God loves us. He loves you and He loves me, and He knows exactly what we need.
And He always delivers. Just not in the ways we expect.
Y’all know I’ve been struggling this last week. It’s been really really hard. I haven’t cried this much since well, I don’t want to remember the last time I cried this much. But in my efforts to understand it all… I’ve realized just how dependent I am on Him. For everything.
And that’s just where He wants me.
He knows us intimately and He knows what will bring us joy and peace. In the last few days, I’ve received some very beautiful reminders of His love for me. One came in the form of this quote, as an answer to prayer as I seek His heart on the subject of adoption. And as much as I adore TM’s fantastically written post about Love and Adoption, because it’s outrageously well written and full of her brilliant insights, I have a bit of a different view on a few points. And yes, TM knows that. We’re friends, y’all. She and I? We’re good.
Onto the quote that speaks directly to my heart:
If Jesus ever commanded us to do something that He was unable to equip us to accomplish, He would be a liar. And if we make our own inability a stumbling block or an excuse not to be obedient, it means that we are telling God that there is something which He has not yet taken into account. Every element of our own self-reliance must be put to death by the power of God. The moment we recognize our complete weakness and our dependence upon Him will be the very moment that the Spirit of God will exhibit His power. ~ Oswald Chambers
I’ll eventually post on this subject that has brought me to such a place of brokenness again.
For now, I’m resting in Him.
Another ‘reminder’ came in the form of this book. Oh. my. gosh. So ridiculously funny. My boys and I were laughing so hard we almost peed our pants. Okay, I almost peed my pants. You won’t need to do anymore crunches in your workout… this is an instant six-pack, peeps.
You must get one for yourself.
In the meantime, you can check out his blog here.
Sweet Stefanie, just know that while you were the one getting all the emails and comments, there were/are so many of us struggling to process all of this! I'm so glad you're finding rest IN HIM. While discussing is good, and there is much for all of us to learn, I keep coming back to keeping my eyes on Him and letting the Holy Spirit move and convict where He wills. Blessings to you and your precious family today!
Tara Anderson says
Stefanie, I wish I could be there to hug you…cry with you…and take care of your sick kids so that you can get a BREAK! I've had "one of those weeks" many times myself, and I know how hard they can be. I wish you didn't have to go through these struggles, but I am SO thankful that God is there with you through every bit of it. And HE will wrap His ever-loving arms around you and let you sob without limit. He will give you the grace, the strength, and even the REST you need as you face the challenges of each and every second. And more importantly, He will use each struggle to conform you to His image! Please know that I'm praying for you, my precious friend…
Prayers for you Stefanie. I love your heart. And I agree with that quote. He truly will not bring us to anything without bringing us through it. And I KNOW that from personal experience with our adoptions. Especially with Ryan. What a story to tell. But like I said, He is faithful and His promises are true. And I am so thankful for that!!!
And I can tell just by the cover of that book that it is hilarious! Smiles. 🙂
Jenny Shapiro says
I feel so sad that you are having such a tough week. You bring so much comfort to so many people through your blog and your incredible witty, intelligent and insightful thoughts. You have done so much to influence my life and I feel terrible that I don't know you well enough, or really at all, to help support you the way you have unknowingly been supportive of me. Maybe it is enough for you to know that I am praying for you, and am so appreciative for all of your perspective on life. Your blog has truly inspired me to be a better mother and person, and I am definitely grateful to you. Wishing you a peaceful day (or maybe a peaceful hour would be more reasonable :)). All the best, Jenny
Stefanie, I have been reading and following and processing or trying to process all of this and I just wanted to tell you that I am right there with you and have been for a while now. I just think that you have to listen to what your heart and what God is telling you – you and no one else.
I loved TM's post and LOVE TM (she is so much cooler than me)and like you, I don't agree with it all but I do love the fact that she can post something so thought provoking and that we can agree and disagree because it needs to be discussed and thought about.
I totally got your post and knew that it was straight from your heart. I have struggled with all of the recent things that I have been reading about concerning adoption, especially IA and I have poured my broken heart out to God and to my Chris. I think we must listen and learn to others but I also think that it comes down to the conversation you have with God and your family – and – no – one – else.
Hang in there sweetie!!!!!
Me too. Me too.
Stefanie – been folowing your blog a long time, just do not comment often.
first, thanks for the link to TM's blog – goodness, I so agree with her!
Secondly, sorry you're having a hard time. This past year has been spiritually difficult for me and i'm struggling to get back to where I want and need to be. thanks for sharing both your ups and downs. i'm so bad about only sharing the 'rosy', because honestly – i feel like a failure as a Christian when I'm down. Which is SOOO wrong on so many counts. But, all that to say – thank you for sharing from your heart.
Colin and Jill Canada says
We all struggle, but that is part of the Master's plan, because if we didn't struggle, we wouldn't rely on Him. AND we need to have faith, not just in times of need/trial. But that seems to be the only time we reach out and rely on Him, which is kinda sad and more than likely the reason he puts us in that position.
I'm praying for you.
Just a quick hello, a massive hug, and a listening ear. Sorry you've been having a rough week.
Miss Anna B says
I love what M3 said. My thoughts too.
Huge hugs and lots of love.
The Little Family says
I love that quote. Oh my. I L.O.V.E. that quote!!
I'm sorry to hear that your having a tough week, my past couple of weeks have been like that. I think you were right on with your post, I truly believe, and I've been guilty of this too, that we may overlook some of God's commands and decide that we aren't called to do certain things in order to excuse our lack of obedience.
Don't let the enemy get you down, your willingness to be obedient is evident and your posts are inspiring. There is something that I've been wanting to post but have avoided and reading your posts have encouraged me to do so.
I'll be praying for you.
Oh yeah. Did I ever need to read that quote today. Thank you for sharing it.
Awwww, Stef, you have been on my mind a lot these past few days!!!
It's been rough…
It's been interesting…
It's been thought-provoking!!
Hugs to you my friend!!!
I know that you simply shared your heart….
cottage girl says
"You will keep him in PERFECT PEACE, whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock." Is. 26:3-4
I'm praying for that "perfect peace" for you. And thank you for sharing. I completely understand being at the bottom and just spent. It's not happy, but I'm always thankful for the lesson afterwards.
I am soooo sorry you are having such a hard week. I was amazed when I saw your quote from O. Chambers. I read it in My Utmost… today, too, and was hoping to post it on my blog today with some insights I felt God gave me. But alas…sick kids meant doctor visits today and it didn't get done. Glad you posted it. 🙂 Big hugs!!
Stefanie! Just read that this morning in my quiet time….it spoke to me in our present situation. The thing is, even though we are in a tough place, tough times, and it's hard on the whole fam right now, we are right where we are supposed to be. God equips. I'm learning that I don't equip well, but God? Well, He does! And when i'm at the end, He is there to be my strength. I love that I get to read this again on your blog. It's just more confirmation that in my weakness, He is powerful!
I just wanted to chime in and send you my prayers. As an adoptee who is adopting, I appreciated TM's point, but I do not agree. I am living the life God intended me to live. I not only have 2 loving parents, but I have a husband and 3 biological children who would not be here if I wasn't adopted all those years ago. Being adopted does not have to define people. Kids who are raised by their biological families can have horrific childhoods. It is not what's always best, nor is it always meant to be.
OK – whatever the cause – simply rest well…and we'll keep you in our prayers!
hugs – aus and co.
Oh, Stefanie. I'm so sorry this has been such a painful time for you.
What I so admire about you and TM both is that it is so apparent that you each speak from the heart. You act from the heart. And your hearts are with God.
Not all Christians agree on all things.
But if we can each do our utmost to really listen to what He is speaking to us individually and lift each other up in support of our independent efforts to follow what we believe is His will for us…no judgement, no criticism, just an earnest desire to love one another as He loves us…we and our children will be so much the richer and He will be glorified.
I am a Christian. On certain points, I hold different views from your own. That does not in any way alter the fact that I admire and respect you enormously. I recognize that we are both living from the heart and we both are trying to do our very best by our children…our approaches may sometimes be different, our beliefs and realities may not be mirror images, but our motivation is the same. LOVE.
There's a quote that brings me a great deal of comfort when I find myself confronted by the hurtful comments of others. I hope it will be comforting to you, as well.
"If my life is fruitless, it doesn't matter who praises me, and if my life is fruitful, it doesn't matter who criticizes me." – John Bunyan
The best we can do, Stefanie, is to try to be fruitful…and to love one another.
With Love and Prayers…
and a really (((BigHUG))),
Jewels of My Heart says
Thank you for sharing your heart…. thank you for sharing the quote…. it is just what I needed for the journey the Lord is taking me on.
Will lift you up in prayer that you continue to feel His peace and rest in it….
a Tonggu Momma says
I've been sick all week, so I am just now catching up on blogs. Huge hugs, Stef. And I will always listen with my whole heart to you. Because I know you share with your whole heart.
The Gang's Momma! says
I'm so thankful for you and for TM – between the two of you, I've been forced to settle in and think about my motives, my calling, my actions in light of those things. I've had to process and pray and talk with The Boss in new words.
I am behind in posting here, because I was away taking care of my mom and I have like 26 of your posts still to read in my Reader. Buckle Up, parts one and two, have been swirling in my brain. I've been more effected by the hurtful, nasty comments (both in your posts and in TM's posts) than by the actual posts themselves. I think I've settled that I fall somewhere in the middle of the two different perspectives on the issues of the posts. But the comments happened to come at the same time as some personal attacks on my sister and her family. And I'm reeling a bit at the harshness that folks employ in their commentary. In their personal interactions. I guess I was niave enough to believe that grown-ups could speak kindly and agree to disagree. My post from Thursday is my efforts to work out some of that.
But . . . you are still my bloggy crush. I still love how you think and process. While I don't necessarily disagree with anything you have said, I am sure that once I examine it more closely, line by line, I won't totally agree with it all either. But the fact remains – I am constantly challenged and motivated by it all. By you. By TM. By other bloggers who share their hearts and aren't afraid to step into it and say the hard things.
My big (initial) take-away from your recent posts is that I need to live more closely to what I say I believe. I need to DO IT, not just dream about it. Not just say I want it. I need to do it. Even if The Boss and I aren't on the same page yet with actually proceeding with another adoption (and we both agree that we want to do another, just not on when), I need to live like I'm going there. Because I am. We are.
I'm so challenged by both your recent posts – to live more for Him and less for me. More for the big picture and less for the short-term comfortable thing. With discipline and discipleship in my words and deeds. Your heart for following single-mindedly after Him is a challenge to me. I want to want that. I am in such a hard dry place right now. I'm tired and there's some hard personal stuff going on that I'm "stuck" on. But posts like these remind me that it's a process. It's a journey. It starts with a step.
Thank you for sharing your heart, unabashedly and honestly sharing that you are on a journey. You are in process. And for encouraging us (me) to do the same.