Wednesday, December 30, 2015

An Almost Freaky "Coincidence"

I use the word coincidence here because I fear that I will soon be accused of using the word miracle way too often.

My brothers have chosen a completely different path in life than my parents or I have (a great lesson for me to learn BEFORE I became a parent -- kids have free will and excellent parenting doesn't always equal excellent choices by the children parented). Neither of them are Christians though my mom has prayed for them "War Room style" for fifty years. But my brother Nathan once said, "I do have to admit, there are a lot of coincidences that happen after mom and dad pray."

So this morning, as I finish out my last official week at Bethany (while already in Virginia), I want to tell you about a coincidence that even those who don't believe might admit could be related to divine intervention.

Three and a half years ago we moved to the Twin Cities. The very first night that we were there we had supper at B-Dubs (Buffalo Wild Wings) and I could swear I ordered a Caffeine Free Diet Coke... but since I was up most of the night, I think they didn't hear the caffeine free part. So either God or tons of caffeine kept me up. And God and I had a conversation. It went something like this.

"Well, God, here I am in the Twin Cities. I wonder why it is that you have me here. I know Bart has this great new church, but what about me?"

We went back and forth for a while as I thought about my passion for adoption and the number of churches that are in the Twin Cities. I kept coming back to the question "what does God want me to do?"

I don't often tell people that God told me stuff, but this time it was a pretty clear message.

God said, "You know those 12 kids you adopted? Add zero to it."

"Happy to do that, God! We really want to be done now that we have grandkids."

"No, he said, I didn't mean add zero to your family, I meant put a zero at the end of the 12. I want you to find Christian people in churches Minnesota to adopt 120 kids."

My mind started to spin and I was up the rest of the night coming up with a plan. In my job at that time I typically would place 10-12 kids a year and I figured I wouldn't be ready to retire until beyond 62, so it was a reachable goal. I made list in my head of pastors to call, and I was happy to accept this challenge.

Fast forward three months and I land this amazing job as Branch Director at Bethany. Suddenly I will have the ability to affect a bunch more kids. I jumped in and applied all the passion and energy I had into what I called the "Minnesota 500" program and began the task of finding homes for kids.

By now you know that I have moved on and my time in the Twin Cities is over. And you probably know where this blog post is going. We have software that counts placements and yes, you guessed it, we placed EXACTLY 120 kids into adoptive and foster homes between the day I started and my last day this Thursday. That is one freaky coincidence.

Last night was my first night in my new home. I didn't have caffeine last night and I didn't have a conversation with God. But I am excited to see how He unveils His plan for us here in Virginia as the days go by.

This is indeed a Great Adventure.

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