This post is going to contain a random assortment of what God has been showing me the past few weeks/this semester so sorry in advanced that it is really long.
I started this semester with mixed feelings about graduating in May. I was excited to be done, but also nervous about entering the ‘real world’. Now the semester is over half way done and I still have the same mixed feelings. I don’t really know what the next year holds and I have had to learn to give it to God because if I try to figure it out on my own it stresses me out. But I know that God has my future already planned and it is better than anything I could have ever planned. One verse that God used a couple of weeks ago to remind me of that fact is Psalm 139:16.
“Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be. ” – Ps. 139:16
This semester has been really crazy, but through it all God has shown me new information about who He is and also areas where I need to grow.
- At the beginning I was struggling with the fact that my life was not lining up with how I imagined it would be when I was a lot younger. What this really meant was that I had always thought I would be married shortly after graduation and that is not what is going to happen. I was able to sit down with a good friend at the beginning of the semester though and talk about what I was struggling with and she encouraged me that God has a plan for my life.
- Family has also become really important to me this semester. Early in the semester my cousin died suddenly and unexpectedly and it really just reminded me how short life can be and how important family is. Since then I have tried to not only spend more time with my family, especially my younger siblings, but also have tried to spend quality time with the youngest ones because I don’t know what the future holds.
- This semester I have also continued to be involved in the Abolitionist Society of Oklahoma. Through my involvement God has given me more of a heart for the unborn, but also for the moms who are scared and feel like abortion is the only option. Looking back it has been neat to see how God used volunteering at a pregnancy center the summer after my Freshman year to begin to mold the views I have on abortion now. (I’ll write more about that in another post).
- One exciting thing that is happening in Oklahoma is that there is an organization trying to get an amendment added to the November Ballot that will change the definition of personhood in the constitution to beginning at the moment of conception. If you would like more information on that feel free to ask me or visit Personhood Oklahoma
- I have also been thinking a lot about what true worship looks like now and what it is going to look like in Heaven, but I have already written a post about it that you can read.
- For Spring Break this year I went to San Antonio for a college retreat over the Trinity and it was mind-blowing. I learned so much and I am still trying to process it, but the two biggest things I learned was that 1) God corrected my thought that there was a hierarchy in the Trinity. All three persons of the Trinity are equal, thus the use of the word ‘and’ when they are mentioned. 2) There are references to the Trinity found throughout the Bible (both Old and New Testament), but I had never seen them. The most surprising one mentioned this weekend was Mt. 28:19 – “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name (singular) of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit(multiple names)”. This picture shows that they are three persons in one.
- This weekend I also attended church at Castle Hill First Baptist in San Antonio and heard a great sermon on Brokenness. But it was during the singing time that God really convicted me that I am spending too much time trying to live up to what others expect of me instead of focusing on who God has made me and living like He is the only one who matters. Looking back this is actually something that God has been trying to show me for weeks, but I’ve just not been paying attention to what He has been saying.
I have also been thinking/praying/researching a lot about what I am going to do for a job in the fall, but that will be a whole other blog post. I know there is probably something I have forgotten, but that is enough for now. I am so thankful that even though I constantly fail Christ He is still faithful to show me areas where I need to change even if at first I don’t notice/want to listen.
I would love to hear what God has been showing you this semester.
Last Sunday was Tami’s 13th birthday (although she will tell you she is only 8)! It is hard to believe that she is that old. Since she joined our family when she was almost 4 years old life has been a journey of ups and downs. At times it has been really hard, but it has been great watching her grow over the years.
Every year she learns something new and she is actually very smart even though she tries to play dumb at times. She can also be one of the sweetest girls you have ever met, if you catch her at the right moment 😉 God has taught me so much through having her in my family and I know there is still probably more to learn.
I recently attended an open discussion about abortion that the Abolitionist Society of Oklahoma put together. During the evening one of the pro-choice people in the room explained why he is okay with abortions and his reasoning was that the unborn do not have a right to life because they are not able to hold preferences. When asked later if he would be okay with the killing of 14 year olds who were mentally retarded he said yes because they too can not hold preferences about their world. What I understood from that is that a person has value only if they are able to have a preference about the way they live and change it if they are not satisfied. I’m sorry if I am misrepresenting you, but this is what I understood from what you said.
I would like to argue that a person, no matter their intelligence level, has value because God made them and gave them value. Several verses in the Bible speak to the fact that man was created in the image of God.
“God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” – Gen 1:27 (NAS)
God said this right before he created man and man is the only thing that was created in the image of God.
“For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them.” – Psalm 139:13-16
In these verses we see that, even before we were born, God knows everything about us and it stands to reason that if he knows everything about us then he knows which of his creations are going to have a mental handicap. God is able to create people so they don’t have a mental handicap so if He creates them with a mental handicap they must still have value because He created them and every human that God creates has value. There are other verses that explain why humans have value, but for me these verses sum it all up.
Aside from the fact that all human value is found in God I know personally that measuring a person by their mental capacity does not make any person a lesser human. The problem with finding human value in mental capacity is that there are many forms of intelligence that can not be tested by an IQ test. I have a sister, Tami, who is mentally retarded, but I would say she has more intelligence than many people it just looks different. We adopted her when she was 4 years old and since she has joined our family she has never put her shoes on the wrong feet (and we never taught her) and she is able to dribble a basketball as good as most people. She also has great musical rhythm and when she hears a song with good rhythm she can not help but drum along. But she is also tricky and is able to do a lot more than she lets on. She doesn’t talk much but every once in a while she will slip up and speak clearly, but then she tries to act like it was a mistake so that she does not have to work so hard. While she may not be able to say her ABC’s or count to 10 without help I don’t care and I can’t imagine anyone who has met her saying her life has no value just because she is not really able to hold preferences about her life. She is my sister and the fact that God has said her life has value is enough for me.
Tami, 12, who joined my family in 2003.
She brightens my life everyday and reminds me that every person is special in God’s eyes.
My parents always raised me to be pro-life and to me that meant that abortion was wrong, but I never thought to take it to another level. But my parents not only taught me to be pro-life they also lived out what they believed. See, my family has completed 5 adoptions, from 4 different countries, in the past 10 years. I am now the oldest of 8 children and have 2 biological brothers, 2 sisters from India, 1 sister from Haiti, 1 sister from China, and 1 brother from Guatemala.
We don’t really know anything about my siblings mothers because of the records that the orphanages kept. We know that Fulmaya and Nisha’s mothers were both young and unmarried. We also know that Hannah and Tami’s mother’s died, which is part of why they were put up for adoption. We actually know more about Juan’s mother than any of the others. We know that she was unmarried, young, and already had another son. But even though we would probably never be able to find them, even if we wanted to, I will be forever grateful for the fact that they chose life for their child.
Until recently I did not realize how much God had been watching over all of my siblings, even before they were born. See in India, China, Guatemala, and Haiti it is legal for mothers to get abortions if they want them. In India and China it is almost encouraged by some if you know you are going to have a girl. There is already an article
on the Abolitionist Society’s blog about abortion in China and if you haven’t read it you should check it out. But I’ll explain more about abortion in India. See, more girls are aborted each year, in India, than boys because when a girl gets married their family is required to present her husband with a dowry. But so many families in India can not afford a dowry because they are poor and so it is easier to abort their daughter. Because so many girls have been aborted there is an imbalance in the ratio of boys to girls. In order to help lessen this imbalance the Indian government has actually made it illegal for any woman to get an ultrasound so that they can not abort their child based on gender. While this has not stopped women from finding out the gender of their baby it has started to make a difference.
Also, looking back over my families different adoptions it is obvious that God had picked each child to be part of our family. First, we were actually in the process of adopting a boy from Haiti at the same time that Tami was in the process of being adopted by another family. Well, the boy we were adopting had sickle-cell anemia and ended up dying before we could complete the process. It just happened to work out that the family who had been adopting Tami had to stop for some reason so we were able to adopt her instead. Another example is with Nisha’s adoption story. See, Nisha was born with Aperts syndrome which, if not taken care of within a few years, can cause brain damage. Well, when we found Nisha she had been in the orphanage for 3 years and because of her syndrome no one wanted to take her. But for anyone who knows Nisha they know that she has one of the best personalities of anyone they have ever met, even with all that she has had to deal with. But the most obvious picture of God’s working is with Hannah’s adoption. My mom found Hannah’s referral in December when, Hannah was 13, and according to China’s adoption policy a child must be adopted by the age of 14 or they become ineligible. We started the process knowing that we only had 6 months to complete an adoption that usually takes over a year, but God worked it all out and we finished the process the day before she turned 14. While the others each have a unique adoption story Tami’s, Nisha’s and Hannah’s best illustrate how God worked to put my family together.
I am a big sister. I am an Abolitionist.