Today I’m starting a new series about walking in obedience, which is a topic that’s near and dear to my heart. This series is actually based off a message I spoke at a woman’s retreat last October. I was asked to speak about the Lord refreshing our dreams, but when the Lord started speaking to me about the message, what He gave me instead was a message about what it looks like when your dreams don’t turn out the way you thought they would.
So I’m going to start this series off by sharing one of my dreams with you, which is actually the story of our adoption. If you want to read the full story of our adoption, you can read it HERE on Ask Anna.
Some of you have been following me for years, and already know the full story, but for those of you that don’t know me, today I’m going to give you the short version. About 5 years ago the Lord told me that we would be adopting a victim of sex trafficking. From that moment on I prayed for our future daughter, I longed for her, God gave me dreams and visions about who she would become, I wept for her, and then 2 years later, we met her. I knew right away, out of all the other girls at the safe house, that she was “the one”. She was the one God had chosen for us, for our family, and us for her.
God continued to give me visions and words for her and after only 5 months she moved in with us, it was a dream come true.
Unfortunately the story doesn’t end there. I had no idea that after only a few months of her being in our home, things were about to get really, really hard, and that my dream come true was going to start feeling more like a nightmare.
What I didn’t realize, or didn’t bother to worry about because I knew God was in control, was all the brokenness, pain and suffering that comes along with a girl, who is 15, and has been trafficked for sex almost her whole life. Beyond just the physical abuse there was so much spiritual and mental abuse she had suffered her whole life, even starting in the womb.
I knew that us bringing her into our home was what God wanted us to do because He loved her and wanted her to have a chance at life. He rescued her, He was giving her a family, and I knew that, but for someone who has been told they are worthless their whole life, the concept of God rescuing her was, and still is, beyond what she is can grasp.
And this is where so much of the tension began, us loving her the way God asked us to, and her not being able to receive it.
When you are fighting in the the physical and spiritual realms, often times the battle is so much harder than you ever imagined it could be.
After only about six months after she had moved in I began to question God, “Why? Why would you do this to me and to our family? I was obedient, I said ‘yes’ to you, so why is it so painful?” There were a lot of “whys”.
After about a year and a half I was sadder, more broken, and felt more rejected than I had ever been. I was discouraged and I felt hopeless.
It was around that time that my neighbor looked at me one night and said, “are you okay, you look terrible.” I poured out my heart and her immediate response was to coordinate a night of prayer for Matt and I. So a few weeks later we gathered with some friends and they encouraged us, they reminded us of the words God had given us, they even read to us some of the words I had written in a blog post, but most importantly they fought for us in the Spirit.
I didn’t know it right away but that night was transformational for us. It reminded us that God knew what He was doing and that He chose us. Even though my God dream didn’t look the way I thought it should, I had a choice. I could let it control me, or I could turn to the Lord and try to figure out His plan for this whole thing.
I chose the latter.
The freedom this brought me was immeasurable. I started to realize that I didn’t have to carry my daughter’s burdens because they weren’t mine to carry. I realized that God has a plan for her, but He also has a plan for me and I can’t control how she responds but I can control how I respond to the Lord.
As I dive deeper into this series, I’m going to break down what it looks like to dream with God. We’ll talk about the battle for our hearts, the choices we have, what it looks like to walk in obedience, and so much more, I can’t wait!