Has anyone else noticed it seems to be a banner year for Surprise Lilies? As I've reflected on seasons of life, it seems that often during times when it felt as if the "rug had been pulled out from underneath me", (such as in 2020) I've been unexpectedly blessed by God's goodness at just the right moment. Are you waiting expectantly for His "Surprise"? I believe He is up to something that is "immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine." Look at all those lilies and anticipate what is to come!" ~Amy Tilley
Months ago, Amy posted the picture of the surprise lilies with the above description on our Just Jump Facebook page. She told me later that she was certain she was to post that day in spite of a million things on her to-do list and that she was to not discuss it with me first. I saw it that morning and smiled as I thought about how God does indeed love to do more than we can dream or imagine. All day long, I encountered these literal surprise lilies everywhere I went. They seemed to be everywhere... in my backyard, on the way to the post office, beside the road wherever I went that day.
The surprise came via a phone call from a good friend.
But let me pause the story for a moment and share something that you may or may not know about me. I have always had a deep and heartfelt desire to have a family of my own. For as long as I can remember, I have longed for children. I'm not married, and though God has brought many children to love into my path over the years...I have never been a mom. I have been praying about this for decades. More recently, I have been praying specifically about adoption . I had even asked a few close friends to be praying about it with me. My biggest obstacle was how to afford it. In March of 2020, covid hit and everything seemed to be turned upside down. So many unknowns. I remember sensing God say, "Just wait." I responded, "Ok, God. I will not pursue this until or unless YOU prompt me otherwise." And then I remember adding to my prayer -- "But God... if You so desired....if YOU wanted to prompt someone's heart to connect me with a child who needed a family, my answer would be yes."
Back to the phone call...
He didn't beat around the bush but told me that he couldn't get something off of his heart and that he thought he was supposed to be doing something about it. He told me of how God had burdened his heart for children who were in orphanages in a country where he has gone with mission teams several times. He was concerned for the children who would eventually age out and might not have many good options. "So here's the thing, Cara--- it might be you or it might be someone else, but I'm looking for someone to adopt a child from this particular country. God has given some resources to my wife and me, and we believe we are supposed to help pay for the adoption." He went on to say more, but my mind was going 120 miles an hour. I vaguely recall him saying, "So I'll give you a call in a week or two, and you can tell me what you think."
Oh My Goodness! WOW! God just dropped a child into my lap! He has answered! He is providing! He is doing WAY MORE that I could dream or imagine! I think I'm supposed to JUMP!
I knew my answer right away. I couldn't NOT say yes. I had HEARD God's voice, and I needed to JUST JUMP! I called my friend back the next day and told him I didn't need a week. I was "in." I believed God was answering a heartfelt prayer in a surprising but wonderful way. My friend commented that he had considered talking to a couple of other people, but God put on his mind and heart to "call Cara." He continued by saying, "I called and you acted like you had already been thinking and praying about it!"
And so...I officially began the process of international adoption within a few weeks of that phone call. This is the biggest jump of my life so far, but it is also one of the most amazing gifts God has given me. He heard the cries and prayers of my heart, and He is answering! He heard the concerns and desires for a family on a child's heart, and He is answering!
I invite you to pray with and for me as I continue to make this jump of a lifetime. I also ask today.... what is God asking of you? Is He asking you to use resources He's given you as He asked of my friends? Is He asking you to adopt? Is He asking you to trust Him with a decision? Have you been praying about something for a really long time? 2020 was a crazy year. 2021 continues to be a bit crazy. Neither have been particularly easy for anyone...but if we are paying attention, we may just find that He has surprises and blessings beyond our wildest dreams just waiting for us!
Listen to His voice, and JUST JUMP!