Living a life of potential

h2h2Webster defines potential as “the inherent ability or capacity for growth, development, or coming into being.” Jeremiah 29:11 describes it this way: “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

As a young woman, you no doubt have had many people list your qualities and the potential for your life. The possibilities are truly endless, they might say. When I was a young woman, my parents affirmed that I could be anything that I wanted to be. They encouraged me to try many things, keep an open mind, and have a prayerful heart. For as long as I can remember, though, I have longed to be a wife and a mother. I had no desire to achieve accolades as a great career woman; no longing filled my heart for a prestigious college degree. In my mind’s eye my potential was for homemaking: my talents, my qualities, my aspirations all for this goal. At 21, I found my first dream realized when I married my husband. We have a wonderful marriage, and I am truly blessed. The years began to pass without my second dream fulfilled. No children surrounded me, calling me Momma. I had no one to nurture. In my despair, I was angry with God. How could He allow me this pain? How could He prevent me from living up to what I saw as my true potential? I had so much love to share, so many things to teach my child about God, such a desire to hold my precious children. Perhaps God didn’t have a plan for my life after all. Maybe I was wrong all along in thinking that motherhood was what I was created for. I began to question my very existence and everything I had ever believed.

Through a series of events, God called me back to Him—called me back to the place where His plans for my life could be realized. It was only when I truly surrendered myself to His call, letting go of my grief, placing my life in His hands that I discovered God’s marvelous plan for me. He had been shaping me, preparing me for the work that He had for me to accomplish.

h2h1He had indeed given me great potential. I just needed to allow Him to help me reach it. I had to release my control over my life and take a leap of faith. I had to say, “Yes, God, I will follow your plan for my life, regardless of where it leads me.” I had to be willing to let go of my dreams, of what I had determined my potential was, and allow God to fulfill the plan He had for me.

Now, I have someone to call me Momma. My precious son, whom I love more than life, was born 8000 miles away in India to another mother. He was born in a land I knew nothing about, in a culture that I am still discovering. Yet God had brought us together through the miracle of adoption. He has given me a greater responsibility than just motherhood. He has asked me to care for and raise a child that wasn’t born to me—a child with special needs, a child of a different race and different background. God asked me to give up my longing for a child who resembled my husband, to parent a child who would never be confused as “my own.”

The result of my leap of faith has been joy beyond measure. My son is the light of my life. Home with us now for two years, he is our delight. Parenting him, teaching him about the love of God, beginning to tell him of the plans that God has for him, has fulfilled me in ways I never thought possible. My heart overflows so much that I want to tell the world how adoption has changed our lives. I feel compelled to share with others the plight of the orphan. I want to not only parent this precious child but to tell the world about others like him. I am a mouthpiece. It is my responsibility to show the world that God is the Father of the Fatherless. Showing how He brought a woman desperate for a child to call her own and a small, lonely child together from across the world to become a family—not for my own praise, but to the praise of our Loving Heavenly Father.

h2h3As I look back over my life, I can see God’s hand in shaping me for adoptive motherhood. I see how He created me for this. How different my life would be had I not listened and allowed God to help me reach my potential—His potential for my life. What joy I would be missing had I stubbornly clung to the dreams and aspirations I had for myself. I would never know the deep satisfaction I have every night holding my precious son as he prepares for bed.

This is my story, but there are countless others. In the Bible, Esther never aspired to be queen, yet God saw her true potential. David, being the youngest and a shepherd, had no idea he would one day be a great king of Israel. It never entered his mind that some day, the Messiah would be born from his descendants.

Like these, God is creating in you the ability, the desire, and the passion for His plans. Psalm 139 tells us that God created us—formed us in our mother’s womb. He has fashioned you for a purpose. Will you live up to His potential for you? In the short term, you may grieve something you think you may have lost; but in the end, you will rejoice in the deep satisfaction of knowing that you have lived up to the great potential that God has planned for your life.

By Pam DeArmon

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