September 4, 2012: Today I’m linking this post with the synchroblog celebrating the release of Inciting Incidents, where six creatives share their stories about collisions of dreams and disappointments, of clashes between faith and the “reality of our broken planet.” Be sure to explore the Inciting Incidents website–including the free gifts and a boatload of free books from Moody Publishers.
“Do you have any suggestions for how one learns to trust God,” she asks, “in times of uncertainty, change, looming decisions and overall precipice-clinging periods in life?”
“I have to set up stones.” I respond. “Look backwards. Remember when He’s been trustworthy in the past.”
And here’s a strange thing. I wrote about a precipice-clinging time in my own life here.
The. Same. Day.
And I remember.
They wanted to send us to Florida for a year to 18 months.
“Don’t sell your house,” they said.
But I fought the leaving. I was happy right where I was, thank you very much. My husband could just go alone.
“You’re going to Florida to have a baby,” my BFF told me.
But I’d made a promise years before.
“Where you go, I will go. Where you live, I will live.”
So we rented out our home, and I went with him.
But I wasn’t happy about it.
Not. One. Bit.
And no baby happened.
In spite of all the tests, all the surgeries, and a short-lived success–and loss.
I was gutted.
The short-term move stretched out and out, and I gave up hope in my plans.
It was then God dropped the most beautiful two-day-old gift right in my aching arms.
And the company sent us home. Less than four months later.
We’d been in Florida almost four years.
I remember nights by the bedside. “Please take care of the box people,” she’d pray. “And send me a baby real soon.”
I remember the night.
A Sunday night. She was four years old. “Please take care of the box people,” she prayed. “And send me a baby brother real soon.”
A brother? Um, no thank you.
We’d struck out on in vitro. And we’d begun to work with an adoption agency. But we teetered on the precipice of “too old.”
And we’d requested a girl. A newborn.
I mean, that was most practical.
Our closets and bins brimmed with all kinds of girly things. We lived in a pink world.
Besides, we weren’t boy people. And there weren’t any good boy names we liked.
Just one possibility. Jeremy. It had Biblical origins (Jeremiah) and overtones of my father (Jerome.)
But we didn’t tell anyone. We tucked the name away. We were set on Amelia.
We had our own plans again–and not a lot of hope.
But she prayed her prayer, and our caseworker called the very next morning. “We have a 6-month-old boy we want you to consider.”
I wanted to throw up.
“He was born a month premature and has been in foster care. He’s now ready to be adopted, and we want to place him in a family where he will have an older sibling. We want to bring him tomorrow so you can meet him and visit your pediatrician.”
I wanted to hang up, but I asked one more question.
“What does the foster family call him?”
“They call him Jeremy–but you can change the name if you want.”
Abby had a saying in those days for someone who was really special to her. She would say, “So-and-so is my best buddy.”
The caseworker and the foster mom brought him the next day–dressed in a sleeper that had “My Best Buddy” embroidered over his heart.
In the stillness,
I’m also writing here today about trusting in His plan and His timing. Won’t you pop on over and read about another miracle birth or two?
Joining my friend, Jennifer as we celebrate the God things.
And Bonnie because she asks us to write about a heart-healing moment. And when I’m on the edge, when my heart aches, when I have those what-if thoughts, I remember this. And He heals my heart again and again and again.
And painting prose with Kim and community.
terri tiffany says
All I can say is WOW!
Dea Moore says
Tears!! I missed you Sandra. I don’t know how all this technology stuff works! Funny that I am “trying to be” a blogger! But I lost your feed and I have missed your words. I saw you linked on the Jam and I came over. I will try to get you in my email box. 🙂
This blessed me so! Made my day! What beautiful stones to remember!
The problem may be Google Friend Connect if you got the feeds that way. Subscription via email is probably the best way. I don’t want to lose you. 🙂
Yes, these are stones I don’t want to forget.
Shelly Miller says
Oh my, I have a lump in my throat. What a beautiful story. I am reading lots of birth/new life stories coupled with fear today. Hearing the sacred echo God, I get it.
His ways–His timing. I need to remember to rest there.
oh, how this touched my heart this day. in ways i can’t even begin to describe. as an adoptive mom, and as a woman who just thinks i often know THE PLAN. . . well, His plans are greater, are they not? i still have so many questions, but all the answers rest in the simple fact of Him. not in His answers, but in Him, alone. and that is enough.
anyway, thank you SO much for sharing this story.
He taught us so much through the journey. And when I berate myself for my poor parenting, I come back to this and remember–He knew what kind of parent I’d be and still chose me. And sealed it this way.
You make me smile. 😀
A huge God-Thing. A huge God-Incidence. Indeed, a huge God.
Love this, and love ((you.))
You are a God thing for me, too.
Oh, and seeing them all grown up -wow! The Lord is good, His plans so much better than our own. He is able. Lord bless you!
They’ve had their moments over the years like all sibs, but they’re very close. 😀
S. Etole says
A real throat-lumper! God is so good.
Oh, this is so, so lovely. And one of the best God-Bumps I’ve read yet. Thank you, dear Sandy, for building this particular Ebenezer today. Sigh.
I think it’s my biggest one. 🙂
This was beautiful! Such a testimony that God delights in the details. Thanks for sharing!
Unmistakeable details. When she told me what they called him, I knew we had no choice.
Sandra Sims says
Sandra, how beautiful. As Jennifer said, such a God thing. It can be so difficult when you are in the middle of a waiting period. 18 months turned into 4 years! The problem is you don’t usually know how God is preparing you for something great until your waiting time is over. Thanks for sharing. And thanks for posting pics too. All grown up!
“You don’t usually know how God is preparing you for something great until your waiting time is over.”
So true. Thank you for that. He did a lot in me in ways of learning to surrender during those four years that He might not have been able to do had I stayed where I was comfortable.
kd sullivan says
Children hear what we don’t want to sometimes. Aren’t you glad? This is beautiful friend, and I am so thankful that you’ve been posting over at Painting Prose!
And I am so thankful you are continuing the community.
Megan Willome says
Oh, Sandy. I have chills. God knew. He knew you needed that boy.
As I just said to Nancy, you have much to teach me from your journey as a mom.
He did. And I like to think that boy needed us. That we were handpicked for him. We were 41 and 40 when he arrived. Should have had more wisdom. 😉
Are you ready for this? Guess what the boy name was we had picked out while waiting for our first adoption? Yep!
By the time we adopted our son my dad was very ill and I wanted to give our son a family name, so Jeremy went by the wayside.
I could have written so much more about seeing God’s hand at work during all those years of emptiness (but I do tend to blather on so). Like you said, it’s so important to set up those stones–those pillars of remembrance.
I often wonder where I’d be now without the years of emptiness. Would I be full of myself? I mean more full of myself?
Dolly @ soulstops says
Oh, my…this is an amazing-God-so-big-story…you have two living remembrances…thanks, Sandra 🙂
Lynn Mosher says
Oh…my…gosh! What a God plan! So touching, Sandra! I l-o-v-e this!
Michelle DeRusha says
Oh my gosh Sandy, I hadn’t read this till right now (thank you for sending me the heads up about it via facebook!) – what an incredible, incredible story. Thank you, dearest friend, for that glimpse of what real-life trust looks like. This story is a HUGE gift to me today.
Sophia DeLonghi says
Just goes to show us that when God has a plan…and the fervent prayers of childlike faith…there is nothing impossible for God! Praise Him that we can’t interfere with His perfect plans! What a beautiful reminder of His faithfulness!
Amy Hunt says
What?! Seriously?! Sandy!!!! It’s through tears that I write this. Knowing that His timing is every thing. So Divine.
I just now came across this post of yours. After sharing with my father (who I’ve been estranged with), the post I shared with you all at THC about stepping aside…being obedient to His prompting. And my father led me to Inciting Incidents. And I ignored it for a few days. And then Jeff Goins sent an email the other day and I ignored that, too…until now. In it, there was a link to Inciting Incidents. And so I perused…and saw your link-up.
Did I ever tell you this nudge in my heart toward adoption? And how I long for another child. I longed every single day for six years. And then God’s work in me prompted me to surrender. Only by His strength was I able to surrender. And that nudge for adoption is still there, but my surrendering of a child conceived out of us is surrendered. And yet…the adoption thing makes absolutely no sense. And I stand with no clue what’s happening around me and through me. Yet, He tells me constantly that when I’m aware of my doubt, it’s His grace–that He’s strengthening my faith and I’ll never *arrive*.
Would love to skype with you sometime, if it works for us. Amazed at Him. Truly.
This give me chill bumps, friend. And this surrendering thing. It’s amazing what He can do with it. After my ectopic (http://sandraheskaking.com/2012/08/when-youre-mashed-in-the-making/), we surrendered parenting altogether. I made plans to go back to school–thought I might even study library science of all things. And then God did His thing–not that it didn’t come with another boatload of heartache. When I begin to chafe at my circumstances, I go back and remember. I think not having a clue is a good place to be. Who knows what secrets or surprises He’s smiling about?
I’m new to Skype, but that would be fun sometime.
Amy Hunt says
and one more thing…I thought I’d have a girl (all those years ago)…and we did, but lost her when I was five months pregnant. I wouldn’t have been a good mother to a girl then. God had so much to teach me about love…and He chose to do it through a son. So we had a son. And now, I’m more brave for a girl if that should ever be. I’ve learned about grace and that’s so transforming, eh? 😉
I’m so sorry you lost your girl, Amy. Of course, we know that Jesus found her–though He’d never lost her at all. I’m constantly amazed at how He uses lost things to help us find ourselves deeper in Him. Hugs to you.
I’m just seeing this now after reading your words at bible Dude. I have no words. God is amazing and there is nothing that slips past his knowing. This story is a wild testimony of that. Oh, my. He is so very good.
Isn’t it crazy, Kris? Whenever life gets a little crazy, I always come back to this.
~ Patricia says
I don’t know how I missed this before, Sandra. Amazing. When God does only what He can do. Wow! Remembrances stones, indeed!!!! Love you dearly.
Cheryl Smith says
Not sure how I missed this then, but oh. Wow!
Kathy Schwanke says
What a sweet precious story Sandra! I love love how the Lord prepared you to know! <3