I know having a daily quiet time is important. I also know it’s wrong to lie and I’d be lying if I said I made time every day to read my Bible or do a devotion. While I admit that I don’t do this daily, I will also admit that I WANT to, and that’s why I signed up for an online devotion several months ago. Now, when I wake up in the mornings and pull up my email, I have a devotion there waiting on me. It may be the lazy way to do things, but at least I’m heading in the right direction!
Sometimes I really enjoy them and they leave me feeling warm and fuzzy. And sometimes I can tell by the subject line that it’s going to hit me right between the eyes, so I just skip it. Hey, I’m being honest here. Don’t judge me.
I tend to fall behind sometimes and then I play catch up. This morning I was reading some of the ones I had missed, and this one jumped out at me.
God Has A Plan
JEREMIAH 29:11 NIV
11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD,
"plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you
hope and a future.”
Genesis 37 tells the story of Joseph being sold into slavery by
his brothers. At that time, I'm sure it didn't look to Joseph
like God had a plan -- at least not one that was good for him.
Joseph surely thought what many of us have, "Why did you let
this happen to me, God?"
No doubt things looked clearer to Joseph later on when he was
ruling Egypt and was able to save his entire family from
starvation. (Genesis 45-50)
Often life may seem confusing and out-of-control. But don't
despair. God has a plan for you which He is working out. If you
could only see the end He has in mind for you -- you would
begin to rejoice and thank God right now. (Hint, hint.)
When we were on the verge of losing Yuri and Gigi, I was on the verge of losing my mind. I am proactive by nature and feel like I need to MAKE things happen. I did everything in my power… met with countless DHR officials, called and emailed political figures, tried to figure out how to get their mother deported, made plans to flee the country (not really, but I was close). I don’t regret any of those things because I think we have to use the brain God gave us and we have to follow our hearts. My brain AND my heart were telling me to kick and stomp and fight for my babies. The problem was this - My prayer to God kept going something like “Dear God – what are you doing??? These are MY babies and if anybody thinks they’re taking them from me, they’re crazy. You sent them to us and I can’t believe you’re letting us go through all this now! Why would you send us these babies to love and then allow bureaucratic idiots to take them away? I don’t get it, God. We try to do something GOOD and now we’re being punished.” Yeah, well. Not the nicest prayer or the best attitude, I know. But I was desperate!
We had planned to take a mission trip to Guatemala in October 2009. The adoption was falling apart at the seams. For the past six months, DHR had been steadily moving towards reunification with Yuri and Gigi’s biological mother, Catarina. To say there were concerns would be the understatement of the century. Any reasonable person looking at the situation could see that it would not be in the best interest of these children. We had done all we knew to do and were basically just praying for a miracle. Yuri and Gigi were supposed to begin in-home visits with Catarina the first weekend in October, but I begged and pleaded with DHR until they agreed to wait until after we returned from our trip. I just thought being with their mother and me being out the country would be more than they could (or should have to) handle. I left for Guatemala worrying about the broken window at Catarina’s apartment. I could just see Gigi trying to climb out a second story window. I was worried that Gigi would have an asthma attack and Catarina wouldn’t know what to do. I was worried that Yuri would feel like she was responsible for Gigi and worry herself to death trying to take care of her. I knew the language barrier would be a problem for Yuri. I was worried that Catarina would seize the opportunity and kidnap them. While I felt Catarina had a good heart, I also knew without a doubt that she could not take care of these children. She had been in the U.S. for several years, but still spoke no English and struggled to get work a few hours a week. She tended to move every few months, and she had a history of substance abuse. She also moved from relationship to relationship with questionable men, sometimes finding herself in domestic violence situations. All reasons that MY babies did not belong there.
So, we left for Guatemala with heavy hearts. During the trip there, I fell in love with the country and the people. I felt an enormous tug to bring home every child I saw. The poverty and the living conditions they endured were beyond my comprehension.
All of sudden, things were being revealed to me all at once. I went to Guatemala to help people. All the while, there was someone at home who needed just as much help. Catarina. How could I love Yuri and Gigi and not love their mother? How could I turn my back on her when she gave life to my angel babies?
My heart was changing. Now, this story would be awesome if I said that I even told God that I would be okay with them going back to Catarina if that was His will. I’ll be honest. I never had THAT moment. I just told him that I would try to love her and help her any way I could, and that I would make sure Yuri and Gigi always knew she was their mother. I would keep in touch with her and allow her to see them grow up. And while I would be honest with them about why she lost custody, I wouldn’t make derogatory comments about her. Honestly, I don’t know if I would have ever gotten to the “Your will be done” moment. I didn’t have to. As soon as God saw my new attitude, He fixed it all. Three days after my return from Guatemala, and three days BEFORE the in-home visits were to start, I got a call from our social worker. Because of a situation that she discovered at Catarina’s apartment, it was decided that she would not be able to take care of the girls and the adoption procedure was resumed. Seven months and a pile of paperwork later, it was final.
God had a plan the whole time.