Thursday, June 16, 2011

Thankful Thursday

The last few weeks have been rough on me (more on that another time) yet it seems that God always knows just what I need to lift my spirits… You all know the story; ten months ago I arrived in Ukraine and began volunteering at a local baby orphanage where I was introduced to 10 special needs children who would soon become affectionately known as “my angels”. Right from the first day I met them, I began to pray for families for each of these kids, knowing that adoption was their only hope for anything good in this life. Out of my ten “angels”, one (Liza) already had a family coming for her, two (Dima and Diana) were already listed on Reece’s Rainbow and two, I later found out, were not legally available for adoption. That left five precious children who desperately needed to be listed. Day after day, month after month I prayed but the chance of these kids being listed seemed only to grow more and more unlikely. On my very last day at the orphanage I was able to obtain the information needed for four of the kids and several months later their faces finally appeared on Reece’s Rainbow. That was hands down the greatest day since I returned from Ukraine but the victory was short lived… Within a week one beautiful face began haunting my memory. At the time that I left Ukraine, Liza was in a different group than the rest of my kids and for that reason I was not able to get her information along with the others’. At the time I was so excited about getting the information for the other four, I rationalized that four out of five was pretty good. After those four were listed however, I couldn’t stop thinking about Liza. What would happen to her? Wasn’t she just as deserving as the others? I felt like I had failed her…

If I thought getting information while I was there in person was hard, trying to get the information from the other side of the world was outright impossible. I tried everything I could think of but all my efforts failed. Then one day I checked my e-mail and there it was – all the necessary information! Three days later her sweet, smiling face appeared on Reece’s Rainbow… To be honest, God gave me an important reminder through the way this all played out: While it is right and good to be a voice for the voiceless, on their own, all my best efforts amount to nothing. God alone is omnipotent, God alone can make the mountains move and my best “effort” will always be the time I spend in prayer.

So yes, my heart is still burdened by the events of the past couple weeks but today, today is a day to be thankful…

I am thankful that all of “my angels” now have a chance at a family.

I am thankful for new pictures of my sweet kids’ faces.

I am thankful that my little snuggle bug will never have to spend another night in an orphanage.

I am thankful for friends I’ve never met who love my kids and want to see them find families just as much as I do.

I am thankful that I have the most supportive mother in the world who listens to me talk about kids and families she doesn’t know for hours on end and lets me live in her house rent-free while I try to figure out what’s next.

I am thankful for sunny summer afternoons spent sitting on a park bench talking about faith, life and the Word of God.

I am thankful for Christian artists who write songs like these that cause me to stop what I’m doing and take time to worship.

I am thankful that I serve a God who is always good, always sovereign and always faithful. Period.

“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. His love endures forever.” (Psalm 136:1)

No comments: