Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Neon Signs and Expectations

At one point in my life, I would hear others talk about how God had worked in their life and if I honestly and truthfully stood back and thought - I wouldn't be able to think about an example to give. Yes, I was blessed. Yes, I was a Christian. But did I have any instances where I personally felt HIM, up close and real?

Then a few years back, after the birth of my second son. After I had just quit my full-time job. After I had just told him one night how "comfortable" I was. Tony was laid off. He was then offered a sweet deal in Florida. I didn't want to move, I cried every night. But we got down on our knees together and prayed, "Lord, if you want us to move - you're going to have to sell the house. We can't afford two payments." The house sold. In two days. No sign up. No real estate agent. Neon sign in the front yard from God "Your tail is moving to Florida."

Fast forward more years, I start volunteering for Compassion. Start feeling God telling me to go to Africa. Just that little voice you hear that you can't really make out - "was that my conscious or God's voice in my head??" We make a commitment and give it all to Him praying, "Lord if you want me to go, you're going to have to help us get the money." I had the money. In about a month. With $10 to spare. Neon sign from God "Your tail is going to Ethiopia."

And now less than 6 months later, I have that little voice again. Can't really make it out, is it my conscious or God's voice in my head?? Saying: you need to adopt. You need to follow my commandment to look after the orphans (James 1:27). Um, hey God, I have three kids already. That's a-lot. I'm helping with Compassion. Helping lots of kids. Isn't that enough? And yet I hear the voice still. I kind of ignore it as just me. Keep it to myself.

I'm driving down the road to Columbia, by myself. Thinking of my trip. Remembering how excited I was and talking to my new friend Mike for the 16 hours over. I think to myself, "how cool would it be to be able to experience that with Tony? To be able to go back with him?" And then that little voice out of nowhere, in my head: "you will when you go to get your little girl." And right then, with a cloudless sky. Perfect Carolina blue sky - it starts drizzling just a little. And I break into tears. I can only describe it as the feeling of when you think you have lost your two year old in the mall and you see him, the feeling of that weight being lifted. Neon sign from God - "I want you to mother another of my children."

So I tell Tony and we agree this is huge. (understatement) We really need to pray about this. So for about 2 weeks I have prayed faithfully every morning. "God let me know if you really want me to do this. God please make it without a doubt clear if you really want me to do this. Please God, don't let me make the wrong decision for my family. By the way God, could you really let me know if you want me to do this?????" And then this week - I am looking at a normal blog. See an icon for "Ethiopian Coffee for Orphans" to the side. Click on it and read about the charity. See a mention of the couples dear friend's blog "Blessings from Ethiopia." I click and go on to read the post I mentioned to you earlier this week. But I didn't then give you the last line of that post as I was still too scared to acknowledge that Neon sign. It said, "Go. leave behind the life you planned. SEEK OUT the orphan. Don't ask God one more time if He wants you to adopt. Because... HE's been asking YOU, who WILL?"

Do I feel God? Absolutely. Am I scared out of my wits? Absolutely. And by the way, I had Tony read that post and he had the exact same reaction that he had last September when I said God really wanted me to go to Ethiopia, "Well, if God wants you to go - I guess you'd better go." "I love that man" would also be an understatement.

So now - we are scheduled to attend a workshop with an agency on August 1st just to learn the basics. And we really thought about not writing or telling anyone until after we had all the facts and could make an informed decision. But then - when you have a Neon Sign from God, is a workshop going to make a difference? As I have told others now, I am much safer living in God's will than out of it. So I think I should be more scared to disobey Him than to dive right in head first. One glance at the Old Testament will tell you that disobedience comes with a hefty price.

So I guess in a way we are expecting baby #4. But I am still paralyzed. I have the feeling of a woman pregnant with baby #3 who just found out she is pregnant with twins. Oh.....my.....goodness..... what did I just get myself into. We don't have the money. We don't have the time to figure out how to get it. We aren't the most patient people. And a year or two of worry is a long time.

I am expecting much pain.... I am expecting much fear......I am expecting much impatience...... I am expecting much cost........ But I also know that in Jeremiah, God says, "
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

So to all my friends, I am expecting a little girl.... So please pray for Tony and I. I would really love to have some more Neon signs up to tell us which way to go from here...


J MICHAEL said...

Tony and Tracy, I love you both

Beth said...

WoooHoo! Of course, Noah and I are not surprised :-) We had a feeling God would call you to adoption (and I think it won't be just a one time thing...but I'm no prophet, so maybe it's just my wishful thinking:-).

Have you contact David and Judith? They would probably be a great resource. I know one way they funded their last adoptions was to send out support letters, just like a missions trip. Because in reality, it IS a MISSION. The church as a whole should support those adopting orphans.

Anyhow, can't wait to hear the progress! Let us know how we can help. We'll certainly be praying.

Anonymous said...

This is wonderful! I know it is scary, too, but it is great to think of another little girl growing up in a home like yours, being loved and encouraged, protected and cherished! Yay! And congrats to you for being willing to trust God. No matter the cost, it will be a sweet blessing from Him because you are being obedient to His calling. :) God bless!!!
-Aubrey, Johnathan, McKenna, and little girl (only 4-5 more weeks) Moore

Abbie H. said...

This is WONDERFUL news Tracy!


Tawnya said...

Woo Hoo! Why haven't we talked about this? Some time ago I brought up the word adoption at praise team one night and by Tony's reaction I knew that it had come up at your house too. Congratulations! I think it's terribly exciting and I can't wait to hear about your adoption journey!

Anonymous said...

Adopting a little girl would be wonderful. Yes, you will go through all the emotions that you mentioned, but remember who will be there to give you peace and to guide you. We will be thinking and praying for you as you seek and search for that child God already has planned for you. Love you lots!! Judy & Ralph

Lee Anne said...

Many prayers your way. I think it is awesome you are doing this! My best friend adopted and she is just the happiest person ever. There are so many children out there who need such loving parents as you and Tony and families such as yours. I think it is awesome you guys are taking the leap and going for it. Everything will fall into place, just keep your faith and He will make it happen.