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Redeeming the Wait: Fundraiser #3

November 10, 2011

About the time that our friends were preparing to run their half-marathon, Tim and I were putting together a letter to send out to friends and family, letting them know about our adoption and how they could help. May I be super honest with you? The letter is something Tim and I talked about for months and months before we sent it. We would start a draft and then just stop working on it for awhile, putting it off again and again. Do you know why? The reason is very simple. I hate, hate, HATE writing and sending out support letters. It’s true. I do. Of course, that hasn’t stopped Tim and I from sending out not one, but two, support letters (one about our church plant and one about our adoption). I think it is God’s sense of humor that He has called us to do, so far, two tasks that require us to humble ourselves and ask others to pray for and help us.

And I think that is really why I so resist writing and sending support letters. It is humbling. My pride hates to admit that this task is too big for me, that I can’t do this by myself. I want to maintain a shiny, glossy veneer of self-sufficiency and “togetherness,” and a support letter completely shatters that. When I want to say, “we’ve got this covered,” a support letter says, “there’s no way we can do this alone.” We’ve done this support letter thing twice now, and both times I have wrestled and fought against it. My pride has been wrecked both times.

I keep having to remind myself that this is a good thing. I need my pride wrecked, soundly and often. My pride keeps me from depending on the Lord. My pride lies to me and tells me I don’t need God or anyone else. My pride tells me to trust in myself, because I’m the only one who can take care of me. All this is ludicrous, and I routinely need to be reminded that I can’t do anything alone. God is the creator and sustainer of life- I can only take my next breath if He wills it to be so. Jesus is Savior and King- He gave me hope for my greatest unsolveable problem, my own sin, by sacrificing His own life on the cross.

In the same way, God has placed people, relationships, in my life to remind me again and again of this truth: I can’t do this alone. How sinful it is of me to rage against inviting those very people, those very relationships, into joining me on the journeys God has called my family to. How wicked of me to desire to maintain my own pride, my own shiny image, over acknowledging my need for others, for their prayer and support. How ridiculous of me to assume that God has called us to this journey alone. He knows we can’t do it by ourselves, why would He call us to it alone? He doesn’t. He hasn’t. And so He prompts us to share with our friends and family and ask them to come along with us.

After giving my pride a good licking, God then gently reminds me that this is not about us. We are simply tools, vessels, unlovely and broken, being used by God to do His work. “Tell others about My work,” He says, “I want them to know.” And so we do, we did. We finally forced ourselves to sit down and write the letter. We agonized over how to explain the call God had placed on our hearts, knowing there would be people who probably wouldn’t understand. We prayed, asking God to use our letter, our story, to move people as He would. And we sent.

The response was overwhelming. We had so many people call and email, letting us know they were so thrilled for us. We had people let us know they were praying, offer to help us fundraise, send cash and stocks, donate items to sell and a myriad of other blessings. We couldn’t believe how God moved in people’s hearts to give generously and love lavishly. We were so humbled and amazed. All in all, we raised a little over $15,000. As in, fifteen THOUSAND dollars. Simply for sharing our hearts in a letter and giving people a chance to respond as they felt led. We could not believe it. This got us well over halfway to our fundraising goal. Just like that.  How could there be any other explanation other than God had done it? Astonishing. Incredible. Amazing. Thanks be to God.

Incidentally, this is not the first time God has used the love and generosity of our family and friends to provide for us and serve us. He actually uses them quite often in this way, at different times and in different seasons. Every time, we are completely humbled and exceedingly grateful. To our friends and family who allow God to use you to love and serve us so well: Words cannot express our gratitude. Thank you so much.

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