Tag Archive: father

sometimes we might find ourselves at a place where we feel like God is not using us and that can be frustrating… one thing about Jesus is that He always seemed to be on the look out for opportunity and He spent a lot of time with His Father in prayer seeking strength and wisdom and insight for the opportunities that He knew would present – so are you asking God and then are you looking out for them and taking action when you see them in front of you?

join me as i continue reading through Mark, 1 vs 29-31

to continue to look at Jesus taking time to pray…

continuing my walk through the Gospel of Mark, in this clip i chat briefly about the baptism of Jesus and the full approval given to Him by His Father before He has done anything significant in terms of life and ministry…

to continue on to calling, click here

My husband mike and I decided to start a family at the beginning of last year and so I went off contraception and we started trying. We assumed it would be quick and easy, because we have only heard stories of people falling pregnant quickly – even in the first or second month, and with no complications. And so the first month or two we weren’t worried, we enjoyed the excitement of getting ready to become a family and waiting to see whether or not my period would come. But after six months I started to feel down. I was seeing pregnant women and babies EVERYWHERE, friends who weren’t even sure if they wanted babies yet were falling pregnant, and we were waiting. And waiting. And waiting. I felt more pressure to get it right, more pressure to succeed, but I didn’t know how to do it any better. And so we would try and inevitably fail month after month. I couldn’t understand how God could allow me to struggle with this when he knew how much I wanted to be a mother and how Mike and I longed for a family. I had to do a lot of soul searching (why do I want to be a mother so bad? If I never fall pregnant will I still love God? Do I trust God with the plans for my life?), and often I would spend worship time at church crying, willing myself to believe the words people sang with abandon. God is faithful, He is true, He fulfills his promises, He gives and takes away. For the first time in my life I had to ask myself if I REALLY believed that.

Before this time Mike and I had always talked about adopting, and after a year of trying for a baby the niggles in my brain (what about adoption?) became more persistent. We went to the gynaecologist to see that everything was all right and found out I have polycystic ovaries which means that we are not sure of when my egg is released and it is therefore harder to conceive because we do not know when I’m ovulating. This does not mean I can’t fall pregnant, but it does mean that it can take longer than normal. My gynae then gave us the option; keep trying naturally or go on medication to assist us. What a blow to my self-esteem! You keep thinking “what if I’m the reason we are not falling pregnant?” And then you find out – it is you, there is something wrong with your body. I felt so guilty, felt to blame in some part for the reason why we had ‘wasted’ a year trying for a baby. I had to come to terms with the fact that I could not control a hormonal imbalance in my body, and that it wasn’t my fault. That God loved me through this all, and that this was a blessing in disguise because by knowing what was wrong we could go ahead.

It was at this point that Mike reminded me again of our wish to adopt at some stage in life. We could keep trying and use medication to help, but if we were serious about adoption, why not go ahead with it now? We could try to conceive a sibling at a later stage because we now knew the obstacles we faced. And so, in March this year, we spent a weekend away talking, praying, crying (ok, that was mostly me) and setting aside all our doubts. We asked the questions that had been casting shadows in our minds: What if we don’t love them as much as a biological child? What if nature is stronger than nurture? What if our family or friends don’t support us? What if, what if, what if? But with every fear said in the open, peace descended and we realized that although a little bit of fear is good, we serve a God who can overcome every obstacle and redeem every situation. And so, petrified and excited, we made the decision to adopt.

And since that moment a lightness has fallen over me. I feel that the year of trying that we went through was a journey I had to take to grow in the knowledge of God and in trusting His ultimate plan for me. I believe that if we had adopted last year we would not have been given the baby God has in store for us, for they were not born yet! I believe that the pain I felt has been redeemed with hope, and I understand with a peace that transcends understanding that this is my journey. I am a mother, and my child is on its way. It’s just in someone else’s stomach. And I cannot wait to be a Mom. I absolutely love and adore my child. I don’t know what they look like or where they come from, but I cannot wait to find out who they are and to shower them with kisses and cuddles. And so, after finishing our screening through our adoption agency, we wait. And we get ready to start the next chapter in our lives together – Mom and Dad!

[Jane and Mike Hampton]

[To jump forward two years and hear some words from Jane and Mike since adopting, click here]

it is important for us to realise just how insulting and offensive the son’s attitude towards his father is, because otherwise we will never fully ‘get’ just how incredibly over-the-top ludicrously insane the father’s response is.

the father hands over to his son the inheritance (and if it is half of everything he owns then it must be at cost to him and to his lifestyle and comfort/luxury) and the sons heads off and wastes it on ‘wild living.’

eventually the son has spent all his money and his ‘friends’ have all disappeared now that he is no longer providing the party and he ends up working as a man who feeds pigs. it gets so bad he starts looking at the food the pigs are eating and being tempted to dig in. realising that his father’s servants eat better than that, he decides to head home and throw himself at his mercy and ask if he cannot return as a servant in his dad’s house.

now if we ‘get’ how completely rude and disrespectful the son had been to his father, then the father’s response is even more insane. in the jewish culture of the day a man of wealth and position would never run. he was dignified and would walk at his own leisure to demonstrate that position.

but in the story Jesus is telling, the moment the father spots the son (which shows that he was looking out for the son and probably spent a lot of time doing so) he runs out of the house and sets off down the road, screaming to his servants to bring the good robe and the ring and sandals and start killing the fattened calf for the party we are going to have tonight.

not just undignified for a father of his stature to act that way – but remember he is acting in response to the hugest possible insult and betrayal from his son – and the response is absolute unconditional undefiled love.

the kind of love the world does not largely ‘get’ today, except in extreme cases. the kind of love the church is meant to be known for and by, altho too often is sadly known for the opposite (especially when it comes to treatment of people we view as horrible sinners – rather them than us).

the God i love and serve is the father in that story. even while we were turning our backs on Him and rejecting Him and screaming (with our mouths or our lifestyles) ‘i wish You were dead!” He was watching us with love and compassion and secretly storing up party supplies and simply waiting for the second we came to our senses and started the journey home…

And then there He is, once again, running undignifiedly full of compassion and love and forgiveness and mercy and hope and invitation and declaration (my son was once dead but is alive) straight towards you…

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