It got me to run the life of my family through my head...... When I am referring to the outside voices I AM REFERRING TO CHRISTIANS... brothers and sisters in Christ along with the worldly peeps.... sadly in our situations they didn't sound very different from one another........ and also not uncommon now.
1. Come ON, he was just 22 and living at home, never been married, no kids. I was a 27 year old divorced mother of 4 bartending to make ends meet. I am not kidding when I say people were making bets against us when we announced getting married. Jokes were made, cruel things were said. Frankly, I don't recall anyone being truly happy for us. If we had listened to them this would not have been:
2 of our nieces are also pictured here
We heard ONE voice over all of the crowd. We KNEW it was crazy by all of this earth's standards but....whatev. This was 1998.
2. We gave birth to our Gracie in 2000 (wouldn't have her if we listened to the rest either). Then in 2002 we would face one of the most difficult things we had faced yet, the very premature birth of our son Hank the Tank (The one pound wonder). Prior to his birth as we sat in terror, we were given the option to DNR (Do Not Resuscitate), we were told of all of the likelihoods for his future. We were given little hope with statistics and expertise. Kiel told the first doctor..... "I know you are giving me your facts, but I am going to tell you the TRUTH....." We gave birth to a 1lb 9oz baby boy. Grade 5 brain bleed (significant brain damage), lung disease, detaching retinas, and supposedly a part of his body completely destroyed in surgery. (Is it ok to say "TESTICLE" around here?)
At this point we were already hearing how we had "too many" kids....... For over 100 days we prayed, videoed, laid our hands on him every single day. We would NOT allow negative talk. Kiel was so good at speaking LIFE over Hank, even as we saw him crash, and his heart stop and be restarted....... L.I.F.E. and nothing less.......:
Today, he is 100% whole. NO residual issues whatsoever, N.O.N.E. (even the you know what they told me was 100% destroyed in surgery) no glasses, no lung issues, no disabilities due to the brain damage.... As hard as it was with all of the negativity, over all of the voices we clung to ONE.
3. In 2004 we gave birth to our son Danny (still not sure how that happened ;). To our absolute horror, long story short, Danny had a massive stroke. We watched as his brain no longer signaled to his lungs to breathe. We watched as 4 people attempted to intubate him, I hit my knees in the middle of the ER as I watched nurses with tears streaming down their faces. A few days later they informed us of the severe brain damage caused by a stroke. They explained that the degree of it would likely leave him with little cognitive ability and as he was already exhibiting, no use of his lower extremities. Again, even with the physical manifestations and family members with the best of intentions but the most negative things to say. We watched a little guy that could barely stand to be touched, as his eyes made no contact with anything and limp little legs:
Things looked hopeless, but still.... regardless of people and experts, one voice was louder.
Healed, WHOLE....... No residual...... The ONE still small voice boomed over the rest.... building us and growing us.... teaching us...... PREPARING US....
4. In 2006 when we were clearly hearing ADOPT..... and adopt a child/ren with HIV.... In retrospect and watching the trends and the voices these days seeming to replace the Holy Spirit, every "expert" would have told us "NO WAY". Too many kids, too many possible issues, too much disease.
We were smothered by our limitations, through others..... BUT, that ONE small voice.
A mouth piece for older kids and sibling adoptions, wise beyond her years.... One BOLD ENOUGH to say "If my own birth father didn't want me, how was I to believe another family would want me, LET ALONE that my heavenly father loved me and wanted what was best for me??"....... and be able to explain that to a room full of people.
5. 2006 A ministry began here in the middle of all of this....... NONE of us had the qualifications to the degree one would assume would be needed..... but we had the ONE small voice..... Miraculously and supernaturally things lined up and CHANGED things....How many times we heard "IMPOSSIBLE!!" by experts, with a "WHO do you think YOU are?" sprinkled in a time or two...ONLY your voice...I mean COME ON, divorced bartenders and bikers don't do MINISTRY....... GASP....... This is a blog post in itself:
6. 2007: ANOTHER ONE!!?? HAVE YOU LOST YOUR MINDS??? AIDS???? WHEN IS ENOUGH, ENOUGH??? What about the MONEY, MONEY, MONEY.....money...moooooooooneeeeeeyyyyyyy???? She's TOO sick. Pick another one.... SHE WON'T SURVIVE......
End stage of AIDS, unable to board a plane.....
THANK YOU JESUS!!!...for the ONE small VOICE.......that gave a VOICE to HER!!!!!!!!There was no other decision to make, that still small Voice
7. THEN out of nowhere came SOFIA....... We kept SILENT about it outside of a few choice DEAR friends because we DIDN'T WANT TO HEAR ANY OTHER NOISE..We knew it was all outrageous and didn't need any reminders... So the fact that an infant with Down Syndrome that would ROCK OUR WORLDS and change every fiber of us as we knew it could happen....... We shut off the rest of the world.......:
This POWERHOUSE for HIM would not be alive today had we heard the "expert" adoption voices..... D.E.A.D. ..... Had we listened to ANY "logical" voice, she would be DEAD. The power in that STILL SMALL VOICE... (I don't even want to think about the times we didn't hear, or choose to listen) This girl is a life changer and a paradigm shifter for the KINGDOM....... THE VOICE for SO MANY.
7. 2010 Don't even get me started about what people said about adopting MUCH older "street kids" that just so happened to be Selah's siblings. WHAT IF We listened to that and the "experts"......
Had we heard what was being screamed at us, these 3 would NOT be together. Andu is a STRAIGHT A student and heading toward his degree in civil engineering. Sarah is another one that is using HER VOICE:
Using everything established to DESTROY her for the GLORY of GOD..... WHAT IF we didn't hear and choose to listen??
placed this baby in the arms of THIS GUY..... so she too could grow to open doors:
for what was next......... Suffice it to say her adoption was more of a miracle than all of them combined.
The voice of TRUTH was telling a different story.
and our lives would never again be the same..... AGAIN
There was like some kind of HOLY JESUS SHAKE DOWN going on.....
In retrospect the high majority of people we knew and experts we knew were dead set against EVERYTHING we have set out to do....... EVER....... We thought we were being rebels but the fact was HIS VOICE reigned (not always, but mostly).... I mean, people tried to DESTROY what GOD Himself was building...... It suffocates me to thing, there may be no this:
We would also not be heading to Guatemala to serve as on big CRAZY family, if not for that Voice......... Our choosing not to hear HIM over THEM at any turn would have completely altered our legacy........ it would have LITERALLY brought death, in many, many occasions, I suspect. I believe the next chapter of our WHACK lives will blow the last few OUT of the water!!
We ALL have a lot of choices to make. NONE of us do it perfectly.... in fact we have been known to fail miserably.... but THAT VOICE has never let us down......
I ask, if you are being called to step OUT...... WHO IS YOUR HOLY SPIRIT??? If you are being called to GIVE or GO....... Are the bloggers ringing in your ears? If you are freaking OUT over a particular pastors teachings, and heck bent on making sure EVERYONE KNOWS he is wrong....... Where is that coming from? Have the "experts" SQUASHED what you THOUGHT you heard from God and scripture in adoption or otherwise???
WHO IS YOUR HOLY SPIRIT?
John 14: 25-26
"These things I have spoken to you while abiding with you. "But the helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you."