Monday, March 26, 2012

The Prayer That Changed Everything.

“Lord, break my heart for what breaks yours.”
I remember praying that prayer when I was on the plane, headed to China. Oh, I had no idea what I was really asking, and how big that prayer really was. I had no idea that God would do it.

Hannah talked about in this post that there was a decision she had to make when Paige died. Whether to turn a deaf ear to God & decide he didn’t care, or to love Him. I would be lying if I told you that after Liu Yi died, I chose to love, and to trust that He is good. The truth is that I was so angry. I didn’t want to listen to God or anyone else talk about His love and His promises and His heart. I can’t tell you the number of times I cried out to him “I LOVED her. WHY didn’t you save her?”

Just like I asked, He broke my heart. But then he took my broken heart, and pieced it back together in the most beautiful way imaginable.

The day I heard Liu Yi wasn’t going to make it was my last day at the foster home. I had to say goodbye to Julia, another orphan at New Day who I had also fallen deeply in love with. She was a dwarf, with severe scoliosis, and needed a family to call her own. I looked at her that day, and I knew God was calling me to find her a family, and bring her home. So I made her a promise I had no idea how to keep. I bent down, looked her in the eye, and with tears pouring down my face I said, “I will see you soon.”

But heartbroken and angry with God, I had decided I was going to find a way to bring Julia home by myself. I told God I didn’t need His help. When I got back to America “I” found Julia a beyond incredible family who couldn’t wait to call Julia their daughter. “I” found an adoption agency willing to look for Julia’s paperwork. (It was really all God) And while I fought for Julia, God fought for my heart.

Julia’s family was able to receive Julia’s paperwork, but was met with an unexpected deadline of needing eleven thousand dollars in two weeks in order to move forward with the adoption. My church agreed to let me speak at 5 different services to try and raise the money. All I had to do was tell Julia’s story.

I couldn’t do it. My broken, hardened heart just couldn’t find the words. For three days I sat staring at a piece of paper, trying to write my speech. For three days I shut God out. Then two days before I would stand up in front of 4,000 people, I finally relented. I was so tired of being angry, so tired of trying to do it by myself. I talked to Him for the first time since Liu Yi had died.

“God, give me the words.” And He did.

They flowed from my fingertips onto the page, detailing Julia’s joy, my journey to her, and her need for a family in a way only a Father who desperately loved His child could. As I read over the speech, knowing the words were not mine but God’s, the pieces to my heart slowly began to be put back together. Forever changed, but for the better.

I gave my speech on a Saturday and Sunday. Monday, I got the call from my church. Not only had we raised the $11,000, we had raised enough for Julia’s entire adoption. Julia was coming home. I sank to the ground in the parking lot of my school and wept.

A year later, Julia walked through the airport doors onto American soil for the first time.
And this is what I learned: Through the good and the bad and tears and laughter and the things we can’t explain and the things we may never understand; He is good. Even through my anger and stubbornness, He pursued me. Even as I fought against Him, He held me in His arms. The same arms that are now holding Liu Yi. He keeps His promises and He loves and fights for His children until they come home to Him. He is Faithful. And if you allow Him to use you… through you, He will do the impossible.

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