January 24, 2014

Adoption and Discernment: What Do They Have in Common?

Adoptees -- how do you know if you’re dealing with adoption issues, or other issues of life?

 This question was posed to me last week on Adoptee Restoration Facebook in response to one of my posts here last week entitled, Sometimes, It’s Not Adoption.

I promised a follow up to Margaret's question in the form of a post, so here we go...

Knowing the root of an issue is important. Can God do something about a problem although we don't understand all about it? Yes.  And sometimes, it’s not a spiritual issue but one that requires something of us in the natural. It’s important to pray that God would help us to discern what is needed.

God is faithful to help us in discerning whether we’re dealing with a post-adoption issue, or another type of life issue. The Bible says:

“If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you.” James 1:5

Sometimes the answer to a problem is not at all what we expect.

Years ago when I was still struggling with workaholism issues and working insane hours (sometimes 90 a week) I began to have a strange reaction to people. Well, at least it was strange for me. It lasted for a few weeks to a month. I would feel absolutely nothing when they were talking to me. I was devoid of compassion. Normally if people share with me, I feel the impact of what they are telling me. It’s not uncommon for me to cry with people, especially as I pray for them. I don’t have emotional meltdowns or anything as people are sharing but it’s not rare for the tears to roll down my face while I listen or while I pray.

Somebody could have probably come and told me their child was murdered and I would have blankly stared at them and prayed a forced, kind of dis-jointed prayer. My head felt "fuzzy". I felt shame at my lack of response. I really thought all kinds of things as a result. I had thoughts like, “Maybe I’m having a brain problem,” to “I’ve lost the anointing..” to "I'm not seeking God enough."

Photo Credit: Mitchell3417, Flickr

I prayed about it and mentioned this to a mentor and she said, “Deanna, before you make a doctor’s appointment or pray about this for hours, I want you to do something else. I suggest you go to sleep and stay there until you absolutely can’t sleep a moment longer. Stay in bed for as long as you possibly can.” 

I took her advice.

I slept.
And slept.
And slept.

I was in bed for an entire night…and the rest of the next day. I just kept sleeping and sleeping.

The next day I got out of bed, got something to eat and showered and dressed to go to a church service. That night as I prayed for people something happened that had not occurred in months. I actually had “feelings” again. It was like a switch had been flipped on. Tears came to my eyes at appropriate times. I had compassion for people again. I was back in balance. All it took was a lot of sleep. Something I had evidently been depriving myself of for longer than I realized...

To be sure, all of your problems will not be solved by sleep. Although sleep is so very cool.

There is power in discernment. Ask God for wisdom concerning what you are dealing with. Post adoption issues are real. So are a lot of other life issues.

If you have a heart problem, getting your appendix taken out won’t help.

If you have a post adoption issue, taking an iron tablet is going to do nothing.

This is why it's important to know what you're dealing with -- so you can respond in a way that will actually help the problem.

My pattern of discerning is this:

I pray about everything.  (Philippians 4:6)

I look to God’s Word. It’s light and truth. (Hebrews 4:12)

I lean on the trusted voices of the mentors and friends I’ve invited to speak into my life. (Proverbs 27:17)

I receive advice from professionals such as my medical doctor, therapist, etc. (Proverbs 15:22)

With all of these things combined and an open heart to hear truth, I am able to discern the root of an issue to address it appropriately and deal with it.

Whether it’s adoption or not, dealing with it is imperative, to live in victory.

Victory is good. :)