Here is part one in case you missed it.
At church on Sunday, the sermon was a message based on this verse:
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” –Hebrews 12:1
This is a verse I am particularly familiar with as I have read and heard in many times. I specifically remember memorizing this verse when I was a child. However, this particular Sunday’s message hit me like a ton of bricks; let me explain why.
This verse exactly sums up the last three years for my family and me. Tomorrow, June 1st, we will be attending our court date that should determine the final placement of Dallas. As many of you know, we took custody of this little guy three years ago. When I say three years ago, I mean exactly three years ago. Strange coincidence, I believe not. I have been told constantly over these last years to trust in Gods timing, that his plan his perfect. And so, here we are, three years later to the day.
I believe that all of life’s trials produce endurance, and that we were given a trial for a particular period of time so that God can build in us a piece of character that was lacking and reveal to us a sin that needs addressing. I have said over and over these last few years, that I wish God would show me what lesson I was supposed to be learning so that this adoption journey would be over. This past Sunday he exactly revealed to me what has been staring me in the face this whole time.
I so clearly see that I am supposed to throw off the lack of patience, lack of faith, anxiety, and worry that entangles me. I am supposed to run with perseverance the race he has given me. I am supposed to look to Jesus always. He not only endured his race despite so many obstacles, but he conquered his trials and is now sitting on a throne beside God. I am supposed to look back at the opposition I have endured and see how God in fact carried me through all of those, and that will strengthen me to move forward in the future.
When I reflect back, the opposition that our family has overcome is:
- Taking in a baby that was only a few months younger than our biological baby
- Being woken up every hour of the night for almost a year’s time by crying babies
- Matt and I spent very little alone time with each other
- Every member of our family contracting different illnesses consistently and simultaneously over the first two years.
- I lost twenty pounds due to anxiety over court appearances
- Our first attorney lied to us about his knowledge of the adoption process and cost us a year of wasted time in the court system
- We have spent thousands of dollars on attorneys.
- I lost my father to cancer.
How the Lord carried us through:
- He strengthened our marriage. We were the only two people who knew how the other was feeling with sleep deprivation and being overwhelmed with the sudden addition of a fourth child.
- Our bodies have been healed from illness
- After one night of an anxiety attack, I was able to completely surrender my fears to the Lord. He restored my body on a track that was able to function under stress
- We were quickly shown the flaws of our first attorney and redirected to the right attorney who cleaned up his mess in court.
- The Lord has supernaturally paid our court bills. (Literally a miracle which I plan to share in another post)
- The Lord surrounded me with peace and understanding of my Dad’s life and death.
So, I will go to sleep tonight with a greater faith than I had three years ago. I can have peace that our family has been running the race that was set before us. Despite what takes place in our last court appearance, I KNOW who is carrying me to the end. He knows what is right for me and my family, and that is enough for me.
We know that so many of you are in our cloud of witnesses. You have been a great support system for us, cheering us on. Pray for our nerves tonight and tomorrow in court as both Matt and I will take the stand. Pray that our words and our message is clear to the judge. Pray that our attorney’s preparation proves thorough. Pray that God’s presence will be evident to all those in the courtroom.