Five years ago, I helped put together a devotional, specifically for fostering/adopting moms. Never would I have imagined that five years later, I’d be re-reading the book as part of its target audience. This week I’m sharing the thoughts of my friend Tonja. She and her family lived with us during a portion of their fostering process in Nicaragua. Tonja is a talented artist, a devoted mom and wife, and a faithful Christ-follower. In talking about fear, she tackles a serious issue so many parents struggle with, both in the adoption process and while raising kids.
Fear (Day 3)
As I began everyday reminding myself of God’s promises and praying, I found myself calm and better able to deal with situations as they came. I remember one particular day, during our fostering period, when I received some devastating news. In Nicaragua, the consejo—or council—meets once every month or so to approve pending adoption cases. Your case must be on the docket before the council actually meets in order for your case to be heard.
Our attorney told us that we would make the consejo for the month of May without a problem. So my husband flew in to help bring us home. Imagine our shock when the council met and we discovered our case had not, in fact, been heard. For two months I had been telling myself, “I can do this; we’ll be home by the second week in June!” Yet here I stood, understanding it would be another four to six weeks before the next consejo meeting, and then another two to three weeks to wrap things up before we could be home.
I felt tears well up in my eyes as I realized my husband had to leave and I would be in Nicaragua for perhaps another two months. I cried for a short time, while my husband held me, and then I was done.
Peace was there.
I knew everything was going to be all right. Did my situation change? No. Did I have peace? Yes!
Step 1: Rejoice in the Lord.
Step 2: Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.
Step 3: …and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Peace is different in the kingdom of God than what the world teaches. God’s peace, the peace that Jesus said he gives to us according to John, in Chapter 14, is a peace that we have in the midst of a storm. Our situation may not change, but we have peace. Jesus slept through a storm, then at the request of his frightened disciples, he spoke to the storm and it became still.
Many times during our stay in Nicaragua, I should have been “freaking out” but somehow I wasn’t. I recall one day I found myself with my 20-year-old daughter and our two new children walking along a dangerous road unable to find a cab to drive us home. Local people were staring at us and I knew this was not the place for us to be walking alone. But peace was with us. I did not give in to fear or panic. I asked God for help as I calmly, yet quickly hustled the children onward, until eventually a cab came.
Lord, thank you that when we rejoice in you, bringing you all of our needs in prayer and thanksgiving, you guard our hearts and minds with your glorious peace.