The People who Inspire Us
We all have people who inspire us.
In September this year I have the opportunity to see and possibly meet one of my 'at a distance' inspirations. I have read her books, listened to her podcasts, followed her Bible studies, I'm a 'top fan' on her Facebook page and I've stalked every YouTube clip I could find.
Here is the story of how Lisa Harper became my 'at a distance' inspiration:
In the early days of my adoption journey, when it was just an idea in my head, I told five of my closest friends about my desire to adopt.
Four of my friends thought this was an amazing idea and could see how and why God was calling me to this. One friend didn't agree. They told me that I was just trying to skip a step because I was frustrated about not finding a husband and they thought it was an absolutely ridiculous idea.
Now before you feel too strongly about these words, remember that we all have different ideas about what life should look like. There are people who disagree with what I am doing, and they are allowed to. I am lucky that they are not many and they mostly talk to my amazing support team who back me.
This conversation with my friend got me thinking. Was I stepping out in faith or was this just a crazy idea? I had already been over thoughts similar to this before our conversation but I went over them again. I started to believe that this person must really love me and care about me to be so honest. And during that time I stopped looking into the process of adoption because maybe they were right, just maybe I was ruining my chances of getting married because who would want to be with someone who had adopted a child? The stink thinking was a downhill spiral.
Within a week, without talking to anyone else about the conversation, one of my other closest friends sent me a video... and it changed my story.
In the video Lisa Harper retells her story of adopting little Missy.
Lisa was a single American woman in her 40s who had always wanted to be a Momma. She felt a longing to adopt and so talked to a handful of her closest friends about it. Most of them were really happy for her and thought it was a great idea.
One did not.
(Is this beginning to sound familiar?).
She told Lisa that she didn't think it was a good idea because Lisa had suffered some trauma in her early years and, although she had received counselling for this, she may inflict her trauma onto the child she adopted. She suggested that Lisa adopt a dog instead.
So Lisa did. She went to the pound and adopted a dog.
SEVEN YEARS LATER... Lisa's desire had not gone away and she knew that God was calling her to adoption, so she started the process. She had a failed adoption within America and then within weeks of the failed adoption a friend of hers rung her. She had just got back from Haiti where a 2 year old girl with HIV and tuberculosis had just lost her mother. The doctors had said that if someone didn't come and stand in the gap for her she would die. Lisa's friend asked her to pray about it... and I love Lisa's response:
"Nope. I've been praying about this for thirty years. Sign me up."
To hear more of Lisa's incredible story click on the video link at the bottom of this post.
After watching Lisa's video I was faced with the realisation that God didn't want me to be waiting for seven years. Now was the time to step out in faith and to realise a dream.
At the beginning of this year I was flicking through my Facebook feed when a post came up about where Lisa would be speaking this year (she travels the world but is mostly based throughout America). I said to myself "Well, it's not like she'll be coming to New Zealand." I felt the urge to check anyway (hope does that to us). I clicked the link and saw events all throughout America. I was about to give up when I saw a search box and typed in New Zealand.
I was speechless when I read that Lisa Harper was speaking at this years Sista's conference in Auckland in September.
Straight away I messaged 40 of my friends to see who was keen to join me.... Many of them can't make it but in September my Mum and I are boarding a plane and heading off to Sistas to see my 'not so distant' inspiration. I was also blessed when friend of mine heard this story and paid my conference fees to be able to attend.
In my excitement I emailed the Sistas Conference to ask if there was a possibility of meeting Lisa at the conference. They replied, telling me they loved my story and would see what they could do!
Lisa's story got my healthy thinking back on track and had me stepping out into this incredible, amazing, difficult, wonderful adoption journey.
She's my inspiration.
Who do you look to to inspire you on your journey?