He knew that we would ring in the New Year with our good friends from Florida. That M would be able to extend his time with family during R&R by bringing them here to stay with us after Christmas. He even knew that M would have to say his final goodbyes suddenly during Brother's birthday party and that J would need the love of friends nearby. That whole visit was a huge gift and he knew.
He knew that Brother would get an ear infection and that we would have to cancel his planned birthday party. He knew that Brother would respond with grace and that it would speak volumes to the loved ones looking on. He knew the time of the postponed celebration and how much sweeter it turned out to be. His plans are always better than our own.
He knew that when he painted the night sky so beautifully pink that I would know in my heart how his love for me is more than enough. His creation continues to overwhelm me.
He knew how much I depended on coffee to get me to a place each day where I could even talk to God let alone hear from him. He knew I would choose to give it up (and later caffeine in general) one year ago so that I could have a better understanding of what it means to ABIDE in him. I am still learning what it means to depend on God with my everything. He would be able to wake me up each day better than coffee every could.
He knew all the ways that he would show me that he was putting tools in my belt as I put on the whole armor of God for the battle that I anticipated would be before us. He knew how my heart would hear clearly whenever he repeated himself. Oh how I clung to his word through scripture and song.
He knew that we would pause to think about all the life experiences that God walked us through to prepare us to be open for foster care. He opened out eyes to his faithfulness in situations that we didn't know had eternal value. He is so good to gently lead us if we will only be willing to follow.
He knew that I would need to be gently reminded to be preparing for the joy that would come with foster care and not just the heartache. I am so thankful for those words from a dear friend to lift my eyes back up and I pose them back at her now. Are YOU seeing the JOY today?
He knew that Michelle would have a seizure that night after the super bowl. He knew the helpless feelings of panic we would have and the peace that he would give us in the unknowns. He is the God who sees what we don't. We practiced how to trust our Lord with our Babydoll's very life.
He knew that we would start our foster parenting classes and he knew every name of the people who would be sitting in that class with us. He knew that W would be available to watch our kids for eight weeks of training when we didn't really know anyone else in our new neighborhood. He knew all the amazing topics we would cover while being educated and how each one would stretch and prepare our hearts for the journey we anticipated.
He knew that Babydoll would go on to have another seizure 17 days later. He knew that we would first believe that they were febrile seizures. And he knew that she would sometimes have them without illness or fever at all. We knew that in the midst of the scary moments of visits with her pediatrician and anticipating the next one that Elohim was on the throne and knew everything about the beautiful girl He created.
He knew how broken I would feel knowing the pain before us while going through the weekly training for foster care. It was all a part of the process necessary for us to walk through.
He knew that learning what it meant to really love like Christ (in parts 1,2, & 3) would be something that would weigh heavy on my heart throughout the year. Oh I have so much more to learn on this topic.
He knew that Babydoll would be sick on the day of our first scheduled home study. He knew that the second meeting time would need to be postponed again on the part of the social worker. And he even knew the exact day that it was meant to actually happen. Why do I ever question this sovereign plan? His is always perfect and complete.
He knew that we would not be content going on living our relatively calm lives. He planted something in us that would physically feel that a piece is missing and that we would long to let Him fill it with whatever best pleases him. Ten months later, this post gives me chills.
He knew that he would slowly be planting in my heart a desire to make our family a home for more children.
He knew that we would begin the waiting process that would linger longer than we ever imagined. He was present in the waiting and he is present still. We know that today we don't need to wait to serve him. His timing is perfect and complete and we don't have to wait to live for the some day.
He knew the violent sting I would feel to read the words meant to reconcile a relationship. He knew the anger. The sadness. The all consuming pain. He knew the walls that needed to come down. The pride that needed to be crumbled. He also knew the healing that needed to be done. It was successful because he did it and I didn't even realize there was anything that needed to be fixed in the first place. He continues to refine me and I am forever grateful for this experience.
He knew the name of the boy who didn't know His. And yes my heart still aches and prays for him. And yes Brother sill mentions him. Oh to KNOW the power behind the name of Jesus. May I forever speak it boldly!
He knew that we would officially start homeschooling Brother this year. He knew I would need to be encouraged and see his confirmation from time to time. For that I am so thankful that we chose to follow him in obedience for our family.
He knew that I would make the long drive to our state's homeschool convention by myself on the wrong weekend. And then to return on the right date a week later. He walked me through that lesson in obedience and I am better for it. It amazes me how intimately involved he continues to be in my ordinary life.
He knew how often I would see him speaking to me in the normal every day things of life, like when Brother got shots earlier this year. Parenting is such a huge gift that God uses daily to teach me more about his love and grace.
He knew that Babydoll would first fracture her tiny little arm after falling out of bed and then have her third seizure days later just to wind up with pink eye. Poor girl. We learned to trust him more and more each time our sweet angel was put in her maker's capable hands.
He knew that I would need to remember to see his gifts in the every day ordinary.
He knew that our friends (the growing Reynolds family) would be bringing home their fifth child--third adopted from a far off country. Oh how I have seen their obedience speak volumes of how God loves. They have been instrumental in this chapter of our lives in so many ways. We rejoice that he always knew that Adonias, Misgana, and Sidise would be a part of their family. Oh the joy in praying for each member of their family this year!
He knew that I would come to the end of myself in a moment at the dinner table while acting as a single parent one night. He would show me my desperate need for His strength. That the more I die the more he lives through me.
He knew that I would need to feel moments of brokenness over my sin so that I could learn to surrender more to him.
He knew what the root sin in my life was all along and he gently shined his light on it so I could see how entangled it was in all areas of my life. My eyes were opened and I am thankful that he knew I was ready to see it so that I might be able to walk it out in victory with him.
He knew that this conversation would be a turning point in his revelation to my heart of the future for my family. The seeds had been quietly planted in the weeks prior, but there was a moment in the phone call that my heart flipped and God whispered "yes!" Oh how he loves me. And because of this lesson we know that even though waiting is hard, it would be disobedient to move forward without Him. Thank you for the gift of your friendship KB.
He knew that this conversation would be another turning point in accepting that the reason for pursuing foster care doesn't have to make sense. Even if we never get a placement, we still obeyed God. He has been growing our family during this chapter in so many ways seen and unseen.
He knew that "it may never happen for us " was not an acceptable long term attitude for me to stay in regarding foster care. But once I trusted that his will was perfect even if I didn't understand it, he showed up and reminded me that he is in charge after all and to keep praying. He's cool like that.
He knew that we had a sacred history that he wrote and wanted us to speak out loud often so that we would be reminded of all that he has done. So our children would hear stories of their heritage and feel a part of our history too.
He knew that My Love would be given an offer for his next job before he even left active duty. That was such an answer to prayer that we were blessed to have early. He knew also that the offer wasn't the end of the journey of new employment for My Love. He knew that we would spend 80 days together before his job transition after ten years of active duty service. Oh what a treasured gift that time spent together was!
He knew all that he wanted to teach me in my women's Bible study on marriage. It was several months of hard heart work that our marriage benefited from greatly.
He knew that Babydoll would have her fourth seizure while out of our care at Vacation Bible School. He was there with her and he placed our loving friend there at that exact moment to care for her needs. This experience finally opened our eyes to the idea of making her disorder aware to anyone we might leave her in the care of.
He knew that we would cancel our date night and Babydoll would have her fifth seizure. Had we not felt conviction about saving our money for another time, Babydoll would have seized right before the babysitter was to come over. We are learning to hear his clear voice even in the little things and praise him when we realize how if we just listen he desires to direct our steps. How thankful we were to be home with her in her time of need.
He knew that I had to experience feelings of hopelessness in marraige before I could see the beauty of his promises.
He knew that we would be referred to be seen by a pediatric neurologist while My Love still have active duty benefits. A huge praise! He knew that our Babydoll would need an MRI and EEG at just two years old. He knew what the scan results would be long before the doctors even learned how to read one in medical school.
He knew that the movie Titanic would be used to speak volumes to my heart about acting in obedience swiftly without wasting time trusting the Maker.
He knew that she would have a sixth seizure after throwing up at church, we hosted friends for lunch, and I had left home to help a friend in need. He knew that day would be full of lessons for our willing hearts to understand. I heard clearly from the Lord that day and even recently reflected on more lessons gleaned about boundaries and respect from the day he knew would happen before the beginning of time.
He knew that the physician that cared for Babydoll would diagnose her with a mild seizure disorder based on clear scan results and the fact that a few seizures did not have significant fever or illness present. We trusted the doctor's word. We decided to pick up the medication he prescribed. He knew that I wouldn't feel at peace after we made that decision. So we decided not to give her the prescription after all. We don't know what her future will hold on the matter, but he knows. It has been three months since her last seizure--the longest stretch between two since February 2012. Praise God!
He knew the pain that would fill our hearts to experience and witness several fractured relationships with loved ones this past year. He knows how to heal each of them. And we pray daily for softened hearts to desire forgiveness and reconciliation.
He knew that the phone would ring, that she would chose them, that we would rejoice together in his miracle work after years of prayer. He knew that this child in the end would not be coming home with them. That she would call me. That we would cry together over the phone just as we had once rejoiced. I can't wait to see Jesus someday so I can thank him to his face for the priceless gift of that 15 minute phone call. He knew that my sister would be getting married and I would be traveling to the left coast for such a time as this. To hug on and listen to my dear dear friends. To hold their hands while the three of us prayed on the floor of their nursery. We may never know answers to the whys. But God is always good and I know that they will be parents to a perfectly timed precious gift from God. Oh how he loves them!
He knew all the many songs of praise that would speak straight to my heart that I ended up sharing here. He knew the scripture that would jump off the page to show me that he is alive and that he hears my call. And most of all he knew that so many of you would be praying for our family and reading this little blog while walking the journey of 2012 with us.
Even though we didn't know what this past year had in store for us, we are secure in knowing that he always knew and oh how we love him.
Thanks for reading.