Wednesday, September 1

Remodeling of a Heart

Today in my time with the Lord, all I could do was sit back and smile at what he is doing. We serve an amazing God. A God who is so in love with us that he disciplines us when we are walking in disobedience to get our attention then loves on us when we are down and discouraged. I have been walking in amazement of him today. He has been “remodeling” my heart for sometime time now. I have had my “flesh” torn off and my heart “ripped” out, so that I could be put back together again, as a new creation. It is so funny now that the pieces are fitting together. He is so clever and his plan is perfect. I love how he uses circumstance to grow and teach us. And how he uses people to be his voice and sometimes his arms. This past winter God started tearing away some of the “walls” in my heart. The beginning stages of my “remodel” were ugly, humbling, and painful but necessary. It was for sure not the fun part of being made new. I walked through things that I didn’t understand. Things that didn’t make sense to me but I just knew that I needed to be submissive and open to what he was doing. God sees what he is doing and he knows the outcome. I had to trust him even though my human eyes couldn’t see what he was doing. There were things he brought to my attention that needed to be repaired, fixed or discarded but I ignored him and the longer I did the more painful that restoration was. During this process I became more and more hungry to know the heart of the God I serve, and to know and understand his character better. I was starving for more of him. The more I tuned into the Lord the more I could hear his voice. And the more he used the people around me to reveal his master plan. I began seeking God and asking him to give me anything, a word, a dream, a passage, a book, a sermon. Anything that revealed his heart and his plan. I was ready and I was waiting. This spring God started giving me little glimpses of what he was doing. I had a really vivid dream one night that threw me for a loop. I had several different interpretations of my dream and I had been given an interpretation of that dream that made sense but I wasn’t sure if that was it, until recently. (Maybe I will post my dream later; I haven’t shared it with many.) All I knew this spring was that I desired to live radically for the Lord but I wasn’t sure what that looked like. I mean really, what does “radical” look like. Does it look like selling everything I own and moving to a remote nation and preaching the word or just simply loving on people the way Christ did. Or could it mean living radically here by the boundaries my family has and our standards of life and our service for our community. I was really frustrated because I wanted to know what it looked like now. For months I talked with Phillip about what a radical life looked like and how are we supposed to live that way.  This whole time God was working in Phillip also. I prayed and prayed for God to reveal to us what he meant when he told me that we should live radically.

This is where the fun part of my remodel comes in. (Paint for the walls, pretty knew flooring, new furniture, you know the fun stuff.) God started placing things on my heart that I knew were from him because honestly I wouldn’t naturally consider these things for me to do. In April God placed a burden in my heart for the least of these, people who live without the basic necessities, people who seem to have no hope. My heart started breaking. I feel like during this time of seeking the Lord he clearly spoke to me and told me to adopt. I was reading some blogs one day that I follow about other families adopting, and I came across this family who was trying to adopt from Uganda but had their adoption put on hold because the mother found out she was expecting. (I guess you can’t adopt from Uganda if you are pregnant.) I scrolled through her blog reading her heart and her heartbreak and I came across a video from YouTube. It was a normal video of the devastation in Africa. I have seen a million of these videos before but never in my whole life had it ever ripped my heart out and stomped on it the way this video did. I will post it below. But beware it is heart breaking, you will need the whole box of tissue for this.
Absolutely heartbreaking, but the unfortunate reality for far, far too many children around this world.  After watching this and soaking my desk with tears I knew there needed to be change. These people need to know that their God and their creator had not forgotten them. They are important and loved. They are apart of God’s masterpiece. I cried out to the Lord that night and begged him to show me away to help. I want to be your hands and feet Lord!! This is not OK!!! I was seriously depressed for weeks after seeing this and I was obsessed with “blog stalking” trying to find away to get involved and to help.

In July, during my blog stalking and adopting research, one of my very best friends had a dream. (Another, God given dream!! Keep reading…) She came over one day and was like “So, I had this dream that I adopted this little girl from Africa and I named her Korah, so weird huh?” So weird, this friend had never really talked much about adoption, not that she, at this time, wouldn’t consider it. It just wasn’t what God had placed on her heart yet. I agreed that her dream was “different”, and we went on with our play date. About 5 days later, I stumbled upon this blog. (I encourage you to read this blog. It is long but so worth it.) This is where my heart is. KORAH!! Ok, God I am listening! What are you trying to tell me? I shared this new discovery with Phil and the place grew in his heart as well. We both felt a tenderness for what this team is doing. I began to do research about this mission trip and the group that went and who they were through.  That is how I discovered the organizations on the side of my page. God at this point was yelling through a mega phone! We immediately prayed about this new little wonder and asked God to show us need and where we can help. He is still revealing some of that to us.  I did text my friend that day when I discovered Korah. I was like “hey remember your crazy dream about adopting that little girl from Africa and naming her Korah. Well I just discovered this village in Africa called Korah. I think you are not naming your daughter Korah you are getting her there.”  Now they have a beautiful little story in the makings. CRAZY!! God is good.  So, this is the place that God has placed our hearts. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and their little village in the landfill called Korah. When will we get to go there we are not sure. But we know we will. But what I do know is that we are adopting from Addis, Ethiopia and we couldn’t be more terrified, excited, thrilled, nervous, anxious or joyful about it. We have had crazy confirmation on which agency to use. And we are ready to walk the path God has laid out for us. We know it will be hard and faith building but I don’t think we are called to do the easy and comfortable. We are called to go and do the hard and uncomfortable. So for us, our family, right now, we have been called to love the least of these and to adopt a sweet baby and make them our own. So welcome to our journey as God remodels our hearts, family and our lives. 

Matthew 18:5 reads "And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me." Oh, Lord how I want to welcome you. I want to be your hands and feet. I want to love your people the way you love us. I want to adopt an orphan into my family that way God adopted us in to his. I want to make this child a coheir in my family. I want to share and show your love to them. 

From Phillip:

Jenna and I had a conversation maybe a year ago about adoption.  We both agreed that "someday we should adopt".  Guess what?  Someday never gets here, and I hid behind that.  After watching the video above I had a new weight on my heart.  God asked me "what would do if these children were in your backyard"?  What would you do if you discovered these children starving and dying at Beal Park?  "Well God I would take them home and take them in".  He said "exactly".  I found myself in a miserable place.  God's word to me was this "I have blessed you with more than you need, I have given you an abundance of seed, and what have you done with it?"  Lord, I have eaten the seed you gave me.  I have stored it up for myself.  Couple these feelings and conversations with my renewed understanding of Christ's salvation and sacrifice and I now have a purpose.  Before we knew Christ we were orphans, separated from God by our sins. Through Christ who paid the price of our sins, we can be made new and receive forgiveness.  We can start over!  At the same time we are adopted as sons of God.  We are no longer alone, we are brothers and sisters of others who are in Christ and sons and daughters of the creator.  I say all of this to explain that my heart is burdened for the children of this world who are alone, fatherless, and who do not have an inheritance.  I have been adopted and given an inheritance.  Remembering the separation and loneliness I cannot leave another child to suffer the same.  I will close with a quote I read:

"Sometimes I would like to ask God why He allows poverty, famine, and injustice in the world, when He could do something about it...but I'm afraid He might ask me the same question."



  1. So excited for you guys and your journey ahead! The Chapmans will be praying for wisdom, clarity and peace for you as you move forward!

  2. I LOVE this story and will be in prayer for ya'll as God unfolds it all. Isn't he awesome!?! I am so very blessed to know you two!!
    LOVE, love, love!!


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