Tuesday, September 18, 2012

On to a New Season!!!

"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven."
Ecclesiastes 3:1
"If you are lucky enough to find a way of life you love, you have to find the courage to live it."
- John Irving
"Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth."
[In talking about others having the right to be supported in their ministry, the apostle Paul says] But I have not used any of these rights. And I am not writing this in the hope that you will do such things for me. I would rather die than have anyone deprive me of this boast. — 1 Corinthians 9:15
The time has come.  The last 5.5 years have changed my life in so many ways, but now my life is coming into a new season.  I have decided to resign from my position with Adoption Advocates International, effective September 28th, 2012.
There are a lot of contributing factors, not all of which I'll go into on this public forum, but the primary reason is my family.  This is my first year to really homeschool all four of my kids.  They aren't doing online curriculum this year and they need more of my attention than in the past.  OF COURSE my two kindergartners need me to teach them the entire time!  More than that, I *want* to be in the classroom with my kids, fully aware of what's going on with their education.  I can no longer give 70 hours a week to adoption and humanitarian work.  The reward is no longer worth the cost.  My children need me, and I need them.
Another factor in my decision is my Christianity.  I am a Christian!  I am a Christ-follower!  Woo-hoo!  Praise God!  For the past 5.5 years I've worked successfully for a secular agency.  I CHOSE THAT--don't get me wrong.  But the seasons have changed.  My spirit is just bursting to be able to do my work in a Christian environment, ministering in all the ways that Christ has to offer.  I feel all bottled up inside and about to burst!  Can't hold me back any longer!  Whatever the Lord has in store for me, I just KNOW it's going to be with a Christian agency/organization/foundation (whatever!).
I know some might think that I've been planning this for a while--especially after my big blow-up in June.  Actually, that's not true.  We came up with a great plan in June.  My mom was going to come on as my assistant at AAI in February 2013.  I was so excited!  That would have solved some of the time-constraint issues, and also given me some behind-the-scenes support I needed.  Just knowing that help was coming built me up quite a bit.  I was going along and doing my thing on auto-pilot even the beginning of last week.  Something small happened mid-week that just made me realize, "I don't have to continue this.  That's it.  My time with AAI has come to an end."
As soon as the realization came to me, I began to see confirmations of this ALL OVER THE PLACE! 
Incredibly, of 26 families who currently have referral, 20 of them are in the I-600/visa phase of the adoption process.  Do you know how unlikely that is?!  That just doesn't happen.  Only God does that.  Twenty of those twenty-six families are going to be home with their kids in the next few months!  It is like God created a natural "break" in the program.
The morning after I decided to resign, as I had been thinking about what I would do when I left AAI, I received Corinthians 9:15 (above) in my inbox.  Here I am, praying about whether I can "afford" to continue to work with The Ripley Foundation for no pay or if I must seek out a Christian agency to do a *small* Ghana program, and the Lord sends that verse of the day!  Ha!
That night I have a dream about rainbows.  First I see one rainbow.  Then it's a double rainbow.  Then I see six rainbows stacked on top of each other.  I remember this dream the next morning when I wake up to the Genesis 9:16 verse!  Umm...do you THINK the Lord might be giving me His promise that this is all going to be okay?  Wow.
Confirmation after confirmation that this is going to be okay.  Of course, as a human, I want to have one thing lined up before I even make the first thing official, right?  I'm someone who was always flirting with one boy before I broke up with the other.  Why not look and see what agencies are out there before I even resign?  BUT NO.  I got a clear NO on that one.
The Lord has made it clear that He needs me to LEAP before He will show me what's next for my life.  And aren't blind leaps of faith the most exciting kind?!  Who knows what sort of humanitarian/ministry/adoption/missions opportunities may be laying around out there that could never be revealed if I didn't resign from AAI *and* leave Him time to work before trying to arrange the next thing on my own.
Just between you and me (ha!), our bring-home income will be reduced by 40% in a few weeks.  LEAP!  We have done the numbers and we think we can make it.  It will represent a big change of lifestyle for us.  LEAP!  Ironically, we also went down 40% when I quit teaching in order to be a stay at home mom.  He carried us through that, and I have faith that he will carry us through this.  LEAP!
I feel this great sense of excitement in my heart.  I know that everything possible has been done to take care of my AAI families.  [They know they can come to me privately regardless of whether there is a paycheck involved.]  I'm excited that I will be able to continue assisting with adoption and family preservation work with The Ripley Foundation (Joha/Muna), being their representative here in the U.S.!  [For now, this means independent adoptions.]  I know that I will have MUCH more time to devote to my children!  And I feel in my heart that the Lord has something else coming up for me that He hasn't yet revealed!!!


Arnold family 7:39 PM  

Praying for you and your family in this time of transition. God will reward you in your leap of faith!!!

Holly Arnold:)

Christy 7:57 PM  

I believe God is shining down on you, seeing your LEAP and saying "well done, good & faithful servant."

Praying for your family during the transition. Love to you all!

Michelle 8:19 PM  

Wow...I can just feel your excitement...there is so nothing like the resolution, calm, and sense of purpose that goes along with that leap! You go girl!

Stephanie Bowling 8:35 PM  

Wow! How exciting and scary! I am sure God will honor your faith and obedience!!! You are such a blessing and were such a blessing to us on our journey so many times. Praying GOd blesses you beyond anything you can hope or imagine!

Mama D’s Dozen 8:53 PM  

Rejoicing with you, and excited to see ALL that the LORD has for you in this new season.

We, too, are standing in FAITH that the LORD wants me HOME full-time teaching my kids, and trusting that HE will provide for all of our needs.

I have 4 kids at home this year and couldn't be more excited about spending every day teaching . . . with no outside commitments. Just teaching . . . and loving . . . and discipling my children. Best. Career. Ever.

Hugs . . . as you LEAP. He will catch you . . . and direct you . . . and guide your every step of this new journey.

Laurel :)

Janel 9:04 PM  

Oooooohhhh....this IS exciting!!!! Can't wait to see where the Lord leads you from here!!!!!!!!!! :)

Robert Edem 2:29 AM  

Where ever He is leading you to, He has already lay down all the provision. Leave as He wanted is so important. God bless that you have heard His still voice in your heart and you are turning according.
Remain favored.

Kimberly 8:07 AM  

Anita, tears fill my eyes as I consider all you have done for the Kingdom and for families. Just our family alone - you have doubled the number of our children in the last 2 years.:) I was reluctant to use AAI because we decided ahead of time to only use a Christian agency. God led us to AAI and then I met you. I was so blessed and amazed when I found out you were a Christian. Anyway, I know I could never thank you enough. I can't wait to get to heaven and see the full impact of what you have done through Him and for Him. Prayers and blessings...you will always have a special place in my heart!

Debbie Berkley 6:57 AM  

Hi Anita,
I'm so proud of you!! God has great things in store for you because of your willingness to put yourself completely in His hands. I know that it can be scary taking that leap of faith but it is there that you begin to FLY..
I love you sweet lady!
Debbie Berkley