How do I begin to explain this past week?
The honest truth, I’ve been on an emotional roller coaster. My husband even more so.
(For those that are new and haven’t yet read or heard about our faith journey yet, we recently shared it publicly just in the past couple weeks, so you aren’t very far behind. You can read the first part here. Then read the next part here. Then come back and join me for this post!)
For those wondering how we are doing in the wake of what’s felt like shattered faith, I again have to explain it like a roller coaster ride. One minute we were riding high believing in the impossible, and the next we were crashing down into what felt like eminent death. But recently, last Friday in fact, God did something miraculous, shocking my heart back to life (kind of like those emergency defibrillator devices).
With that said, let me guide you on a quick journey regarding what transpired.
After June 18th, there was immense confusion and debilitating pain in the aftermath due to things not going as planned—not obtaining our hoped for foster child as we expected we would that day—which definitely rocked our world. It was already hard enough to believe in something like this, let alone walk it out and share it with others, only to have it not fulfilled as we expected. It’s like we birthed a baby only to have it whisked away to NICU before we even had a chance to say hi. Confusion of not knowing whether or not this “baby” (our journey and God-inspired dream to foster this promised child) was dead is the best way I can explain the emotions we felt. You might think it a stretch to relate it to something of that nature, because I’m sure for many this story looks like we are mourning an “imaginary foster child.” Yet, we’ve been actively pursuing in faith for over 2 years now toward a journey that’s felt very real and very assured as we pray and seek God for wisdom. We’ve been walking in faith, expecting her arrival due to what we had felt was God’s leading, only to experience a crashing halt, possible death to this story, almost too much for us to bear.
If you read the previous post, we dissected our thoughts after this unexpected twist to our story with a crux of conclusions regarding what to believe or could be concluded through this startling standstill. My husband did a great job breaking down the main thoughts and possible paths toward one of three conclusions, don’t you think?
During the 6 days after June 18th, we warred in our heads trying to figure out what to believe. Our hearts were hurting, our situation overwhelming, everything felt at odds.
People were praying for us. Texts flooded in as many close friends continued to encourage us to hold onto faith. It’s been amazing really. Many of you still believe in this story even when we’ve had a hard time believing it ourselves… no especially when we’ve had the hardest time believing it during this aftermath of a failed expectation of where we sensed God leading. It led us to sit still and try to process what just transpired.
I even got this text from a friend, saying: “Being still and processing is a healthy thing to do. I’m praying for neon signs when God next speaks to you!”
I laughed. I was sure, even if God used neon signs to speak to me next, I wouldn’t trust my judgment anymore. Little did I know how baffled I would sit a few days later as God answered this prayer.
On Friday morning I was sitting on my patio when I received a text by a friend, the “little-sister-I-never-had,” asking if I was home and if she could come over to tell me something.
When she arrived at my house we gave our hugs, she commented on a few new décor items I had picked up recently, and we proceeded our way to my kitchen island as I grabbed a glass of water. She grabs a chair while I lean on the other side of the island counter facing her getting ready to hear what she has to say. I figured it had something to do with her upcoming mission trip she was preparing for, as her going away party was the following day.
I never in a million years would have expected what words spilled out of her mouth.
To understand the profoundness in her words, and the implications behind why this event was so miraculous, I need you to travel back a few months with me to a time when I thought I heard God speak.
On this particular night a few months ago, I was feeling unsteady in this journey again. I felt confused, crazy, and downright doubtful that God really was behind this dreamed-of-foster-child we prepared ourselves to foster. I submitted myself to prayer, tears streaming, looking out from my bathroom window in the dark at the twinkling city lights from our peek-a-boo view. After quite some time in prayer, I heard that quiet familiar voice speak in my heart again, “yes she is real, just believe.” It wasn’t enough. I boldly began praying for a name. In faith, I knew God could give me her name, the name of this foster child. I told God I would hold onto this name and never tell anyone, but I wanted her name to hold onto. I wanted to know she was real. Without getting into too many other long winded details, I received a name that night and shared it with no-one.
What I did share, with my husband and a few close friends, was that God had given me a name of what I thought might be the name of this foster girl. But I never shared the name, nor the meaning of the name with anyone, yes even my own husband.
I wasn’t 100% sure it was specifically this little girls name but knew it was an answer to my prayer regardless, simply from the meaning behind the name itself. I knew God had answered me.
My “little-sister-I-never-had” knew I was given in prayer a name picked out for this girl, but that was all she knew. That was all I shared.
You probably know where this is going now. As I sat across from her leaning against the island counter, she begins with, “remember months ago when you said God gave you a name for this little girl you are supposed to foster? Is the name _(she says the same name I was given months ago)_?”
Instantly I crumple—my face in my hands, tears bursting forth effortlessly.
Her uttered shocked response, “Oh my God it IS true!”
I looked up at her in shock, confusion mixed with a level of distrust in my voice, “How did you know that? You’re not supposed to know that?!”
“I was at the doctor’s office this morning, getting shots in preparation for my trip. I was sitting in the common area getting my vitals checked when two other nurses walked by, one of them was pregnant. They were talking and I heard them say something in conversation about the meaning of a name she had picked out. Something in those words rung a bell. As they were walking away and I stopped them and said “excuse me, what is the name? You said the meaning of it, but what is the name?” The nurse said this name and instantly my thoughts went to you and the possible name for this prayed for foster girl you are waiting for. I had to find out if it was true. Ironically I was only 10 minutes away from your house so I decided to come by and find out in person.”
How do you explain this? You can’t. Unless you believe in God, you cannot justify the odds or the chances of something like this occurring. If you really want to try to justify the odds of picking the same name, it’s about 1 in a billion. Sorry.
I still will not read into this much more except to say, God is evidently, matter-of-factly, beyond a shadow of doubt, involved in this story still.
God is real.
God is working.
God has a plan.
That much I know is true.
How perfectly this event played out as it was on the crux of my shattered faith where I wasn’t even sure if anything would make me come back to a belief that God was still involved in this. (However, one friend shared “you’d be a fool not to believe God is in this, regardless of the June 18th date not going as planned). I don’t know how else to put it but God has been speaking to me through this journey, delivering me from my doubts, confusion, and distrust as He clearly came out of box on this one, so-to-speak.
So do what you will with this information. However, my faith and hope and trust is banked on believing this story isn’t over yet.