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Friday, June 29, 2012

Go with His flow

Since control is an illusion anyway, days are more fun and peaceful when you go with God's flow and don't ask victim-like questions.  I don't want to write my own story.  God's plot twists and surprise endings are always so much cooler than my own ideas!  

You can have better conversations with God when you stop asking "Why?" and start asking"What?" "What are you doing Daddy?"  "Can I join you in any way?"  Think of a Father playing with His children who is "letting them win."  Yes, He is the cause and effect of everything, but He set life up so we get to play along.  And our victories become His and He is our victory.  It's all very family-like.  

I love these lyrics to "Everything You Do" by Jason Upton

Everything You do I want to do with You
Cause doing things with You it makes me happy
Everything You say I want to say it too
Cause even when I say it wrong we just start laughing
Merciful Father learning to trust You love me the way that I am
My simple desire to  help You means more to You than whether I really can

Every day is a new adventure with the adoption process.  Expect a little warfare with adoption!  The most blatant example of this was last week with the american couple thrown in prison in Ghana and their young biological and adopted children put in institutions on false charges of child trafficking.  They are freed now, but that was a fierce battle!  So proud of how this family stayed the course and handled it all with grace.  

If you want to read some of the best. books. ever. out loud to your children on the cost of redemption and the beautiful allegory of us all going from orphans to sons and daughters of the King (and make yourself's a joke at our house that Mommy can't get through a chapter of these without a box of kleenex close by) you must get:  The Tales of the Kingdom  Trilogoy by David and Karin Mains.  (Tales of the Kingdom, Tales of the Resistance, Tales of the Restoration)  

We were told we needed yet more photos of our family.  In color, larger, more of Esther alone, with us, etc.  This was a big task.  I don't know how to do much with technology, including pulling photos off our computer and printing them in color in Uganda.  And I had to take Esther to get more passport sized photos as well as larger images of her.  And when I did she had a massive seizure that was quite a commotion  (and I can be quite a commotion by my own self!)  

Normally I would of course lay a seizing child on the ground on their side, but it was a dirt floor and everyone was looking rather horrified at me and my screaming, flailing, drooling child.  And normally I am fairly immune to staring with my big old commotion family back in Iowa.  But I hesitated this time, not knowing social norms for this type of thing here, and I tried to contain her in my arms but she was heavy!  After taking her back to the driver's van, administering rescue medication, and much later getting the photos....I got a text saying, "Never mind. Don't need those after all."  "Why?" would not have been helpful.  "Curious about that Father..." was how we left it.  (and let's not discount the miracle that I found a young man at the photo place who saw my ineptitude at the computer and was trying to explain to me a flash drive until I handed him the lap top and suggested, "Maybe you could try this?" and he used his mad techno skillz and did it in 2 minutes for me)

But God redeems things!  We had favor at our medical appointment and were seen first out of a waiting room jammed with people.  And Esther barely whimpered when they stuck her with a needle for the TB test.  And on the way home she laid down because she was feeling kind of sleepy.....

But she discovered the joys of shoes (and hopefully toenails....)

And she kept shoes on her pretty little feet all the day long!  And after we had court postponed again last time for the oral ruling I asked God what divine delays He may have up His sleeve?  And He brought to my path a teenage girl who was suicidal, self-harming, and had an eating disorder.  Well let FREEDOM reign!  We had some prayer and her entire countenance was immediately different.  I was just hoping she would get out of bed, but she has engaged with life again and is fighting for someone else's life now!  It was pretty incredible to witness God move that quickly and powerfully.  

And then at court, as we waited and waited....a sweet family adopting an older child approached me about a situation with another child that needed immediate help, and my only role in this was to connect them with a person I had just met who could help her....and we all just marveled at God's ability to intersect lives at just the right moment.  

And when I saw the lawyer in the hall she told me there were multiple families waiting to get their oral rulings, and time was running out for the day. I said jokingly, "Well, maybe the judge could just call us all in and just say, "yes, yes, yes,...." and we could all be done!"  And THAT is what happened 10 minutes later!  Before I left the courtroom though I felt a prompting about those crazy pictures I still had in the back pack.  I asked to approach the judge and gave him the nice 5 by 7 photos of our family and Esther.  He said he was honored to receive them and thanked me.  I blessed him and who knows what harvest those seeds may produce.  My Father knows though!!

Sebastian and I learned more about Ugandan history.  Like their first recorded King had 84 wives and 126 children!  And they celebrate Martyrs Day in memory of the 42 Ugandans that were killed when they converted to Chrisitanity because King Mwanga was jealous about Jesus being called King of Kings and he wanted no competition for his kingdom.  

And I saw God at work again when I stuck my finger in the mouth of a child who has the HIV virus and I had multiple Americans ask me if I was afraid of getting AIDS and should I wash my hands?  That's Americans, the level of misinformation in Africa is far greater.  That's why I am SO grateful for Project Hopeful that is committed to spreading TRUTH.  Please vote for them TODAY to win a 50,000 grant to help the most vulnerable and overlooked orphans in the world find hope.  They are the ones who set up Esther's adoption fund, they are the ones who have gone to bat for my HIV positive girly who used to live with us, they are the ones who cast out fear with God's perfect love.  Scroll down to PROJECT HOPEFUL, click twice, and let's give this 100 percent volunteer based group (mostly adoptive mamas) some funds to work with!  Scroll down to "Advocating for Waiting Children Around the World" Project Hopeful 
Only one day left to vote!!!!

Let's pray for "no child left behind"

And let's start flowing with His river and not stagnating like a pond!  Your Father is GOOD and His mercies are new every morning.  Seizure-days, divine delays, breakthroughs, breakdowns, whatever....don't get stuck in one chapter.  He's turning pages and the central theme is:  redemption.  Look for what He is doing instead of focusing on the same old same old of the enemy.  (steal, kill, destroy ad nauseum)  God has endless ways to produce LIFE and life abundantly all around you when you have eyes to see!


chalice said...

needed all of these words at right this moment. He is gracious to me through you. thank you for the invitation to start asking "what?" and be done with asking "why?".

thank you for the ways that you choose to see and proclaim His redemption in all these (crazy, mundane, confusing) circumstances. it excites me to seek out doing the same. to go for a "grace hunt" trusting that if we look with Gospel eyes, we will see Him moving and making all things new. in HIS perfect plan and timing.

prayers, prayers and more prayers for the whole groothuis family! xo

The McKinnon Crew said...

Love following your journey...praying the written ruling comes quickly! BUT also a good reminder that God is turning the pages...

Diane said...

Amen sister!!!! Can't wait to meet dear Esther :))))

Joe and Alice Waarvik said...

Love reading your blog! Thanks for sharing.
I just wanted to second your opinion of the Tales of the Kingdom books! We adore them as well!

The Splendiferous Life said...

Praise God for the YES!...I love reading your post...and seeing all that God is doing through you..

thecurryseven said...

I'm always up for good book recommendations. Thank you. And... coolest red sandals ever!

Deb said...

Observing Esther through pictures is like watching a flower unfold. I anticipate with joy the plans God continues to have for this sweet one's life that is full of favor... Love, Auntie Deb

Frances said...

Thanks for your inspiring updates

Unknown said...

This post really touched me. I have been having very vivid dreams about african children. I keep feeling like God is leading us to add a child or two to our family. I have no idea how to go about it but I love reading about your experience. I feel like I am being prepared for this step! Thanks for sharing your amazing journey!

Lori said...

New to your blog (via Lorraine's update on FB) Congrats on your precious new daughter!
I just wanted you to know that your mention of praying with a suicidal teenage girl resonated with me tonite. I've been thru some dark times myself despite being a Christian. Tonite I just felt sooo overwhelmed. And then I found this blog.
TY for your witness!