Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Altar.

I was having kind of a "heavy" day emotionally yesterday.  The wait was just seeming to get harder and harder.  And I have several close friends and family who are going through some difficult times right now, and I just felt very burdened and heavy with the weight of all of it. 

Plus, I had not even seen the sun shine at all in the past 4 days.  The rain continued to fall from the gray clouds for the 4th day in a row, and my mood definitely matched the weather.

I walked early in the dark of the morning with a constant drizzle falling on my head, but I didn't even care.  The still and quiet was just so peaceful, and walking and talking with the Lord was soothing to my weary heart. 

Thankfully, last night was the night of our once a month, Wednesday night renewal service.  We always have a time before the service starts where you can come and pray.  Well, ya'll know me and my "lateness" problem.  Getting somewhere on time is a victory.  Getting somewhere early?  Let's just say those times are few and far between.

Nevertheless, I was determined to make it to church early so that I could have some time to pray.  I wanted to lift up some of our friends and family, and of course, I wanted to pray for our adoption journey.  I was trying to make it there by 6:00, and I made it by 6:15.  (typical!) :)

But the service didn't start until 6:30, so I still had 15 minutes to pray.  I started in my seat with my face down to my knees just lifting up some friends who are going through some hard times.  Then, my sweet mentor at our church came over and just prayed the most precious prayer over me.  When she left, I knew it was now time to pray for Caroline Faith.

I felt compelled by the Holy Spirit to go down front and kneel at the altar.  Which is really just the front of the stage at the auditorium.  I wear my "Caroline Faith" bracelet every single day...no exceptions.  I only take it off at night and to shower. 

Well, as I was kneeling down, the round medallion with her name on it slipped off my bracelet and fell to the floor under my knees.  Strange.  I picked it up and just automatically placed it on the altar (the stage) in front of me.  That's when it hit me...

Wow.  That's exactly what God was calling me to do.  Give Caroline Faith to the Lord...completely.  To lay her down at His feet.  To give our adoption journey totally to Him.  I left it there on the altar while I continued to pray for our baby girl. 

Then, I came back to my seat and had a couple of minutes before the service.  I always read my Jesus Calling devotional in the morning when I am reading my Bible, but I had not had time to read it that morning.  I had brought it with me, so I picked it up, and this is a part of what I read...

TRUST ME by relinquishing control into My hands.  Let go and recognize that I am God.  When you bring Me prayer requests, lay out your concerns before Me.  Speak to Me candidly; pour out your heart...

I couldn't believe it.  That is just what had happened.  I had laid out my concerns (our daughter) before Him.  He was again confirming that that was exactly what He wanted me to do.

Then wouldn't you know the whole sermon last night was about Abraham giving Isaac to the Lord, when God called him to sacrifice his only son.  And our campus pastor had even had a real altar built that was up on the stage.  I had not even noticed it when I first came in. 

Everyone had been given a pen and notecard when they came into the service.  At the end of the message, there was a time when you could write down something that you felt God was calling you to give to Him.  Then, if you wanted to, you could bring the notecard down to the front and lay it down on the altar. 

Is this not unbelievable how God works!?!  As ya'll can imagine, it took about half a second for me to know what God was calling me to give to Him.  I wrote on my notecard, "Caroline Faith" and then drew a heart beside her name.  Then I walked to front and gave her to the Lord.

Later as we stood up to sing the final song, I physically felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders.  I felt so free, and Jesus was filling my heart with His peace and joy again.

I couldn't wait to tell Jody all about it later that night.  There were some other things God showed me yesterday too, that I also got to tell him about.  I am always amazed how God can speak to each one of us so perfectly and so personally at the exact time that we need it most! 

Today, my heart is full and free...thankful and trusting.  And guess what?

The sun is shining!!!  :)

"So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed."  John 8:36

22 comments:

erica said...

Amazing. Thank you so much for sharing. I love how God knows exactly what we need at any given time, and will give it to us if we surrender to Him. This is definitely one of those God moments that you'll look back to again and again throughout your life. May He be with you each day during the rest of your wait and always! :)

Megan said...

praying we remember our freedom and don't choose to go back. I love how God was working yesterday!

Polly said...

Sister... My heart so gets that. Shawn and I have done the same thing.... We've given our future children to the Lord. The hard part, is letting him keep them. I encourage you, don't try to take her back from God. He's got CF in the palm of His hand and soon she will be in your arms.
Can't wait to see you :)
PB

Lauren and Nick Miller said...

That's so awesome Allison.

Jaimee said...

He is so good! Thanks for allowing us to come with you on this journey!

Darcee said...

WOW!!!! WOW!!!! WOW!!!!!! INCREDIBLE. AMAZING. AWESOME! So COOOL to hear how GOD 'TALKED' to ya and what He was SAYING!!! TEARS for our BIG BIG GOD who knows your little Caroline Faith and has the perfect day and time when He will show you her SWEEEET FACE!!!! LOOOOOVE that you shared this!!!

The Eyre family said...

Thanks for sharing this!! I love to hear the unexpected ways God lifts our burdens with Truth. Sometimes I just find myself saying "Its YOURS, Lord, I give it to you..." but then it still doesn't feel gone. Usually it takes some specific Truth from God's word to really lift the burden and replace it with peace. Surrendering our children, at any stage, has to be the hardest thing. And God gets it!!! But He is a good God and He is in control. Praying for your sweet Caroline Faith. We are further behind you (way way back) on the AGCI list, but maybe someday we'll get to meet. :D

4 Blessings said...

Beautiful, Alison! I love reading about how God is working in your heart through the good and the bad. He has your sweet girl in His hands.
Love you!
Amy

Elle J said...

That got me choked up, Alison. WOW!!! Blessings to you!!!

Sarah Broadus said...

God is so amazing.so amazing. I love watching him work through people

Venessa said...

So amazing! This brought me to tears! I am so glad to He spoke to you and gave you some freedom!

i_love_sydney said...

Beautiful post. Had me in tears. God is good ALL the time.
I have a question re adoption. When you say you are #19 on the list, does that mean your agencies adoption list or the list of all people adopting from Ethiopia ie those in Australia, England etc?
Thank you!

Erika Reiner said...

I love how God creatively weaves our lives and events. Great post! I bet He loved seeing each piece unfold like a parent watches their child unwrap a gift.

The Braddy's said...

Love you, sweet friend. What a precious moment with the Father. Praying for you and your sweet family. Thank you for your sweet encouragement and prayers and so sorry I missed your call. Let's get together soon!

Does my hair look okay? said...

I've been following your journey along as my husband and I make our way down a path to children, however God decides that we are to have them. I'm literally crying in my office right now; I'm so reaffirmed that God is really willing and WANTING to take this from me, and he demands that I give it to him. Thanks for the encouragment through your sweet story.

Courtney said...

Isn't it a monthly, weekly, sometimes daily battle to continue giving things to the Father?!?

Thanks for sharing friend. I've had a couple of rough days lately as well. Praying for grace and peace as we all wait for the "appointed time".

Leigh said...

This is beautiful Alison! Brought tears to my eyes!!! Love how the Lord works!

Meredith said...

Love this Alison! I love the actual act of laying something on the alter of Christ. Our home church has done this a couple of times and it was always at the perfect time when I really just needed to let go and let God.

Hugs and prayers.

meredith and justin said...

This brought tears to my eyes, Alison! Thanks for sharing. God is so faithful!

Hannah said...

This brought tears to my eyes. It's so hard to wait. So hard to know that it is out of our control. No matter how many forms we fill out and how quickly we get things done we are just waiting. The good thing to remember is that we aren't waiting on the mail man, we are waiting on the Lord. He can't just give you any baby...it has to be your baby :)

Still praying for you and for Caroline Faith :)

Angela Hunt said...

I haven't been keeping up with blogs lately but tonight I did and I'm so glad I read your post. I have been struggling with carrying around my burdens, instead of giving them over to the Lord. Thank you for reminding me that He is willing and inviting us to offer them over to Him.

Warren Baldwin said...

A good example of how to be open to the little ways God moves and makes his presence known. Good post.