“Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel.” ~Philippians 1:12
I started a Bible study a few days ago called “Get Uncomfortable: Serve the Poor, Stop Injustice, and Change the World…In Jesus’ Name.”
Yesterday we were supposed to start reading Philippians – one chapter a day for four days. The assignment was to take each chapter verse by verse and really let them soak into your mind and heart. As I started to read chapter 1, I stopped when I read what Paul wrote in verse 12.
“Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel.”
I rolled this verse over in my head and quickly underlined it in my Bible. Paul faced prison, a trial and many painful and desperate situations but he was thankful, joyful and content despite the tough situations he found himself in. He focused on Jesus instead of those hopeless situations and knew that the hard times were being used for God’s Glory.
Next to this verse in my Bible I wrote “My infertility, our adoption has already been a powerful testimony of God’s power and has advanced the gospel.”
I truly, with all my heart, believe that God has already used our adoption journey to help further His kingdom. I have seen hearts softened and many spiritual seeds planted throughout this journey.
I remember during one of the really tough periods of this journey, praying and telling God that if John and I going through such a hard season was going to help someone see His power, glory and grace than I would stay in the dessert. It was worth the heartache and pain if someone discovered the love of Jesus.
John and I have a long wait ahead of us. We are only a week or so away from being put on the official wait list, but once we are on the list, all we will be able to do is wait. Things will be out of our hands until we get that life-changing phone call and see the faces of our babies. Right now they are saying it will be at least a year before we get a referral.
I pray that I am like Paul – that I focus on Jesus during our wait instead of on the long months ahead of us. That I will focus on how God wants to mold me and shape me during this wait because I believe He has a reason for the wait. I also pray that in the midst of the hard stuff, when my heart aches for my children, I will have hopeful contentment the way Paul did.
I know that a lot of people are unsure of what to do regarding their adoptions, since there are so many uncertainties with the Ethiopian government and the timeline for adoptions. John and I don’t necessarily like the idea of waiting for a year (or longer) but we are confident that this is where God wants us. Our children are in Ethiopia. So we will wait, no matter how long it takes, trusting God. He is bigger than any government and He sees the needs of each and every one of the 5 million orphans in Ethiopia. We are praying and asking Him to move mountains on behalf of these children who deserve hope, love and a family.
I love this quote from my Bible study, “we serve a God who intervenes on behalf of the poor and the oppressed; He does not stand idly by.”