Posted by: ramonamom | May 29, 2008

A Personal Testimony of Grace

Below are excerpts of an email we received from a newfound friend who is currently traveling with her husband to bring home their adopted boys.  It has been a delight to see her turn to the Lord as they embark upon this adoption journey:
Thank you so much for sharing with me about your boys and the issues they faced.  It is so helpful to know what others have gone through.  That has been the most helpful thing about reading all the books that I have read.  And believe me, I have read them all.  I am an avid reader and tend to become obsessed with subjects sometimes.  I have read Bruce Perry, Dave Ziegler, Deboray Gray, Katharine Leslie, Keck and Kupecky, Daniel Hughes, plus a lot of the Beyond Consequences stuff.  Probably more.  At least I feel like I know what to expect.  (Also, we are involved with a hosting organization and there have been about 50 kids adopted from Ukraine in and around the area so I hear all the horror stories!)  Even as I read these books, however, and gleaned what helpful informatiton I could, I knew that no one’s method or system was going to work without the gospel.  {Editor’s note: I am not personally familiar with any of the authors she mentions here.  Thus, I can neither recommend or speak out against them.}
The deacon who recommended nouthetic counseling also told me that counseling should first be preaching and living the gospel before them; that the real issues could not be dealt with absent the Holy Spirit.  When he told me this, I recognized it as truth and yet, by that time, I had read so many books and sifted through so many methodologies that I doubted it could be so “simple”.  I came home after that conversation and tried to find Instrument in the Redeemer’s Hand {see our Recommended Reading page} and could not so I let it go.  But it kept eating at me.
You are about to get a condensed version of my testimony so I apologise up front if this is more than you ever wanted to know!  I was only introduced to the doctrines of grace about 6 years ago.  In fact, I only came to understand grace itself at that time.  What a moment when God opened my eyes to the truth that he had not called me to do anything that he did not enable me to do.  Oh, I ate it up!  I had been trying to live holy in my own power for many years and continually falied at it. I was thrilled when we moved and found a church where the Pastor understood and was preaching grace.  That was a mountain in my Christian walk.  About a year after we moved here, our pastor left and our church split over the doctrines of grace.  I love our new pastor; he is a wonderful theologian; however, I miss the constant emphasis on grace.  Not the “doctrines of grace” but grace itself.  I need the grace of God preached to me DAILY!  I have only recently been reminded of this after I emailed you and knew I had to go back and read Tripp and Priolo.  I found War of Words first and have finished it now I am starting Instrument in the Redeemer’s Hands. 
Oh what a wonderful reminder of the power of the gospel these books are.  I think I mentioned to you already that I felt I had gotten off track in my parenting.  I was blaming it on my obsession with the adoption but I think the real problem has been my focus on all the adoptive parenting books and the resulting lack of attention to the Word.  My mind was trying to serve two masters, one of them being ungodly counsel.  No matter how well meaning, the opposite of truth is falsehood.  I was filling my mind the last 6 months with lies.  Not only that, but my attention to it had turned a godly desire into an idol.  I was idolizing the adoption process, and possibly even the children themselves. 
I have been praising God these last few days for His precious love toward me; for His care for my soul.  I am thankful that my God is a jealous God and He pointed out my idols and helped me tear them down.  I am so thankful that he did not allow me to leave next week with a head full of lies.  Instead, through the advise of a deacon and a sovereignly orchestrated contact with you, my heart has turned again toward my Redeemer and my mind is being filled with the Word.  I am astonished  that I actually thought that I could “cure” these boys’ lying and cursing and other issues with man-made methodologies.  I am so thankful that I no longer have to try and remember all of the suggestions I have read; I am so thankful for grace.
 
All personal information has been removed, but otherwise this email is exactly as it was written to us.  We are praising God for His work in this family’s lives and praying that He will prepare their hearts as they work on bringing their children home. 
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