We go to a network church of LifeChurch.tv and I have said it many times before but our pastor, Craig Groeschel definitely has a gift of being able to deliver a message that is very meaningful, yet entertaining and everyday you leave really being able to take something away from the experience that you can directly apply to your life. A few weeks ago our lesson was on Samson, for 4 weeks we learned about Samson and it was mentioned over and again that this lesson was aimed for the guys, yet I and many other women took a lot away from it. This lesson was going on while we were having to make one of the most difficult decisions I have EVER had to make in my life in our adoption process. You would have thought this would not have been a help at all and I did at first. How can hearing about one of the strongest men in the bible who disobeyed by being unclean and eating honey out of a lion’s carcass, drinking alcohol, and being with a women who would ultimately be the reason his hair was cut off and his strength was lost, help us in our adoption decisions??? Well in the teachings we were told about how when choices are made we have to determine if they are “emotionally driven OR spiritually led”. This has almost become my daily reminder in everything I do.
When it comes to adopting a child, you cannot deny that a mother’s (or father’s) emotions are going to be heightened in everything that occurs and in all decisions to be made, I mean it is a child’s life we are dealing with. In other decisions it may be easier to pray and feel led towards a certain direction but when it comes to making a decision between one child or another it is not that easy. There is just no way a person’s emotions can be tamed in a decision like this especially when you are watching your own child and internalizing EVERY single aspect and realizing how each child in this world deserves everything your child gets because that is what they are, a child. They may have developmental delays, attachment disorder, HIV, behavioral problems and many other “issues” but they are still a child, they are dealing with the cards they were dealt and they need help from responsible, loving adults to care for them and show them how to be a child and how to grow up to be a responsible and loving adult themselves. Okay, I digress. This is why I don’t keep up with my blog as much as I would like because I can’t seem to contain all my thoughts and emotions to stay focused…back on track now.
“Emotionally driven or spiritually led”…without going into detail this is what was the determining factor recently in our adoption and we went down the path of “spiritually led” and once we did I will say although our emotions didn’t change in the snap of our fingers, we did have a sense of peace, excitement, and overall just a feeling of this is what we were supposed to do. Let me tell you, I am a VERY emotional person when it comes to children and orphans so as I am typing this I am still somewhat in disbelief that I was able to make that decision BUT I also know I didn’t do it on my own and COULDN”T for that matter and the only one who could was God and I am so thankful I know him and have him to turn to. I kept thinking back to a few years ago when I knew who God was but didn’t really have a daily relationship with Him and above all didn’t know how to go to Him for help. I still don’t of course and am learning just like the rest of us but I have been on both sides recently and know there is MUCH more peace in being spiritually led versus emotionally driven.
Now to bring this up to date to this past week’s lesson. We are also blessed to have Pastor Steven Furtick as a guest every now and again as he is good friends with Pastor Craig. He is doing our message on “Found Favor” this and next week. Jason also got to attend a Seeds Conference in Tulsa last week with other people from our church, in which Pastor Furtick spoke at. Yesterday he spoke about having God’s favor and who wouldn’t want that??? He also then asked if knowing that Mary had God’s favor which meant she would appear to be pregnant out of wedlock, give birth in a barn and later watch her son be crucified, would we still want that favor? Good point. I think we all want God’s favor, but are we all willing to go through the motions we have to as hard as they may be, in order to receive it? Of course everything I hear immediately gets translated in my head to how it applies to adoption. I can’t help it, it just does and you can ask my friends and especially those in my Life Group that get to hear this every day/week (side-note, thank you to all of you who love me enough to know this is my passion and let me keep on talking). How many people say “we plan to adopt someday…”, “when the timing is right and when we have enough money to, we are going to look into adopting”, etc, etc. People, let me just say this, adoption is not easy, it is expensive, emotionally and physically draining, it makes you change your life and rearrange your priorities, it may make you lose “friends” that don’t get it and it may mean you don’t get to go on a nice beach vacation for a couple years BUT above all it is the BEST choice you will EVER make! The difficult times get accomplished and you look back and realize it wasn’t that bad and you can do anything now. The expenses are there and they are overwhelming at first and then you realize your budgeting and worrying don’t matter because God has it covered and in the blink of an eye your expenses have been paid and your child is home with you. Those “friends” you may have lost or been away from either come back into your life because they finally get it or they don’t and you realize they weren’t really your friend’s in the first place. And finally that beach vacation you were planning on almost makes you sick to think about because instead you now get to daily watch your child grow, play and develop in a loving home versus trying to do all of that in an orphanage. (another side-note: please don’t think if I hear about you going on a beach vacation I am going to think less of you, I know vacations are well needed and great family bonding time). We were reminded yesterday by Pastor Furtick that God’s favor is not favors from God. We have personally experienced God's favor when we chose to follow His path in our adoption and I highly recommend it! In quoting pastor Furtick, "you do not achieve God’s favor, you receive it"…so who wants it?
To check out the message on Found Favor from Pastor StevenFurtick , watch it HERE and enjoy!