What Am I Doing Here?

I feel like we all struggle with finding our identity at times. It’s a popular issue among teens battling the “Who am I” and “What makes me different from everyone else” questions. But I would venture to say that I’m not the only woman who has had those days where I feel my inner-fifteen year old scream those same questions.

Most of the time those days are also the days where I’m struggling with my purpose and trying to figure out if I’m making a difference. The cloudy days where I’m a little more willing to pay a ridiculous price for that cute planner I’ve been eying because lets face it, if I was just more organized my life would make so much more sense.

The truth is I’ve really been searching for my purpose over the last few weeks. Two weeks ago I was in a bad car accident. I walked away without a scratch, yet the other driver didn’t make it. I’ve found myself asking God so many questions, but the biggest has been why—both old why’s and new why’s. Why am I still here and the other guy isn’t? Why I was so close to paying my car off and now am faced with finding another one? Why is it taking so long to be matched with a birth mother? Why don’t I have a baby yet?

I’ve been so confused as to why He hasn’t answered me or given me any valid signs that would help me answer those questions. I’ve been growing more and more impatient and more and more uncomfortable.

Then Sunday came… and in the midst of our church’s series on money, our pastor delivered a message I will never forget. It was a message about surrender, and was from 1 Kings 18:30-35. In the scripture, God brought Elijah and the Jewish people to the point of desperation so He could show them who He is and what He is capable of. Our pastor reminded us that God always hears the cries of desperate people. He also mentioned that sometimes we pray for God to reveal His power, when we should be crying out for God to pour out His grace. That struck a nerve. How many times had I prayed in the past week for God to just reveal His power and do something miraculous in my life to show me my life had meaning. The main point of our pastor’s message is the point that I would like to encourage you with today… Surrender is not when we give God something, it’s when we give God everything.

I’ve been holding onto my desires and my dreams for so long that I haven’t even realized I was still holding on to them. Sunday, I was reminded that God’s purpose for my life is daily surrender. I don’t have to know exactly what God wants for my future, I just have to know that I’m surrendered completely to whatever that future holds. I don’t have to know why the wreck happened, I just have to be surrendered to the fact that Jesus has full control and wants me here today for a purpose. And as far as that purpose goes, I don’t have to know what it is… I just have to surrender my day to Him and my purpose is then found in Him.

This isn’t a big 7 step guide to finding your purpose, it’s a 1 step guide. Friends, surrender is not when we give something, it’s when we give God everything. The Jewish people who gave their water eventually got so much more water in return. When we surrender everything, we get more than we had in the first place. Through our surrender, we find our purpose and identity in Christ.

I’m not sure who is reading this who is feeling frustrated about not being where we feel we should be as far as our ministry or calling, but just rest in the fact that you are exactly where you’re supposed to be in this moment. Jesus wants to use “our water” to one day bring “the rain”.

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Stop expecting, when you’re expecting…

 “The Lord will fight for you, you only need to be still…” Exodus 14:14

I haven’t written in a few months because I felt like I should wait for the next big step in our adoption process. I wanted my next blog to be about the phone call we received telling us we have been matched. The truth… waiting is hard. I’ve finished my checklist, all the paperwork has been submitted, we are home-study approved, we registered, the nursery is ready… we just need the phone to ring. As difficult and painful as the first few months were dealing with the sting of infertility and the piles of work and fundraising ahead of us, I think this last month has been the hardest so far. The stillness, quiet, and not having a “to-do” list have left me extremely uncomfortable.

Last Sunday, I found myself angry during worship at church. Our pastor had spoke on how our God is a good God who wants good things for His children, and that His purpose for our lives is for us to experience His joy. I was confused at why He wasn’t giving me a next step in our calling to adopt and really felt abandoned and alone…and bargained in my prayer that if He would just give me a baby I would experience joy. I know, childish right? When I got really honest with myself I knew the reason it was bothering me so much is because Jesus was taking away the walls of “busy-ness” I had built around my heart to protect me from being emotionally vulnerable with Him. I knew as long as I had a box to check I didn’t have to face the ugly truth… that I was searching so desperately for my baby and preparing so hard for him/her, instead of placing my focus and my pursuit on Jesus and finding my satisfaction in Him alone.

Sometimes, Jesus brings us to a place where we feel like we aren’t doing anything and it frustrates us, when we are exactly where He wants us to be… and He just wants us to sit for awhile with Him and for that to be enough. He wants our worship more than He wants our preparations, during our waiting (Luke 10:38-42). So that’s what I’ve been doing the last couple of weeks… sitting still at Jesus’ feet and listening. My heart has grown so full it feels like it will burst and He has taught me so so much during this waiting period. I am content for the first time in a very long time and no longer looking to the next box to check. I am confident He will provide because His promises do not return void and He wants more for me than I could ever want for myself.

So I challenge you to allow yourself to be vulnerable with Jesus, set aside some time for Him to break down walls in your life. True fulfillment doesn’t come the way we think it does—through our striving, achieving, conquering, and acquiring.
Jesus teaches us in the scriptures that true joy and fulfillment comes through sacrificing ourselves for others—through being vulnerable even to those who reject us. It comes through pouring out ourselves for others, and trusting God to fill us back up (John 12:23-25). Jesus uses circumstances in our lives, especially our places of woundedness, brokenness, disappointment, and rejection, for good. We are all reliant on Him all the time, but all too often, we fail to grasp this. When bad things happen, we turn to Jesus (just like David did in Psalms) with our fears because we have nowhere else to go. At that point in time we realize that no friend, no doctor, no medication can fill the deepest longings of our hearts, and so we cry out to Jesus.

When we feel like we just can’t do it or don’t want to be vulnerable, we can be reminded that He became vulnerable to us. He died naked, abandoned, and alone on the cross. Even God turned His back on Jesus on the cross, so Jesus could experience hell for us. Just as He did for the cross, God can transform our weakest, ugliest, most shameful places into sources of beauty that can bring Him glory. This has been such a sweet reminder that we will never “arrive” or know all there is to know about Him. He has so much to teach me and I have so much to learn from Him. It’s in this vulnerable state that my prayer has changed from “God, make me a mother” to “God, mold me into the mother you want me to be… no matter how long it takes.”

So, it’s not that He doesn’t want me to be excited or plan for this beautiful promise of a baby. It’s not that checking all of those boxes were wrong. Jesus wants me to be expectant during this time, but to be more expectant of what He has planned, than what I do…

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Infertility Blues… Again.

I woke up this morning with a suffocating lump in my throat. The sickening pit in my stomach, the desire so strong I could explode, met with the realization that I may never be… pregnant. After being 18 days late, this morning… I felt all of that hope crash all over again. I know some of you are thinking, “but aren’t you and your husband called to adopt…” or “how selfish is she to want to be pregnant when she’s adopting…” Trust me, I’ve said the same things to myself over and over again. A good friend of mine who has walked in my shoes shared some wise words to me once that adoption does not cure infertility. I couldn’t agree more… adoption does not cure infertility, but daily searching for my identity in Jesus and finding my fulfillment in Him does.

I am no where near perfect… I have struggles on a day to day basis just like everyone else. I squeeze my toothpaste from the center of the tube, forget to replace the toilet paper roll, let dirty dishes pile up in the sink, and I struggle with real sin every single day. Finding my fulfillment in anything but Jesus is sin, but the beautiful thing about all of our sin is that it’s never bigger than Jesus and His grace covers it all.
My husband and I were called to adopt a newborn baby domestically eight months ago. Since that time God has grown me in ways that I can’t even describe and has proven His faithfulness again and again. I know that He has big plans to use our story to bring so so much glory to His name. I have made incredible friendships with people literally all over the world since our announcement. I’ve heard stories similar to mine with all sorts of amazing journeys of how God brought a baby into their lives. I cannot tell you guys how much your encouragement, prayers, and support have meant to me over the past several months. Know that I still struggle, I still feel pain, and I still battle with infertility. At the same time, I have such a deep longing to get the phone call that could come literally any day now, from the birth mom that Jesus has for us. I cannot wait to be able to tell our baby the beautiful story of how their adoption impacted so many people, and how they were loved and pursued before they were even conceived. My struggles with infertility in no way lesson my burden and calling for the child we are adopting.
I decided to blog today because I know that keeping these feelings to myself rob God of potential glory and I want nothing more than for Him to use every single bit of our journey to help encourage others on their journey as they go through similar emotions. Honestly, I immediately felt guilty over the excitement I have been feeling the last 18 days that I might be pregnant. My mom reminded me earlier this morning that “God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love Him and have been called according to His purpose” (Rom 8:28). This means that He allowed these 18 days and the feelings that have accompanied them, as part of His preparation in us for what’s to come. If nothing else, it has reminded me that God has given us exactly what we needed when we needed it throughout our journey, His timing is perfect, and He isn’t finished with our story.
Thanks for reading! I appreciate your prayers today…

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Just blown away today that we serve a God who always provides what we need. 3 months & 17 days ago, I announced what then seemed impossible, that we were going to adopt a baby debt-free. Today I checked our adoption account balance and one word hit my heart—remember.

I remember sitting in the dr office when they told us a baby was impossible. I remember going to the bank to open our adoption account and them asking if we would have the minimum amount required for an account within 60 days to avoid a fee, and me telling Him that I knew The Lord would provide. I remember, even recently, friends shocked that we weren’t getting a loan for our adoption. I remember laying in bed listening to Chip encourage me that Jesus has a plan and has called us to this and would not fail us. I remember 107 days ago not having a penny in that account, and today when I looked at it The Lord reminded me what His faithfulness looks like. It’s so easy to focus on the $6,000 left we need to raise and not the $9,000+ that Jesus has provided already.

If you have donated, thank you so so much! Keep sharing our story and keep praying! If you feel led to donate now, you can by clicking the “donate now” link at the top right of our blog.

He is so so good to us and I cannot wait to see how He plans to continue to use our adoption story for His glory!

I try and stay in touch with my readers on a personal level through social media. Share this post to pass it on, and then click here to find me on Facebook.

What’s This Adoption Puzzle Thing?

We are so excited about our adoption and we KNOW without a doubt that this is EXACTLY what God is calling us to do. Not in a year, not in 5 years, but right now!

Our best guess is that our adoption will cost close to $15,000 – $20,000. So, in an attempt to help offset some of the costs, we are asking people to sponsor a puzzle piece for $5 per piece. If you buy a puzzle piece, we will write your name on the front of the piece. Once all the pieces are sold, and the puzzle is completed, we will frame the puzzle with the names facing outward. We would like to hang this in our nursery as a thank you to all of the people who are helping us make this adoption possible, and so that our son or daughter will grow up seeing the names of each person who prayed and supported their adoption story.

If you would like to sponsor a puzzle piece, you can make your payment through Paypal. To donate through Paypal just click the link on the right-hand side of this blog. You’ll have to put in the amount of pieces you would like to sponsor, at $5 per piece.

Please note that you do not have to have a Paypal account to make this payment online. Just click on the “Donate” button and then scroll down the page to the section that says “Don’t have a Paypal account?” Click “Continue” and it will take you to a page to make your payment without having to create an account.

If you are not comfortable with Paypal, but would like to purchase a puzzle piece or two, feel free to send me an email. I’ll let you know our address and you can send us a check. My email address is elizabethadoption@gmail.com. And if you would like to buy more than one puzzle piece, we would be very grateful!

Thank you all for your ongoing prayers and support!!

“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 a hope and a future” – Jeremiah 29:11

I try and stay in touch with my readers on a personal level through social media. Share this post to pass it on, and then click here to find me on Facebook.