Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Coincidence or Confirmation… “Choosing Ethiopia”… {Part 1}

Last summer, God began to stir mine and Michael’s hearts toward a lot of things.  We prayed and processed and asked Him what He would have for us to do.  It was at this point that God began to clearly speak to us about adding to our family through adoption.  I, without a doubt, believe that if you are earnestly asking the Lord and seeking Him, He will speak to you.  You always hear people ask, “How will I know if God is speaking to me?” or “Will I hear an audible voice?”  Well, I believe that God can audibly speak to you if that is the way He so choses, but I also believe He can speak to you through many things.  Sometimes people will think when things happen to them like this that it is merely a coincidence or happenstance.  I, on the other hand, believe that if we are willing to listen to the Lord, He will speak to us in what others would consider a coincidence.  So, I just wanted to share some of the ways that the Lord spoke to Michael and I  through out journey of adoption, so far.  I know that these “confirmations” were from the Lord and not merely coincidences!!  It is my intent to document these not only so I will remember them, but to encourage those who the Lord may be speaking to without them even realizing it!

When God began to stir our hearts, adoption was in the back of my mind.  Michael and I had not spoken about it yet when my friend, Lenora, told me about a video that I had to watch.  It was the now “famous” Lucy Lane gotcha day video.  I watched it and, of course, cried buckets thinking about the orphan crisis…especially in Ethiopia.  Michael watched it too, and soon we began opening our hearts to adoption.  Coincidence or Confirmation???

Soon after, Michael and I decided that we were for sure going to pursue adoption.  We knew we were called to adopt internationally, but we were not positive about what country we would go through.  I was drawn to Ethiopia from the beginning.  The Lucy Lane video stirred my heart as well as a lot of reading I did about Ethiopia.  Michael was not sure about Ethiopia at first.  He wasn’t against it, but he felt more drawn to Asia, but he assured me he would begin praying about it.


Father’s Day was right around this time, and for his gift I got Michael a One Year Bible that was the New Living Translation (we didn’t' have this translation yet).  When He began reading it, he started to notice that most places in the Old Testament where it mentioned Africa or Cush, it was translated to “Ethiopia”.  He was suddenly reading about Ethiopia in the Bible almost every day, and he noted that he never remembered seeing it translated that way before.  Coincidence or Confirmation???

Of course, as the Lord often does, he spoke to both Michael and I through Scripture, sermons and testimonies.  All of a sudden, adoption was everywhere we looked (or heard).  Sunday school lessons would talk about us being adopted into God’s family, the HomeLife magazine that is put out by Lifeway was dedicated to adoption the month after we began praying about adoption, etc.  One Sunday last summer Michael and I took separate cars to church…I can’t remember now the reason for it.  On the way home, Michael was listening to the radio, and he heard a testimony of a foreign man who had come to the US, and while he was here, he accepted Jesus as His Savior, and his life had been transformed.  Now, he was wanting to go back to his home country to tell others about Jesus.  I’ll give you one guess where he was from…yep, Ethiopia.  Coincidence or Confirmation???  We’re beginning to say, “Okay, Lord, we hear you!”

Lastly, last summer, we refinanced our house.  On the day of the closing, Michael went by himself to the attorney’s office to do all of the paperwork.  He was sitting in a conference room by himself waiting for the attorneys to come back in, and he turned around and there was a globe facing him.  He said that staring right back at him was the continent of Africa.  He said it was like it was the only thing on the globe.  It was at this point that we said, “Yes, Lord, we will go to Ethiopia!” 

It’s not that we really HAD to have all of those confirmations from God, but He, in the loving kindness, was generous enough to give them to us.  As a white family, adopting an African baby may seem a little strange to others.  It is not the social norm, but Jesus never conformed to the social norm either.  We don’t want to live in the social norm…we want to live for JESUS!  And if He is asking us to live a life a little out of our comfort zone, then we are ready and willing.  He has, without a doubt, confirmed over and over to us that our baby is in Ethiopia, and we can’t wait to bring that baby home.

God has guided us, protected us, and provided for us during this journey beyond our imagination.  In part 2 of “Coincidence or Confirmation”, I will tell about how my flesh almost made a mess of our journey.  I began to doubt and get worried about things, but once again, the Lord drew me back and lovingly reminded me that He is in control and He has a perfect plan!

“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we could ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work in us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! “  Eph. 3:20-21


Alison said...

Love that the Lord called ya'll so specifically to Ethiopia!!! Can't wait to read part 2! ;)

Meaghan and Wes said...

I agree with Alison! To me, it's hard to explain what I feel so wholeheartedly to someone else, but you're doing a good job!