"Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and God our Father,
who by grace has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope,
encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good word and deed."
2 Thessalonians 2:16-17
I'm so grateful for and excited about how the Lord continues to answer my prayers for encouragement in this new work that He has for us to do! I want to continue to journal these things so we don't forgot what the Lord has done for us, and for all our future, faith-stretching journeys! The Lord is so faithful in encouraging and strengthening the hearts of His people for every good deed He has planned for us! So be encouraged!
Two more tangible ways the Lord has encouraged me recently:
1. As part of our church's Pro-Life vision, our pastor arranged for a few of the sessions from the Evangelicals for Life conference in Washington, D.C. to be shown at our church on a Sunday afternoon in January. I stayed home to watch the little ones as it was going to be a couple hours of sitting still. But when the family got home, they were all excited about me viewing one of the sessions in particular as they thought it would be of great encouragement to me! The session was on valuing life by taking care of orphans in foster care! (Kind of an unexpected topic I thought, during a Pro-Life conference! But I was excited to view it!) So, we were able to load the session on our computer at home. The talk was given by Jim Daly, the current president of Focus on the Family. He said everything I've been feeling about the difficulty of this work. He actually said something about how 1/2 the time his own family wondered why they were doing foster care because it was so challenging, and the other 1/2 of the time they experienced the joy of seeing GOD doing His work before their eyes! He talked a lot about the charge the Lord has given us to be busy about His work and not dwelling on our desire for a comfy, cozy life. The abundant life He has given us doesn't mean that we will have a comfortable life. He gives us work to do, and usually it is not easy. It is challenging. Sometimes He gives us more than we think we can handle, so that in our weakness He is made strong. And He is glorified in the process. This life is about God, His good plans, and His glory . .. not about us and our comfort!!! So Jim Daly was really encouraging God's people to support orphan care and get involved somehow! And he said wouldn't it be awesome if there were no children waiting to be adopted in the US, because Christians have adopted them ALL! This was all so encouraging to me!!! (Especially coming from such an unexpected way!)
2. On our recent vacation, while sitting at the water park watching the kids, another mom pulled up a chair next me. We talked for about two hours and shared soooo much in common. She is a strong Christian, homeschooling, adoptive mom that moved from CA to Idaho to get their kids in a rural environment. Her husband also works from home. She could totally relate to everything I shared about our family's journey with foster-to-adopt, as her family has adopted two children out of foster care. Their older son still has some very challenging behaviors, and their younger son has significant special needs. Yet, they are looking to adopt again! Since her family recently moved from California to Coeur D'Alene, her foster-to-adopt experiences were in California, and we compared notes about what our experiences have been like, and comforted one another in our trials. I had just had a very discouraging day the day before we left with something that happened regarding an email from W. and G.'s social worker. So, I just felt like this was such a special and timely answer to my prayer for encouragement! What are the chances that such a meeting would happen on that day? Only by the Lord's good plan!!! Thank you, Lord, for this encouragement! This mom and I exchanged contact information, so Lord willing, we will be able to continue to be of encouragement to one another!