Posted by: Eric and Heidi | November 2, 2013


Recently I’ve been on a quest to bring balance to my life.  One area that needed some work was the personal time I was spending reading the Bible.  As in, it was non-existent.  That needed to change, so over the last month or so I’ve pulled my Bible off the shelf, downloaded a Bible reading plan to my phone, and now my time in the Word is my first priority during the one magical hour when both girls are napping.  Some days, like today, when my to do list represents more than what can be accomplished in 60 minutes, making the choice to be still is painful.  The benefits, though, far outweigh the cost to my daily productivity.

A couple days ago I read the account of Joshua and Caleb giving their report of the Promised Land to the people of Israel.  You may know the story already, but the main points are this:  God brought His people out of slavery in Egypt and promised to lead them to a beautiful and plentiful land.  The only catch was that the land was already inhabited by other people.  Moses (the leader of the Israelites) sent 12 spies into the land to gather a report for the people.  Ten of the spies came back dwelling on the negative, while only Joshua and Caleb focused on God’s promise.

This story has caused me to be pretty reflective over the last couple days.  Last summer, in the midst of waiting to be matched with the baby who would become our daughter, this story was a pretty important turning point for us.  We received a call one Friday night from our social worker.  There was a baby girl due to be born and our social worker wanted to show her birthmother our profile.  She was calling first, though, because this baby had been exposed to some pretty nasty stuff en utero.  There was the possibility that she’d face some significant challenges both at birth and down the road, and our social worker encouraged us to research and let her know on Monday if we wanted to be presented or not.  So we researched.  We sought wise counsel.  We talked about it.  We cried.  We prayed.  We cried a little more.  And God reminded us of Joshua and Caleb…

Invading the Promised Land was risky.  “But the men who had gone up with him [Caleb] said, ‘We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.’ And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored.  They said, ‘The land we explored devours those living in it.  All the people we saw there are of great size.'” (Numbers 13:31-32)  Those risks were persuasive.  “That night all the people of the community raised their voices and wept aloud.  All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron.” (14:1-2)  But Joshua and Caleb were unfazed.  They stood in front of the people and confidently proclaimed, “The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good.  If the Lord is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us.  Only do not rebel against the Lord.  And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will swallow them up.  Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us.  Do not be afraid of them.” (14:7-9)

To this day, I can’t read that without my eyes welling with tears.  That was a tough weekend.  We did our research and it did not look good.  We sought medical advice from godly people we respect, and they backed up our research.  This baby was a real risk.  We could be looking at significant issues at birth, and, more disturbing still, we could be looking at ongoing issues throughout this baby’s life.  This land was full of giants.  We were determined, though, to be like Joshua and Caleb.  If this baby was our Promised Land, if she was the child God had intended for us, we would march in with confidence.  We would focus on the good and we would trust God to drive out the giants from before us.  It would be foolish, however, to go marching into a land full of giants without God’s promise backing us.  As we talked and prayed and cried and sought wisdom, we began to feel more and more confident that this little girl was a part of another family.  We were not to be her parents.  Our baby was still out there waiting for us.

What escaped me until I re-read this story the other day, though, is that I missed the other half of the story.  As it turns out, we didn’t dodge those giants after all.  Our Promised Land was full of them, too.  All of the “giants” we might have encountered with that first baby- a lengthy NICU stay, possible side effects, complications with our PCS- reared their ugly heads again when Lia was born.  I’ll admit that, as I’ve reflected on that story this week, I’ve found myself wondering why God said no on that first baby and yes to Lia.  I mean, the risks were the same.  In fact, I would check in on that first baby from time to time during her first few months, and she came through completely unscathed- no NICU, no side effects, just a happy little girl safely at home with her loving parents.  I’m thrilled about that, of course, but it just makes me wonder.  Why wasn’t that baby for us?  The answer, of course, is that she simply wasn’t our Amelia Joy. IMG_2040 There’s only one Lia, and no other baby would have her smile or her sparkly eyes.  She is one of a kind and I wouldn’t trade her for any other baby in the world.

I also wonder, though, whether God was giving us the opportunity to search our hearts, to prepare for the challenges that were coming.  Would we back down from giants or walk boldly forward?  When tested, would we default to fear or faith?  Would we obey, even if it was difficult?  I wonder if God heard our cries for wisdom, if He saw in our tears our desire to be obedient…and He knew we were ready.  He sent us into our very own Promised Land and drove out the very real giants from before us.  We echo with Moses, “Now may the Lord’s strength be displayed” (14:17) . May all who see our family respond with joy, “Look what God has done!”



  1. Heidi, your writing always inspires me, warms my heart, and increases my faith. Thank you. Love to you and your beautiful family, Sue

    Date: Fri, 1 Nov 2013 23:48:38 +0000 To:

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