Monday, February 14, 2011

"Dead" Ends.

Those quotes (see title) are intentional.

Why are those quotes intentional? Because I'm not fully on board with that phrase.

Say the phrase "dead end," and other thoughts crop up on cue, ready to torment:
Wrong turn.
                                                                                   Time wasted.
But is it?
When we were travelling the adoption road, we were faced daily with the very real possibility that any adoption can fall through. Minds change, circumstances change, laws change, and there's a pretty lengthy stretch of the "road" that could turn suddenly and look like the picture above: dead end.

Side note: This post is not just about adoption... stay tuned if you're feeling it's irrelevant. This is one lesson God taught me through adoption that he  has since guided me with in life in general.

What does one do with a "failed" adoption (<--again, quotes deliberate.)?We learned the following from a couple who spoke at an adoption seminar we attended. I value their words so much, and am thankful even still that the Lord prepared us early on through the selfless sharing of their own experences: 2 adoptions, with a "failed" adoption in the middle.

Here's what they told us (in a nutshell): God knows what He's doing. If you are praying every step of the way, He will deliberately lead you down the roads He desires. Adoption is a ministry- you are there to minister to anyone who may cross your path during the journey.

You are there to learn and grow in whatever ways the Lord desires to stretch you during the process. And if things fall through, if something changes and that adoption door is closed, it's not a failure. Not a dead end.You were following God's will, learning His lessons, growing in your trust in Him, allowing Him to use you to bless and reach others.

A "failed"adoption, by these standards, is not a failure.
The "dead" end was born in purpose. Allowed in purpose. Living purpose. It's not dead.This couple went on to say that yes, they grieved; yes, their hearts were broken, but yes! God healed, as he promises to, and in the binding up of their wounds they were drawn even nearer to Him.

Not a dead end.

In life, decisions come knocking at our doors by the thousands. Per day. We deliberate over the big ones, agonize sometimes, weigh pros and cons, make lists, juggle "what if's"... but do we pray? Do I pray?

There is nothing like being led into something, and being able to rest in the knowledge that
no matter the outcome,
no matter the opinions of others,
no matter what,
         He led you there. He called you and is faithful to complete what he's begun, even if that completion  takes on the appearance of a "dead end."

Consider Abraham and Isaac. The sacrifice that wasn't. Dead end? No. Life.
Consider Paul's call to Rome and his years-long detour. Dead end? Ask those he reached for Christ while imprisoned. Those who drank of the living water. Life.
Consider Joseph's brothers when they realized their plan for his demise had failed. Dead end? Salvation from starvation, rather, and joyful reunification. Life.
Consider Mary, unwed and with child, probably the subject of ridicule and disdain. Dead end? Again, life.
Consider Ruth, widowed and bereft of all familiar. Dead end? No. A lineage that led to King David, to Jesus. Life.

Here's that picture again:

 It's true what Emerson said- "Life is a journey, not a destination."
The Holy Spirit said it even better: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding." Trust Him, and He will be faithful.

Read here for more on our circumstances in light of His strength.


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