We truly are a family redefined. We are husband, wife, son, daughter, step children, biological and adopted children and most importantly, Children of God.

A friend pointed out that I needed to update my blog header. After our adoption from Ethiopia, I had updated it stating how the adoption of Sara Joy completed our family. Well... the journey continues. After much prayer, we have decided to follow what we feel is God's calling for us...we went to Ghana with the intention of adopting a four year old girl, Isabella Hope. Little did we know that she would be the catalyst to bringing home not only her, but her half brother and sister. We will now be adding not only Isabella Hope to our family, but also Mary Grace (9) and Gilbert (6) who we will transition to the name Nathaniel Timothy. The shock is wearing off and the JOY and EXCITEMENT are overwhelming. Now truly, our family is complete. The great part of journeying with God, is that it's always an adventure. He knows where we are going, and for us it is all a marvelous surprise. Looking forward to sharing our family adventures as we walk daily through life and as we venture off to Ghana to bring home Mary, Nate and Isabella! It's always an adventure redefining our family!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

ABC's of My Heart: D = Doubt

Psalm 94:19 - When anxiety (doubt) was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.

Well, I'm back at it this week.  Again, this is not the original post I was intending for my "D" post, but it is what I felt laid on my heart, so I decided to skip my original "D" post, and write this one.  The best laid plans are meant to be broken when the Lord lays something on your heart to write!

Tim and I opted to have a day of fun with Cameron yesterday.  Tim took the day off of work and we packed up early in the morning and headed to Carowinds with Cameron and his friend (our "adopted" son) Christopher.  I love these two boys!  Christopher is Cameron's best friend and they spend so much time at one another's houses, that we often joke that we share custody of the children.  It's a great relationship that they have.  

Anyway, we had plenty of time to talk as we drove the 2 1/2 hours back and forth.  Five hours in the car with two fourteen year olds is some good, quality talk time!

After a GREAT day at the park, we headed back home late.  I was thinking about the day as we were driving.  I kept telling Tim to watch for deer as we drove because the road we were traveling on was wooded and is known for deer crossings at inopportune times.  For some reason I got to thinking about a deer jumping from the side of the road, slamming into the side of the car, coming through the window and killing me.  Morbid, I know.  I sometimes can't help the things that I think about though.

Satan must have been hard at work in that car, because all of a sudden doubt started creeping into my head.  I began to wonder, well.... what IF that happened?  Now, I'm just being brutally honest here.  I'm not going to sugar coat my feelings or thoughts.  I'm pretty much a person who's known for "telling it like it is".  What if.... what if I think I'm saved, but I'm not?  For all of you hard-core Christians out there, I'm sure you sucked in a huge gulp of air and thought "no she didn't".  "How could a true Christian say such a thing".  Well, sorry... I am a true Christian, and I it's what I was feeling at the moment.  If we are all honest with ourselves, I'm sure at one time or another doubt has crept into your head / heart as well... It doesn't make me any "less saved", it probably just makes me HUMAN!  It got me thinking though....

So, I posed the question to everyone in the car.  Cameron - are you ready to die?  Yes.  Christopher - are you ready to die?  Yes.  Tim - are you ready to die?  Yes.  Of-course we had the lengthy discussion about wanting to die vs. ready to die.  I was talking about READY to die.  If they died, in the next second, would they have confidence in knowing that the next face they saw would be that of their Savior?  Yep, they were all confident.  So, what was wrong with ME????  We discussed it for awhile and eventually, the question came back to me.  Well mom, what about you?  I knew the question would come back to me, but I was avoiding it!  Here's the thought process I went through:

If I'm totally honest, I don't know.  I mean, I know the strength of my salvation and I know my faith is in none other than Christ Jesus, but I can't say that I never have a moment of doubt.  I'd be lying if I said I didn't.  Not doubt about Christ, but doubt about ME.  God is big enough.  He could pluck me up right now if He wanted to, with or without my making a decision for Christ (not that He WOULD, but he COULD).  He could do it against my will if He wanted to.  But He doesn't.  He wants it to be my choice.  I believe in the strength of the blood of Jesus Christ.  I believe that my sin sat upon his shoulders.  He bore the burden of my sin - both past, present and future.  He died before I lived and He died for me, knowing the full extent of the sins I would commit.  He bore them before I committed them.  He saved me in spite of them.  He saved me BECAUSE of them.  He died for me.  He was buried for me.  He rose for me.  I believe all of that.  I believe in HIM.

My problem lies in my humanity.  I can't help it.  I look in the mirror and I think - if it were true, if I were saved, wouldn't I be better?  Wouldn't I look more "different"?  Wouldn't I look less like the person I do right now, and more like Jesus?  I can truly say that upon my salvation, I changed.  My friends will attest to it.  I truly am a different creature.  I look though at  how much of the "old man" still lives in me.  I look at how much I feed the "old man" and I begin to wonder...  Was  it really Christ who changed me, or was it me trying to change me?  

In the end, I believe Christ changed me.  I believe that because I professed my faith in Him.  I asked Him to save me.  I asked Him to be Lord of my  life.  And the change in my life was more than I could have ever done on my own.  Ask Megan, ask Monica, ask Jaime (ok, maybe you don't know them, but they ARE real people :).  And in the end, I believe that Satan spurs and continues my doubt.  Satan feeds the doubt in your mind.  Satan LOVES nothing more than for you to wonder, because you can't live for the glory of God if you are wondering if you are even His.  You can't live for the glory of God if you are focusing on all that you still do wrong.  You can't live for the glory of God if you are a doubter.  You can be HIS, but you can't live for HIS GLORY.

I am His.  I know I am His.  I guess, after sifting through the truth and the lies, I am left with knowing that I am HIS.  My name is in the book.  The date of my birth into His family has been written and it can not and WILL NOT be erased.  I never thought of it that way before.  I often thought of my name in the book of Life as written.  Maybe it is actually written, I don't know, but I viewed it as written.  When I doubt, I see it in pencil...If it's written, it can be erased.  If not erased, my page could be torn out.  But after I just wrote that "the date of my birth into his family has been written"....it struck home with me.....

A mother has a child and the hospital documents the birth.  When I had Cameron, a birth certificate was given to me.  It documented the date and time of his birth.  More important than that though, was the date and time that was imprinted on my brain.  If our house caught on fire and the birth certificate was destroyed, that does not mean that Cameron's birth did not happen.  Sure, I could get another official birth certificate, but even if I couldn't, his birth would still exist.  The same is true of my birth in Christ.  I don't know if there is a real physical book.  I don't know, if when I get to Heaven, I'll see the penmanship of my personal Lord and Savior - what I do know is this.... 

No matter how many children I have (either through birth or adoption), I will always remember the date and time they became part of my family.  I will always know the date and time Cameron was born.  I will know where I was sitting when the judge in Ethiopia said "She is your daughter".  I know the way the room looks that I sat in, in China, when they said "You have passed!  There were no questions!  She is your daughter!".  I know the day my three Ghanian babies became mine forever.  I KNOW this.  You can't take it from me.  I don't need a birth certificate or a book to remind me of it.  Jesus is so much more of a parent than I am.  Jesus never forgets.  He knows all and remembers all.  Whether or not there is a book, I am written in the MIND and HEART of my Savior.  He will stand before His Father and say - She is with me.  Book or no book.  Literal or figurative...He will say,  "she is out family".  He knew me when He died at the cross.  He knew me when He was buried in the tomb.  He knew me when He rose from the dead.  And if He knew me before I ever was, He will know me when we meet again.

Doubt is a strong feeling / emotion - whichever it is.  But know this to be true.  My God is stronger.  Doubt may have its day, but God has me for eternity.  The only thing doubt can do, is prevent me from living my life for the full glory of God.  

I will continue to struggle with doubt, I'm sure.  But, when I lay my head down at night, I know that there is a Spirit living in me that will refresh my mind, that will renew my spirit and soothe my heart.  I know He is ALIVE in me.  

So, to make a long story short, if the deer smashed through my window as we drove home from Carowinds, would I be ready to die?  The answer is an unmistakable YES!  When I close my eyes for the very last time and when I take my last breath on earth - I will open my eyes in another place, fully sighted and looking into the eyes of the one who saved me.

Don't let doubt spoil your walk with God.  Don't let doubt stop you from living fully for the glory of God.  Fight doubt with truth.  The truth of God's word, because nothing will beat the power of Satan like the strength and truth of God's Word!

In Christ,


TaMara Sloan said...

Doubt = one of Satan's most often used tools in his toolbox. I think everyone has doubts from time to time. When waht we think we SHOULD be doesn't match up to our reality, it's easy to doubt if we've really been changed, if we're truly saved.

I like how you compared our salvation to the birth of our children. That's a great reminder that once we're saved, we've been forever written in the Lamb's Book of Life.

sarita edgerton said...

I picture my name written in blood. Ps 53 also says that God makes note of our tears in His book! He cares for us deeply!