By Beth Demme
My husband and I are parents by adoption. I have some great stories about our adoption journey, some of which would make you roll with laughter and others that would leave you weeping.
Adoption brought a lot of changes to my life (hello, babies!). One of the unexpected changes adoption brought me was a new understanding of God. In fact, adoption completely changed my view of God.
At the beginning of the journey, I thought of God as a detached, all knowing deity. I felt God had put me on my path, given me free will, and now was out there … somewhere. I would look to my circumstances and if things felt good, God was there. If not, God was absent.
God’s presence was circumstantial.
Then something strange happened. I went through a bad time (infertility), but it still felt like God was there.
My husband and I wanted to be parents, but we had no control over the process. We turned in a bunch of paperwork, crossed a lot of t’s and dotted a lot of i’s and then all I could do was pray and journal, so I did. In that time I discovered that God wasn’t a detached overlord, God was actually with me.
When I sensed God was with me, I realized that however it worked out I would be okay, my husband would be okay, and our marriage would be okay.
Discovering God’s peace changed everything for me.
I was no longer defined by my circumstances or my own limitations. My attitude changed from “today is awful, life’s not fair, everything is meaningless” to “this situation is awful, but God is with me in this because God loves me and that makes it a little better.”
As Job, the Biblical representative of why bad things happen to good people, says at the close of his story: “My ears had heard of you [God], but now my eyes have seen you.” (Job 42:5)
In Job’s story, Satan thinks he can use circumstances to turn Job away from God. Instead, all of Job’s suffering opens up communication between God and Job in a new way. Job’s understanding of God completely changed.
Instead of offering sacrifice and following covenant laws out of obligation or fear, Job discovered the beauty and power of a relationship with God. His sacrifices, prayers, and obedience took on a deeper meaning.
For me, self-sufficiency delayed my discovery of God’s love. I didn’t realize God loved me because I thought I was doing okay without God. I was married with a beautiful home and a rewarding career. I was doing pretty well!
Then I got to the end of my own capability and discovered God had been there all along, loving me.
Now instead of thinking of God as detached, I know what it means to have a relationship with God. Now I can honestly pray Psalm 27:4, “One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord.”
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