(read part one here)
In the middle of building our house, we were also in-process to bring our next adopted child home. We had his name and picture, about 200 pages worth of information—but we hadn’t met him yet. Adoption is such a bizarre process really. One minute I felt like I had a son out there and the next minute I would go to look back over the paperwork because maybe I was just dreaming. This might be the only good part about the crazy amounts of money that are spent to adopt—it’s a dose of reality. Yup, we’re really doing this because look at all these checks we’ve written!
Unfortunately, everything was taking longer than we hoped. Paperwork expired while we were waiting for other paperwork and back around the scavenger hunt we’d go, searching for some obscure item.
Amazingly, I felt a calmness when it came to the adoption. I knew there was nothing I could do to force things to happen—I had to trust God. And since I knew that adoption is such a huge part of God’s heart, I guess I felt safe in trusting it all to Him.
On the side of building the house, things were a bit different. I could not imagine, even with the spattering of miracles that had already followed the process, how we could build this house. And since it wasn’t something I could open Scripture and say, “Look, God is going to take care of this because He promised us He would.” I wavered between having faith and feeling like I should go and DO something to take care of my own needs. There were options. We owned two houses! And while we had no peace about evicting either of our renters, my flesh kept saying that we should. But my husband said “no” every time I suggested it and I (grudgingly) submitted. I can just about see Jesus shaking his head and saying sorrowfully, “O you of little faith.”
My next lesson began when a friend told us to go with him to get building supplies from an old mill building. “It’s being demolished, but there is some good stuff. The guy is selling anything non-structural for pennies on the dollar.”
We didn’t have a lot of hope. My husband figured we’d get a pick-up load of random stuff. Maybe some plywood. If we were lucky, an inside door or two.
It was a hot, hot autumn day when he took two of his nephews and some close friends along to try and salvage some pieces for our new house. We were amazed at the supplies available when we got there. The upstairs of the mill building was in the middle of being converted to new office space. Beautiful, almost-new building supplies filled the huge building. For two days we soaked shirts in sweat and pulled up enough plywood that we only bought 3 pieces to finish the new house. Only three.
Along with the plywood we brought home all the doors our house needed, interior and exterior. Half a dozen light fixtures. A kitchen. Trim boards. Electrical supplies. A stain glass window. A few hundred dollars’ worth of 2×4’s. And rugs. More than a dozen throw rugs, as well as an extra-large area rug.
That’s probably only the beginning. I can hardly remember everything that was put on the load.
The man who owned the buildings smiled at the children and gave them candy. We went to pay him and he only took a couple hundred dollars. “That’s plenty,” he said, “just get that house built for your family.”
Looking at it from this viewpoint, if I had been God, I would have been frustrated with my lack of faith. After all those supplies! After all that grace from people we had just met! After all of that… to still feel that building this house was impossible. I would have been tempted to shake this fleshly-unbelieving heart and say, “What’s wrong with you?!” But that’s not what God did. Instead, as we were standing in the barn later, looking at the huge piles of building supplies, my husband said, “Oh, the man there also gave me this. He said he was going to throw it away and I told him my wife would love it.”
He pulled out an old tin sign. A Norman Rockwell.
I immediately remembered being on our honeymoon and stopping at the Norman Rockwell museum. I had looked at the tin signs and told my husband how much I liked them—but refused to let him buy one. “They’re too expensive,” I said. “It’s just a thing. I don’t need it.”
I was right, I didn’t need it. In fact, I barely thought of it again. Until that moment when God gifted it to me.
And this is the God I serve. When I’m probably breaking His heart with my faithlessness, He gives me gifts. He whispers, “I know you’re scared. I know you’re afraid. But I’ve got this.”
You’d think I’d believe by then, wouldn’t you? You’d think that I would have just charged ahead in this house-building with confidence. God had this, y’all! He did. But I still struggled to believe.
So God just kept showing up.