YOU WILL BE ENCOURAGED TODAY!!!
I know a pretty bold statement to make...but I promise you that by the time you read this post, you WILL BE ENCOURAGED. Many of you may be feeling hopeless today, feeling all alone in this world with no one listening. Or you may be having a day where you are questioning God’s faithfulness and goodness. You might be in a seemingly impossible situation and feeling ready to give up. You may be feeling despair, pain, and suffering. You may be wondering, “Why on earth would God lead me down this path?” You may be wondering if your prayers will ever be answered. Your heart may be heavy with grief. Your faith may be weak. Your trust in your Heavenly Father waning. I have been in all of these places at some point in my walk with Jesus. I have wrestled with fear, I have cried too many tears, and I have doubted my Father. I have questioned His goodness. I have. To say I haven’t would be a lie.
BUT, despite myself, despite all of my feelings or all of my outlooks on situations and life, GOD HAS NEVER LET ME DOWN. HE HAS ALWAYS BEEN FAITHFUL!! Maybe not in the way I imagined, dreamed or hoped but in HIS way, which is always the best way. Now I have to say that I am writing this while in one of those places where tears flood my eyes minute by minute and day by day!! I am not speaking of tears of pain, but tears of JOY! Tears from beholding the beautiful mystery of our God, while crying out “HOW GOD?” “HOW ARE YOU SO FAITHFUL? “YOU BLOW ME AWAY GOD!!” “YOU ASTOUND ME!” ...YOU BRING ME TO TEARS, TO HUMILITY, TO YOUR THRONE ROOM LOST FOR WORDS FOR YOUR BOUNDLESS GOODNESS!!
"For I know the plans I have for you, plans for hope and a future."
"Do not fear"
"I do not leave you as orphans"
These aren’t just words. These are promises. This is truth. This is the way, heart, will and mind of our God. This is the reality we can live in.
Okay, please keep reading… I promise you it won’t disappoint!!
Do you remember our African Christmas? READ HERE if not. I will give you synapses of our Christmas. We decided to go to Mulago Hospital on Christmas Day and love on the children and families in the children’s ward. We did just that and while we were roaming the halls we were directed to a little boy in a crib. There he sat, lost, scared, confused, malnourished, sad and abandoned.
We later found out that the hospital staff called him Uwalu (oo wa lu), I don't think this was his real name. Well, our hearts broke. We cried out to God that day as a family. Fatu and Osobie held his hand and peered at him in the crib. We spent time with him praying silently for God’s mercy and love to shower him. We left knowing we’d be back to see him the next day. Our hearts were heavy. We walked home from Mulago hospital talking with Fatu and Osobie about the boy. We talked and prayed for a mama and papa for him. We even talked to Jesus about whether or not he was to be in our family. Osobie cried that day as we left him. They knew ‘that’ pain. They had lived in it before. I am sure they were reminded of their time in the orphanage. The next day we went back to see Uwalu and dressed him in one of Osobie’s shirts. We gave him car toys and candy, hoping he would feel loved. We left Kampala and left Uwala in Mulago. We prayed and prayed to know if he was to be in our family, and we felt somehow, that that was not the plan for his life. Our hearts remained heavy but also at peace and our thoughts and prayers continued for Uwalu for weeks and months.
Now I have to admit to you all that after spending some time in Africa and visiting many orphanages my heart has ached much too much. There are days that I am completely overwhelmed at the needs of Africa. The numbers of lost, abandoned, poor, forgotten, and orphaned children is countless. Their faces run through my mind all day long and even invade my dreams. There are days where I cry out to God asking Him where he is? Has he forgotten them? Who will care for them? Why God? Why must they suffer? There are times when I am hopeless. There are times that my tears just run dry. BUT the truth is GOD HAS NOT FORGOTTEN. HE HAS NOT LEFT THEM AS ORPHANS. He aches more than we do for the orphans of Africa. His heart longs for them to be LOVED! He loves them! And asks us to join Him in loving them! Even when we fail, and we are unfaithful, He hasn’t and isn’t.
Back to the story….Across the thousands of miles and vast seas was a family praying. There was a family waiting for a son from Uganda. On Christmas day there was a mother aching for her Ugandan son who was somewhere out there waiting to be matched with their family. On Christmas day there was a family wondering where their little brother and son was living and how he was spending his Christmas. There was a mom praying hard for her “son” to be LOVED that Christmas!! She prayed that LOVE would find him and care for him wherever he may be!!
I got an email a few weeks ago from a woman named Sheila. She had googled “Mulago Hospital” and found our blog post from Christmas. Maybe 5 weeks after Christmas, the McDaniel’s accepted a little boy for fostering/adoption. They knew his name was going to be Elijah and low and behold, there in the baby home lie their son, with the name given to him by the staff, Elijah!! He was abandoned mid December at Mulago Hospital and taken to a baby home! After several emails and photos later, it was confirmed…UWALU…the boy…..WAS TO BE THEIR SON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I have had tears streaming down my face for the last few weeks!!
I AM OVERWHELMED BY GOD’S GOODNESS AND FAITHFULNESS!! I CANNOT EVEN WRAP MY HEART AND MIND AROUND IT!! HE IS TOO WONDERFUL FOR COMPREHENSION, WHO CAN GRASP HIS INFINITE WISDOM….
God brought her son the LOVE she had prayed for her son through a family of strangers that Christmas!! GOD KNEW. God knew the plans he had for Uwalu /Elijah. He knew the family that he would be adopted into. He cared for his son. Sheila’s and her families’ prayers and our prayers have been answered in the most miraculous way!! Look at him now!!
Never in a million years would I have ever thought we’d know what happened to Uwalu. We had no way of ever knowing what his life would turn out like. Would he be adopted God? Is he going to know the love of a mama and papa? Or is he going to spend his days in a baby home and then an orphanage, alone, and unloved?
BUT GOD KNEW!! GOD HAD A PLAN!!! GOD HAD A MAMA AND PAPA PICKED OUT JUST FOR HIM!!! HE WILL NOT LEAVE US OR FORSAKE US!
Check out their blog and pray for them as they are still waiting to bring him home....HERE