The first couple years after I was married, I spent countless hours researching local houses online and dragging my husband around to look at shacks that were in our price range. I remember telling my realtor to bring papers to one of the houses we viewed, simply because it was in a nice town. When we arrived, the small ranch sat at the top of a hill, with a swamp as the backyard, a landfill half a mile away, and walls that were literally stapled cardboard. Our concerned realtor whispered to my husband while I wasn’t in earshot that she really didn’t recommend this home. Such sweet concern 🙂
The issue was that my husband wanted to save money before we plunged into home buying. Wait, no, that wasn’t the ‘issue’, the ‘issue’ was that I was totally discontent. Long story short, God checked my heart. In spite of believing that we wouldn’t buy a home till I was in my late 40’s, I chose thanksgiving. I practiced being content. I invested in the here, the now, the current provision. I settled into the gift I had been given, and stopped reaching for the ‘other’. And wouldn’t you know it, but about one year later, out the blue, my husband found a house. He waged a six month battle to win that house – and he won! (Read more about that life lesson here).
Fast forward a couple years. Although we’ve both shared a desire to adopt, my hubby doesn’t feel it’s the right time, and shockingly, I do. This turns into a point of contention on a few occasions. I’m struggling with my desire to get the ball rolling. But thank God for his goodness, I remember my lesson on patience, being content, practicing thanksgiving, living in the now. I bring it to another level this time, to a higher court. I choose peace; I make my requests known to God (Philippians 4:6).
Our baby step #1 starts right here. In a beautiful hotel room in Orlando, FL. Hubby was on a business trip, and I went along for some annual R&R. That’s when I saw the little face on my newsfeed. There was this cute little boy from the Ukraine who an organization, P143, was trying to get hosted for the summer in America. I had ‘liked’ P143 a few months ago when I noticed my sister-in-law ‘liking’ the organization. They arrange for orphans to come and experience family life and love. These orphans are, well, orphans. They’re desperately in need of love, affection, family life, and ultimately, a family.
I half-heartedly ran the idea of hosting Arsen by my hubby. And to my incredible excitement, Dave was on board. God has perfect timing. Perfect.
Oh to be 19 again! But I wouldn’t sacrifice the wisdom age brings for anything. At 19 I found myself in a church service in southern Germany. I jotted a note in my journal: “Lord, I wish I had a ring. I know it is silly, but I want people to know that My heart belongs to someone.”
My journey to happiness and freedom led me through a rocky path where I ended a relationship that I had been in for years. I was grappling with the loss of relationships, the lack of identity I had within myself, and the mystery that was my future. Deep insecurities plagued my mind and heart.
Thus, my raw note to my faithful friend, Jesus.
I closed my journal and stood to pray with the rest of the folks. Within five minutes, a young wife walked over to me. She spoke only German, so had an interpreter with her. With tears streaming down her face, she slipped off her gold wedding band, and placed it on my finger. “God wanted me to give this ring to you, He wanted you to know that you belong to Him.”
Can we all say, game changer? After years of feeling sure that God had never once answered a prayer, God was displaying His great love and affection for me. There isn’t a soul on earth who could convince me that my heart doesn’t belong to the greatest lover in history. God answers the cries of our hearts. He meets us in our moments of need. He brings us to new heights, and is with us in the valleys.
If you’re hungry for more, if you’re searching for truth, if you’re longing for love, join me on this journey. Who knows the adventures coming our way?