Monday, July 28, 2014

I Saw God Today

When I was in my early 20s one of my very best friends made some not so great choices.  As a result she spent some intensive time in a process of repentance to return where she wanted to be in her life.  Though her process was hard and fraught with negative moments, I have to admit that I was jealous of her journey. 

No, I didn't want to spend months in agony, wishing I'd made different choices.  No, I wasn't jealous of her hard times.  But...I was jealous of the other side of her experience.  I saw that her spirituality was growing in leaps and bounds.  Because of her quest for forgiveness she had a knowledge of, and a relationship with, Christ that I could never truly understand.  The kind of relationship that comes only through a special connection to the core of Christ's purpose, redemption.  I could strive to understand it, but I would never understand it the way someone who hit their knees for months, begging for forgiveness, would.  So, yes, I was a little jealous.

All these years later, I realize that growth comes slowly and my understanding of the Savior and his purpose has matured with me.  But I still looked and I knew that I was missing an understanding of something greater than myself that only comes from being in the trenches, from hard spiritual warfare.

Recently, I've developed an obsession with 80s and 90s country.  I listen to it every time I get in the car.  The other day I was driving home and I heard the old George Straight song, "I Saw God Today." 

It's not really super deep, or anything.  I've certainly heard more spiritual songs, even on popular radio.  But it includes these lines as the chorus. "I've been to church, I've read the book, I know He's there, but I don't look, near as often as I should.  His fingerprints are everywhere, I just look down and stop and stare, open my eye and then I swear, I Saw God Today."

I was tapping along with the beat and I thought to myself, "I don't know what this guy is talking about that he doesn't see God's hand in everything and that he really has to look."  Then, I realized that this condition of seeing God's work in everything comes directly from our adoption experience.  Most certainly, I saw God often before I was adopting.  I've experienced many miracles in my life. 

But being part of the adoption community has shown me dozens of miracles every day.  Real, true miracles.  Mountains that only the Lord could move crumble before families striving to bring their children home.  Obstacles that seem impossible are overcome with small and large events in a never ending series that allows His will to happen.  Even our own adoption bears the hand print of a loving Lord and Father dozens of times over.  After months of seeing miracles happen day in and day out for so many children and so many families, any doubt that our Father in Heaven sees every one of us, cares for every one of us, knows the name of all of his children, has fallen away.  He is the author of miracles, the Father of us all, even lowly orphans, even desperate parents who have no clue what they are doing and are rushing forward anyway, even those of us who don't think we deserve his love.  He is watching.  He loves us.  If we let him, he will show us His hand.

When I had that thought, I remembered what I'd felt like nearly twenty years ago, when I was envious of my friend's precious understanding of a concept bigger than my brain.  I thought, "everyone should experience adoption.  Then they would know.  They would understand the staggering amount of care each of us is given by a God who keeps us."  Even though it was a concept I knew, it was not something weaved into every fiber of my being.  Just how much we are watched over.  Just how much He cares.  I didn't understand because maybe I wasn't looking.  This process, which is honestly hellish, is one of the best things that has ever happened to our family.  This growth is not something we could have reached without stretching, without answering this call, without stepping outside of our comfort zones.  It's very like the experience of my friend.  We're in pain.  Sometimes, we're in downright agony.  We are dragging ourselves through hard times on our way to the finish line.  (So we can get on to the next incredible challenge lol) Because of that agony, because of these hard times, we are experiencing what I wished for years ago.  A deeper understanding.  A softer neck, a bigger heart, a stronger ability to lean not unto my own understanding.

The truth is, there's a million paths to a closer understanding of God and of Jesus.  There's one for all of us.  It's a different for everyone.  But, at this point, I'm pretty sure it's always agony.  I'm pretty sure it's all growing pains, and bad moments, and times we question how much we really want whatever it is we're striving for.  I'm thinking there's no way to grow without it hurting a little.

But, even when it hurts, I'm really so grateful to be on this journey.  For me, this entire adoption has been a spiritual journey more than it will ever be a journey to China.  I'm grateful that God has allowed us to be a part of a community where I see SO many miracles.  If you could see the things I see every day.  Permission given where none seemed possible.  Papers processed where the government seemed to have dropped the ball.  Money coming for people with nothing left in their pockets who are leaving to pick up kids in some war torn Eastern European country.  Protection given where death seems imminent.  Frankly, I'm hard pressed not to see God in everything anymore!

Am I encouraging everyone to adopt?  Always! ;)  But really, I'm just saying start looking and praying and it isn't hard at all to see holiness in the everyday.  Just prepare for a few aches and pains along the way! 




  1. Well, I had typed a very long comment last night. Not sure where it went lol Thanks for directing me to read this, it resonated with me from being the lost girl to struggling with adoption process.

  2. Even though that isn't 90s country, it's a great song! It's hard to go wrong with George Strait. :-) And yes, good thoughts!

  3. It's not 80s or 90s country? When is it from and why is it on my country classics station? Jamie, it's been on my mind for a bit, but it was your thread yesterday that got me in the mood to write it.