Two years ago today, we brought Jimso home from Haiti!!! And it was one of the best and most important days of my life!!
We have some dear friends currently navigating their way through Haitian adoption. And we are currently navigating our way through some pretty rough waters as we prepare to move to Haiti. But being reminded of God's impeccable record for being faithful to fulfill that which He has called us and promised us is the most reassuring place to be. This morning I was reading some thoughts I had wrote on the day we brought Jimso home and was brought to tears just thinking about God's faithfulness to move mountains throughout our adoption journey. Just thought I would share those thoughts with you.....
“It Is Done~ Welcome Jimso Taylor Lenhart ”
I woke up this morning before it was light out and as I lay in bed trying to decide if I should get up or go back to sleep, all I could think was “I can’t believe this day is finally really here.” I have prayed for this day for 2 ½ years. I have dreamed about what it will be like to bring Jimso home since the moment God placed this burden and calling on my heart. As a mom, I have cried many tears on his behalf and felt my heart literally ache for a child who grew not under my heart but in it. This journey to bring Jimso home has not been easy but I would not change one moment of it. God has spoken so much truth over my life during this process. I know that each tear that fell and each obstacle that we had to overcome was wrapped with divine purposes.
One day years from now, we will be able to tell Jimso about this adoption process. I pray that through the hard times and seeing all that we had to overcome, he will grasp the depth of our love for him. As one day he seeks to understand why he was abandoned by his biological mother, I pray that he will choose to focus not on the hurt and sting of that abandonment but instead focus on how much he was wanted, how many people prayed for him and loved him before they even met him.
If this journey had been smooth, I would not be so incredibly grateful and full of praise. Nor would I be able to attest to the power of faith, hope and love. If I have learned anything on this journey, it’s that He who promised is faithful!!!
Last week I made a list of things that God had to “work out” in order for this day to come to pass. Just some of those mountains included:
1. According to Haitian law, adoptive parents must be 35 or older (which we are not)
2. Also according to Haitian law, both biological parents must be decreased, even in cases of abandonment (Jimso biological mother is living)
3. GVCM is not an adoption agency; though they establish and run the orphanage, there have been no adoptions to date therefore we had no one with the legal knowledge to navigate us through this confusing process. Many couples who attempt independent adoptions (with no agency) are unsuccessful. That compounded with the language barrier we faced as we tried to get information was overwhelming.
4. The financial burden of an international adoption is very costly and beyond the salary of a family in full time ministry.
Yet God knew all this when he called us to the God sized task of this adoption. He alone could move the mountains in our way and that is exactly what he did!!
A famous missionary named J. Hudson Taylor (Jimso’s middle name) once said, “I have found that there are three stages in every great work of God: first, it is impossible, then it is difficult, then it is done!” Throughout this journey, it has been impossible and difficult but today it is done!!
One of my kids’ favorite movies is one called “Open Season”. The movie tagline is “the odds are about to get even.” The two main characters find themselves smack dab in the wilderness, just days before “open season.” So they unite with the cute lovable wilderness animals that have grown weary of always being the ones hunted. In desperation, they decide to band together on opening day of hunting season and turn the tables on their predators. There are times in life when it seems like someone has declared “open season” and we feel like walking targets at the shooting range. Well today “the odds are about to get even…”
The last several weeks have been one of the most intense times of temptation I have ever experienced. Circumstances beyond our control seem to have thrusted our family into a “wilderness” season in our life unexpectedly (from our foster daughters being unexpectedly moved out of our home to physical illness). But thankfully we have been able to find encouragement in God’s word over and over again.
Our team that is preparing to be going to Haiti in 2010 has been studying the “red letter” words of the New Testament. Through that, I have been focusing on the temptation of Jesus found in Luke 4:1-13. Our enemy is not creative in that he still uses the same tactics today when it comes to tempting God’s children. Here are some of the observations I have noticed through this study of God’s word and our present wilderness season:
Jesus was tempted immediately following his baptism and just prior to entering full time ministry/ mission work. I know for us personally it seems like we face intense periods of temptations just prior to doing something “big” for God’s kingdom. Season of intense temptation are not indicators of our spiritual well being. The closer we seem to get to being in Haiti full time, the more opposition we seem to face. Last week when we booked our airline tickets, we joked about wondering what kind of curveballs life would throw at us this time. But the more battles we face in this arena, the more confirmation we receive that we are exactly where God wants us to be.
Jesus faced temptation immediately following a 40 day fast in the desert. Satan is shrewd. He tempts us when we are alone and beyond tired, hungry, and weary. Our enemy knows our personal weaknesses and is calculated about the timing of tempting us. He knows that, just like the Israelites were, God’s children are most vulnerable during the “wilderness” seasons of life.
The passages in Luke also demonstrate our enemy’s tenacity. He doesn’t give up easily but is extremely persistent in his efforts to tempt us and get us to abandon God’s plan for our lives.
Scripture was the most powerful weapon Jesus had when he was battling temptation. I am so guilty of not knowing God’s word well enough when it comes to battling temptation. I will vaguely know the promises of God but it’s easy to forget where they are found in the midst of a battle. This present season of life has driven me to immerse myself in God’s word. I have found that scripture is the most powerful tool in our fight against temptation. Don’t fight back with your words, fight back with God’s (and turn the odds in your favor)!!
"We do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weakness, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--- yet without sin.... Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those being tempted." ~ Hebrews 4:14-15
My world is closing in On the inside But I’m not showing it When all I am is crying out I hold it in and fake a smile Still I’m broken I’m broken Only one can understand And only one can hold the hand Of the broken Of the broken
When no one else knows how I feel Your love for me is proven real When no one else cares where I’ve been You run to me with outstretched hands And You hold me in your arms Again
I need no explanation of why me I just need confirmation Only You could understand the emptiness inside my head I am falling I am falling I’m falling down upon my knees To find the one who gives me peace I am flying Lord I am flying
When no one else knows how I feel Your love for me is proven real When no one else cares where I’ve been You run to me with outstretched hands And You hold me in Your arms Again
I have come to you in search of faith Cause I can’t see beyond this place Oh You are God and I am man So I’ll leave it in Your hands
I am a nurse and most importantly mom of 6 precious children( 2 are homegrown, 1 on loan,& 3 are hand picked). Drew (age 15) Ashlyn (age 13) We have adopted 3 Haitian miracles Jimso (age10), Jackson (age 13) a&Jedone (age 14) We also have a foster daughter who is a constant source of joy!We are passionate about orphan/ foster care. My husband is the lead pastor at Cherokee Hills Christian Church in Oklahoma City.