I have this taped on my fridge as a constant reminder of who is actually in charge around here. I know I tell my kids that I am (yea right!!), but honestly it is not me or hubby (definitely not hubby - hehe)!! It is God and in times of struggle, I sometimes need to be reminded that I am not in charge and that I need to let go and listen. I have always been religious and as a child, went to Church every Sunday (well, just about every Sunday), but I don't think that I really, truly understood His role in my life (and still don't understand it all) and how He had been preparing me for my life even when I was too little to understand the feelings I was having. I began to get a glimpse when I met hubby and the circumstances around that meeting and how I had gotten to a place where I was open and healed enough to let hubby into my life. The timing was His own and while I didn't understand (at the time) why I was 30 years old and not married or engaged or even "going steady," I understood the moment I met hubby.
My journey continued with the birth of each of my children. Clearly they are all blessings straight from God and I knew the moment our first son was born that this was what I was meant to do, this was my life.
I had not understood anything about what is important in life until I held my children in my arms for the first time.
Our adoption journey began long before Lizzie and was surrounded by doubt and confusion and not understanding what He was trying to tell me. I know now. I know that it was because Lizzie was waiting for us. I know now that Lizzie (and Em) were the reasons I had to wait, again. It was His perfect timing, again. It was, however, during this adoption journey that I really started to see and feel His presence and His hand in it ALL.
I will never forget the kids and myself going through their stuffed animals trying to decide which ones to send to their sister's orphanage. They were so sweet and so excited to do this and we ended up sending a huge box of stuffed animals to China (um, Cha Ching!!). One of those animals was a purple, stuffed Barney that sang! I have never been one to hate Barney, as most parents do (Barney allowed me 30 minutes of peace, for goodness sake!!), but I was sooooo glad to see this one go!!
Anyway, a few weeks later, I was feeling really down about our progress. We had not received any updated pics of Lizzie and had not gotten any additional info on our sweet pea in a very long time. It looked like we were not going to make it to China by Lizzie's 2nd birthday and I was just feeling generally down about it all and so very far away from her. That night I prayed that God would wrap His arms around her and somehow let her know that we loved her and we were waiting for her and would be there as soon as we could.
The very next morning, there was an email waiting for me with pictures of my sweet Lizzie from a family who was there visiting her orphanage, and can you guess what Lizzie was holding, no clutching, in her arms in every picture?
Yep, it was that Barney!! If it had been any of the other stuffed animals that we sent, I don't think I would have recognized it, but it was that Barney and I suddenly knew that He was preparing her heart for us and that this was my sign to stay strong and stay faithful and that He would get me through it, and He did!!
This was one of so many signs. It kept me strong and helped me to make it through to Lizzie. It also confirmed for me that this was His plan for me, for hubby and me and for our family. There were many times that I doubted and every single time that I let it go and just trusted, my strength and my faith was renewed in some way or another.
There is one such "renewal" that I don't feel comfortable talking about right now ( I know - not fair) but will share when the time is right.
However, today (and the reason for this post) I received another little reminder that He is there and will always be there and that there is a reason for all that we are going through and that I just need to let go and let Him "bring me through it."
Hubby and I had made the very difficult decision to take our girls out of their wonderful little preschool. They only go 3 mornings a week but love their teachers and their friends there and it was heartbreaking to have to do this, but we just couldn't afford to continue. We had not told the girls because we were going to finish out the month and because we are big chickens (grin), but knew that we would have to break it to them sooner rather than later! As hubby was dropping them off this morning, the director of the preschool and a wonderful friend walked him out and told him that they wanted the girls to finish the year, that she understood what we were going through and that she wanted to be able to give back. As hubby stood there, fighting back the tears, he thanked her and walked away, knowing the gift we had just been given. The tears began the moment he called me and we both were reminded of how incredibly blessed we are and what a beautiful sign this was to hang in there and to let go and listen and know that there is a plan and a reason and that we will be OK!!
In times of struggle, there can be such goodness all around us and that is one of the beautiful things that has come out of our recent struggle, the other...
once again, being brought to our knees and being reminded that...
If God brings you to it. He will bring you through it.