness for loving those children!

  2. I don’t know…possibly He just put your desires on hold for awhile for such a time as this. It’s exciting to see that He’s awakening those desires of your heart again…there is no telling where He will lead you and your family in the future. He’s so cool like that. As you step out, every part of your life will make sense one day. Just one mom’s opinion 🙂

    • Julia, you are right. Thankfully He doesn’t put expiration dates on us! 🙂 It will be very exciting to be in Heaven one day see how our life panned out!

  3. I just read this while looking through your posts. I, too, wanted to be “Gertrude Ramey”! It was like I was reading my own story as I read yours. Wow!

    I believe God knew the choices I would make and worked (as He says He will) all things together for good. I have loved my life, teaching music to children, raising my own, and loving my husband. This is 100% truth! But from time to time I imagine that house filled with children, orphans for lack of a better word, that I love as my own.

    • That is so awesome!!! Thank you for sharing that with me!! I would have absolutely LOVED to have known her. I think that may be why God must have called us both into teaching, Cindy. This way we HAVE had hundreds of “kids” who are ours!!! God’s sweet like that, isn’t He?!?!?!

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