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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

.Just a Fool to Believe I Could Change the World.

And I can't.

But God can.

After yesterdays rather toxic post, I have calmed down a bit. I am still angry, but it is muted. I think I am more sad right now. I am sad, but I am so encouraged. Your comments made me sit here at my desk and just sob. They were so full of compassion, love, and you, my dear friends, get it. My inbox was full when I got up this morning, full of support and encouragement from readers and from our Ethiopia Yahoo Group.

I don't feel so alone today.

I don't feel quite so crazy right now.

Jim and I had a heart to heart last night. He shared a video with me (I will give you the link at the end of this post.), and between my time in prayer yesterday, your encouraging words and prayer, and conversation and prayer with my husband, I know this much....

I cannot do everything, only God can, but I have been called to do something.

..once our eyes are opened, we can't pretend we don't know what to do. God who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows that we know, and holds us responsible to act.......... Prov. 24:12

I know what God is calling me to do right now. He is calling me to bring home our child from Ethiopia and He is calling me to advocate for orphans.

It is the second part that I am just realizing. The second part is actually harder for me than the first. I don't like to offend, and I know many have found me offensive, pushy - cramming this orphan thing down their throat.

Well, I am not going to stop. I am going to try to be gracious and humble, but I am going to advocate with everything in my being for the fatherless - for those children who have no one else advocating for them, for those children that deserve a daddy and a mommy just as much as my children and your children do. It was no accident that my children were placed in my home and not in an orphanage far away, but they are no more blessed than those other children, and God loves the orphans just as much as my children. I know this may turn people away, both here on my blog and in real-life, but I am going to do it nonetheless.

Here are some facts on how my God views orphans. Let's pull our blinders off.

Read these words slowly, let them sink into your soul. Allow the Holy Spirit to whisper this truth.

- Psalm 10:14, God is the “helper of the orphan.”

- Psalm 10:18, God will “vindicate the orphan and oppressed.”

- Psalm 82:3, God commands his people to, “vindicate the weak and fatherless; do justice to the afflicted and destitute.”

- Deuteronomy 10:18, God “executes justice for the fatherless.”

- Deuteronomy 27:19, “Cursed is the man who withholds justice from the fatherless.”

- Hosea 14:3, “in you (God) the fatherless find compassion.”

Oh, but that is just the Old Testament, and it is not applicable to you and me today, right?

So what do we do with James 1:27?
“Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained by the world.”

God’s people then and God’s people now must actively care for the fatherless. In fact, the Greek word translated “to visit” or “to care for” is used elsewhere in Scripture of the shepherd tending to, watching over, giving close attention to and taking responsibility for his sheep. Kind of hard to swallow, but I hope even harder to ignore.

The only conclusion I can see from this is that Christians are required to advocate for and rescue orphans. We cannot pick and choose this. We cannot decide this only applies to some families. If you have beseeched God and know for sure that you are not called to adopt, what are you going to do - have you earnestly sought God's calling?

Adoption costs a lot of money. It is the hard truth. People sneer that if this is God's plan than He will provide the money. That is true, but guess how He often supplies the money??

Through people.

Don't let money be what stands between you and this kingdom calling.

Don't let fear.

Jim and I watched a video last night. I cannot embed it here, but PLEASE take the time to go to this link, scroll to the bottom and watch the video under Worship Media. After Jim and I watched the video we joked how we should move to Alabama and attend this church which so clearly gets the mandate of James 1:27. Can you imagine such a church?! What a blessing to have a church filled with so many families that get the need and are either adopting or are supporting the families that are adopting. We are the only family in our church walking this road. I have been going to this church my whole life, and I do believe we are the first family. Praying that changes, and that eyes are unveiled.

What about YOU?

Thanks for your love, encouragement, and support. Thanks for bearing with this post. I slept pretty well last night, and I know it was as a result of your prayers.
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10 comments:

rameelin said...

I am loving the raw emotion that you are feeling and expressing. I am praying for you and for your family. I have admired your journey thus far and have said from the beginning how I cannot wait to watch it all come together for you. God has a perfect and ordained time for your baby to be with you. I know that you know that. In the meantime, I'm praying that your baby's heart is being prepared and that God continues to mold you and Jim into the parents that you need to be for this sweet babe, individually. ♥ Hope you have a great day!

jennverme said...

I'm totally with you girl!! My days go from frustrated to inspired. When God opens our eyes to something we, in our culture, are so blinded to, it seems so obvious that it is difficult to understand why everyone doesn't see it. You are not alone!!!

Jenn Verme

Lara said...

I just had a chance to go back to yesterday's post. AMEN! Thanks for being bold enough to say all of that.

Last night we were at dinner at a friend's house and I told her we were submitting our adoption application. She responded, "Yea, I've wanted to do that before, so I wouldn't have to go through pregnancy again, but it just seems like more trouble than it's worth. If we could be guaranteed the baby would be an easy one and everything would go smoothly..."
I think I threw up in my mouth. So the fact that it's difficult changes the commandments we are given??? Yuck.

Sara said...

Oh Tiffany please know that my husband and I are praying for you and Jim as you are on this journey. Your posts on adoption only fuel our desire to adopt even more. They definately have helped a small fire begin to grow into a flame. And as you've experienced at times to we have also expreinced the "Why would you want to do that?" As if only those that can not have "children of their own" are the only ones that it makes sense for those to adopt...

God is advocating for the orphans!

We're not sure exactly when God will give us the go ahead to proceed with our desire but I'm sure that as our desire continues to grow it will grow so big that it will just burst over into action and we're praying that we'll be able to start to take action in a year.

Thank you for following God and being a big encouragment to us :)

Redeemed1 said...

I'm so sorry...I can't believe some people can be so cold and insensitive, both to you and the needs of orphans around the world. It's so easy to live our sheltered lives here in America and grow numb to the needs of children around the world.

It seems that even if they aren't feeling called to adopt at this time, they would be 100% supportive of those who are.

My husband and I are not at a point in our lives where we can adopt right now. I won't say we never will, but just not right now. But we still MUST care for the orphans, and what better way than by supporting those who CAN adopt right now? How about supporting missions organizations that care for orphaned children?

There is so much need out there, and so much that can be done. I think by far the greatest thing we can do as Christians is to open our homes to these children and for any Christian to question those who are adopting is just unthinkable.

Hang in there - I'm praying for you and your baby.

Growing in Grace said...

Amen! I love your heart Tiffany. I hope this can be an encouragement to you:

My husband just finished 3 years of seminary in California. We are from Toronto, Canada which means as international students we were limited only having my husband work 20 hours a week on campus at minimum wage. That left us about $1000 short every month. We knew that it was not the Lord's desire for us to go in to that much debt a month and if it was truly His will, He would provide...well 3 years later we are finished, back in Canada and debt free. Over the span of 3 years the Lord provided around $30,000, it came from the most unlikelest of places! Every month right on time, He provided.

We got to watch Him work in the most amazing ways as I am confident you will look back and see His hand, providing right on time!

If He has given you this desire, He will bring it about!!

Again thank you for your heart!

~Erin

Growing in Grace said...

P.S. have your read George Muller's bio, I think it would be a huge encouragement to you.

He worked with orphanes and opened orphanages. He is probably the greatest testimony to the power of prayer and faith I have seen and it was his story that really encouraged us to pray and trust in the Lord when we didn't know how we were to pay rent or where money for groceries would come from!

~Erin

Ethiopia here we come! said...

I just want to say thank you for having the boldness to share your true feelings. My wife and I read your post last night and we can totally agree. Sometimes, people just don't get it. for most of us here in the U.S. it is just a matter of changing our budgets to focus on building God's kingdom vs building our security in worldly things. How many people have gone out to but the new Iphone 4 just because it is the newest thing out there, while their Iphone 3 is still working?My wife and I are just finishing our home study and are in the Ethiopia program as well. It is amazing watching how God is providing the necessary funds that we just had no idea where it will come from. Know that if you have to put it on your line of credit, you will never regret it. We are still paying ours off since adopting our first daughter 4 years ago and we would never change a thing.
God bless you and your family.

Kylee said...

Don't give up, because even when you might not realize, people at your church are watching as you walk this journey. I know that. Because...

10 years ago, when my family began fostering, we were the first family in our church to do so. (There are about 150 people in our church.)

After we began, God prompted another family to join in. They later adopted TWO boys.

Then, not long after, another family joined in. They also adopted TWO boys.

Then, about 4 years ago, another family joined in, and they have provided a loving temporary home to about a dozen children.

Other families have come up and said they plan to foster/adopt sometime in the future.

I tell you this not because it was our family that made these families also foster. I know that God told us to foster, and as a result of our actions, He was able to use us to prompt the same thing in other families. But, that is just the thing, had my parents not obeyed that calling, these families might not have had such a clear opportunity to listen as God tugged at their hearts.

By simply walking this journey, you are already advocating for adoption. In a way that you may not even realize.

(Sorry for my constant multi-paragraph comments. Hopefully they will subside soon. This is just a topic I am so passionate about, I can't hold it in!)

Karen Cassidy said...

Don't ya just love the JOURNEY that God leads us on? We also started with "just" pursuing adoption, but still, even in the early stages of paperwork, I wanted to do MORE. My passion for orphans has grown by leaps & bounds and I am also thinking "advocate" may be where I'm headed. We too are the only ones among our friends or church family who "get it" and I've wondered what it would be like to attend the church of the "Radical" as well. As long as God continues to touch the hearts of His people all over this country and the world with a passion for the orphan, we will be a light for Him. Even if it seems we we stand alone!

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