I Just Don't Understand...

Please read all the way through this blog.  I apologize for its length, but it's important you get the whole story...

So many times when I sit down to blog, I write a blog entry and set it to post at a date in the future.  This keeps my ideas flowing and gives me the ability to have something posting as often as possible.  But today's post is written in real time.  I have these feelings that are so intense right now and wanted to get them all down before time diminishes their intensity.

Lately, I have felt numb regarding our adoption trip.  I know I should feel excited, but I have just felt...nothing.  I've been in planning mode and I have attributed my lack of excitement to that.  Later, I hope I'll be thankful seeing that I'm already packed and don't feel rushed to get stuff done.  We'll see. 

The last few days have been almost sad for me though.  I keep thinking about leaving Steve, missing weeks of church and even missing work.  Because our floor at work will be remodeled while I'm out, I had the task of packing up my office before I leave, which I mostly did on Friday.  It felt like I was leaving and not coming back.  Everything I do now feels like "the last time".  Last time to eat dinner with my sister and niece as a family of 3, last Saturday as a family of 3, last church service as a family of 3.  Don't get me wrong...we have longed for, prayer for and waited for Kylie.  We can't wait to have her.  But this overwhelming sadness has come upon me and I think Jenna is feeling it too.  She's complaining about weird ailments (my stomach hurts, my ear feels funny etc.)

But let me just share with you how God is working...if you read this post, you'll know, this adoption is not completely paid for.  When we come back, we'll owe close to $10,000 on a credit card which we have used exclusively to pay the travel expenses of this trip.  I have a $4500 reimbursement coming from my company which is for adoption (yes, it is VERY awesome), and we'll have about $500 in our savings that can round that up to $5000.  $5000 is left for us to pay.

Last Sunday, a woman in our church came up to me and handed me a card.  Inside it was a $200 check.  The same Sunday, a sweet friend who is like a mentor to me wrote me out a $50 check.  Within a few minutes of that, I delivered two t-shirt to someone who handed me $40 in cash.  In the span of 1 hour, nearly $300.  This past week, I've had 3 people tell me they are putting money in the mail.  I have no idea how much they are giving, but of these three, they are all total strangers to me.  People who friends have pointed to my blog and felt that God was telling them to help.  TOTAL STRANGERS.

Then on Friday, a good friend, with whom I used to work emailed me to wish me well on my trip.  She said she had something to give me for the trip and when could we meet.  We met in he Petsmart on Saturday where she handed me a card.  She told me that she had been praying for me throughout this journey asking God all the while how she could help.  She had not gotten a clear answer until she read the post I linked above.  That's when she knew it.  She gave me $400 cash for the van trip to Hong Kong.  $400.  Did you notice in that post that I never mentioned any other dollar amount?  Why would I have even chosen to tell you all that the van ride would cost $400???  There are about 50 other costs involved with the international travel.  Why?  Because God needed to confirm for her what she was to do.  And yes, I cried in the middle of Petsmart.  And I cried in the middle of the Dollar Tree while I was trying to tell Steve.  And I'm crying now as I write about this HUGE blessing.  When I get on that van to begin the long journey home, I'll be thinking about this friend.  And I'll be praying God is blessing her in that VERY moment for helping us.

But that's not even close to all...this morning as I was dropping Jenna off for Sunday school, another dear friend (and adoptive mommy) handed me a check.  I knew better than to open it inside, so I waited until I got to my car.  Another $200.  And I cried all the way home...to where I sit now.  Crying.  And lest you misunderstand and think I just have "rich" friends, nothing could be further from the truth.  These friends, sometimes strangers, are just like us.  They work, provide for their families and love God.  They ask Him how to help, and then they obey.  And I can't wait to pay them back by paying it forward to others.

That's what I would have said. 

But thankfully, that's not what He said.

He says, "Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test!" (Malachi 3:10)

"For nothing is impossible with God." (Luke 1:37)

And I say, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24b)

I don't understand why He loves me the way He does.  I just know that He does.  I'm so far short from what He wants me to be.  But praise Him, He is NOT. DONE. WITH. ME. YET.

He is jealous for me, Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree,
Bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy.
When all of a sudden, I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory,
And I realize just how beautiful You are,
And how great Your affections are for me.

And oh, how He loves us so
Oh how He loves us,
How He loves us all

He is jealous for me, Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree,
Bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy.
When all of a sudden, I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory,
And I realize just how beautiful You are,
And how great Your affections are for me.

He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves

We are His portion and He is our prize
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes
If grace is an ocean, we're all sinking
So Heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest
I don't have time to maintain these regrets
When I think about the way

And oh, how He loves us
Oh how He loves us,
How He loves us so
how he loves

Yeah, He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how he loves
Yeah, He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves.
(David Crowder Band, "How He Loves")


Christy said...

I can speak from personal experience that what you are feeling is completely normal. I spent a large part of my pregnancy with Eli sad that we would no longer be a family of three, Elery was no longer going to be my baby, etc. I remember crying on the way to the hospital that we should not be having this baby!
I will be praying specifically for these feelings.

Kelly said...

Wow. Just Wow. He is truly amazing! Thanks for sharing your amazing testimony.

Just as an aside, your feelings are completely normal. I too had sadness both before and after we brought our little blessing home. Change, even the BEST change, is still hard!

Praying for an amazing trip!


Vicky said...

God is good! What a treasure to read of God's provision!

Julie said...

God is SO good!
Love that song too :)

a blog full of weldons. said...

awesome to see God providing for you through so many people!! i love it!!

and i also wanted to say that i had similar feelings as we prepared to bring our daughter emery home this past summer. it was so strange to think of all the "last" things we would do as a family of 4. i felt guilty for wanting to cherish those days...but honestly, they are very special! do something really silly and unexpected just the three of you this week before you leave...like eating ice cream for dinner or packing up and having a picnic, etc. i bet you'll always remember it :)

Learning to Parent said...

I am not sure if you are aware of this blog, but I found it recently. It tells the stories of people who have adopted children from other countries and some of the emotions that they experienced, and how they worked through it. I am not sure if this would be helpful at all for you, but just in case! http://sharingadoptiontruth.blogspot.com/

Thank you for sharing how God has been blessing you - He truly is the provider. :)

Tera said...

First- LOVE that song. It is #3 on one of my CDs and gets played quite often! ;)

It is refreshing to read another Ap's feelings as you prepare to travel. I LONG to hold my new daughter in my arms, but I am nervous about the changes it will make in our home. I know without a doubt we were called to adoption and I know He will equip us and provide for us, but it's nice to know I'm not alone. Praying for Kylie to transition into your beautiful family easily!