Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Lord is My Strength

This was something I wrote at the end of May. (This timeline is important) It was so significant because it marked such a huge step of healing and a huge step in my relationship with God. It was an epiphany of sorts....

O Lord, you are my lamp.

The Lord lights up my darkness.

In Your strength I can crush an army;

With my God I can scale a wall.

-2 Samuel 22:29-30 (NLT)

I have been going through a season of frustration the last few months that have left me with a complete verbal void. It really all began in January when the photo of a beautiful little girl from Bulgaria appeared in my email inbox one day. The moment I saw her my heart opened wide and if ever I had felt the Holy Spirit, it was then. Because she was a little older than we had planned, labeled “special needs”, and not our official “referral”….we followed the steps to ensure that this little girl was the “one” meant to be part of our family. We prayed like crazy, talked with doctors, talked with our caseworker and then took the steps to adopt her. I was so sure this was right and that God had His hand in this and it was what He wanted. But, the day that her file was presented to Bulgarian government, it turned out that another family wanted her, too…and they got her. My heart still aches as I write this 5 months later. How could I have been so wrong?

For people who have not adopted, you might not understand this grief because, honestly, I wouldn’t have understood it even one year ago myself. God gives us a Mommy’s heart whether that child grows in you and you meet her at that first garbled cry seconds after she enters the world…or whether you first see her face in a photo or video when she is 3 ½ years old. It is such an amazing thing He does, but without even realizing it, I was holding a huge grudge against Him for that amazing miracle He so lovingly gives to us. Maybe it sounds ignorant to say I didn’t even realize I was holding that grudge, but I can promise you that I was telling myself all the right things straight from the Word of God! I listened to Godly counsel and teaching and nodded my head in agreement to all of it because I KNEW IT WAS RIGHT! But, my heart didn’t get it…

So, we all know what happens when we hold a grudge, right? We grow distant from whatever it is we resent. I hid it well, though! But that is where religion and relationship are two such different things. I was doing what my religion had taught me…going to Church, reading my Bible, listening to worship music, praying. But, guess what, the prayers were religion! I wasn’t getting real with God. I wasn’t being honest enough with Him to tell Him I was mad to let Him into my heart to make the healing begin. My relationship with Him was so luke warm.

Luke warm doesn’t get you through when life happens and challenges mount. But here I am now, and I have learned that I need to keep it real with my Savior. I was really mad at Him for allowing me to feel like it was so right and then to, in a sense, take her away from us. I was mad that the adoption process with Bulgaria seemed to come to a standstill for awhile. I was mad that some very special people were taken from us and others were caused to grieve so desperately. I was mad that I have had unanswered health problems that keep coming up and interfering with how I have always lived my life. AND…I’m still working through that “mad” with Him, but the difference now is that I am giving Him my whole self…even the ugly part I wanted so badly to hide from Him. Now I’m letting Him heal my ache and letting Him work out all things in His time.

And this is where the Bible verse ties into my story: Throughout this time my prayers were very appropriate and very politely asked Him to “give me strength”, ”give me wisdom”, ”give me patience”. But here is the problem. I asked Him to give me those things as though I were ordering it from a stranger that worked behind a checkout counter at a supermarket. Because I was holding a grudge against Him, I couldn’t get close enough to Him to ask what I really needed to be asking, which was not to simply “give” me those things that I need. He could give me those things and I would let them go to waste because I am nothing without Him. What I needed to ask was “Lord, please BE my strength, my wisdom, my patience, my EVERYTHING!” God wants to BE our strength. He wants to fill us with the power of the Holy Spirit. I can’t receive that power unless I am laying it ALL before Him and spending the time to be real before Him…having a true relationship with Him that in turn will make the grudge fall away and replace it with real relationship and worship.

I will leave you with more from 2 Samuel.

O Lord, You are my lamp.

The Lord lights up my darkness.

In Your strength I can crush an army;

With my God I can scale any wall.

God’s way is perfect.

All the Lord’s promises prove true.

He is a shield for all who look to him for protection.

For who is God except the Lord?

Who but our God is a solid rock?

God is my strong fortress,

And he makes my way perfect.

He makes me as surefooted as a deer,

Enabling me to stand on mountain heights.

He trains my hands for battle;

He strengthens my arm to draw a bronze bow.

You have given my Your shield of victory;

Your help has made me great.

You have made a wide path for my feet to keep them from slipping.

2 Samuel 22:29-37
Lord, please Be my strength in the midst of my weakness, my wisdom in the midst of my ignorance, my patience in the midst my frustration, my love in the midst of my anger. Lord, I ask for Your Holy Spirit to permeate my being and BE all that I am not. I thank You for being my solid Rock…my strong Fortress…and for loving me when I’m not so loveable. In Your Perfect Name I pray. Amen.


  1. Oh Lori! I have prayed this same prayer! You are NOT alone sweet sister! I can't wait to see God work in your surrendered life! Hang in there:)!

  2. Hi Lori,
    I enjoyed reading your post very much! Your words are so clear - in a way that would have been impossible before. You've worked through so much and continue to put your faith in His hands. My prayers will continue with you and for your family.

  3. Lori - i just stumbled upon your blog tonight and what an inspiration your words were to me. I know God guided me here tonight because I am in a very painful place right now. We are in our 14th month since approval at the MOJ, our 19th month since applying and my faith is truly being tested. I found strength and wisdom in your words and just wanted you to know that you made a difference in my life today. God Bless you and your family and your daughter!!