Tickell Expressions

Friday, 26 August 2016

We Dance

Hello Friends,
I would like to share a journal entry with you from July 12, 2016.

We Dance

Sing, O childless woman, you who have never given birth! Break into loud and joyful song, O Jerusalem, you who have never been in labor. For the desolate woman now has more children than the woman who lives with her husband," says the LORD. (Isaiah 54:1)

As I listened to the Stephanie Frizzel song, "We Dance", this morning I pictured a small girl, about 3 years old. The girl was dancing with Jesus. Sometimes he would pick her up. She would put her hands on his cheeks and they would smile at each other; sometimes they would giggle and he would spin her around.

Sometimes Jesus put the girl down and let her spin pirouettes. Often she would grab hold of Jesus' finger. Skipping and toddling around the room, she would take him with her. He smiled and let the tiny girl lead him. Instinctively, I knew that he would not let her go any place that was dangerous. He was happy to give her the freedom to make her own choices and to tag along as she explored.

Often, as Christians, we are afraid to explore different opportunities lest we step out of the will of God. We think that every little decision somehow affects our destiny and live in dread of screwing it all up.

We say things like, "Lord, should I go here or should I go there?" "Should I apply for this job or that job?"

These can be relevant questions and sometimes God will answer them. More often he wants us to explore various opportunities, all the while holding fast to his finger. In other words, he wants us to invite him along into our process and trust him for the outcome.

My husband and I had always wanted to adopt children, as well as to have our own. This desire developed (unknown to each other) during our teen years. In 1993 we decided to make this dream become a reality.

We went through the home study process, which held its own challenges and was not cheap. That took about a year.

Then for nearly three years we searched for a child or sibling group to adopt. We poured over albums filled with child profiles and went to Toronto twice for conferences where the profiles of adoptable children were displayed. Each time we applied for a child or sibling group we thought was a good fit for our family, someone else was chosen over us. There was never any explanation. Just the disappointment and pain of rejection.

Then the adoption worker for our location retired and was not replaced. There was no representative for us which meant we had no way to continue our search for a child to adopt.

In the summer of 2003 we received a call from our local child services office from someone who introduced herself as the new adoption worker. By this time, we had determined that God was steering us away from adopting, as every time (there was a private adoption opportunity as well that fell through) we had attempted, it failed.

By this time, Terry was no longer employed, we were in our late 40s and we did not know what the future held for us. The adoption worker said she would call back in a few months to see what our situation was.

Having our dream thrust back into our laps, after we had already laid it to rest, was unsettling; especially since we were no longer in a position where we would be eligible to adopt a child. Neither of us was employed, my health was not the best and we were, frankly, getting older.

We continued to ask the Lord for guidance about our future and in a few months we were sure he was leading us to sell our home and move from Ontario to Prince Edward Island. I was in the midst of packing when I got the call from the adoption worker. I had forgotten all about it by then.

Since moving to PEI my husband and I have been involved in ministries to children. In 2010 we pioneered a mid-week ministry in our church called Deeply for Kids. It began very small, as a group for children (aged 6-12) who desired a deeper relationship with God. Now it is a collection of ministries to families, from babies to grandparents, that meets on the same night and time.

Like the little girl in my vision, our exploration of adoption was a journey where Jesus let us take the lead while we held fast to his finger. He drew us back each time from the edge of where we were not to go. The process was painful, but necessary.

It developed in us the Spirit of Adoption which is in Papa God's own heart. It also left us painfully aware of our need to have children in our lives.

If we had adopted a child, that ache would have been temporarily alleviated. She would have grown up and probably left home by now. And we would again have this hollow in our hearts that God actually built into us.

We were always meant to adopt children - many children -- but we were intended to adopt them into our hearts rather than into our home.

We are already getting to see some of our beloved children grow up. As teenagers, some are now leading worship, going on mission trips and one is the right-hand man of the children's pastor, as he pushes towards his goal of becoming a children's pastor himself.

But it doesn't end there because each year we get a new batch of darlings to adopt into our hearts.

As painful as it was, I am glad for the years of frustration, disappointment and heart break that our adoption journey brought into our lives. It let us feel a little of the longing in our divine Papa's heart to gather all of his children into his heart and home. It is with that same longing -- that not one of them will be lost -- that we point them to him.


Diane said...

thanks for sharing your beautiful story. God has used you and your husband in His ways to minister to his children.

Anonymous said...

You and Terry are amazing and wonderful and an AWEsome gift to our children. Our children are so on fire for God and that's because of you and your ministries in deeply and flagging etc.!!

Marie-Noelle said...

Hi Teresa... I dont know how to interpret this message, but I am happy you shared it, as adoption has been a process I have been looking for ... for a long time.

You are right when you say it is expensive. I dont understand how the well being of children in need of love is a (say with a sore heart) business :-(

I did enjoy teaching for that reason... Most of the time, I were not calling them my "students", but my kids.

I never had a cute reaction with babies until my sister had her children. You should have seen the face of my sister when I saw Samuel for the first time, as he was a baby. I felt deeply in love. God give me so much Love to share with kids. My sister was sorry she had not made me Godmother of Samuel (now 12) and I told her that I felt in my heart I was his "heart" Godmother. And it has been a love story since !!!!! So when she got pregnant of her second and last child, she asked me right away if I wanted to be the Godmother ... I asked God "will have I enough love for Samuel and Emmy?" My heart received a shower of warm-hearted, something new for me at that time. I knew the answer was YES !

Now, I have 1 nephew and my Goddaughter from my sister and 1 niece from my brother, but he does not want me to see her. At 11 years old, she has been already going in the darkness of un-love. When I tried to "fix" the situation (years ago) for my niece I love SO much, he cut me out of her life. Now, with Skype, we are re-connecting after years of attempts. My love for them is everlasting. God knew what he was doing when he sent these 3 children in my life !

But still, sometimes, I find myself saying "I would like a baby girl".... I know God will show me a path (Missions around the world maybe) where I will be able to spread my love for kids deeply and deeply. He already started, when last year, came in our Church that music group... I adopted a girl from World Vision !!!Out of the 50 pictures they had, only 3 were girls. Her name is Enchhi, from Kingdom of Cambodia (Asia), in the project "Children Of Hope". She is 12 and loves math ! I am ready for more !

Thanks for your sharing,
Love xxx