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.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
Sometimes when you are in the midst of a trial it is hard to see how God is at work. When sorrow and pain cloud our vision and there seems to be no way out of a situation, those are the times when we are most likely to forget that God has his hand on our life and he will order and direct our steps.
About 10 years ago my husband Dean and I were thinking of upgrading to a larger property. Our son was two years old and our half acre home was beginning to feel a bit snug. Dean and I both grew up with a lot of room to run and play and it was a dream of ours to provide the same for our family.
So, we began praying and asking for God’s direction. Did he want us to move or should we remain where we were? One day Dean came across an ad for a property that had been for sale for over a year. The property had almost seven acres, but the price was above and beyond what we could afford.
Nevertheless… Dean felt God urging him to contact the realtor with an offer. After some negotiations, the place was ours at a price that was only from God!
During this time, we were also dealing with secondary infertility and none of the procedures we tried were producing the little life we longed for. We had just started attending a new church nearby, one that had several families who had fostered and adopted children. On one of our first Sundays there, I saw a woman holding a little girl who had adorable curly hair and brown skin.
Because of the differences in their skin color, I instantly knew she was a foster mom and something stirred within my heart. The memory of the little brown hand clutched safely in her mama’s white one stayed with me, and I couldn’t shake the image.
Was God telling me something?
Eventually the stirring became a strong desire and nudging from God that ultimately lead us to proceed with getting a license to foster children through a local county. Today, we have been blessed to have adopted four children through the same agency, but one of our children suffers from a severe mental illness due to the neglect in his biological home. Without our church family rallying around us and offering their support (some of them had already walked this same path), the trial of raising him would have been so much greater.
Only God could have placed us where we would find the help and support Dean and I needed as well as providing friends for our children, and as they grow up, friends who can intimately understand their struggles.
When we look back on our lives we can clearly see God at work, how he directed our paths and gave us the strength and faith we needed to proceed when we couldn’t see ahead. During some of the dark times over the past 10 years when we experienced much pain and loneliness, it seemed as though God was far away. But now, when we look back over the path we have already walked, we see GOD.