Thanks for your support of our adoption journey. We would love for you to join us in praying that God would give us wisdom, patience and perseverance as we go through the process to adopt our children! We appreciate the many people walking this adoption journey with us in prayer! ~Jon & Bethany

September 11, 2011

Lord, help my unbelief!

I'm going to be totally honest and transparent here. I have been struggling the last couple of weeks. I have felt like I've been walking around wearing a dark, heavy cloak that I want to take off but just can't. I have felt Satan's presence close by, closer than the Lord it seemed. He's been attacking my thoughts, distracting me whenever I sit down and try to read God's word, whispering his lies to me. Rather than deal with this darkness, I have tried to numb the pain and distract myself with temporary pleasures. A fun movie here. A delicious bite of chocolate there.

Only last week the Lord brought great conviction within me. I realized that I have not felt sad and downcast because of the death of our baby girl, Leseli Joyce. {Although I do still mourn at times that she died at only 9 months old. I actually take great comfort that she is with our Heavenly Father.} I realized that the primary thing that has been pressing down on me is that I am afraid to go to God in prayer.  I prayed earnestly for Him to allow us to adopt the 6 month old boy we got our 1st referral for. We lost the referral anyway. I prayed earnestly that He would keep Leseli Joyce safe and healthy until we could bring her home. She died anyway.

I have been afraid to ask Him for anything personal. Afraid to go to Him in prayer. Afraid that He will not answer how I think He should. I have prayed for other people, but not for myself, and certainly not for our adoption. When I have mustered up the courage to pray, it has been half-hearted at best.

I have completely lost sight of who my God is and what He is like. I confessed all these things to my husband Friday night. Up to that point I honestly couldn't pinpoint WHAT was bothering me and making me feel so depressed. I told him that one of the only things I've been praying lately is simply, "Lord,  help my unbelief!"
Thursday night we went on our date night that we'd had planned for weeks. And it was there, listening to FLAME's concert, that the Lord began to help my unbelief. Flame's music is awesome, the lyrics are AWESOME, and he is so faithful to preach the gospel between every song (and in his lyrics). I can't even remember exactly what he said, but I stood there listening with tears of conviction in my eyes. At a rap concert of all places. We bought his newest CD "Captured" at the concert, which we had been meaning to get for awhile. We love his music and he is a member at our church so we want to support his music ministry. But God orchestrated all of this in His perfect timing. I popped it in the CD player in the car on Friday and listened to every song. I drove home by myself in the car Friday night, crying as I listened most of the way home. This may sound completely rediculous.. crying while listening to rap?! But it was the truth, conviction and encouragement in his lyrics that pricked my heart. (His lyrics are awesome, seriously, just take a listen to the previews on iTunes or Amazon and find out for yourself.)
One song in particular was music to my weary soul. It's the last one on the album, and after hearing it, I put it on repeat the rest of the way home. It starts out, "I just wanna be, I just wanna be, closer to your heart, closer to your heart. Everything I am it's because of you, it's because of you. Tonight I'm giving you all of me..."
And track 11 is an excerpt from our gifted pastor, Ryan Fullerton's, sermon on Daniel 10. The whole series through the book of Daniel was extremely powerful and encouraging for Jon and me last year, but hearing this sermon in the car Friday night was like hearing it for the very first time. {Side note: You can listen to any of Pastor Ryan's sermons for free online @} Wow, to say that I was convicted is an understatement.

So Sunday morning came and I was blown away by the way the Lord is at work. I had one of those Sundays where it felt like the Pastor was right to me. If you are struggling with going to the Lord in prayer right now, I pray that you too will be greatly helped by this morning's sermon by Pastor Ryan. {You can listen to it here: Prayer that Cries "Your Kingdom Come" Immanuel Baptist Church } I am honestly still processing and trying to learn everything the Lord is trying to teach me. I plan to listen to this sermon over and over again this week (and now all of you can keep me accountable to do that!). It was some seriously good food for my SOUL! He talked about the disciples falling asleep while Jesus was praying on the Mount of Olives and how they weren't being lazy or unzealous by falling asleep, but Luke says in verse 45 that they were "sleeping for sorrow." They slept because they were so overwhelmed with sorrow that Jesus, their dear friend and teacher, was about to die. But Jesus says to them in Luke 22:46, "Why are you sleeping? Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation."

This evening we went back to church for a dessert fellowship with 3 of the international missionaries sent out from Immanuel to different parts of Asia. We got to hear how the Lord is working and answering our prayers that we've been praying with them. It was a much-needed reminder that God hears. Then we were blessed to have our brother who lives in East Asia preach a brief sermon on Luke 18. Guess what Luke 18 is about? PRAYER. Jesus told them this parable "that they ought always to pray and not lose heart" (Luke 18:1).

I feel like the Lord is lifting the heavy cloak from me. He is pointing my eyes from my weary feet to His perfect Son. He is sending encouragement to me through faithful, Godly men and women and His word. He is SO clearly calling me to PRAY. Please pray for me that I will boldly approach the throne of grace in prayer and not lose heart, but believe.

Thank you Lord for helping my unbelief!!!



  1. God is so good in the ways he reminds us to surprise that you've been on my heart this week and definitely in my prayers. we were supposed to journey through this difficult time in both our lives together, holding each other accountable and of course carrying each others burdens in prayer. I know you've been faithful to me in prayer, and be encouraged that God has not been far in petitioning others to be in prayer for u all. Even states away you are loved! Love u sweet sister!!!

  2. Thanks for sharing your heart. Sending prayers your way!

    -A sister in Christ

  3. Wow! I totally needed to read that! Thank you! Praying for you all!