What I didn't think was possible was happening.
We had Luke's file!
I was looking at my answer to prayer. I knew what that meant. Luke was our son!
But the enemy of our souls saw an opportunity.
Up until this point everything had been preparation, theory, and talk without the ability to act upon it. Now, it was time for action. To put feet to all that the Lord had been preparing us for.
And Satan saw his opportunity to dissuade us from what I/we knew God had for us.
I knew battle had begun as soon as I called Kevin after receiving the email. Remember he'd thought it was all settled. Another family was looking at Luke's file. He figured they'd adopt him. It was over.
Now, here was Luke's file sitting in our inbox. And, Kevin knew about my fleece.
I could hear it in his voice when I called to tell him. He sounded like he was mentally shutting down. You see he had a whole lot going on at that point. Too much to type, but suffice it to say he was changing positions at work and that was consuming. Now, he had a major life decision before him, as well.
Me? I had my answer I was ready to call the doctors, get their opinions...do our due diligence so we could call and accept Luke.
But Kevin was obviously in...another place.
Lord, what is this?
Did I mess up?
Did I miss you?
Show me please!
The next day, the Lord, in His infinite graciousness gave me further confirmation. It would take way too long to type here, so I won't (and some of it I can't in a public forum like this). But peace flooded my soul as the Lord showed me again that Luke was His plan for us and we for him and that He, my Lord, was doing this...not me! He was orchestrating things that I couldn't in order to reassure me that this was His plan. No matter what my eyes saw (Red Sea in front, army behind). Or my ears heard (He's 4 days stinkin' dead).
That reassurance came the day after we received Luke's file. And in the midst of reassuring me He told me that He was doing something different in my husband and to be patient and wait. He would reassure Kevin, too.
I am so grateful the Lord gave me that because the next days were incredibly tough, tense, and silent in our house. Kevin said almost nothing about Luke for 3 days.
When he did speak the discussion centered around all of the Giant Facts. And that's when fear gripped my heart. We would have circular discussions with ourselves and each other that would start with something like:
What are we going to do about _____? or How will we afford________?
The reply...I don't know. OR We could____.
Followed by: But we can't afford that! OR We can't do this...
Then God's promises would speak. The TRUTH challenging the FACTS.
"I AM with you. I AM Jehovah Jireh (your Provider). I own the cattle on a thousand hills. I know all things, the future...all this...and I AM calling you. I WILL never leave you nor forsake you. This is not too difficult for ME. I WILL supply all your needs according to MY riches in glory. I AM good and everything I do is good. I don't need you to have it all figured out, I need you to be willing and obedient." And on and on and on.
And immediately after lining what we were seeing up against TRUTH, the enemy would come in with his darts, like a flood, and stir up the pot of questions and facts again. And we'd be back on the question circle.
This went on for days and days. And the oppression we both felt was unlike anything we have ever experienced before. It was tangible, physical, mental, exhausting. I felt like I was being crushed between millstones and confused by the voices of doubt and discouragement and choruses of "you can't do this" in a most disturbing way.
And as we went round and round and round...the Lord consistently, repetitively, lovingly would say one thing..."I AM with you. I WILL BE with you."
All of this time I knew what the Lord's will for us was. He'd already shown me by bringing us Luke's file. And, oh, how I wanted to bring Luke home! But in those days after we got his file, the enemy did everything he could to dissuade us. To scare us.
But God...Two of my favorite words in Scripture! But God, had a limit for those days of wrestling.
We got Luke's file on a Tuesday. I was shocked to see the other day that it was only 5 days later that the Lord and I had our "come to Jesus" moment. It felt sooooooooooooooo much longer than 5 days, that time of wrestling.
It was Sunday morning. I was at church in my little sanctuary...the Cry Room. Just me and Lily for a little while...and then a friend who allows me my space to worship quietly entered, too.
That morning, I came so worn out, battle weary. Worship started. And I heard the words. I've written here before about how the Lord has been challenging me not to simply sing the words to worship songs, but to live them. Mean them.
And the songs that morning were totally picked by the Spirit for me.
As I tried to sing the songs, I found myself kneeling face down on the floor sobbing. My Lord was challenging me gently but clearly.
Mandy, you have said that you would do anything I asked of you, that you will go where I send you. Mandy, you call Me your Friend, and that I AM; but I AM also your Master. When you gave your life to Me, you became My servant, My slave...and a slave does not choose where they go or what they do. As your Master, I AM telling you I want you to go to Luke...will you do it even though you can't figure out how?
As the Spirit was speaking these things to my heart, the words of the worship song playing around me said,
"I'll lay my life down for you."
And so there, in the Cry Room with Lily patting my head that was face to the ground, I told the Lord I was laying myself down before Him to do with as He wished. I was...I am...His and I will do what He asks. I laid myself down and then in my mind I got up and walked away from myself. All control was in His hands. It was finished. Done. The battle was over. I would no longer listen to the taunts of the enemy, but I would grab hold with both hands to the TRUTH that God is good and that everything He calls me to is good. And that there are exciting days of blessing ahead on the road called Obedience.
I walked out that morning...victorious.