Most of you (if not all of you) know about Tony or know him personally. You've seen him run, play, laugh, talk, love, and be loved. You also probably have heard about his court hearing and how it went, whether you heard directly from my parents or through Facebook or from me.
I'll admit I'm crying while writing this blog. I feel like my heart is breaking. But I'm crying more I think right now because I feel so bad for my parents. I know this is hard on me, but I can't even imagine what's like on them, especially my mom. My heart just aches for them. I'll also admit I'm worried about Tony, and about how he'll handle it emotionally and mentally when he realizes he's not coming home anymore.
But all that being said I know that God is in control. And honestly, yesterday God filled me with a peace that I don't know how I had. In the whole time before court I only seriously worried once, and I was very blessed by a close friend who prayed with me then and helped me kind of regain my composure a bit. I still have this peace. I know again that it's only by God's grace that I do.
Since I first got here I knew there was a very good chance that I wouldn't see Tony again, that he would leave before I got home. Within the first two weeks of getting here Tony had a court hearing and we were all so hopeful for that one and that it would go well and that possibly things would all be over even then and we would have Tony. But it didn't go the way we had hoped. The judge said to really start pushing for him to go home and soon.
I didn't understand why God would let it happen. I mean, come on!, we'd been praying for months that God would show the judge that Tony should stay with us. Why hadn't He listened to our prayers. But I knew that wasn't true. That was just me being frustrated and angry with the situation.
We all knew the judge then was a little biased in his judgment.(Tony's mom is beautiful!) So we started praying for a judge that would not be biased, one that would finish all of this quickly so that Tony and the girls wouldn't be in the system for a long time.
In January we got a new judge. He was exactly what we had been praying for. He was known for finishing cases that day at court. He's fast, efficient, and unbiased. He scared me in a way. Would he make the right call? Would he do what was right and send Tony home with my family?
At one point (I'm not sure exactly when it was), God really started to challenge me in what I was praying. I was praying for Tony to come home with my family because that's what I thought was the right thing. I was praying for what I wanted basically saying that what I wanted was the right choice and that any other plans God had weren't the right choice.
Like I said, he really challenged me. He asked me why I was praying the things that I was praying. Why was what I wanted to "only right choice" in the matter? Did it matter to me what He wanted to do in the situation?
If God knows everything and is in control of everything then why is it so hard for me to believe that even if worst comes to worst and Tony goes home with his mom that that's not part of God's plan. He may not like the situation and some would say it's just the Devil using his control over the earth when things like this happen. But God still allows for it to happen. It's not a surprise to Him. He already knows what's going to happen after this. He already knows the final outcome and He's still going to work through the different circumstances and show His glory in the end.
So I started to change what I was praying. I stopped praying for what I wanted and I started praying for God's will to be done. That God would work in a mighty way and that lives would be changed from all of this. I started even more seriously praying for his mom and dad's salvation.
And do you know what happened because of that? God started to give me peace about the court hearing. I could believe that God was in control, that He would take care of things, that He saw the big picture when I could only see a little bit of it.
Court started at 1:30pm Peoria time, 3:30am my time. Debbie and Amy stayed the night with me and both of them woke up to pray with me at 3:30. I had decided last week that I was going to wake up and pray through the court hearing. I'm so glad that Amy and Debbie were with me. I also knew the people all around the world were lifting up prayers for this court hearing. People in the States, friends in Brazil, and friends and family here in Japan all united in praying for this court hearing.
I know my family wouldn't/still won't make it through the rest of this without the prayer and support of everyone back at home, just like I know I won't/wouldn't have been able to make it through everything so far if it hadn't been for my family here in Japan.
God has been preparing me spiritually for today for the past year. I've gone through things that have strengthened my faith to withstand this. I've been blessed with a family here and around the world that are committed to praying and seeing God move and work.
Ron talked on Tuesday morning at prayer about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and when they went into the fiery furnace. God could have spared them from that. He could have taken away all the issues in the problem. But He didn't, He helped them walk through the fire. He didn't spare them, he helped them through it and protected them. And because of that they came out stronger on the other side. Their faith was stronger than it had been. Just like mine is now.
God's in control. Of that I am 100% certain. I may not understand now why all this had to happen. Honestly I may never understand. But that doesn't mean I start to doubt God and His power and will in this. Something good will come from this. I don't know what yet or how it will, but it will.
My desires and my will are not always what God wants and wills. I only see one or maybe even two pieces of the puzzle, but I have no idea what the finished puzzle looks like. God does. I need to continue to strive to put aside my desires, my thoughts, my ideas, and my will and embrace, accept, pray for, and do God's will. 'Cause like I said.....He knows the end result.