2014’s “One Word”

As I have done in the past (read here and here), I have chosen a “word” for 2014. 2013 somehow didn’t get a “word” assigned to it at the beginning of the year, though I came close.

Out of all the years I have participated in the “one word”  movement, I would have to say that this year’s “word” came to me the easiest; it was also the first time I had my word picked before the new year even began.

This year’s “word” for me is undaunted.
I alluded to it in my last post on what 2013 taught me, which was much more than I was expecting.

In the aforementioned post, I wrote:

I read a quote on New Year’s Eve that really spoke to me:
“A new year is at hand,” the king said. “We cannot tell what it will bring. If it brings peace, how thankful we shall all be. If it brings us continued struggle, we shall remain undaunted.”
King George VI

That is my prayer for 2014, that I remain undaunted in my commitment to the Lord and His sovereignty and goodness, no matter what befalls me this upcoming year. Whether it be another year of not having the opportunity to be a mother, another year of disappointments and confusion, or even death. By God’s grace, as long as I’m alive, I pray I remain undaunted in my commitment to Him.

Lord, let it be so.

Yes, Lord! Let it be so!

It is only January 16th, and I can already tell you that, as I experience life’s natural ebbs and flows, I am not always going to feel that it was a wise choice to pick the word “undaunted,” but I do know that it was the word the Lord has for me this year. I have no idea what He is going to allow throughout my 2014, but as I press on through my journey, I will daily ask for the grace to remain undaunted in my service to Him and others.

Not only will I ask for grace to remain undaunted in my commitment to His sovereignty and goodness – no matter what, I will also ask for the grace:

  • To remain undaunted in my commitment to loving others as Christ as loved me, especially my husband.
  • To remain undaunted in my belief that the Lord will give us a child(ren), even when the waiting seems long and harsh.
  • To remain undaunted in my commitment to never live without personal boundaries again, so I can be emotionally healthy for those in whom the Lord has asked me to invest more fully.
  • To remain undaunted, in whatever He asks of me this upcoming year.

Do you have a “word” for 2014?

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What 2013 Taught Me

I don’t know what yours was like, but my 2013 was quite the year.

2013 was a year I’ll certainly never forget and wouldn’t necessarily want to re-live. I won’t, though, go as far as to say I wish I could just re-do 2013 all over again. Though it was excruciatingly hard, the lessons I learned within the crazy that was my 2013 were well worth the pain and will never, ever be forgotten.

I’m not going to re-hash my entire year in this post, as there is plenty of posts already written (even whole series — read here and here) about much of what transpired in my life last year; others part of my life have remained more private, as they should.  If you haven’t been reading my blog the past year, just know I, even one with a wild imagination, could never have written the journey through which the Lord asked me to walk in 2013, especially the first 8 months of it.

As much as you’d like to think differently, you can’t change the past. You can only move forward. 2013 was what it was and it’s my job to learn from it, embrace the brokenness that came in many areas from it, and walk in 2014 full of joy and hope, just like I did when I walked unknowingly into the madness that was last year.

So, what did 2013 teach and/or remind me?
Well, lots of things.

Here’s some examples, in no particular order (except the 1st one):

  • God is still good and sovereign. Absolutely nothing can change that fact.

Though 2013 was my hardest yet, my steadfast belief in God’s sovereignty and goodness did not change. Were their moments I struggled with why God allowed me to become unexpectedly pregnant, let alone why He then allowed our child to die? Of course. I’m a human, after all. I am a human, though, who has seen the hand of God all over their life time and time again, even when things look the darkest from an earthly perspective.

  • My life is not about me.

After almost dying at 19, I am blessed to know from a young age that my life is not about me but instead the glory of God being displayed through how I respond to not only life’s highest highs but also its lowest lows. Though I know I didn’t do it perfectly, I hope that this year I brought Him glory through how I dealt with the circumstances He allowed into my life for my refining and His glory. I pray I do the same in 2014, no matter what happens.

  • My marriage is rock solid and can withstand anything that life throws its way.

I didn’t say my marriage is perfect, because it most certainly isn’t; it does involve two humans, after all. 😉 It is, though, rock solid, and it just keeps getting better. 2013 was the hardest year yet for our four-year-marriage. I’m thankful to say, though, that everything we went through this year brought us even closer together, horrible miscarriage included. During this year, at times, we fought a lot. At times, we cried a lot. At times, to be honest, we struggled a lot…but we came out on the other side a stronger, more unified couple. We came out a better definition of two people living “one flesh.” We came out of the struggle closer to the Lord on an individual basis as well as a corporate one. As  a couple, we came out of 2013 changed, changed for good! I can’t imagine displaying God’s love for the Church through marriage with anyone else than my best friend.  He rocks my world. 🙂

  • I long to be a mother more than sometimes I even know.

This could, and eventually will, be the subject of a whole post. Stay tuned. 🙂

  • Adoption (at least our journey) is hard – really hard – but so worth it. We can’t wait to meet Noah and Hannah and pray they join our family at the same time. 🙂

The giant mountain of paperwork hasn’t even been the hardest part. Being married to a really detailed-oriented person, though, definitely helped in that area. 🙂 No, the paperwork has been a breeze compared to other things, mostly emotional in nature, through which we’ve had to work; some of those things are just a part of the usual process (and will be written about in another series) and others are unique to our particular situation. No matter what comes up, though, the important thing is we’re committed to working through it; we’re committed to finding our children and bringing them home. No matter what, we Paynes don’t ever give up.

  • People like other people’s drama and shy away from public expressions of grief.

I learned this lesson back in the Spring/Early Summer. I had thousands of people (mostly strangers) suddenly flocking to my blog to read all 21 posts about our hard-to-believe adoption/surrogacy/pregnancy/miscarriage/adoption journey. Only an 1/8 of that audience read, though, after the 13th installment of the aforementioned series when I was heartbroken, and therefore devoted three blog posts to redeeming my miscarriage; most of the sharing of my posts stopped, too. Not surprisingly, most of that audience (and shares) returned once again when the other more-appealing series resumed for the last 7 posts.

Don’t get me wrong. I sincerely appreciated the concern (or curiosity) others showed (either through reading and/or contacting me) during my large series full of twists and turns. I just was rather shocked that my readership went down so much when I took a break from the other series (since I was initially hiding (even from my own parents) the fact I was sick post-miscarriage) to publicly deal with the intense grief that came with all that drama people loved to read. Though they were much, much fewer in nature, the private messages I did receive from that miscarriage series made the emotional exhaustion from writing them well worth it. It also reiterated to me just how important it is for me to obey His voice and live as transparently as possible, so that He can use me to encourage others who often feel alone in how they feel. I was amazed how alone so many women who have had miscarriages felt; it made me incredibly sad. It shouldn’t be this way, and as long as I’m alive, I will continue to be as real as possible (on that issue and others) so that others feel the freedom that comes with living without satanic shame.

Though I was humbled by my viewership this year, I don’t write for certain stat numbers. I write in order to be able to breathe, to connect with my Creator, to glorify His name and have Him do whatever with it He wants.  Your guess as to what He does with it in 2014 is as good as mine. No matter how many read, it’s all for Him!

  • Living “transparently” doesn’t have to mean giving anyone and everyone 24/7 access to your life, emotions, time, thoughtfulness, etc. without requiring anything from them; no, that would be toxic and will eventually leave you feeling burnt.  Having Christ-inspired, personal boundaries is one of the healthiest things you can do for yourself and others.

I wrote about this topic in my “mid-life crisis” series.

  • Though he came in contact with thousands, and was followed intensely by 12, even Jesus’ inner circle only consisted of 3 people. Yours will look about the same; don’t kid yourself into believing otherwise.

Not every friend sticks closer than a brother, and that’s OK. Life is full of relationships, each with their own level of closeness. Oftentimes, those in relationship aren’t even desiring the same level of closeness, but unless they’re willing to be honest with one another, one just assumes (and prays) the other will “get a clue”. Somewhere between sometimes and usually, the other party eventually does get a clue and is consequently left confused; that is, unless you’re like my former self, and then often you are left clueless for far longer than expected. In my case, for most of 2013, I also didn’t believe in personal boundaries, so my addiction to emotional harlotry didn’t help my case.

Some friendships are for a season, then fade, then come back again. Some never come back. Some evolve and change over time. You can be someone’s friend without giving them permission to know every single thing about you and vice/versa. You, unbeknownst to me until this year, can also do this while still upholding Christ’s call to love. In fact, sometimes the most loving thing you can do is let things change inside of, or even let go of, a relationship that is near and dear to you.

In rare cases, you will find those with whom your soul connects in a way that is, if I can say, not of this world. You will find people who just “get” you without you needing to explain yourself. They will give you the benefit of the doubt but be willing to confront you when needed. They will desire your good above their own, always without question. They will guard your heart as if it were their own. In your divinely-inspired friendship, you will give and take in a natural, beautiful exchange of wills. Cherish those people. Protect those people with a fierce and loyal love this world does not know.

  • With God’s help, you really can survive anything. Better yet, you can not only survive but thrive while in the midst of the deepest pain, no matter its nature.

I learned this valuable lesson in the physical realm back in 2005 and the emotional realm in 2013.

So what will 2014 bring?

I read a quote on New Year’s Eve that really spoke to me:
“A new year is at hand,” the king said. “We cannot tell what it will bring. If it brings peace, how thankful we shall all be. If it brings us continued struggle, we shall remain undaunted.”
King George VI

That is my prayer for 2014, that I remain undaunted in my commitment to the Lord and His sovereignty and goodness, no matter what befalls me this upcoming year. Whether it be another year of not having the opportunity to be a mother, another year of disappointments and confusion, or even death. By God’s grace, as long as I’m alive, I pray I remain undaunted in my commitment to Him.

Lord, let it be so.

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Got Adoption-Related Questions?

If there’s one question I get asked almost on a daily basis, it’s a version of this one:

“What’s going on with your adoption?”

or this one…

“What’s taking so long?”

or this one…

“Are you going to be able to adopt soon? What’s the hold up?”

So, for those questioning (either vocally or not) souls, I thought I’d provide a few answers to some basic questions soon. 🙂

First, though, let me say that you don’t have to be afraid to ask us about our adoption process. We aren’t offended in the slightest by questions and understand (and appreciate) people’s curiosity. That being said, just know that we may very well not have the concrete answers for which you’re seeking. We really aren’t trying to be “secretive,” “vague,” or wanting to “hide” anything from you. We also aren’t going to lie to you. If we don’t know the answer, or in rare, rare instances would prefer not to answer, we aren’t afraid to say so.

Adoption, by its very nature, just comes with a lot of unknowns, especially when it comes to timing. If you think that’s frustrating to you, imagine being in our shoes. 😉

We realize you aren’t in our shoes, though, and may very well not have another connection to adoption, so that’s why you might be a bit confused, intrigued, or both. That’s totally OK! There’s nothing to be ashamed about when it comes to not exactly understanding the odds and ends of our journey, especially the personal ones; we don’t really expect (nor want) you psycho-analyzing us from the outside looking in, so don’t feel the need to try. Honestly, especially if you don’t really know us, you most likely will never understand all of it, as much of how being called to adopt (and us losing a child of our own in the process) has affected me and my husband on an individual and corporate basis is extremely personal and has taken – and probably in some way will continue to take – us years to fully grasp.  Our own family and friends don’t always “get” from where we’re coming, so we certainly don’t expect someone just following our blog to ever fully understand certain things.

All we can promise you is our honesty, not necessarily that our adoption journey – in a personal or tangible sense – will make perfect sense to you. Through the ups and downs of the process, we’re here to share and help as much as we can. We hope you glean a lot of useful information (both on a tangible and personal level) as we continue to move forward with, and share about, our plans of, Lord-willing, becoming a family of three (or four) through the beautiful gift of adoption in 2014. We hope that information will help you down the road, whether you feel called to also adopt or are a part of an adoptive mother or father’s support system. After all, if there’s one thing I’ve learned the past year as one who is adopting, it’s that you definitely need all the emotional support you can get; sadly, not everyone will be excited about your journey.

I’ve also learned that people certainly have lots of questions about adoption, about both the process itself and how walking through it affects those who have sojourned that winding path. Tons of questions abound in people’s minds. Many others have the same questions but are afraid to ask. Well, no need to fear anymore. 

So, here’s your chance: What do you want to know? Ask away. 🙂
Feel free to comment, Facebook message me, email me, and wait for a follow-up post!

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Seeing Red

Some dates are etched in your memory forever.

Birthdays. Anniversaries. Days our loved ones pass away. Major life events. We all can list at least a few dates that automatically stick out in our minds, whether for welcomed reasons or not.

December 4, 2013 will always be one of those days for me. That was my estimated due date for the child I miscarried on April 1st at 5 weeks gestation. That was the day our child, as microscopic as he/she was, went to be with the Lord. That was the day part of me went to be with Him, too.

To say I was heartbroken after we miscarried is a gross understatement. If you recall, there was a lot already going on in our lives in early Spring. It was so much that the most grounded people would feel like they were losing their grip on their sanity prior to what transpired on April 1st. As we all know, the roller coaster wasn’t over, though.

Once the bleeding stopped, I was emotionally as empty as my formally impregnated uterus; in a matter of a few hours, the life had been sucked out of me, literally and figuratively. Like millions of women each year, I was left to pick up the pieces of my shattered heart and move on.

For me, though, “moving on” was going to be a long, long journey.
It was going to be a much longer, harder, more private pilgrimage through grief than with what I (and, in some ways, others) was comfortable.
It was my journey, though, nonetheless.

The first few weeks, I would come home from work some days and just sit on the floor in our empty nursery. I would begin to replay over in my mind the trauma that had been the few weeks leading up to me unexpectedly getting pregnant, as well as the subsequent drama which led to finally having a confirmation that I had indeed miscarried and wasn’t losing my mind...or was I? 

When I was alone, the previous few months played out like a dramatic Nicholas Sparks’ movie in my head. Scene after scene, I saw the characters, i.e. me and my husband, develop and the plot thicken and thicken some more. The plot became so thick, I felt as if I were traveling through a dense fog in my head, a fog which would last for months. Some days the fog was so thick, I couldn’t tell if I was indeed the protagonist or the antagonist of my own story; some days I felt like both, sometimes simultaneously. As I dealt with post-miscarriage health complications for months on end on top of my grief, there seemed to be no climax of events (let alone a resolution) in sight, in my real life or in my imagination.  I wanted out of the madness. Honestly, some days I wanted to just go to sleep and never wake up. I wanted peace and rest, and those things seemed hard to come by at the time.

After all, it was hard to feel at peace when you feel you have failed as a woman, and more importantly, as a wife. For a myriad of reasons, that’s the way I felt for a long, long time. Thankfully, though, after months of spending time with the Lord, countless hours of conversation with my husband and a few close friends, and being forced to deal with the root of my feelings, I (for the most part) don’t feel that way anymore.

Thank God, I don’t usually feel that way anymore.
One day, I hope to say I don’t ever feel that way anymore.
One step at a time, though.

I don’t really feel it necessary (at least now) to take you through the play-by-play of the highs and lows of my journey of grief. I guess after the realization I came to during my mid-life crisis, I don’t feel anymore like I “owe” you, the reader, an “all-access” pass into the most personal caveats of my life. I guess I’m still learning to have boundaries in my relationships, online and off. I have to say, after a year of a lot of hurt and heartache, it feels good to not (usually) feel guilty for protecting myself emotionally.

Just know that the last 8 months of my life have been filled with extremely personal, heart-wrenching moments. It hasn’t always been pretty. In fact, many times it’s been rather ugly, but it’s always been one thing – real and raw. After all, love it or hate it, I know no other way to be. If there’s one thing I’ve re-learned during the craziness that has been my 2013, it’s that I can’t control a lot in my life. God, in His sovereignty and goodness, numbers my steps, oftentimes much differently than I would. On the flip side, though, I’m learning there are some things I can control, namely having healthy boundaries with people and owning and being proud of, instead of shaming, my own journey.

And oh the journey it has been.

I’m thankful, though, I’m finally far enough down the path that I can say I’m thankful for the past 8 months. I may not ever understand why John and I had to lose a child, or why it had to affect me so deeply, but I do know good has come of it.

do know that what Satan meant for evil, my gracious Lord meant for good. Yes, He meant it for my good and, more importantly, His glory. Those nights I lay crumbled up on the floor in my empty nursery, when I wasn’t sure if I was the protagonist or antagonist of my own story, I had forgotten to ask the Author and Finisher of my story who I am. Instead of trusting Him, I listened to my doubt. Instead of believing I am who He says I am (beloved and loved, far from a failure), I believe the father of lies who is always out to steal my (and your) joy and vision. Thankfully, I don’t forget anymore.

In the Old Testament, when God’s people had an unforgettable encounter with the LORD, they often built a memorial out of stone in commemoration of the event. They (and sometimes the LORD Himself) wanted a tangible reminder of what the LORD had done. I, too, wanted a tangible reminder of how the Lord had restored and healed my heart, so I completely changed my appearance (at least for now).

For almost 28 years, I was a blonde. Now, I’m a red head. 🙂

2013-12-05_16-12-01_263When I look in the mirror, I am constantly reminded of the fact I not only look like a completely different person, I am a completely different person because of God’s gracious work in my life! I’m pretty sure I will eventually go back to my roots (or closer to them than I am now 😉 ), but for now, I needed an external expression of a very powerful, inward change. The dye is temporary, but the branding on my heart is forever.


I finally see He is bringing much beauty from the ashes of my once shattered heart.
He is mending and strengthening. He is healing and restoring.
He is being what He always is – good. So, so good.

I’ll leave you with a song that has meant so very much to me over the past several months.

 

Father, thank you for loving me so.

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Filed under Baby, grace, Life, Marriage, Miscarriage, Redeeming Loss, Sanctification

Cosmic Shift

Drafts. A post. Lots more drafts.
That’s been the extent of my blogging the past several months.

Tears. Refining. More Tears. Did I mention tears?
That’s been my life the past several months.
Much of that just hasn’t been put into words, here or even in-person.

Why?
Well, because…

Sometimes the most powerful, gut-wrenching yet healing moments in life leave us simply so undone we (even I) am unable to utter a sound, let alone wax poetically about the cosmic shift occurring within. We are unable to ascertain just exactly what our Creator is doing in the miry depths of our disheveled soul, which can leave us feeling vulnerable to the core and, at times, scared of what is next. All I know is that, if we surrender to the beautiful chaos, when He’s done chipping away and putting back together, we will never be the same. I will never be the same.

Thank you, Father, I will never be the same.

More to come. 🙂

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Where Our Adoption Stands

Don’t worry. Our plans haven’t changed (again).
As I told you last month, we’re still adopting. 🙂

Sorry I haven’t really updated you all on our progress lately.
I guess working through my mid-life crisis, and life itself, just got in the way.
There’s been a lot going on here at the Payne’s, I guess you could say.

November is National Adoption Awareness Month, so I figure it’s time to update you again!

I have some exciting news, though, on the adoption front!

If you didn’t catch it in last month’s update….

As of mid-September, we have an official, completed home study! 😀 😀 😀

This makes us officially “legal” and able to take a child, if one would be offered to us. In case you couldn’t already tell, this is a huge, huge deal and was a giant hurdle to cross.

Last time I checked, though, even if you’re legally able to say “yes,” to a child, it’s rather rare to just get called out-of-the-blue and offered the opportunity to parent one, not that it couldn’t happen if the Lord saw fit, though! 😉 

That being said, logistically, we’re making progress.
Not enough, though.
There’s still much work to be done. :/

To be completely honest, October wasn’t a fun month for me. I had grandiose hopes and dreams for the month with our call to fasting/prayer for our adoption, ones that (for the most part) did not come to fruition. When God wasn’t meeting my expectations for the month, I oftentimes struggled with feeling depressed, emotionally tired, confused, alone, and every other negative feeling the enemy tried to throw at me. I didn’t always stand firm on the promises of the Word. Many times, I let my circumstances, ones that weren’t changing fast enough for my liking, determine my level of joy instead of my confidence in Him and Him alone.  Many times, though I was participating in my own call for prayer and fasting, I wasn’t actively participating. Instead, I was just going through the motions, tapping my foot, waiting for Him to “just do something” because we were doing all that we could do and seemingly getting nowhere. Consequently, during those distracted times, I missed out on seeing what the Lord was doing in our midst, even if those things upon which He was working weren’t at all for what I had been praying so fervently and weren’t exactly fun to process.

You see, God certainly did move in October; it was just mostly in ways I hadn’t planned. In hindsight, I am reminded of the verse in Isaiah 55 (v.8) which tells us, ““For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.”

The Word tell us that man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart (I Sam. 16:7). How does that relate to us?

The Lord showed me that oftentimes I, like most people naturally do in my situation, have been coming at the adoption from a purely logistical (“outward”) standpoint. After all, if you know anything about adoption, there are a lot of logistics to think about. When I wasn’t thinking about the logistics, I was thinking about our child and the awesome privilege and responsibility it is going to be to be their mother. Obviously, these were all good things on which to ponder. God, though, in His divine sovereignty and goodness, has been coming at it all along from a holistic standpoint. Moreover, because He so lavishly loves us and longs to reveal Himself to us, He has been thinking not only about not only our precious child and all the details that go with bringing them home to us but, just as importantly, about ME, about US, this whole time, too. 

Though we (especially I) couldn’t see it for the longest time, He hasn’t left us in the desert. We aren’t aimlessly walking around year-after-year, experiencing trial after trial, locked out of the “Promised Land” of parenthood because we’re being “punished” for whatever reason. No, He knows exactly what He is doing, and, contrary to the lies Satan would have me believe, His goal isn’t to break my heart; actually, it’s quite the opposite. No, before He allows us to enter the new “land” of parenthood, He sees the utmost importance in beginning to heal our hearts (in particular mine) first before He moves us elsewhere, especially into such an important season as the one upon which we are about to embark.

No, He isn’t purposefully withholding parenthood from me to torment me. No, instead, He longs for me, for us (individually and corporately), to feel whole before He moves us to a different, very challenging land. The Lord loves us, and our children, enough to tend to our hearts before He ever brings them into our lives.

Sure, He could have parted the waters by now and easily allowed all the tangible, logistical things to fall into place for us to be able to adopt. We could have been richly blessed with a child (or more than one) and going about our lives with our newborn(s) feeling extremely tired but blessed. He chose not to, however, because we never would have felt completely whole. Consequently, things never would have been completely as they should, and the Lord loves us too much to allow that.

He loves us too much to allow us to gain what we want tangibly but, in the process, settle spiritually and emotionally for much less than we could have with Him and with each other as husband and wife. He loves our children too much to leave their parents (i.e. us) as broken beings unable to fully embrace and appreciate our family for what it will be. All this time, He hasn’t been withholding from any of us but instead protecting us, and for that, I am eternally grateful.

Though I couldn’t say it much last month, I am so thankful for that fact. I am so thankful that God did not abandon us in October but instead was preparing and healing our hearts, in particular our marriage, in ways that are crucially important for the well-being of our family once we finally do become a family of three (or four 😉 ).

So, where do we go from here?

  • Well, we pray. And then we pray some more. We have extended our October month of fasting/prayer into November and would love to have your support in our efforts to be bathing our adoption in prayer. You can find an outline of our specific requests (which have been updated) by going here.
  • We refuse to lose heart.
  • As Charles Stanley would say, we “obey God and leave all the consequences to Him.”
  • We stand back in awe and wonder and watch Him move.

Lord God, thank you for how You’re moving. You are all we need.

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October & Adoption: A Call To Prayer & Fasting

I just love October! 😀

Every year, I wait in anxious anticipation for these 31 days of Fall bliss. Though we are apart much of the year, my love for October never wanes. Every year around this time I look forward to my pilgrimage to Mennonite Mum Mecca (what I’ve lovingly named a local nursery), so I can pick out my gargantuan mum (for only $5.50!!) for my front porch. I unashamedly dig through the pumpkin bin at Meijer (go ahead, judge me!) for the largest, most uniformed-in-size pumpkin, because they’re all the same price but far from created equal. Oh, October, it’s true – You and your gorgeous foliage, crisp air which begs for boots and sweaters to be worn, and granted permission to indulge in all things pumpkin makes you oh so beautiful to me. 

While reflecting on my love for October this morning during my devotional time, the Lord gave me an idea to make these 31 days not just fun for me but spiritually meaningful to me. Really, Lord, you’d do that for me? Yes, please! The best part? All of you get to be involved! 🙂

From October 1-31, we’re asking people to join us, as we boldly come before the throne of Grace regarding our adoption. Now that we’re officially “legal,” due to having a completed home study (insert huge sigh of relief) as of last month, now seems like a perfect time to start our quest to involve others in our journey to parenthood.

[Update: We are extending our call for prayer & fasting into November. Additional prayer requests are below in bold.]

Will you join us?

Before we begin, here are some things you need to know:

  • We as a couple are committing to being in daily prayer, as we have been, for our adoption.
  • We firmly believe the Lord is working in our midst and is going to make us a family of three, in His timing and way, for His glory.
  • We trust and believe that the Lord has known our child before the foundation of time and has specifically called us to love and raise them.
  • We are committed to loving our child with reckless abandonment and doing everything within our power to bring them home to us.

Especially during this month of corporate prayer and fasting, though oftentimes our situation can make us feel isolated and, we rejoice in the fact we’re not alone. We know that there is POWER in corporate prayer and are excited to see how the Lord uses this sacred time to strengthen our (and your) faith and further our adoption for His glory. I saw the power of a corporate call to prayer around this time 7 years ago, when I was finishing the first edition of Breathtaking, and am expecting just as awesome things to come of this time around.

We believe the Word calls us to pray not only in an expectant, but also a specific, manner, so we’d ask that you partner with us to pray/fast for the following:

Prioritized, Immediate & Specific Requests:

#1: The Lord’s Glory – Most importantly, that through all aspects of our adoption, the Lord would be glorified.

“Yes, Lord, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you; your name and renown are the desire of our hearts.”
Isaiah 26:8

#2: Child(ren)’s Birth Parents:

  • Pray that they both will come to know the Lord, if they don’t already know Him.
  • Pray that they both the birth mother and birth father (if applicable) feel nothing but loved and respected by not only us but everyone with whom they have contact while the adoption is being finalized.

#3: Our Marketing Plans:

  • Please pray for me as I work on completing the “life book,” which will be used as a tool to introduce potential birth mothers to us.
  • Pray for wisdom and clarity on what to include (as this will be the first impression birth mothers are given of us) and how to disseminate that information.
  • It may sound silly, but as one who is not crafty by nature and is highly sentimental/takes this stuff really, really seriously, the “life book” planning really stresses me out, so please pray for peace to reign when I’m working on it.
  • Pray for the website design and our friend, Becky, who is helping us with both the “life book” and the website. We hope to launch that site (“The Paynes Adopt”) in the very near future.

#4: Our Finances:

  • Adoption is very, very expensive and can come with many unplanned expenses (potentially traveling out of the state, etc.). Please pray that we are able to complete our adoption debt free, which has always been our goal, no matter if we adopt within the state of Ohio or not.
  • Pray for me as I look into adoption-related grants and plans strategic and planning well-received fundraising ideas to help supplement our adoption account. *If you have ideas for fundraising, please feel free to share!

#5: Our Spiritual & Emotional Health/Stress Level:

  • This process can be extremely emotionally-taxing for both of us for different reasons. The stress level at our home can run very high right now, as we prepare tangibly and emotionally to add a little one (or two) to our home with potentially only a few days’ notice.
  • That we will keep our hearts open to what the Lord would want to teach us during this season of waiting and walk into our adoption spiritually and emotionally whole individually and corporately-speaking.

If you would feel comfortable sharing with us your commitment to join with us in concentrated prayer this month for Baby Payne, please either send me a message or join our Facebook group dedicated to our month-long event. If you are wanting to commit to praying certain days, please feel free to share that with us, as well. Obviously, we will continue praying after October ends, but we’re rather excited about seeing how God moves amongst us this month!

Thanks in advance for your prayers! God, have Your way!

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Filed under Adoption, Baby, Prayer