We Do Not Go Unarmed, Nor Do We Walk Alone
If you have ever thought of picking up a pen and writing down what may be on your mind, I encourage you to give it a try. It's a personal journal, there isn't anyone to impress, no one needs to read your words, they are yours alone. It's a beautiful safe space, and sometimes when I write, my thoughts become prayers and I find myself being able to really focus on what it is I want to share with God. He of course already knows my every word before I have the chance to scribble a single letter, but it still feels good to put them out there where my eyes can see what my heart feels. And sometimes, I'll take a look into the past and sit in the truth that what I wrote months or even years before still rings true and I will see clearer than I did before the beauty of what God has done as the hours became days and weeks and months and years.
One such entry seems only fitting as we get ready to fly out of here and touch ground in the land where our children are waiting. They are so excited to meet us, and we them, but in case I needed reassurance or reminding of whose hands we are in:
"I need to make Him the anchor in all of this right this moment, it can't wait. Satan wants to steal and destroy and this huge monumental leap of faith is a prime target. I could begin to pray right this moment until the second I meet those five children face-to-face and it wouldn't be enough. But He is enough. Mighty enough. Powerful Enough. Wise enough. Strong enough. He is bigger than my every fear and concern, I've just got to twine myself into the vine, dig deep, and let Him be the giver and provider of what I need right now.
Be more than me, God. Push me to the back and consume the focus, fill up every space till You are all I see. Help me to overcome my self reliant ways and trust that You will work this to your glory. Amen."
Journal entry September 12, 2016
It's been almost a year since I wrote those words, and yet, they are still just a fresh and needed in my life as they were then. We are in a fight for children others have left behind. We fight for the chance to love them, we fight to give them a safe space to heal, we fight for the moment that they might hear and receive the beauty of salvation, but we do not fight the battle alone.
I have to say for all the hours of training and homework I have had to complete to prepare for bringing 5 kids home (yes, Lauren, I'm looking at you), it was a blessing that they asked us to gather up scripture that would be our arsenal when we face tough days ahead. These were my verses, and I think they're worth sharing with anyone who needs the sword of the Spirit, the living breathing Word of God to come to their aid.
Why do we do this?
"We love because He first loved us." 1 John 4:19
When I cannot find the strength:
"The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent." Exodus 14:14
When I am feeling empty, or just not enough:
"The Lord is my portion," says my soul, "therefore I will hope in Him." Lamentations 3:24
When I am fearful (a real biggie for me):
"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in times of trouble. Therefore, we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling." Psalm 46:1-3
"for God gave us a spirit not of fear, but of power and love and self-control." 2 Timothy 1:7
"fear not, for I am with you, be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10
When I am trying to love on the ugly and sinful and rebellious:
"but God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8
**I am ugly and sinful and rebellious too**
When it seems impossible:
"For nothing will be impossible with God." Luke 1:37
When there are wounds and scars I cannot seem to reach:
"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." Psalms 147:3
When I lose sight of where my hope is found:
"For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from Him." Psalm 62:5
When the road is long:
"Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." Romans 5:3-5
When I am all out of words to pray:
"Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words." Romans 8:26
When I want to think negatively:
"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." Phillipians 4:8
I do not walk alone:
"It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; He will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed." Deuteronomy 31:8
Don't take it personal! This battle isn't against these children, but sin and the damage it causes:
"For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places." Ephesians 6:12
He has been faithful to me before now:
"For He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name." Luke 1:49
And in case you forget, God gave you all of your children:
"God places the lonely in families, He sets the prisoners free and gives them joy..." PSalme 68:6
"Children are a gift from the Lord..."Psalm 127:3
11 Days till we leave, friends. 11 Days.