It’s very hard to believe that we only met Jac0b a month ago. It’s been quite a ride already. We’ve seen God open door after door quickly and if you know the social services world, that’s rare.
One story I haven’t told yet, though, is how we almost said no to Jac0b.
In case you missed it, we spent the bulk of May with thoughts that we might adopt a little boy that we found out about from one of our friends. We began making many preparations for his arrival. We cleared out the playroom to make it into a bedroom and spent time crossing things off our to-do list around the house. Once we found out he was being placed with another family, we were disappointed. Once again, we had a no from God.
We were at peace, though, knowing that if that wasn’t our child, then God was still at work bringing him home.
But we couldn’t help but feel that God was on the move. Adoption didn’t leave our minds.
In late June, we began exploring the idea of fostering a little boy for a short time. Without going into too much detail, this little boy’s family is struggling and we have been banging our heads trying to find a way to help them move forward. We began talking with each other about taking custody of him until the family could get some forward momentum going.
We thought maybe God had led us start preparing in May just so we would be ready for this move.
But, every time we talked about it, we talked in circles always just looking at each other in the end and saying, “I just don’t know.”
Sure, it was a “good” thing to do. Helping a family in need in hard times is something we’re supposed to do. It seemed hard, but we thought maybe God was just calling us to something hard and we were just having trouble saying yes.
When we talked with family about it, some were ok with it, but others didn’t feel peace about it.
We talked to an attorney to see what options we had since it would be an arrangement on our own, and not through social services. After those conversations, we felt even less peace about it. We never gave an outright no to anyone, but we began to just sit on it to see if God would move our hearts to an absolute yes.
In conversations with someone about it, they said, “If you say yes to this, though, you are basically saying no to your adoption.”
If we took this child in, we really weren’t sure when we’d be giving him back. What if we were matched while we still had him? Would DSS even consider us still if we were already fostering another child?
As it turned out, just one week later, we did get the call from DSS that we’d been matched with Jac0b. And I don’t think anyone would argue that he absolutely is the one who is supposed to be with our family.
He is what Lysa TerKeurst calls our Best Yes.
I can’t imagine that we may have missed out on Jac0b or the very least, it would have made some relationships very strained and not have helped anyone at all in the process.
Lysa talks in her book The Best Yes about making wise decisions. When you say yes to one thing, you’re saying no to another. And a lot of times those decisions are between something good and good. Some decisions are clear-cut, but decisions like these are hard. Should we foster a child to help a family out or hold out on the adoption we feel God has called us to? Good and good.
Our life is full of these decisions between good and good. Do I do a bible study or do I stay home and cook dinner for my family? Do we sign him up for soccer or boy scouts? Do we homeschool or do we send them to public school? So many big and small decisions we must make in life.
I have found that there are 3 things that help me when I make decisions.
1 – Does what I want to do line up with God’s word? If it’s sinful or unwise, clearly that’s a no decision. In this case, there was no reason to think Biblically it was wrong.
2 – Are the people around me that love the Lord confirming that it’s a good decision? Many times, I have seen that God will use godly people around you to confirm a decision. Sometimes it’s through a book or a sermon or people close to you or sometimes it’s someone we haven’t talked to in a while but the Lord lays us on their hearts. But usually, I find that it’s confirmed from someone somewhere. Be cautious here because sometimes God asks us to do hard things and our friends and families aren’t on board. I have found that the next step will help you determine these best yes decisions most.
3 – Do I feel an utter peace and conviction from the Holy Spirit that this is what I’m supposed to do? Most of the time, I know it’s the Lord asking me to do things when I feel peace and not confusion. When I feel confusion, I know that is not the Lord. He is not a God of confusion. Now don’t confuse confusion with difficulty. Many times he asks us to do difficult things, but we can still feel peace and conviction that we’re supposed to do it. I remember when we moved to Columbia, SC it was a very difficult decisions, but we were at peace with it and looking back now, God absolutely helped us through that time and it was the right thing. In our case this time, we could not come to a peaceful, convicted state so we knew not to move forward.
The Lord knew His plans. Just a week later our best yes was presented and we have felt nothing but peace and joy through the process of adopting Jac0b and we have had many people confirm with us they see God at work.
Part of me wonders if that was a test of our faith to say, do you really believe that I called you adoption? Will you say no to the dream I planted in your hearts or will you trust me to provide?
What are some decisions you’re struggling through right now? Pray that the Lord will show you through his word any clear direction, willl bring people into your life to help speak wisdom and slow down enough to hear his Holy Spirit give you that peace.
If this is a topic you need some more wisdom on, I’d highly recommend Lysa TerKeurst’s The Best Yes. This book will encourage you and remind you of the importance of slowing down so you can see the Lord working and hear his best yes for you.
And I’m so thankful for people like Lysa who use their gifts of writing to instill wisdom into the lives of women so we can enjoy our Best Yes!