Thursday, April 10, 2008

Isaiah 6:8--the explanation

Here is our testimony of how God has called us to adopt again. And I must add, although it is neat and fun and cool to think about, Rob and I do not take this call lightly. In fact, truth be told, we are SO excited, but SO cautious at the same time. Our ONLY desire is that GOD be glorified in our lives. We would never want to do Him a disservice by how we convey His call to us. We only want HIS will, HIS way. Please hear God's heart in this testimony.

(Disclaimer: I am writing this also for myself and Rob. For us, writing down what the Lord has said to us makes it sink into our very marrow and we tend to not forget. That is how it was with adopting Kimmie and Quan. Their story is forever etched in my heart. I know the details leading up to us adopting them. When people would ask why, we could answer in a heartbeat. That is why we write this, to help it be clear in our minds for our 7th child. And so if people wanna know the story we'll link them to this post! ;))

Back in December I (Laine) felt a strong desire to adopt again. At the same time I felt a strong desire that I had gone stark-raving mad for even thinking of that again. I dismissed it as such, and tried to forget about it. Of course, the desire became stronger and stronger. It didn't help that I could not stay off the waiting children lists, wondering if we had a 7th child waiting on us somewhere.

I really initially felt a pull to Ethiopia. Through some of our Christmas advent devotions, the Lord gave us a couple of evenings to talk about adoption and orphans. One night our devotion was about Phillip and the Ethiopian eunuch. I casually brought up the idea of adopting again-only this time from Ethiopia. Rob was definitely not on board, and really didn't want to hear about it! A week later our advent devotion was about a Korean orphan. I just grinned as Rob said again, NO!

Come January I really could not stop thinking that our family was not complete. I begged for God to take the thoughts and feelings and desire to adopt again away from me, and they only became stronger. Not only that, but at seemingly every turn God confirmed to me that we are supposed to adopt again. At Sunday School, at CBS, in my morning quiet times, in our evening devotions, He saturated me with His word about following HIS plan, stepping out in faith, being willing and available, and about His love for the fatherless. I remember one day, completely exasperated that He had given me yet again another confirmation that we were supposed to adopt, I said to Him, "God, I KNOW we are supposed to adopt again. I'M convinced, okay? It's ROB who needs the convincing now!"

It is a very frustrating and hard place to be when the Lord has told one spouse one thing, but the other spouse is not on board. And being that the other spouse in this case is the head of the household, I had to keep my mouth shut. A very hard thing to do for me, by the way. I respectfully requested that Rob pray about the idea. He was very willing to do that. We fasted together to seek God's will.

On the day we fasted, January 14th, my Oswald Chambers devotion that morning was on Isaiah 6:8, "I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: 'Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?' Then I said, 'Here am I! Send me'" and the devotion was about hearing the call of God and answering His call. Again I asked, Lord, why don't you give this to Rob? I hear you loud and clear!

Later that day I did my CBS homework. It was on Acts 16. It was the story of Paul evangelizing Philippi. He began with a group of women by the riverside. A question in my homework asked "Why do you think Paul begins in this way, and what do you learn from this?"

As if the Lord was right there speaking to me, I realized this was my answer why I was getting these confirmations from Him. He showed me through this chapter in Acts how influential women are, and that sometimes He chooses to reveal His will to the wife first. I'm not saying He does this all the time. And I'm not saying as women we should tell our husbands what to do. I'm just saying that many times in the Bible and in today's world, God speaks to the heart of His daughters first. It doesn't mean we're supposed to bang His message over our husband's heads with a frying pan, though! ;) (That doesn't work anyway. I tried that. JK!)

As I completed the lesson, the last line said "As you perceive Him guiding you, what is your response?" Immediately I recalled the verse from my devotion earlier that morning...
"Here am I! Send me."

At the end of the day, Rob and I came together to talk about the decision. He said he asked God one question all day long..."Is our family complete?" He explained that he really got no answer from God. I shared my devotion and the verse from Isaiah. I also made sure Rob knew that I respect him as the leader of our family, and until he received confirmation from God, we would just wait.

In the meantime, I continued to pray fervently that we would be in agreement, no matter the call. Many times when Rob and I are not on the same page, I pray for God to help us agree. Most of the time it is MY heart He changes, but He is always faithful to help us be in agreement! So whatever God was calling us to do right now, either way, I just prayed we would agree.
A direct quote from my prayer journal: "God, just do your thang!"

Within a couple of weeks I noticed Rob was much more open to talking about adopting again. He didn't come right out and say he wanted to, but he actually talked about the possibility of adding to our family. One night at the dinner table he announced with tears in his eyes that he had really been thinking of orphans a lot lately. He put a call into Karla to find out the possibility of China allowing us to adopt again. He did our taxes and upon realizing we were getting a large refund, he said "If we don't use this all on our next adoption, we could use the rest for college!" He never came out and said we are adopting again, though.

It was the last weekend in January when we got the big neon sign from God. On Saturday I was in the shower and listening to a Christian radio station. A man was talking about the verse Isaiah 6:8 "I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: 'Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?' Then I said, 'Here am I! Send me'" I shared with Rob about hearing that verse again, but really thought nothing about it. The same night we settled down to do devotion with the kiddos. Rob paused a long time when he opened to the page for that day. It was on Isaiah chapter six. Hmmmm...very interesting!

The very next day, Sunday, we had a one day family revival at our church. Eric Hixon preached it, sista! The spirit of God moved in our church and we had many families go to the altar to re-dedicate their lives, and many husbands step forward to re-commit to be the spiritual leaders of the family. At the end of the service Pastor Bruce did something a little different, and said an "echo" prayer. We repeated his prayers to the Lord to dedicate our families to Him, and to follow His will. To close out the prayer, he had us repeat this: (I kid you not; I exaggerate not)
"Lord may we say as Isaiah said...'Here am I! Send me." Rob nor I could even repeat it coherently because we were both BAWLING! When we got in the car, Rob leaned over and whispered to me, "Now I know we are supposed to adopt again, God just has to tell us who and where!"

Now, the most amazing thing is that Rob is SO on board. He has proved again and again that he desires to follow God's will in this adoption. We have encountered some struggles and closed doors; it has not been such an easy process as last time. Many times my faith has faltered and I have questioned if we heard God correctly. Each time Rob stands strong, like a warrior, fighting for the fatherless. I don't mean to sound cheesy. I just am in awe of how God has totally transformed his heart!

And remember all that confirmation God gave me in the beginning? He did that because He knew that later in the process, I would need to remember His very obvious call. He knew that I would falter, and He wanted me to have that sweet time of assurance He gave to just me at the beginning. He knew I would need that now....

27 comments:

wareaglefam said...

Your faith (and Rob's) never ceases to amaze me, to inspire me, and to encourage me! We are so thrilled with your decision to adopt yet another lucky little one. Your post gave me shivers (and brought tears to my eyes!).
Love you,
Tracy

Aaron and Erica said...

Laine,

This is such a beautiful testimony! God is so good to put you and Rog on the same page, and confirm His will for you in such obvious ways. What an exciting ride!

Let's talk soon...

Love,

Erica

Mike and Barb said...

This is a very heartfelt and powerful testimony! Your love for the Lord is such a blessing to me! And I have never even met you (yet:-)) )
Just hang on to his promises that he put in your heart - loud and clear! - and he will continue to guide you.
I'm so happy for you!
Love, Barb

Mabry Nelson said...

That's sooo amazing, Aunt Laine!! I really want God to want me to go with you! But I know He'll have it His way in the end. Still, I"m praying for you and Uncle Rob! I've missed you so much lately!

Walker said...

Lanie!
I am so proud of you and Rob! What an AWESOME example of a Christian couple you are to soo many! I 100% agree with you that God often times.. tells us women first. Not that we are more special.. but, I believe we are more compassionate, caring. You know what I mean? A husband and wife are to compliment each other and be a reflection of God. I feel that men hold one key more strongly as women hold other more strongly. That's why GOD put us together! And you, wow, an example of a submissive wife ( many people shudder at hearing that WORD) But, I kid you not people... IT IS A GIFT FROM GOD! Whether you like it or not! We're not suppossed to be pushy... look what happened to EVE!!???

Okay, "hemm" "hemm" enough of my preaching!LOL!!

I just wanted to say that I'm so happy for you guys! What a blessing. I can not wait to see what God has in store for the Ferrill family!!
I love you!
Thank you for your honesty!
Keisha

mommyofmany said...

We're so looking forward to the rest of the story. Please know that your family is in our prayers.

Sherri said...

That is so similar to the story of our second adoption!

What a beautiful gift to know that you are smack dab in the middle of God's will!

Sherri

The Woodalls said...

May God continue to bless you as you step out on faith once again! I am praying for your family!!

Emily

Southern Cheesehead said...

I'm so glad that I've finally heard (read) the WHOLE story now! I'm so proud of you and how you've handled all of it through the process...I have to say that I can relate on many levels, but I'll have to explain that comment at a later time when the Lord reveals everything publicly. Love you guys big!!!

The Young's said...

Wow...what an amazing testimony. I am excited for you guys and SOOOOO glad that God hasn't placed this on our hearts to do again! wow!! I would be open if He did...but we have not felt one inkling toward it since we've gotten Sadie. I believe our quiver is full! I look forward to following another journey with you guys!!! Love yall,
Buffi

Green, Party of Four said...

What an awesome God we serve and what such a amazing testimony you gave. I cant wait to follow your journey where He has chosen for you to go. Of course, I would love for you to follow us to China. Your family is a true inspiration to all. Im so glad we finally got to meet and cant wait to we see one another again. We love you guys and Praising God for this wonderful news!

Love
Green Party of Four...but will be soon be FIVE!

Barbie said...

This is a beautiful story of how God works in the lives of those who serve Him. You are such an inspiration to me!!

Journey to Lilly! said...

Laine.... Rob... WOW, Praise God we are so excited for you. I cannot wait to follow your journey to whatever precious baby God has for your family. I am thrilled and overjoyed at the calling of God in your life and praising him that it is not in mine. (he he he!!!)

You folks are an awesome family!!!

Love, Kim

MichelleQ said...

You guys are so awesome you make me want to puke! LOL I could have written that blog for you! I SO want more children and Jeff SO does not! I have been begging God (still am) to either change his heart or change mine (but really his, God, his!!! LOL)

That is so amazing! I'm so happy for you!

Trace Car Driver said...

in case you haven't heard... PAGE HAD A BABY GIRL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 4-11-08 :)

Waitingfaithfully said...

Laine,
WOW! I love the way God works in the hearts of His people. And I do believe that God often uses a mother's heart to get things rolling. . . or as I saw another blogger put it, "to do His bidding". The Lord planted the seed of adoption in my heart ten years ago, and when I first mentioned it to Bryan he went into shut-down mode. All I could do was continue to pray and wait for God to change his heart . . . ten years later here we are. We added one more biological kiddo . . . and we are ever so close to bringing Teddi home. God has truly given me the desires of my heart. Last June
11th, the day I found Teddi on rainbowkids.com this was what my little daily calender had to say . . .

"God make a promise--faith believes it, hope anticipates it, patience quietly awaits it."

Thank you Lord for always keeping Your promises!

Blessings on your newest journey. I am so excited for all of you!

Tina

Love the pictures of Kimmie and Quan!

Tina said...

That is so awesome Laine! God is so good to us...I am so thankful he allowed you and Rob to be on the "same page"...we are so excited for you all!!

Greg and Steph said...

Isn't our Father AWESOME!
I am praying for you and your family (those here and abroad).
Thank you for sharing your heart!
Steph

DeEtte said...

Awesome news and an awesome story of God's gentle grace leading the way..
Can't wait to follow your journey again. I'm praying for your sweet family!
love, DeEtte

Lisa said...

What a beautiful testimony. So glad that God has laid it on both of your hearts and you are on the same page. I can't wait to follow the Ferrill family again. We have to get together again in the next couple of weeks.

Sonya said...

We serve such an awesome God!!! Thank you for sharing how God is working in your lives! It is such a blessing to watch and pray with you!

Nicole said...

Laine,

Tears in my eyes!!! BEAUTIFUL!!!

Love,
-Nicole

Tammy said...

I've been so busy with our new little one I haven't checked your blog lately. What an awesome surprise I got!! Your post had me in tears. I'm so excited for you guys! You're in my prayers!

Stefanie said...

Beautiful. Inspiring. Amazing. I LOVE hearing about how God brings families together!!!
Thank you, Laine for being His instrument... to bring home your children from across the world and to encourage and inspire others to open their ears, eyes and hearts to God's plan for their lives :)

Jana said...

So, so, so, so happy for you and Rob, Laine! It's a beautiful story and I'm glad you took the time to document it. I can't wait to see what treasure awaits your precious family. I pray that doors open easily from this day forward and that your newest family member is in your arms soon.

The Smith's said...

What an amazing calling from such an amazing God you have received.

Blessings

Becky

The St. John family said...

I didn't think I would ever be able to stop crying after reading this post - crying while I'm turning cartwheels all over the room! :-). I am so excited and praising God for how he is using your family in such an amazing and beautiful way! You know I am praying for you!!! I can't wait to see who the newest member of the Ferrill household will be!

Love,
Jennifer