Following the Road Signs
In route to Arkansas last weekend to visit our daughter and her husband, one particular turn along highway 67 south caught my attention. I saw the first sign at least a half mile from the curve: large yellow rectangles on both sides of the road warning a sharp left bend. CAUTION. Blinking lights. Danger Ahead.
A quarter mile down the road, another equally alarming yellow sign declared a new suggested speed - half of what we had been traveling just minutes before.
Immediately I thought,"My life should have signs like these." Signs that signal my path is taking an abrupt turn ahead. They need to be big unavoidable declarations in neon yellow with flashing red lights announcing something huge is coming up.
And maybe, because I'm often distracted on this drive through life, they should also state very boldly, "If you're not careful, you're going to be smack on top of this turn and going way too fast." Because I'm prone to do that. I'm prone to wander - ignoring the signs.
Then in the brief moment it took Rich to slow the van, I realized I had seen our significant turn ahead sign. It flashed yellow caution on April 22, 2012.
A Sunday morning. Emily was standing before our church talking about foster care and adoption and the need for people. For parents. She read scripture. Showed a video. Rich squeezed my hand hard. He wiped a tear. So did I. He came home and searched the internet. He asked if we still had the application I had requested four years earlier. I wrote a Facebook status that night: "My husband is incredible. His heart was stirred at church about the need for foster and adoptive families. We have no idea where this will take us, and yes, it's a little scary to contemplate..."
Our first warning sign.
The nudge last January to start foster and adoption classes for a specific little girl was the second. Our "reduce speed ahead" sign.
As we approached the bend in highway 67 to Arkansas, smaller arrow signs lined the way and guided us around the curve. We were going the right speed when the time came. We made it through the curve.
Those signs have been in place too. Insights from the social worker doing our home study. Children's profiles that stirred our hearts. Hard decisions about whether our family was the right fit for a little girl. Scripture verses. Conversations with Emily, and with other adoptive moms and dads, and with our children, and with our parents, and our siblings, and each other, and God. Nightly. Directional arrows guiding us into the sharp curve ahead.
Very soon we will be a licensed foster and adoptive home for two children age birth to twelve years. We are especially burdened for special needs children. It's still a little scary to contemplate. No. It's a lot scary. We don't know what is on the other side of this curve. It's a road we haven't traveled. We've seen the signs. We've slowed down. We're taking the curve.
Reading the Sunday morning confessional aloud in Arkansas, I heard my voice join with Rich's, "Would you help our unbelief? Would you strengthen us to rest in Christ? Would you teach us to walk in the Spirit? For we are prone to wander." And silently I added, "Would you place the yellow road signs around this curve?"