We are taught prayer moves mountains. I’m honored to host Lori Schumaker today as she shares a glimpse into her miracle prayer moves mountains story. Be encouraged to pray powerful faith-filled prayers.
It was as if He’d spoken to me. No, not that audible Morgan Freeman-as-God type of voice. But in a way that I felt the message to the core of my soul. It was a message that said I needed to pray for the hearts of my boys. Pray like crazy that they will love their sister well no matter what happens.
At the time we didn’t even know who our daughter would be. We only knew that we were beginning to step into the waters of international adoption.
It was one of the steps toward full surrender. Because I loved praying and knew the power of prayer, it wasn’t a huge step. Yet, still an act of obedience and trusting God’s lead. So, I prayed for the hearts of our boys.
I prayed for God to:
- Prepare their hearts to love their someday sister well in all circumstances.
- Place a desire in them to be Godly role models for her.
- Instill gentleness within them for all matters pertaining to their sister.
- Extinguish any jealousy from rising up within them.
- Reveal Himself to them as the very Heart of adoption.
- Ignite a passion within them to forever advocate for adoption.
Two years later, after great heartbreak and even greater joy, we brought their sister home. Our hearts were full and we knew we were finally the family God had designed long before time.
Yet, as I write about in my book, Surrendered Hearts: An Adoption Story of Love, Loss, and Learning to Trust, all adoption journeys weave both grief and joy into its very fabric. Just as our story to our daughter contained both grief and joy, our story on the other side of home held much of the same.
As much as we prepared as a family and learned along the way that anything was possible, our vision of homecoming didn’t align with the reality we faced.
Each of us entered with our unique hopes and dreams, but found an upside-down world greeting us. Broken lives and broken people had left their impact on our sweet girl. Not only were her physical health needs beyond what any of us knew about, but the enemy had worked heavily on her emotional health as well.
We were in for a fight. A fight to save our little girl. One that meant almost daily drives into Phoenix Children’s Hospital to see specialists, therapists, and run more tests than I could keep track of. That lead to medications, treatment plans, and learning how to be a new kind of family.
A family that could face the chains of discouragement, fear, and hopelessness but not succumb to them.
Our world was turned upside down. Two boys ages nine and six had every right to be angry – to complain – to resent.
But never once did their love waver or fade.
Yes, they had tears and needed to talk. But it came from a place of grief and learning to embrace what was.
To this very day, almost eight years after she has come home, their love for their sister continues to blow our family away. We’ve witnessed the undeniable hand of God in their lives and on their hearts.
Our Selah knows she is loved. She knows she is a princess to these boys and looks to them like her knights in shining armor.
Not so long ago, on a hot Arizona September evening, our high school celebrated homecoming. As a Junior in high school, one would think our son would want to join friends and do what regular teenagers do. However, instead, he and his 13-year-old brother brought their very excited little sister to the football game so she could enjoy the fun.
For them, her joy is their joy. It rises above friends and parties and school activities.
… Only the hand of God.
I have to believe that voice I heard nearly 10 years ago telling me to pray for them to love their sister well was Him. What if I hadn’t listened? What if I hadn’t prayed those prayers? What might our lives be like now? Would I have foregone the maturity of love that now lives in the hearts of these boys? Might our family have struggled even more?
Friend, you may not be on an adoption journey like us. But chances are you are embarking on something – career change, relocation, school decision, relationship, or ministry. Maybe you are facing a new chapter in life that you never wanted to face such as divorce or loss.
Whatever it is, take a moment to stop and listen.
It is the most powerful thing you can do as you face your next journey.
Surrendered Hearts: An Adoption Story of Love, Loss, and Learning to Trust tells our story of how, against all odds, God united us as a family. But it’s more than an adoption memoir. It’s an encouragement to surrender fully to God’s will because when we do so, we begin to see his miraculous work in our lives. We lived that journey of surrender and learning to trust as we celebrated, grieved, and witnessed the power of God’s love in our lives.
A little about Lori Schumaker-As wife, adoptive and biological mom, teacher, writer, speaker, and coach, Lori’s heart is to encourage others to meet the challenges of life with the hope of Christ. Wherever you find yourself today – walking through the difficult, longing to find your identity and follow your purpose, or simply experiencing a season of beautiful chaos, Lori’s blog is a place where you can find the encouragement you need today. In her first book, she shares her family’s adoption story and lessons on surrender, trust, and loving well. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest
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