One of the biggest fears I initially had, when God called us to adopt older, non-English speaking children, was how we would communicate with them.
Just imagine your own day for a minute. Think about how often you use language. If you are anything like me, you are often speaking words to your children before you are even even fully awake. Granted, I do sound mostly cave-man-ish (clothes, on body you; tootbrush, in mouth now) before my first cup of coffee in the morning. Even still, words are important. I like them; I use them; I want my children to do the same.
So, when God said “go” a few years ago and that meant putting a whole new level of trust in his faithfulness, I was admittidely and curiously on edge about how things would play out.
I knew the fear I was experiencing didn’t come from God, because God actually gave me peace early on in this department. It was those other voices…doubt, worry, confusion, etc…that don’t come from God, that began to fill my head.
Did we jump in over our heads? Seriously,what were we thinking? We are not equipped. I would silently question myself in the quiet of the night.
The truth is that we weren’t equipped. We never would have been, if we had waited until that perfect time when we: took that language class, saved more money, waited for life to settled down just a bit more. Because those things would have never happened. Not for me, not for you.
Of course, it’s important to prepare yourself and your family for the enormous and difficult changes ahead; but there comes a time, I believe, when waiting is simply disobedience.
We can wait our life away, if we erroneously believe everything has to be in a perfect place or we need to have answers to all the questions before taking that first step. Or, we can take that step and trust that God is with us wherever we go, until the end of time.
This morning, as I walked the halls of our middle school, a public school with representation from many nations, religions, languages, and customs, I saw Christ through and through. Through the teachers, the classes, the students, the dedication. In a school that cannot proclaim Christ, Christ still lives.
Today, I met with Big Sister’s ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) teacher and the team of teachers that would be instructing her next year in middle school. And what I saw, what I witnessed, was the answers to the prayers I prayed years ago when I knew I couldn’t do it alone.
Because now, we have not one older child, but two older children in our family, who spoke a language other than English for the first 11-12 years of their lives. When I think back to those initial reservations and the anxiety I let take over in my moments of weakness, it is so clear that God took my hand and walked me step by step. One foot in front of the other so that his daily faithfulness could be on display.
His faithfulness reminds me never to get ahead of him, but to allow him to work must fully in the moment and trust that he will provide. I think we all need to be reminded of that from time to time. I know that I do.
Because my meeting today, with Big Sister’s teachers, was arranged solely because I was worried about her transition. Is she ready for Middle School? But her language development is not happening very quickly? She still has a large gap between where she is and where we need to get her to, etc. etc.
As these questions swirled through my mind and her teacher reassured me, I peered into my now 7th grade son’s Language Arts class, which just happened to be located next to the teacher I was visiting with. And God once again whispered, “Trust me!”
I looked at my son and remembered that three years ago, this same child…the child God used to shake me and wake me…spoke not a word of English. Three years I go, I had so many worries and concerns.
Where is he today? Well, he bridges out of ESOL at the end of this academic year and will be enrolled in three honors classes next year. My son, the child who started school at the end of his 4th grade year, speaking not a word of English, is now well on his way.
Praise God for his faithfulness.
And Big Sister? She is making excellent progress too. She continues to grow and learn and bridge the gap. She will enter Middle School at a different place then her brother, but praise God for providing teachers and resources that understand these varying levels and are equipped to meet students exactly where they are.
We would have never been prepared, never been ready, had we simply waited to say “yes” and attempted to find every answer on our own. You see, God has provided the answers through people. Other people. Our village. And through relationships. People, I would have never met had we not stepped out first. God’s faithfulness was present every step of the way, but we had to be moving where he was calling to see it.
Can you relate to any of this? In what area of your life is God asking you to “step out” and allow his faithfulness to shine?
“God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out,
his merciful love couldn’t have dried up.
They’re created new every morning.
How great your faithfulness!
I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over).
He’s all I’ve got left.” Lamentations 3:22-23