It all began so benign.
Me… a blonde-haired, skinny-legged girl; a beautiful family growing up in suburban bliss; a perfect education culminating in a law degree; an easy youth with all the dreams my parents had for me coming true. I loved Coach purses, my brand new Acura Legend, and high-end clothing.
What need did I have for God, really?
I met Jesus for myself at church camp one cold night around a campfire. He drew me, warming something deep within. But, the lure of the comfortable, the normal, the fun, made me turn and refuse His offer.
The price was too high.
Temptation arrived at my door and I welcomed him in with a cup of tea. As any gracious hostess would, I gave him my everything… my beliefs, my body, my purpose, my plans.
In the grip of the world and its lures, I married. God was simply not consulted in my decision. That proved a fatal mistake and my heart ripped open and bled disbelief as I found myself divorced in my twenties, at a time when picture-perfect was supposed to be blooming into happily-ever-after.
In the flash of one lonely, desperate night, Jesus called once again and whispered that He had been waiting. And opening a long-dusty copy of God’s love letter, I turned and answered, “I’m ready.”
As it turns out, I had absolutely no idea what it was that I was so ‘ready’ for. It took years of starts and fits, rewinds and replays to finally give up myself and surrender.
Still fighting Him and feeling the tension of the world’s norms pulling on me, I married Alex, my husband. As we grew together, found each other’s warts, and loved the wounded parts of one another, God saw fit to give us two biological children.
Picture-perfect emerges once more in streaks and blurs.
We were American dreamers and lived our life in pursuit of our dream house, our retirement, our happiness… ours, ours, ours. Around this same time, we joined a small church plant, and God’s spiritual sharpening began in earnest.
Holy tension took over… the pull of Jesus and living like He lived; the push of worldly pressure and what life was supposed to look like in upper class USA. Jesus kept pulling and pulling me toward a deeper friendship with Him. It was at this time He began to speak adoption and foster care into my story.
If you want your world to be wrecked, just sign up to be a foster parent. As a foster Mommy, I loved and lost; I received and I handed over; I cheered and I questioned; I was wounded and was healed. Two more children joined our family.
One winter morning, I sat teaching my kids and sipping coffee in my warm, north Texas country home. The phone rang. I heard my husband’s voice on the other end… that hushed excitement, the peaceful certainty… telling me that God wanted more from him. Sighing, I knew. God was about to have His way with my husband.
God continued to wrench our hearts for lonely children, for starving families, for the faces of which my Jesus so often speaks. It was as if He was saying to us… “this is where the rubber of your faith meets the road of My calling.”
We were no longer able to live a life of status quo. If our faith meant anything at all, it was time to stand up and show it.
And then, God showed us La Moskitia, Honduras.
Remote by any standard; accessible by only boat or small plane. I prayed and said ‘No way, God, am taking four small children to this place!’ But, as that plane landed on that red, dirt runway… Alex and I knew.
We were home.
The love that we have for the Miskito people is not of ourselves. Only God plants this type of love in His people.
Propelled and motivated by this Love, we live and work alongside the Miskito Indian people. We are proudly from the US of A, but have no desire or intention to impose Americanism or the American brand of Christianity on this area of Honduras.
We share the love of Christ through Word and deed. Sometimes, that looks like a prayer and a tortilla at our front step with a hungry child. Sometimes, that looks like rallying friends around two young, orphaned men to create a scholarship fund for their dreams to be doctors. Sometimes, that looks like building a school called – Institute of Abundant Life – where God can speak the Truth into an area where the thief has long stolen, killed, and destroyed.
Most days, I am the mission; I am the one being changed. I am loved on, cared for, ministered to, and transformed by Christ in ways that were simply unattainable to me in my comfortable life. I am a foster Mommy again to a beautiful treasure of a brown-skinned baby who I pray will be a permanent peep in my nest.
In my continual surrender to His plan, I am free.
My story is nothing new, nothing super-special or unique … but, mine is a story that rescued this materialistic woman from herself… the one that began to make sense only as I gave myself completely away… the one story that the Author of time wrote just for me.
You have a story.
Your story is the one of God’s faithfulness in your life, His transforming love that pursued you, His grace like a shield that protected. Tell it.
My story is His and yours is, too.
Laura Waits is Texas-girl serving God in the remote region of La Mosquitia, Honduras.
From Laura: “I have a deep affection for people – old friends and new; simple friendships and complicated ones. I have worn many hats – foster mommy, homeschooler, attorney, vegetable co-op lady, Sunday school teacher, adoption advocate, missionary, wife, mommy, daughter, sister and friend; but, my favorite hat, the one that fits me best, is Christ-follower. My goal in life is to run the race with intensity and cross the finish line with laughter. I blog at http://worldourclassroom.blogspot.com. You can read more about God’s work in La Mosquitia at www.ReachOutHonduras.org”
I met Laura at the Women of Purpose conference in Parkersburg, WV. Our meeting wasn’t chance. Our hearts connected immediately. As I type, Laura and I are sitting in Honduras under a gazebo chatting about the ups and downs of the past year. Well…the ups and downs of a lifetime. I am honored to share her story. She is a remarkable woman whose obedience to Him both challenges and inspires me. I am better because I know her.