I’m learning a lot right now about what it means to say yes. By nature, my first response is not generally yes. I’m more of a “maybe, let me think about it, I’ll get back to you,” kind of a girl. Saying yes is scary because saying yes usually comes with some sort of responsibility attached.
(Unless, of course, someone asks me if I’d like some Nutella, at which point saying yes is non-negotiable and always rewarding…)
Last year Lee and I said “Yes” together to adoption and as most of you know – that didn’t work out so well. But we said yes. We agreed because saying “No” didn’t feel right. If you talk to Lee and I individually about our motives to adopt, you’ll hear two different stories. Mine is the longer one.
Lee’s story is quite simple and I love the purity of his answer. When he was asked last summer why he decided to step forward with the adoption he said, “Because God didn’t give me the freedom to say no.”
That was it.
He couldn’t say no because he didn’t feel like GOD (not me – I had given him full permission to say no) had given him the freedom to say no. So he said yes.
I will confess that I still struggle with some bitterness and disappointment that God didn’t lay “No” on Lee’s heart. I still don’t understand why He brought us to this point in the adoption process. But obviously there were lessons of faith and trust and dependence that I needed to learn and so even though I’m disappointed in the circumstance and sometimes even in God Himself, I can still say He is good.
I still have faith, even though my faith feels much shakier than it did before. It’s being tested and burned and molded – it will come out stronger, but I have to wrestle through this.
As we prayed and sought and searched and looked at what our next step should be after the adoption was terminated, Lee felt a deep desire to go as a family on a mission trip this summer, and this time it was my turn to be reluctant. I didn’t want to go because I didn’t want to spend the money. I knew that money could be spent on transferring our adoption to a different country. But Lee felt really strongly that we should take the kids on a mission trip.
And I didn’t have the freedom to say no, so yes was the only other option.
We began to search different missions opportunities that we could take with the kids. We needed to find something that fit into Lee’s hectic work schedule and after a lot of thought, we decided to join forces with Servant’s Heart Ministry on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic.
One month from today we will board a plane with our children to meet and serve the children of the Dominican Republic. I will confess that my heart is still unsure, not of the trip – I have no doubt the trip will be amazing. But I am still unsure about where we stand with the adoption and I still struggle daily with this idea of saying yes to God.
But what is faith if we don’t say yes to the things that don’t make sense – even those things that may not go as planned? And how will we ever teach our children how to serve those in desperate need if we don’t go and do? Even if it costs money? Even if it sets us back in the adoption?
Or maybe it’s a step forward…
God has been terribly silent through all this adoption stuff, but I have this sense of peace that as we continue to say yes to the things in front of us, He will slowly reveal His plan for our family. As I said earlier, saying yes is scary because the outcome is not always certain, but if there is one thing I have been able to cling to in these months of questioning and doubt it’s that God is good and His plan is perfect, even when I don’t understand it.
So we are saying yes to the things that are scary, the things that are good, the things that could go wrong or right. We’re saying yes because when presented with an opportunity to bless another person, is saying “No” really an option at all?
What about you? What have you said yes to lately?
(And as a PS to those who gave money toward our adoption – please know that we have those donations set aside and we will not touch them until we decide what we are going to do. Should we ultimately decide not to proceed with another adoption, those funds will be returned. I just wanted to offer that explanation in an effort to be fully transparent. We don’t yet feel that God has shut the door on adoption so we continue to save in anticipation of adopting. We are walking in faith making each decision with an enormous sense of trust.)