Sunday, August 23, 2009

The reality

Sometimes as donations have come in for the Pass It Forward Adoption Fund- I don’t know the story behind who sent it or why. I don’t get to hear how God has spoken to the person who is giving… or why they chose to give when there are so many other things they could do with their money instead.

But I do pray over each person, and over each donation-asking God to bless them and their obedience to His call. I know that whether it was a $1.00 donation or $100 donation- that person made a sacrifice of their time, of their money, and of themselves. And it is beautiful.

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And yet sometimes I do get to hear their story…Sometimes I get to find how God has spoken to them... I get to hear how He is working in their lives, changing them, molding them… and through it, I too, am changed.


A couple of weeks ago I went to my mailbox and found this…

Not only was I taken back by the $65.00 and some change that came spilling out, but what really knocked the wind out of me was the story behind the money.


It is a story of pure obedience and awareness- and it rocked me to the core.


Inside the envelope was a hand written letter of the story of how God had spoken to this beautiful girl and brought her to a place where she had the opportunity to choose obedience in God- or choose herself.


She went onto explain that 18 days before she had made 3 purchases frivolously and knew in the pit of her stomach that she had done something that was displeasing to God. Yet despite the feelings and various things that had happened surrounding the purchases, she chose to not return the items- all the while feeling horrible.


She explained that she didn’t understand why there are times that she felt the need to argue with God because ultimately the only thing that matters in her life is Him. As the tears ran down my face onto the pages of her letter, the ink began to smudge. Then I began to ask myself how many times had I done the exact same thing?


How many times had I chosen to argue with God, rationalize my decision-and then ignore him- when I too knew down deep in my heart that the only thing that truly mattered to me was Him?


And then I had to search myself even further and ask myself if I would have done what she did next…


Packing up her purchases she drove back to the store and returned the items… and then she did something else… she listened. She took the time and really listened to God… listened to him tell her that the money had another purpose.


For two days she listened and waited for God to show her… and then that night, she opened my blog, read our story, and she knew. She saw the need and she knew. She didn’t fight with God anymore, she didn’t rationalize keeping the money. There was absolutely no benefit for her involved- she just saw the need and responded to it. She responded to God.


A beautiful picture of pure obedience.


Hearing her story taught me more than I ever thought possible. I had to come face to face with the fact that there have been many times in my life I have had that ‘pit in my stomach’ kind of feeling over something- and yet I chose to ignore Him.


I had to come face to face with the face that there have many times in my life I spent money on myself- spent money on things that had no eternal value, out of my own desire to bring pleasure to myself.


I had to come face to face with the fact that many times I have made excuses and many times was I careless with the purchases I made- without any thought to anyone else.


I had to come face to face with the fact that many times I have kept the purchases only to find that they didnt bring me the happiness I originally thought. And many times I kept the item, only to throw them in the garage sale box several months later…all the while someone else went without.


I had to come face to face with the fact that many times I chose to keep the items, only to see them still sitting there months later collecting dust… all the while a constant reminder that I chose 'them' over Him.


Lord, please forgive me...


Heavenly Father, I lift up this amazing girl and the example of pure obedience she has taught me. Her story will forever be etched into my heart. Forgive me for the times Lord that I put my own desires before the things that truly matter to you. Forgive me for the opportunities that I had to make a difference in someone else’s life- and instead I chose myself. But more than anything else God I pray that you change me. I pray that you make me more like you and more like my friend who chose to listen and chose to obey. Thank you Lord, and thank you my friend for your example and for what you have taught me. May I be forever changed.


“Lord, let our eyes be opened.” Matthew 20:33

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17 comments:

Hope said...

WOW! That is amazing! What a wonderful heart this lady has!

Holly said...

To God be the glory great things He has done...and IS doing!!
May each of us have eternity stamped on our minds as we go about our daily business.

Are These Kids All Yours? said...

WOW just what my heart needed to hear. We are starting our adoption journey- again. We know how much we need, and have saved some. We are planning on working to do whatever necessary to bring our next child home. I have really thought all day about purchases we make on a regular basis.....and how much could we save- how much could we save if we wouldn't be so selfish? My hears eyes have been opened. Thank you for your sharing. Keep on- so more may know God's heart for the orphan!!!!

Karin said...

What a wonderful testimony! I, too, am convicted over some of my own careless purchases when I could have spent the money on a child in need. Thank you so much for posting this. I will think of it every time I consider a purchase. :)

Gardenia said...

beautiful story, beautifully told by you. thanks for this inspiring message.

Renee said...

Wow! How beautiful and how humbling..Thanks for sharing!

Andrea said...

Thank you for sharing, so powerful! And what a reminder!
Blessings
Andrea

darci said...

I LOVE this story. can you please e-me at mhovdestad at hotmail dot com. for some reason i could not do the link on your blog..but we would like to donate, too. thanks amy! darci

That Fresh Feeling said...

Oh my goodness. that story gave me goose bumps. It reminded me of someone this weekend that sent a check to us because they forgot to send a wedding gift to us when we were first married. The person told us that God was calling him to send it now. What a true blessing. God's hands are at work in each of us. And these two people have realized that and turned the control all over to God.

It reminds me of the passage Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.: Colossians 3:2

I know God will provide for us...he has in the past and he has now and I know he will in the future. I will never doubt that.

Thank you for sharing this.

brandyleewindham08 said...

W.O.W.

Just nothing but awesome.

Tami and Bobby Sisemore Family said...

THAT is wonderful! I was just directed to your sight by a friend who told me about it! I think this is wonderful! :) You definitly appear to me to be a praying woman so PLEASE pray for our family and our Jeremiah waiting in Taiwan.

Thanks,
Tami Sisemore
www.tillGodbringsthemhome.blogspot.com

Christi U. said...

Amy -
It was a pleasure to talk with you last week..I've been passing along your blog info to everyone I can think of! You are an amazing woman and it is evident that the Lord is working in your heart and life.
May God bless you and your family!

(and can i say that i hope we get to meet sometime in person!)

Cari Bacon said...

Thank you for sharing this girl's story. It is very moving and powerful. As I follow your blog, I am so excited to see the increase in the adoption fund, knowing that someday soon the special miracle of a child or children will be able to join their family all because of people's obedience to God. It truly is the very best way to show that we believe.

Eight Isn't Enough said...

HI Amy: Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog. I cannot believe that you have a fund for adoptions that says almost what we are saying. Ours was to be for our adoption (but not sure if that will happen any more) but then our kids went to VBS and our African children learned the song, " It only takes a spark", we decided to resurrect our jar and change it to Pass it On orphan fund....I guess great minds think alike:-)

I look forward to reading more about your blog and the fundraising ideas you have.

BTW: Our chickens are meat birds, and I too am kind of afraid of them. But our special needs daughters who LOVES ALL animals tends to the daily needs of the birds...I just help catch them when it's time to have them culled. But I would like to (someday) have chickens for eggs...the health benefit alone is worth it...and any money we can raise to help orphans and widows, is a "good thing".

Blessings!!!

Brian and Audra said...

Just left you an award my blog :)

Trish said...

Amy, thanks so much for stopping by my blog and saying hi, I've had you under my favorites for a long time now, you truly inspire me! Looking forward to following your journey to your newest little one. By the way, I loved this story!!!!!!!

Andrea H. said...

Wow, that story brought tears to my eyes talking about "obedience" especially coming from a young girl. Thanks so much for sharing. God knew why he chose you for this journey. Your heart and the love you have FOR HIM will raise much more money.