Last week was a HARD week. Of course, I do my best to put on a "happy face" during the day for our girls and for the other moms around me, but if I even have a moment to myself I just break down and sob. As I talked to my sweet husband via text the other day he said he believes I am probably experiencing some depression. He said the load I/we have been carrying is a lot and it can only be sustained for so long. As I thought about that I agreed...since I met our daughters in June, my heart has been in torment. When I am at home I continually think the pain will lessen when I am with the girls and when I am with the girls I realize it isn't any less and I feel like I should be home. Breaking ALL of our children's hearts is more than this momma can bear!
I share all of this with you today not to ask for you to have pity on me but to share with you that there is nothing special about me. I know many of you are just trying to encourage me when you make comments about me being brave and strong. The truth is, I am weak and broken. I realize though, now more than ever that is where the beauty of Christ begins and why I need to be boasting about my weaknesses. I am a broken mess and I believe more and more that's where Jesus wants me. Broken for Him, is when I allow Him to do HIS work in me.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 says:
"Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong."
I DO know at any moment that God is powerful enough to allow the girls to come home. I have reminded my self a thousand times that God loves these girls SO much more than we do and, although I do not understand this situation and why He has not chosen to allow them to come home with us, I need to keep my focus on:
"Seek The Lord while you can find him.
Call on him now while he is near.
Let the wicked change their ways
and banish the very thought of doing wrong. Let them turn to The Lord that he may have mercy on them.
Yes, turn to our God, for he will forgive generously.
“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says The Lord.
“And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts."
Yesterday I took the girls to the grocery store. One of the few "Western-type" of stores in town, and it was quite crowded. I am not sure why many people here do not like Americans adopting the orphans from their country, but I saw many people who are not afraid to make their displeasure in what we are doing known. There were plenty of scowls and even a bunch of pointing and whispering. In my very depressed mood, I allowed myself to get disheartened to a new level. I smiled and tried to ignore the very obvious chatter about me and our girls, but I allowed it to hurt and I will even confess I was resentful of them. The Lord has chosen to use my devotionals over and over in my time here, so clearly responding to me as if the book was written for me. In my devotional just this morning, was a reminder that being hurt and offended by how they behaved is making me no better than them. Here is just a portion:
"Thank Me for the opportunity to offer grace to those who offend you and forgiveness to those who hurt you. You become more like Me every time you offer mercy instead of judgement. When you dare to praise Me for the difficult people in your life, I receive honor and glory, and you receive blessing. As you look into My face and worship Me, My love shines through you."
Oh how I long to be secure enough in my Lord that I can be that person!!
My mind also immediately went to the man who can sign our letter. I have prayed continuously for his heart to be softened but never once have I asked Jesus to bless him. Honestly, from a human perspective, who would??? I am mad and hurt he would cause this situation for our girls!! But the Lord gently reminded me that I am not to live my life responding from my human self. I am to respond with the love and grace that He shows me daily, that beautiful love and grace that I too am so undeserving of!
"Thank me that I am able to meet your needs even when others let you down. Praise Me that I am able to transform their lives as well as yours. Just as My Son died for you, My child, He died for them. When you judge and condemn them, your attitude breaks my heart."
That is so true. I have been judging and condemning and breaking My Fathers heart.
What if the Lord wants to use me to show love, grace and mercy to people here who so rarely see it. If I chose to stay in my sad, depressed state, feeling bad for myself, I will miss that opportunity.
1 Peter 1:6-8:
"So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.
You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy."
So, I'm asking Jesus for joy today. Joy that only He can give, because in our current circumstance it's very hard to find! Will you join me in praying for that same thing?
We love you all so much and we are so thankful for you!