Sunday, November 5, 2017

{Journey to Ailee James: The Ram in the Thicket}

A couple of months back, a dear friend who advocates fiercely for orphans shared the file of a little girl with me.  Having been called to adoption over 5 years ago, I've seen many files and considered strongly only one...the one belonging to our Grace.  The moment God placed her photo before our eyes on October 25, 2013, Scott and I both knew without a doubt that she was ours.  That feeling had not been felt since.  And although my heart is forever changed and moved and burdened for the least of these, I just did not have peace that this little girl in the photos before me was my child.  

But God doesn't ask for a feeling, He asks for faith.

So, Scott and I discussed this little one's file later that night and decided to learn more.  We prayed together for her and for God's perfect peace if she were to be ours.  We knew that although neither of us felt in that moment like she was...that God still requires us to bring it to Him.  So, we did.  We didn't understand and surely didn't see this one coming.  But, we trusted that He has a plan for everything even and especially when we don't see it.  With hearts abandoned, we gave it to Him that evening and asked for a ram in the thicket if we should stop. 

The next morning, I spoke with her agency and we decided to at least apply with the agency so that we could place her file on hold and give ourselves more time to prayerfully consider adding her to our family.

It was a busy day and our school work took considerably longer than usual.  It wasn't until after 3 that afternoon that I had a moment to get on the computer to apply to that agency online.  I spent the next 20 minutes thoughtfully answering every single question and, at the same moment, felt completely conflicted.  

I finished the application only to receive an email from the agency 7 minutes later stating that a family that was further along in the process had just in the past few moments called to update the list of needs they would consider and this little girl fit just what they were hoping for.   And this was after the same lady at the agency informed me only hours earlier that we were it for her.  There was no one even considering her file and no one that they had further along that was open to her medical need.  

God sent a ram.  

I texted Scott to let him know that 7 short minutes after I finished the application another family came forward for her and he called immediately..."Are you ok?"  I was.  I was relieved in a way but also very confused.  Neither of us understood why this had all just happened the way that it did...or what God was trying to teach us through it. 

The next morning, as I was on the treadmill talking to God, He revealed why He had allowed the previous 24 hours to take place.  

It was a test.  

Yes, friends, God will test us.  Especially when we think we don't need one and we've already endured a lot to chalk up as enough this side of Glory.  But, He knows our hearts...and he changed them over 5 years ago when He opened our eyes to the Gospel at work in our home through the gift of adoption...and the things we witnessed on the other side of this globe and  the fatherless faces burned into our minds stay with us forever. 

So, He gave us a good gut check.

He wanted to see if we still trust Him completely.  He wanted to see if our faith would become obedience in the dark.  His own early brother wrote about how faith and deeds go hand and hand so we knew that He was wanting to see just how far we were willing to go in pure faith alone...because I surely didn't see this one coming.  He wanted to see if we would take a step into the deep waters again...and if we would first ask for His guidance.  

We both felt like we passed that test that day...but we knew that God wasn't going to waste that test either.  There was a reason for it.  And it wouldn't be too much longer when we'd find out why...

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