Sacrifice

I love when God speaks.  When prayers are answered so clearly, there is no mistaking it.  Follow me, it’s a long one…

Last night we had, once again, another conversation with the girls about the possible addition to the house and adoption.  My kids are comforted by a schedule and set expectations.  Mommy and Daddy down a back hall versus the next room over is a big deal.  Giving that up for a little brother is a big deal.  And I’ll be honest, the kids aren’t sold on it.  Especially Emma.  I haven’t broken through yet to see what’s going on but so far it’s just that she’s an “us four, no more” girl right now.  So I just prayed that God would change her heart and ready her for this change.  To be frank, we don’t let our kids dictate our decisions.  If God tells us to do this, Emma’s just going to have to get an extra dose of grace from God to get through it.  I did the same with a house move when I was 8. I remember my mom saying, “Listen, Amy, we’re moving and you can go with us or not, but we’re going.”  I suppose this is “what goes around, comes around” part of my life.  Anyway, I say all to say last night I prayed about the addition and adoption during prayer time with the girls.  I specifically prayed that He would ready us and also prayed for the little child, if he was out there.  As soon as we were done, Emma started asking questions.  I could tell her little heart had already opened a bit to the idea and she was trying to get the answers she needed to be ok with it.  She’s not there yet, but she’s moving.

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Last night I was reading for my Bible in 90 Days schedule and I bookmarked a verse in 1 Chronicles.  I haven’t bookmarked a verse during this reading since Numbers, almost 3 weeks ago.  This is it:

1 Chronicles 21:24 But King David replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on paying the full price.  I will not take for the Lord what is yours, or sacrifice a burnt offering that costs me nothing.”

When I read that, I thought, ouch.  That’s exactly what I’ve been thinking about, especially surrounding money.  What good is it that we give when it’s not a sacrifice?  I love what CS Lewis says

“I do not believe that one can settle how much we ought to give. I am afraid that the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare. In other words, if our expenditure on comforts, luxuries, amusements, etc., is up to the standard common among those with the same income as out own, we are probably giving away too little. If our charities do not at all pinch or hamper us, I should say they are too small. There ought to be things we should like to do and cannot because our charitable expenditure excludes them.”

Now CS Lewis’ work isn’t the Bible but I think that’s what David was getting at.  What good is a sacrifice if it isn’t really a sacrifice at all?

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This morning I was praying again, please, let it be clear.  I don’t want to do this without clear direction.  Again and again, I keep hearing.  Do it!  Fast!

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I started my blog hopping this morning and was reading, actually watching, this post from a new blogger I’ve been following, Laura Parker.  Her and her family are in Thailand serving.  The post led me over to another on her site about adopting an orphan.  Those words hit me hard:

Yet, we wait.

We wait for God to speak to us in an audible voice, telling us to “GO!”—sometimes He does that audible voice thing, you know.

We wait for the perfect job to come along—orphan care demands a whole lot of money.

We wait for the bills to be paid—can’t be taking on more than we can handle.

We wait for the larger house—because adding children requires a large house.

We wait for a few kids to leave the nest before we add more—can’t be having too many children in the home.

We wait for confirmation with the perfect scripture to drop into our spirits as a sign that we need to act now.

We wait, we wait, we wait.

And while we wait—they perish.  The statistics are staggering.  I can’t even look anymore.

Ouch.  But that’s not the end.  I saw a link for a post “Being a Foster Parent”.  Which it’s probably not ringing a bell for you guys but the thing we are considering right now is foster-to-adopt which our church is launching this year. She talks about the very thing I’ve gotten many comments on already…how hard would it be to give the child back?  I can say, it’s hard.  No denying it.  My family was a foster family to many newborns when I was 6-7 and I was in the room when my parents handed the child over to the adoptive family.  There were tears.  There is no denying it would be hard.  But guess what the post said?

Of course it’s hard. When God calls us to do something, to serve, to serve Him, he doesn’t say – oh and I have something for you and it should be pretty easy so go for it. No, He says, "…to look after orphans and widows in their distress" James 1:27. It doesn’t say, when it’s convenient and easy…look after orphans. In 2 Samuel 24:24 King David says, "No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing." Sacrifices in the Old Testament were a form of worship and an action of obedience. "I will not sacrifice that which costs me nothing." My dear friend Laura Parker who chose to listen and obey and sacrifice for orphans said, "true worship and obedience comes with a cost." I think that is true. There has not been a doubt in my mind in the last 9 years that THIS is what God has called our family to do. To sacrifice for orphans.

Gosh, this post is getting so long but do you see that?? She pulled in the exact same verse (same instance but from it’s original context in Samuel) from David!  The same one I highlighted just last night.  And the post was related not to money, but to sacrificing yourself for orphans and specifically this post talked about fostering children.  I mean out of all the verses, how is it that I ran into the same one just hours later and really only minutes after praying about adoption?

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I love how God uses so many instances to create a beautiful tapestry.  More and more when I see God work, it’s many things pulled together to make a bigger picture.  When I read that last post, it was like a ton of bricks hit my soul.  That’s our sacrifice.  I hope, though, it’s also our joy.

I don’t do this much but would you please pray that God moves in our family?  I feel like this is the direction we are going but it would be awesome if the kids were excited.  The thing is I KNOW it’s going to be a sacrifice, that’s what’s clear about what God is saying.  It will be hard, there will be tears.  But I also know He will equip us if he calls us.

Comments

  1. Oh Amy…goosebumps, chills, tears, and the laden feeling in my heart – Kids are malleable and they will come around. I’ll pray.

  2. Y’all, of course, I posted and then read this post:

    http://www.nogreaterjoymom.com/2010/12/she-aint-heavy-shes-my-sister.html

    It’s like another immediate answer to prayer.
    Amy recently posted…SacrificeMy Profile

  3. Wow Amy, just WOW!! I am choked up just reading this. God is speaking to me about sacrifice as well, and you just nailed it home. I love how at every turn, He is there, directing us and leading us. The same verse?!!? That is God speaking! How cool is He! I am praying for your family and little Emma. I believe He is already working on her heart and she will come around soon.
    Jen recently posted…Be Still-Part 2My Profile

  4. Amy, Emma will be fine. She’s always hated the unknown, but then always loves the change, because it was for her good. Lexi will love it because it will be fun and someone new to plan/play with.

  5. I think I can say with authority as a military brat that kids adapt. They actually adapt rather well, although the transition at the time of the actual adapting can be difficult. Praying helps smooth out the rough edges of it. =)

    I will remember you in prayer over the whole thing – for the Lord to reveal His will clearly, that your girls will embrace His will as you do.

  6. Praying for you guys! I’m excited to see how this all plays out! :)
    Becky recently posted…Vision…RevivalMy Profile

  7. Oh Amy! You post touched my heart. I’ve always heard God calling me to serve and I’m now a licensed Social Worker currently a SAHM. I still feel the tug at my heart for more and I’m not quite sure what it is yet. What your girls are feeling is normal. They will come around and see that bringing this precious child into their home is what God wants to happen. I would love someday to do this, but right now my 3 is all I can “mentally” handle lol. I’m so excited for ya’ll!!

    I’m joining you in prayer!

    Lynn

  8. Amy, what you and your family are doing is something we feel strongly called to do in the future. It’s so encouraging to hear your prayers and thought processes along the way.

  9. Amy as we were talking yesterday, I felt like this was where God was leading you. You and Scott and the girls have so much love to give, it is evident that God wants you to share that love with others that have not had someone in their lives to show them Godly love. The girls will be great also, they both love babies . As I have told you before, it is so wonderful to see God working in you and Scott. My prayers are for whoever God brings into our lives that we as a family can be there to show them true family showered Godly love, that they will forever remember the special time, that God placed them in the Bennett family, to be loved and taught in the ways of the Lord. What an awesome opportunity you will have to touch lives, that will forever be in your heart. Giving is giving, and God blesses the giver, but sacfrices for the Lord is truely obedience to God. God bless all of you on this journey for the Lord.

  10. Amy — I am honored and have a great sense of reward reading this post. Thank you for commenting on my site and leading me here to read yours with mine quoted. I have only just begun blogging and have no idea if anyone reads any of it or really cares. Thank you. And I would love to “chat” more – feel free to head back over to http://www.25kidsandcounting.blogspot.com and send me an e-mail if you have more questions. Also a new post that I’m not sure you found is here and might help: http://25kidsandcounting.blogspot.com/2010/12/we-are-all-called-to-care.html Again – thank you for your comment. It’s nice to know someone is reading and something I have to say might have an impact in some kid’s life somewhere! God IS Good – All The Time.
    Anne-Marie

  11. So fun that you found Anne-Marie– She’s one of my real-life friends and I can’t say enough wonderful things about them. Tuly . .

    So so inspiring to hear you tell your story of God moving. So exciting to see what that will look like in future months. I am so glad you wrote this all down so that in the moments of doubt you have something concrete to point to, to hold onto.

    Love following your journey, new friend.
    Laura@Life Overseas recently posted…The Question We Don’t Ask Caring for OrphansMy Profile

  12. My next door neighbors fostered over 500 kids, most being male teenagers. At one point they had over 20 teenagers living in their converted 6 bedroom home. I remember when they made the decision to foster the teens, praying God would guide them in the right direction and trying to figure out where to put them all. (They had 1 biological daughter, 1 adopted daughter, 1 adopted son at home) Mrs J always said that she felt a strong calling to help God’s children. Slowly, over the years as they started taking in more boys they redid the basement adding on 3 rooms, several people from Church donated bunk beds, dressers, sports equipment,clothes etc… As the years went by they adopted 6 of the teenage boys. Now, there are so many kids and grandkids that stop by, almost every day. Their heart’s have been filled with so much love and joy, all because they asked God to lead the way.

    I bought a new Bible this year an there are little reflection sections in it, today the first one I read said: “Instead of trying to figure out the what, when, where and why of your struggle; focus instead on God, your sustainer. Jesus, the friend, who knows and cares for your every need, is also the Lord who directs the events in your life moment by moment”

    I know he will lead the way for you all as well, guiding you in your journey.
    ~Shannon

  13. I am so excited for you all. I know that it is a huge leap of faith, but you will be so rewarded by what you are wanting to do. If and when you get a child in your home, you will forget that they were even adopted. That happens to us all the time. Someone once told me that whether a child is adopted or biological, God only lent them to us for a short while to raise in this word. That they are all God’s children and it doesn’t matter where they come from. It was such a simple statement, but it was very profound to me at that moment in my life. It was after that I told Jake I was ok with moving forward with adoption. 4 years later, look where we are now. :)