Going Where God Leads You

I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much. ~ Mother Teresa

When God calls you to do something, you can be sure He will give you the means to see it through. Many times it's not clear where the strength or resources will come from, but if you look deep within yourself and follow His guidance, you'll find what you need. That's how circumstances have unfolded for Archie and Pauly Lawhorne since God put it into their hearts to adopt a child.

At a time in their lives when baby strollers and diapers are but a distance memory, (they already have three biological daughters, ages 12, 13 and 14) they now find themselves in a position they never imagined they would be in - that is, completely immersed in the intricate details of adopting a baby girl from China.

"The only explanation we have is that it is the miraculous hand of God at work," says Archie, 42, a writer at a Minneapolis public relations agency. "When you put your trust completely in God, you'll often be surprised at the positions He puts you in and the places He leads you." The family initially looked at domestic adoption, but felt they were being led in a different direction. While considering various countries in which to adopt, they realized they had a strong attraction to China.

Pauly reflects, "It was not one thing that we could identify specifically, but rather just an overwhelming sense of knowing that China was our choice. As we have come to learn more about China, we feel positively certain about our decision."

One factor that reinforced their decision was reading about the significant numbers of babies that are abandoned in China every year, particularly baby girls. This situation has been caused by a number of social, demographic and economic factors. In some areas, a childless couple may find an abandoned child on their doorstep. But more frequently, infants are abandoned in public places where they will be found quickly, such as busy streets, parks, railway stations or in front of public buildings.

There is no official government figure for the number of infants abandoned annually in China, but U.S. experts in Chinese adoption place the number in a range of 500,000 to 800,000 abandonments annually. In recent years, China has allowed its orphans to be made available for adoption internationally. While the numbers of such adopted orphans has been growing, it still represents only a small percentage of the number of children abandoned annually.

While Archie and Pauly knew they were following God's direction, they weren't sure if they had the patience and emotional discipline to endure the administrative gymnastics and extensive paperwork that's required for approval - followed by a year-long waiting process. What's more, international adoptions can involve a significant financial cost. Depending on the country, the cost to complete the entire process can range from $25,000 to $40,000 dollars.

While the couple knew they were on the right path, they weren't quite sure where the financial resources where going to come from. That's when they began to think about fundraising ideas. Having done some previous research and extensive reading on the benefits of positive thinking, they decided to look deeper into the idea of how our thoughts and beliefs can affect our physical health, our relationships, our job performance, our self-esteem, and even our moods.

What they discovered was that these beliefs, usually subconscious, are the cumulative effect of lifelong "programming," and represent a powerful influence on our behavior.

They then wondered whether any of these concepts have ever been applied within the realm of Christianity and the beliefs and thoughts that accompany a strong faith in God. Archie explains, "In his book, Victory Over The Darkness, Neil Anderson talks about how important is for Christians to see themselves the way God sees them. When you change the way you think about how God sees you, you are better positioned to make lasting behavioral and spiritual changes in your life. That's because our beliefs influence behavior, our actions, and even our identity. We become a living example of the principles that we think, believe and practice."

They knew how powerful meditating on God's word could be, but what if these words were put into an audio format where they could be effortless instilled into your subconscious mind? That's how the idea for the "Faith In Focus" audio CD was born. This unique audio CD uses simple, faith-inspiring words adapted directly from the Holy Scriptures that help you change your actual thought processes and reinforce your beliefs about how God sees you and who you really are - a precious and valued member of God's family.

"Whether you are struggling with a lack of energy that accompanies a bad day, or you're depressed and frustrated with your lack of progress in your spiritual life, the first thing to do is to examine your core beliefs," Archie said. "Often, the reason you may feel depressed or anxious is because you are thinking depressing or anxious thoughts."

When the power of God touches your life, you begin to change from the inside out. But for God to make these changes, you must cooperate with Him. He will not force the changes on you. You have free-will and must make a decision. This is done by replacing the way you used to think with the truth of God's Word. By meditating on, and absorbing the Word of God, you'll begin to develop godly thinking.

After creating the CD, they handed them out to friends and family and members of their small group at their local church.

"The response has been tremendous," Archie said. "That's when we knew we had hit on something unique. The inspirational feedback and powerful results from those who listened to the Faith in Focus program confirmed our original assumptions."

While God has put them in a challenging position, He also is providing them with the resources they needed to complete the task. What's marvelous about how God works is that He is showing them How to get what they need in a way that brings honor and glory to Him. The couple is currently about halfway through the lengthy adoption process and they are trusting that God has already paved the way; they're just following the path He has already opened.

"Since we made our decision to adopt a baby girl from China, we have this inner peace knowing we are doing the right thing," Pauly said. "There is also a feeling now that our family will not be complete until we bring her home. We can not wait to meet her."

The couple has developed a Web site and has begun offering the CD for sale to raise money for their adoption. To make a donation to help them in their quest or to order a copy of the "Faith In Focus" CD, visit: http://www.purposedrivenfaith.com

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