Christ's Glory, Not Mine

by science fiction author Andrea J. Graham

Christmas Adoption Update

The season upon us is a good time to reflect on the journey of this last year. For my husband and I, it’s been one mostly of seeking to adopt our first child. One thing we have learned over this last year is how much the enemy truly hates and despises adoption. The enemy has gone after every vulnerability he can trying to stop us. None have prevailed because God has our back along with praying friends and family, like many of you are. The biggest hindrance has been a failed home inspection that almost cost us our child.

I take full responsibility for that. I have inattentive type ADD and am a bit of a perfectionist. When I couldn’t live up to my own ideals and standards in some aspect of homemaking, I often would give up on that task. Unless I had someone nagging me about it. So, for years, if I couldn’t do it perfectly, and my husband didn’t show any sign of caring if it got done, it didn’t get done. Since I had been too proud and too ashamed to admit I needed help and ask for it. When the adoption agency put my future child’s life on the line over my deficiency, though, I did step up. And God has provided in amazing ways.

Again, remember, in the midst of all God did, the enemy was hitting hard, and one of the enemy’s targets was my very faith. When my own faith gave out, God gave me a new faith only from him. And God brought me to that dark valley and lead me through it on purpose. What the enemy wanted to utterly destroy, God wanted to rebuild from the ground up. My faith had been tainted with works-righteous; it was something I did to be saved. God stripped it from me so I would learn true faith is a gift from God we must humbly receive.

During this year of great struggle, God has continually spoken over me, through many sources, Isaiah 41:10 ESV, “fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

While comforting me with this assurance, God also arranged a divine appointment for me with a Titus 2:5 mentor, Kathi Johnson. The older widow taught me how to keep up my home while she helped me get caught up. In the process, I made a good friend. (Kathi of course!) And overcame many of the challenges holding me back from keeping my home nice.

One challenge was the flat paint a previous homeowner had used on the walls. Washing the walls ruined the paint job. So now we have repainted with the good stuff that I can wash.

This month, I found out God had been strengthening and upholding me far more literally than I ever imagined or dreamed of in this life. Since middle school, I’ve had scoliosis and have lived with a curvature of the spine that exceeds 45 degrees. Household chores that involve bending or lifting heavy weights put great stress on a spine with scoliosis. The daily stresses of life had begun manifesting in pain soon after I turned thirty. Then, a one-inch shoe lift and physical therapy relieved the pain but not the scoliosis. Straightening out an adult’s crooked spine requires surgery.

Or a miracle.

A miracle I didn’t ask for until my back started complaining again this December. This time, I did my physical therapy hesitantly. I’d learned some PT exercises for scoliosis originate from yoga, which I personally can’t do with a clear conscience. I made a hard decision to not ask their origins, but to skip specific exercises that I do become aware have their origins in the worship of idols. I prayed it out with God, pleading with the Lord that I desired for him to get all the glory.

Soon after that, lead by God, I took off my shoes with the lift and stretched out the left side of my body. I had been so crooked from the severity of my spine’s curvature, my left side of my body had measured one inch shorter than my right, with my shoulders and hips uneven. Not anymore. My muscles ached from habitually still holding my body in the old, bent-up position, hiding what I suspect God had already done. He’s literally had my back during all my hard work.

Mind you, my right ribs still stick out from the scoliosis. We won’t know for certain how much straighter my spine actually is until we can get x-rays. But it feels better. And God is teaching me so much through this and all he’s brought us through this year.

To conclude, our floors and counters are so old, I’ve mistaken wear and tear for dirt many times. Still, Adam and I hope the agency will see past those flaws, realize our home is clean, and pass us on our three makeup home inspections. The first one is coming up on January 9, 2018.

With continued prayer support and our Lord giving us unmerited favor with the adoption agency, we will complete our home study this year and continue on to paying the next big fee ($4000) and create the scrapbooks they’ll show to birth families in the actual process of matching us with a birth family. We don’t ask you for more money, you have all given plenty, and our God will provide what we need. What we do ask you is for your prayers and for you to share our story on social media. Thank you so much for all you have already done in that regards, too. It means a lot to us. May you have a blessed Christmas season and God be with you in the New Year.

Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
Isaiah 43:1


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