Sometimes when I ask a rather deep question, whether it’s to a person or even when I ask a question to God, it seems like 2 different types of answers emerge. There’s the subtle answer, and then there’s the in-your-face-you-just-got-punched answer.
I hate subtlety.
Subtlety in an answer requires thinking, praying, and really having faith that your decision is going to be the right one, or really the one in which aligns with the path set before us by God.
As it relates to Kim and I, I’m talking about the decision to pursue adoption as well as going on a short term mission trip to Venezuela in June.
We truly believe that we are doing as God is calling us to do, what we feel are the desires and passions of our hearts, by moving forward in both of these ventures. For the first time (surprisingly) we had a couple of not-so-positive comments that kind of threw us off. The firsts of many, I’m sure.
With regards to adoption we had somebody say “be careful,” which is understandable because we’ve heard some horror stories of adoptions gone awry, to the point of marital devastation. We’ve read how taxing it can be to a relationship, and a family nonetheless so the “be careful” seems fitting. That’s fine. I get that. Earlier that same day, I also received some unwanted advice how financially it makes sense for Kim to birth 2 of our own kids. I mean, wtf? I know that we are more than equipped to be able to do so, but you’re missing the point dude.
Both of these comments in the same day really threw us off our “we’re confident this is God’s will” wagon and kind of put some doubt in our minds.
Now let’s go to this past Sunday where we had our first meeting for our trip to Venezuela, and we started talking about raising the funds needed to do this trip and how we are going to have to raise support. A whopping $52,200 is what will be needed for the team, $5,800 of which Kim and I will need to go serve in Bariquisimeto at this home for boys. To raise this money we will need to rely on the support of our friends and family.
How do we even ask for that kind of money? $5,800 for a mission trip and $20-$30k for adoption? Holy Moly. I know that it really offers a great opportunity for people to give, but still that’s a lot of money that we will try not to stress about raising. I’m just being honest here, but Venezuela is a small amount compared to what we’re going to raise for adoption. Is it worth it? Is this stress needed? These are questions that loom on our minds.
Go away questions, you’re not welcome.
What do we do with the doubt? Better yet what do we do with the enemy here? We’ve asked God what we should do in these kinds of situations, but we’ve also become aware that God’s not the only one working here, and that sucks.
I’ve sat on this post since Sunday, and debated whether or not I should even post this. I debated because since Sunday we have had an overwhelmingly positive response to this post in regards to financial support.
Seriously, we are blessed beyond measure.
However, in the spirit of trying to be transparent so as to communicate to you who I really am as a person and to you whom I absolutely love for reading, I need to share something. I wouldn’t be completely honest if I said that we’re 100% confident God’s going to place people in our lives who will be blessed, and in turn bless our family and our team. I like to try and really think it will happen, to alleviate the stress for both of us, and I would also like to say I completely trust in Him to provide, but it is so difficult when it seems like so much. I mean, He has NEVER failed us in what we ask of Him, but still…
The bottom line here is it will take a “punch in the face” to Kim and I for us to waiver from our path, and as my good e-brother Moe put it, these are “God Given Passions,” so I don’t think we’ll be wavering any time soon. It’s such a small amount and so little a request compared to how big and great He is, right? I believe that. WE believe that.
“A swagger jacker is a person who tries to steal your joy or tries to stop what God is doing in your life. Surround yourself with constructive feedback, but also practice selective hearing and tune these voices of negativity out” ~Steven Furtick
You gotta read “Sun Stand Still” by Steven Furtick, he talks about “If you are not daring to believe God for the impossible, you may be sleeping through some of the best parts of your Christian life” He talks about having Audacious Faith….He relates this to Joshua’s story when he asked God to make the sun stand still, and to live a God-sized purpose and potential….
We are on some series called Inception, where we are talking about our dreams in life, our goals, what’s real, what’s reality? what is possible or impossible?….Our Pastor tells us to surround our dreams by positive people, people who will support us and encourage us to reach those dreams. Also, that when our dreams and goals are put on hold,the Lord is giving us the opportunity to help “others” to reach theirs.
I truly believe whatever you guys decide to do, we can only pray and support you, your family and your Journey….at the end the Lord has the last word. I wouldn’t be surprised if you get more negative thoughts, questions, comments BUT don’t focused on that, people sometimes think outside the box way too fast before thinking inside the box. Keep your heart inside the box, don’t doubt your “outside of the box” that someday will happen,don’t doubt your Almighty God.
FOR NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE WITH GOD LUKE 1:37
EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE FOR HIM WHO BELIEVES MARK 9:23
We love you and have been praying for you guys, we are excited for you guys.
Awesome stuff, thank you so much Chelly, we love you guys too.
Also, Mark 5:37-43 Let your yes mean yes and your no mean no, anything more is from the devil……no doubts!
And in reference to you saying “punched in the face”…”But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil. When someone strikes you on (your) right cheek, turn the other one to him as well.”
Mark 11:22-24 TNIV
“Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. “Truly I tell you, if you say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and do not doubt in your heart but believe that what you say will happen, it will be done for you. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
Proverbs 3:5 TNIV
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
I think a lot of people struggle with leaning on their own understanding and do not know how to trust God with all their heart. So, they want to give you advice from their own understanding. You have to kind of listen to them, decide where they are coming from, and then put it into context.
I have a friend that he and his wife just completed adoption number two. Both were long, expensive, and exhausting experiences. And, they have no regrets. They knew it was God endorsed and rejected the nay sayers.
Like Chris sings, “if God is for us, who can stop us?”
If you would like to talk to my friends about their experience, shoot me an email and I’ll hook y’all up.
Thanks Allen, I definitely want to connect with your friends and their experience. It would be awesome. I’ll shoot you an email after this crazy weekend we have going on at NP.
I think you need to thank people politely for their opinions and continue relying on God. There are those that always want to steal your job and you can’t let them.
Absolutely not. I hate thievery.
Been praying fervently for you.
Smile, nod politely, and think about what I’m having for lunch.
What You’re having? I bet it’s enchiladas.
“When you’re passionate about God, you can trust your passions.” Erwin McManus.
I came across that quote late last year while reading one of his books. Its stuck with me, and always seems to pop it’s head every once in a while. 🙂 Remember that, Ben.
Thanks for being so transparent and vulnerable with us while you and Kim embark on this exciting journey. No doubt things will come up, but please know that you have a community here that will be praying for you both – for protection, provision, and a greater understanding of our Creator.
Wow, love that quote Dustin thank you for that. It’s weird being transparent, but I really feel it’s the right thing to do so as to show people the “journey’s” not all rainbows and unicorns.
Also it gives an opportunity for us to share exactly how big and great God is, and I love that.
It maybe something in my rebellious nature, that if someone tells me I cant do something, it makes me want to do it even more. This has been both a good and bad thing. To the naysayers, i would say “BRING IT SON!!”
Oh man, I know exactly what you mean, and usually when it’s for the bad I get humbled with a swiftness.
Thanks for stopping by Andrew, glad you’re on our GlobalX team!
You posed this question:
“What do YOU do with naysayers, and the doubt they bring?”
I deal with them decisively and without reticence. I send them packing back to their “woe-is-me” camp with hurt feelings and assaulted egos. Jesus didn’t tolerate their nonsense, and we should not, either.
True, true, sometimes a gently nudge or a polite reference will steer the naysayers away. But for my money, it has always given me results when I stand nose-to-nose with these people and tell them I am not some Sunday-only Christian who relies on a Christian self-help book to “know God”.
Man you got cajones, as all of us need. To one of the guys who made the comment, I ended up going up to him a little while later and had a good talk, I couldn’t let it sit and fester.
I was going to write a lengthy response, but I’ll leave you with a simple quote that I think it’s fitting in this situation:
“Why carry an elephant around when you can put a mouse in your pocket?”
Just remember that it’s not just you and Kim. Any naysayer is going to have to pass through us first brother. And we are praying. And we are going to trust. When your hands get shaky and start to fall, I’m there holding them up man. Hang in there!
*darn it, I just wanted to leave the quote and ended up writing too much anyway! Ugh!
Man, you don’t know how much I thank you guys for this. I believe it, and I cling to it.
Depends on the source. If they are constant complainers/criticizers–I ignore. If they are people who normally are positive and encouraging–I listen a little closer and prayerfully consider their concerns.
Have been and will be praying for you.
I’m with you on that one re: source. I would put “internet trolls” on their as well, thank God none have made an appearance here yet.
Thank you for your prayers Matt, you rock!
I love all the comments – they are so powerful and solid stuff! If you could see the face of the child you will be adopting now….would you go to the ends of the earth and do anything you could to bring him home? Just keep that picture in your head when you hear the comments from those who are frozen by fear and can’t step out in faith. God will be there each step of the way even when it feels like you are standing still and not moving forward – he is just making preparations on your behalf.
Thanks so much for this mom, but I guess it depends on the face… KIDDING
Frozen in fear, causing you to NOT step out on faith.
That’s some #boomsauce right there.
Ben, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Those are some “big God” goals that will change your life. I hope you continue to feel supported and encouraged by your online community and IRL friends and family.
Absolutely KC, the support both online and IRL have been absolutely amazing.
Ben, there are always and always will be naysayers, but as long as you know the story God has birthed in your own heart, it will serve you well. Keep your dreams between you and God and the strongest support you know you can count on.
Will say a prayer for your big decisions coming up!
Thank you so much Bryan, each and every day I am absolutely amazed as to what this community (online) can provide in regards to support. It’s absolutely amazing.
There will ALWAYS be ‘naysayers.’ There will never be a moment when you’re faced with Doubters and Scoffers…. They are the 20% that create the 80% of negativity and impossibility.
The Good News is there are the positive encouragers who pray for you and Kim, and exhort(@ Chelly – way to go!!! Love your words), you to act on your convictions, to continue moving forward, and doing the work of Christ.
There is a way….and you will find the way….by God’s Grace and Leading.
That’s the legacy your Apo has passed on to you. (He’s gently and quietly nodding his approval…. I know he is….) Love you, son.
I think you just have to keep you focus on the Father and not let the “World” bring you down. There will always be naysayers, but if you stay focused on the Word and the Father they will put you at ease.
My 2 cents. Good stuff Ben. Prayin’ for ya man!
The “always be naysayers” seems to be the common response, and I’m glad God gives us the tools to be able to deal with each situation.
Thanks for the prayers Adam, as always, appreciated.
Ben, I hope I wasn’t one of those people giving you bad advice or making you feel bad 🙁
Here’s the thing. It didn’t work out for me, but God used it. And it sounds like you guys are doing it all the right way, standing on God’s promises and in your marriage. That’s awesome. Of course there are horror stories. Adoption is not easy. But does that mean those kids aren’t worth it? They are. And you aren’t signing up for this because its “easy”. and really..wtf is right. We had so many people saying stuff to us when we were gonna adopt too and I wanted to punch them in the face. I think because we were putting it out there that we needed money, they felt the need to give us comments and unwanted ones at that.
Remember that God tells us not to worry. He tells us to look at the birds and the flowers and see how he cares so much for them and finds them valuable..how much more valuable are we? are our kids? are orphans? Extremely. And if this is what God wants, I believe he will put people in your path to see His plan through.
Don’t lose hope. Look to God not man. Remember the God of Joseph and David and Esther. All impossible situations. All God glorifying endings. And so will yours be.
Just shot you a quick tweet, many of these “naysayers” were people who I talked to in person. You were definitely not one of them, I took your story and really grasped onto what you had to say. I learned. Thank you so much for sharing.
I look to Matthew 6:26 often, and try to learn from them. Carefree, and yet God feeds them. We’re worth SO much more than the birds 🙂