"Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart."
I have been thinking about this verse a lot lately. I have always loved this verse and I love that the Lord is really bringing it alive to me right now. I know for certain that through our adoption journey the desires of my heart have changed. As I have truly been seeking the Lord and falling more and more in love with Him, He has changed the desires of my heart.
I have had this post on my heart for a while now. I shared some about how the Lord lead us to our daughter, but I really want to share more about how the Lord has changed my heart.
I really think it started last February at the Created for Care retreat. One of the breakout sessions I attended was called the joys and challenges of adopting a child with special needs. I had not originally planned to go to the breakout, but at the last minute I decided to go. I think this was the first time I felt the Lord tugging gently at my heart to be open to His plan for us.
About a month after the retreat I had a conversation with Justin where he told me he wouldn't be afraid if God called us to adopt a child with special needs. I went to bed that night and cried myself to sleep, because I knew I was afraid. As the days went by, I confessed my fears to the Lord and also confessed that I had made some decisions out of fear. I didn't want to live my life in fear any longer.
The Lord showed me that I was coming to Him praying for Him to bless us with a child, but that my hands were clenched tight. He showed me that I couldn't accept all He had for us until I relinquished control and opened my hands up to receive everything He had for us.
This was last March and He has continued to tell me through sermons, through songs, through Bible study, through prayer, through blog posts, to TRUST HIM and NOT BE AFRAID. This has pretty much been the theme of my life for the last 6 months. So, I was beginning to understand that God didn't want me to be afraid and I knew it may have to do with our adoption, but I had no idea what God didn't want me to be afraid of.
We really looked at our parameters again and decided to change them slightly. We also really examined all decisions regarding our adoption. I was struggling with the fact that we would be waiting so long for a referral when there were children all over the world waiting for families, especially older children and children with special needs. I wondered if we should have chosen a "waiting child" from the beginning. We prayed and prayed, but really felt like the Lord was telling us to stay with our agency and wait. At the same time, I felt He wanted us to be open to His will knowing He could change "our plans."
In July, Justin and I went on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic. The Lord continued to speak to my heart about not being fearful. One morning the missionary we were working with lead a devotion about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He told us that so many times we ask God to take us out of the furnace, to turn down the heat, when we really should be asking Him to meet us in the furnace. I know it is in my nature to want to be comfortable and to avoid the hard stuff. As I listened, I knew that God wanted me to truly trust Him and go outside of my comfort zone. I also fought back tears in that moment, because I just knew God wanted us to adopt a child with special needs.
So, you would think that the moment I saw our daughter's face I would have known for sure she was ours. I believe a part of me did, but I really didn't know for sure. I am almost ashamed to say that we wrestled with this decision for a little over a month. I thought about this decision constantly. I really wanted to make sure it's what God wanted us to do. He was incredibly patient with us and continued to confirm through His word and through His spirit working in us, that He wanted us to adopt this sweet girl.
I prayed and prayed for God to grant us peace in our decision and He finally did. He finally gave peace to my heart, but here's the tricky part, it was after we said "yes". When we finally gave in to the Lord's calling, He filled us with an indescribable peace and joy. When we decided to delight ourselves in Him and open our hearts to accept the blessing of our beautiful girl, He gave us the desires of our hearts.
I am so in love with our little girl. I know I haven't met her yet, but I know that she is the daughter we have been longing for all this time. I'm so thankful my Heavenly Father didn't give up on me and that He didn't give up on our girl. I'm so thankful He patiently and tenderly lead me to truly follow Him and His plan for our family.