/dɪˈvaɪn/ Show Spelled [dih-vahyn]
1. proceeding from God
2. addressed, appropriated, or devoted to God
3. of superhuman or surpassing excellence
This word has floated around in my head and inside my mouth for the past couple of weeks. It’s a fun word to mouth. Try it. I like the feel of the ‘vvvvv’. Just typing that made me realize that I might just have a touch of autism myself. Hmmmm?
Definition 1: Proceeding from God.
My kiddos last day of school was June 24th. For months we have planned to leave on that Thursday afternoon, drive the entire eighteen hours from here to Baton Rouge, and arrive at my grandmother’s house in time for breakfast on Friday morning.
My grandmother is one of my favorite people on the planet. I have never seen her as just a grandparent. She is my friend. My mentor. My confidant. The last time I saw her was in May of 2008 and I have been beside myself with anticipation over going home. To sweeten the deal, my great-aunt planned a family reunion for our first weekend home.
On the night before we were planning to leave, my husband and I began to argue. It was pointless and unnecessary and it somehow quickly escalated into one of the worst ‘word wars’ we have ever engaged in. There were several times between Wednesday evening and Thursday afternoon that both of us said we would not make the trip. “I’m not riding across the country with you.” ” I don’t want to be stuck in a car with you for eighteen hours.” You get the idea. My whole point in sharing is that we almost missed out on a divine trip by allowing our hard-heads, egos, and mutual desire to have the last word, get in the way. God was sending us to Louisiana for a very specific purpose.
The fight delayed our departure and the breakfast arrival I had envisioned turned into a late lunch arrival. On Saturday, we dragged our exhausted butts down the road for the family reunion. I come from a large family of God-lovers and it felt great to spend a little time swimming in that gene pool. And yes, it was also quite fun to show off our new addition. She did have a couple of full-blown meltdowns and she did bite one of my uncles on the butt. Otherwise, she was amazingly well-behaved.
The reunion placed us in the same room with the people that God wanted to use to show us purpose and to bless our socks off. An encounter that we would have completely missed out on if we had let our fight dictate our plans.
If you’ve followed our story from the beginning, you know that we have been on the road to financial freedom for the past year. We sold our Honda Odyssey in January and took the $4000 in equity that we had in it to an auction and paid cash for a Kia Sedona with 116k miles on it. In the process, we eliminated more than $10,000 of debt. The Kia has been comfortable and has met our needs for the past several months, but it has been spending quite a bit of time in the shop and we’ve reached the point where we don’t want to put any more miles on it or money into it.
We have been paying ourselves a car note every month into a money market account since we eliminated the payment on the Odyssey. Our plan was to sell the van, withdraw what we’ve saved and take the combined money back to the auction with the hope of finding something with less mileage. We would drive that vehicle for 10-12 months and then trade up by doing the same thing all over again.
Our kids are constantly asking us to pick up their friends for various activities. With a family of six, we’ve been coming to terms with the fact that the only way to be involved in transporting our kids and their friends is in a very large vehicle. An eighteen hour trip with seven people packed into a Honda Pilot was confirmation of that fact. We now clearly understand the meaning of the phrase, “like a can of sardines”.
It was only a few years ago that I was driving an Acura MDX. The day we bought it, my husband told me I looked like a “kept woman” behind the wheel. I liked that look. About the time of my cancer diagnosis, we got rid of it, along with my husband’s super-sexy platinum edition F-250. We swallowed our pride and simplified our lives. I really hoped that going from an MDX to an Odyssey was enough of a lesson in what matters in life. But no. God took me from being okay with a Honda mini-van to being really excited about a Kia mini-van (there’s nothing quite like paid-for to make a car lovable). Since our return from Serbia He’s taken me from loving my Kia to longing for a big ol’ ten, twelve, or even fifteen passenger van. God does indeed have a sense of humor.
The blessing our socks off was a financial gift that we were told to use for purchasing a larger vehicle. It was completely unexpected. But guess what? We now have enough to purchase that big ol’ van. We hope to sell the Kia this week and we’re hoping to find a Dodge Sprinter, but we’ll be happy with whatever God leads us to buy.
Definition 2. addressed, appropriated, or devoted to God
Our blessing-givers are living out definition 2. Their will and their actions are devoted to God’s purpose. Because they are living a divine life, they don’t miss out on divine interactions. At the reunion we discussed our adoption process, including the where and when. When they learned that we adopted from Serbia, they had perfect clarity about one of those divine interactions. They met a woman in Houston who just happens to be from Serbia. When they met it was clear that their meeting was divine, just not the actual purpose of the meeting. They agreed to keep in touch. The minute I said where Sofija was from, the purpose of them meeting was revealed.
Our financial blessing came three days after our family reunion. Within minutes of receiving that blessing I was blessed in more ways than I can even describe. I was placed on the phone with a woman who began to put together the pieces of a puzzle that God has been crafting for ages. She has raised money for and spent time in the orphanage where my daughter lived in the early years of her life. She told me over and over that it was no accident that God sent us to Serbia to adopt. She was right. She said He could have sent us anywhere in the world. She was right. She said that God is doing something BIG. She is right. I don’t know where God is taking me and I don’t know exactly what He will use the two of us to do together, but I know I don’t want to get off this ride.
Definition 3. of superhuman or surpassing excellence
We are now fully engaged in summer fun and I have half a dozen stories to tell about my kids. Our trip was packed full of answered prayers and unexpected joy that I want to share. Maybe I’ll write about all of that tomorrow. Those things are not at the forefront of my thoughts tonight. Tonight I just needed to document how big God’s love and power are. I am still trying to process what He has already done and what He is putting together. When we committed to adopt Sofija, we did not even know what country she was in. We knew she was in the Balkans and we knew that we had an urgency to get her home. No one in my house had ever met anyone from Serbia until we landed in Belgrade on April 14th. And all along, God was in charge.
Without us having an iota of awareness, He put a woman from Serbia and a man that I dearly love and respect in the same BBQ restaurant in Houston, Texas at the exact same moment. He gave them both a desire to establish contact and gave them both perfect clarity in the fact that their meeting was no accident. He gave the woman an unexplainable urge to share her life story with this man, in the middle of this restaurant. It was divine.
Six weeks after we returned from Serbia, on the one year anniversary of my cancer-free day, He put my butt in a seat in an audience of people who all sat and listened to Christine Caine describe what was happening with the sex trade and human slavery throughout Eastern Europe. After that sermon, He gave me the opportunity to speak with her about my daughter, and Serbia, and my desire to see what she has inspired in other European countries spread to my daughter’s birthplace. That conversation was divine.
One week later, he put my family in the same building with the lovable respectable man that met the lady in the BBQ restaurant and in one big swoop, He showed us all what “superhuman and surpassing excellence” looks like.
…And may you have the power
to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high,
and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to
understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness
…of life and power that comes from God.
I don’t know that I’ll ever fully grasp it, but I am getting an idea of just how wide and how long and how high and how deep His love is. It’s immeasurable. It’s too big to even articulate. It makes me full. My soul feels like I just made one too many trips to an all-you-can-eat buffet. His love is truly divine.