Sunday, September 25, 2011

Defeating Discouragement

Today's message at church was so right on track with so much of what I have experienced and heard others experience through adoption and just thought I would share because it was so encouraging to me!  I only wished I would have heard this a year and a half ago when we started announcing our decision to adopt, I think it would have helped me even more.

You can watch the series we are going through right now entitled "Change Your World in 52 Days: The Story of Nehemiah at  LifeChurch.TV  but the focus points today were based on the facts that "we don't face opposition because we are doing something wrong, we face it because we're doing something right." -Craig Groeschel 

Anytime you feel called to start something and take a leadership role you will encounter opposition in many different forms.  This may be verbally from others or in more tangible ways such as financial hurdles and unexpected happenings in life that will come right when you don't need them to.  This of course is so discouraging and makes us second guess what we are doing and if we were really in fact "called" to the action or not but it is important to know this is just all part of the process and we have to fight for our cause and remember God.  You are not here to answer to those who will criticize you but rather to answer to God who has called you.  Craig talked today about facing criticism everyday and how so many people think he doesn't deal with it, I imagine because he is SO good at what he does.  He has been a huge pioneer in many many ways, getting people that wouldn't ordinarily go to church  (like myself), to have various ways of going and being able to really learn who God is as well as learn how to apply what we learn from the Bible in our lives today.  He said he does face criticism and always has but he has learned that no one wants to be converted in any situation and to lead without being defensive.  Oh this is something I struggle with SO much when it comes to advocating for orphans!  It is so hard to not let my passion for orphans get the best of me and feel like I might go into a "preaching" moment when someone questions our adoption in a criticizing manner, I am trying though...pray for me :)

 Anyone that knows me, knows I am stubborn and I don't back down when it comes to what I believe in or what I am passionate about. Although I am this way, I still always second guess myself and do let critics get to me but the end result is almost always me sticking to my beliefs.  I do think back on "what if" we would have let what others said about us adopting (internationally at that), get to us to the point we didn't follow, where would we be today?  Or where wouldn't we be today?  Well, we wouldn't have a blog that we could share with all of our friends, family and others about adoption, we wouldn't have had a garage sale fundraiser in which most of our town saw (due to it being on main Street during a big festival) and heard our story, we wouldn't have started It's A Child's Life with 3 other orphan-loving families we got to know so well, we wouldn't have the many new friends we have made through our blog, adoption agency forum and through other get-togethers and most importantly if we would have listened to many critics and not followed through there would be 1-2 children out there that would be waiting even longer for a forever family because we wouldn't have been available.  I think about a year and a half ago when we decided to adopt we only knew of one other family in our area who had adopted internationally and we thought we were going to be the outcasts but we didn't care, we realized our church supported us, our life group supported us and those people we had met who we really treasured, supported us too.  Now I sit here and can think of 6-7 families off the top of my head who have decided to adopt since and many many more who have expressed interest in adopting or fostering and I think "what if", what if each of those families listened to their critics who would be affected the most?  The Children...and I don't know about you but I for sure am never going to let a "critic" determine the fate of a child's life no matter what the circumstance is.

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