Living Above while Living Within
First there were two birth dates reported and we had to have a separate court process to remedy. I shared that prayer with you all and at 11:59 God had it fixed in time for us to have court naming us the parents of Maxim.
Next, before you can get a passport you have to travel to the birth city and retrieve the birth certificate and have a new certificate made. All the day before I kept hearing in my spirit that there would be need for great faith today. I really sensed it was regarding our travels since it was heavy snow and very icy on rough roads and we had a 4 hour drive each way. While I was aware, I wasn't focused on trouble or expecting difficulties. I was expecting to see God do something. He placed upon me a peace that did not require courage or bravery. It was simply his gift he gave and all I did was go where I was supposed to go.
When we arrived to the ladies office who was going to tend to us I sensed she had a incredibly rare soft demeanor. As I sat and listened to her and George work out details I was becoming well aware that this was taking MUCH longer than it should be. They talked and talked and talked in Russian. Soon she began asking questions about our adoption and then confided that she herself had taken in a 3 year old boy and would like to take more but they barely make enough money to sustain their own family. She expressed the judgment and ridicule she faces to do something truly radical in her own country.
Then it came. The bad news. There were more problems with the abandonment papers for Maxim with dates not matching in the archives. To me, it seems not a big problem but George explained- no this was big. Here a discrepancy like that would take us back to court and another couple of weeks here. Then, the woman did something that George had never seen before. She made the changes herself and took on the responsibility should there be problems later.
She then went on to explain that she wasn't supposed to be the one in charge of this case but was called in last minute. She spent hours in her office and stayed after work to finish what we needed with no extra payment. If you know this culture- that just doesn't happen. Everything has a cost. Not only did she finish up our work but we were able to talk about God and his incredible love. We left in tears, hugging exchanging information and she introducing me to her husband. When God has something planned it is so far over our head. We don't see what He has coming at us nor will we EVER grasp the ramifications of what our agreement with him will do. But if we don't truly believe that God is a good God we become afraid and miss out. These opportunities are meant for us to REST in what He is doing.
Shortly after we breathed our sigh of relief and climbed in the car for the long journey home in the dark, the next adventure began. As we were driving in the country heading up a hill on the ice, the car slows more and more and I know that the tires are not able to keep traction on the road. Soon the backward slide happens before it stops. The driver keeps trying to start the car over and again and when he would get it started it didn't want to climb since we were on ice. Over in the other lane, oncoming traffic, there wasn't ice so he thought if he could get over into that lane we would have a chance at making it up the hill. With some more tries the engine starts and we crawl onto the other side when it dies again. So now I realize that I have no control. There is no place to go. No short walk to anyone around.
Before we made it over to the oncoming traffic, cars had been coming but not a one came during the several minutes we were stuck there. Quietly I prayed for God to do his thing and the car started and we made it up the hill and over to our lane again. Once we were over the hill, oncoming traffic began again. The trouble was, this car was running out of gas and going up a hill was a definite killer. We still have several miles to go before we could reach a gas station. I have seen lots of things but I have never seen a car with no gas drive- until now. It scooted us at 5-10 miles an hour. We had such excitement as we saw the gas station come into view.
Realizing now that no matter what, we could walk there we were certain our adventure was over. It's late and no one around we pull into the station only to find- there is no gas! They were all out of order. The driver was not familiar with the area so we weren't sure what to do next. A man comes out of nowhere and points in a direction of where we could find another station about 2 miles away - up a steep hill. :o) For the next quiet half hour we watched this car move- ever so slowly but ever so surely all the way there where we safely and with joy filled up.
Over the last days I have been talking to God and praying about that day he showed himself so beautifully and I realized that what I could have chosen to view as an awful day, a close call, etc.... I had been given the ability to see as God's work. That I can rest in the midst of the trouble's the world wants to hand me is a miracle. It's living above the world while living within that we are called to do.
Some people have "deal breakers." Those things they won't do because it's uncomfortable, challenging, difficult, and maybe means having some heart pain. I can tell you that has definitely been the case on this journey that we would hit roadblocks. How many times do we ourselves limit our unlimited God? How many times do we say, "Well that would never happen."
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7 GOD has GIVEN you power. He gives you the strength when you have none yourself! He gives you the gift of love when you don't think you have enough. (Am I patient enough to do this? What about this... and what about that?)
The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17
I've done so little on this trip but go and receive. It's true. All we did was say yes. Your yes to God hold's power. It releases into the heavens. Not that it is our will that we bestow upon God...oh no...that we already know it is God's will to rescue and release the captives in whatever capacity that might be that he has assigned to each of us. None of us are exempt. There are all kinds of precious jewels hidden in dark places through out this world. Will you go on a treasure hunt of the most divine kind? Will you allow God to WOO you with His works?
I will go before you and will level the mountains[a]; I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron. I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who summons you by name. Isaiah 45:2-3
Oh and I love this....
The Lord their God will save them on that day as the flock of his people. They will sparkle in his land like jewels in a crown. How beautiful they will be! Zechariah 9:16-17
God is inviting us to participate in the works of heaven. Have you ever thought of it THAT way?
Sitting next me on my bed in Ukraine is a little jewel that is sparkling! Not only has his life been redeemed but only God knows what He has in store in His mighty power for Maxim's life. You may be a part of God's plan to bring home one child, but the results of that love may very well result in multitudes of others receiving their freedom!! You see God multiplies....He doesn't only just meet us but he overwhelms us. I'm really not in pursuit of the orphan. I am in pursuit of the releasing of the powers of Christ's love to invade and restore the generations to their heavenly Father. Don't let anything get in the way of the prepared path God has set for you. His gifts are just way too powerful to sit on a shelf.
With great love this Christmas, I'm bringing my boy HOME!