Have you ever felt like God has failed you?
Even typing these words I feel so hesitant to share my honest thoughts. I feel like it is irreverent to even speak these words yet it is my honest, ugly, selfish sinful heart that God is redeeming every day. I am overwhelmingly thankful for his grace and mercy in my life and I write today to say that even though it may seem as if he has forgotten us at difficult seasons in our lives the truth of His word tells us otherwise. So from this day forward I stand on the Promise of Isaiah 43:1-3
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name. You are are mine! When you pass through the waters I will be with you. And through the rivers they wil not overflow you. When you walk through fire you will not be scorched nor will the flames burn you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy on of Israel your Savior.”
Today I stand on the other side of rushing rivers and they did not overflow me.
My salvation is secure and His promises are true.
Eternity is still eternity and our time here on Earth will soon pass away.So because of the Lord’s great Love I am not consumed for his mercies are new every morning!
Great is His faithfulness!
I have been telling people these truths for the past year and a half. . .
The truth that God is faithful and He is with us.
That nothing is too difficult for Him and that He is in Control.
Yet the reality is, that in my heart I have not been believing these truths and had FELT (the heart is deceitful above all things) like God had forgotten Jon and I.
Once I had felt so close to the heart of God in serving him in the fields of the Fatherless but recently I have come to realize that I am. . .
Paralyzed by fear.
Paralyzed at what our next obedience to God would cost.
Paralyzed at what Satan would attack us with if we chose to obey God fully.
Convinced that “next time” I would become sicker or home life would be impossible.
Completely forgetting the PROMISE of His Presence. . . The Promise that He will walk with us through fire and heal all our diseases even if we don’t see those promises fulfilled until heaven. They still remain His promises and the promise of His presence is fulfilled now as we walk with Him each day.
Yet I had forgotten (or just chosen not to believe) all of these Promises.
Instead of seeking Jesus and being brave in the security of His presence I have cowered in the darkness of how hard it was this past year and a half.
Cowering in the fear of what the next adoption could bring.
But not today.
No longer will I fear because I am reminded to be brave because of the PROMISE of His presence, His presence. . .
I can take no credit or glory for the way our family has grown or come to be. It was known by God before the beginning of time that one day our children would be in our home and we take great comfort in the sovereignty of God in creating our family. It was his Holy Spirit that began to speak to my heart about adoption and the plight of the orphan through a coworker of mine back in 2006. And almost 7 years of marriage, 3 trips to Ethiopia, and two children later I can only give the glory to God.
I can not say that I grew up dreaming of adopting, Africa or the orphan.
I can say that I grew up dreaming of becoming a mother and as I worked as a Labor and Delivery nurse something inside of me felt like no matter how hard I tried I just couldn’t picture myself giving birth. It just didn’t feel right even though becoming a mother was all I wanted to be.
So I wondered why birthing a child seemed so foreign when I witnessed women doing it each day and I myself longed to become a mother. Maybe it was because God had different plans and a purpose he was working out for our family.
While at work one night my coworker mentioned to me that she believed every Christian should adopt. Immediately I foolishly, ignorantly, and selfishly said. “Oh I don’t think I could ever adopt and love them like my own.” She quickly proceeded to tell me how I could, not even realizing how telling her words would become.
[…to be continued]
by Jolene Heidebrink
Jolene and I have been friends since 2003. Our entire friendship has been long-distance but it runs so deep. When mercy ink’s focus became more intentional on sharing brave stories of faith, I knew I wanted Jolene to share how God led her ordinary self to obediently follow. Please stop in tomorrow for the rest of her story.