We left off last week as we returned home with the child God promised me, a daughter from China. I was also (surprise, surprise!) pregnant with what was to be our fourth child, Anna.
In 12 months, 1 week, we went from one child to four children! That was a crazy time!!
It was also a time of outgrowing my little four door car. A friend offered to take us with him to the Dallas Auto Auction. If we found something we liked he would sell it to us for cost. It didn’t take long at all to find a white Suburban I liked and we were the proud owners of a vehicle that would easily carry our four kids (although at that point we only had two, we knew two more were on the way).
We laughed about two particular features of the Suburban: it had four wheel drive and a towing package, not just a little knob on the back bumper but something much more sturdy that was attached to the underside of the car. I apologize to anyone reading this who knows the proper terminology; I don’t. All I knew is that those seemed superfluous to our life. It rarely snows/ices in North Texas and when it does, we all know to hunker down and stay off the streets because no one knows how to drive on the stuff and you’re just going to get yourself killed! We don’t particularly like lakes or livestock so I knew we wouldn’t be hauling a boat or horse trailer. Otherwise, though, it was a really nice Suburban and I was thrilled. Due to God’s enormous provision for Song’s adoption we were able to pay cash for it, too.
Fast forward now to spring of 2000. Alex had been home over a year, Song for several months, and Anna was a baby. Earlier in the year we were surprised and thrilled to find out that John’s mom, a widow of 19 years, was going to marry a gem of a man in late April. The kids were adjusting to one another.
Our church had instituted a prayer wall and church members signed up for an hour of prayer once a week and John’s hour was on Tuesday morning from 4-5 a.m. One of John’s best friends, an associate pastor at the church, had asked John to pray for our church to raise up a missionary to go to Calgary, Canada, and serve alongside the Southern Baptist churches there.
So an early spring Tuesday morning found John praying for an older, possibly retired, married couple of financial means to be raised up as missionaries to Canada. Honestly, doesn’t that sound like the type of people you would want, considering that this would be a voluntary (unpaid) ministry?
Turns out, God didn’t want John to feel left out. The God of all creation had spoken to me about our daughter in China and now He decided it was time to talk to John.
It is you.
John kept on praying for that older couple, just in case.
It is you.
With tears in his eyes and excitement in his voice, he came into our room at 5 a.m. to awaken his sleepy wife and tell her he was pretty sure God wanted us to move to Calgary, Canada from Fort Worth, Texas. With amazement in my own voice I agreed that sounded pretty awesome! By this point I could be fairly described as a miracle junkie and although I didn’t know much at all about Calgary I knew I wanted to see God work and be a part of it. I knew it would be incredible.
But wasn’t this about a Suburban?
It didn’t take long for us to realize that God gave us just the right Suburban all those months ago when Canada was nowhere on our radar. Four wheel drive for the snow of Canada, a towing package for our U-haul trailer.
It also didn’t take long for us to realize that God had taken care of John’s mom, too, knowing that John had been the man of the family for his mom during her years of being widowed and he would not feel released from that loving obligation. Of course, being God He also gave my mother-in-law wedded bliss for 10 years and counting. He’s a very efficient God when it comes to blessing, you know.
Next Monday, I’ll be ready to tell you the lovely ways God showed up for us in Canada. He didn't send us there because we were trained or even especially competent; He sent us there knowing His power would be seen in our weakness.
I didn’t mention my item for last week’s MBM, but I found a lovely frame with my lovely verse on it: Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. I have one of our first pictures of Song, newly home, in it. For this week, I will place this picture of a Suburban just like the one we had, black wheel well covers and all.