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Transformation by Truth: Day 29

Day 29

Excerpts from Transformation by Truth: 30 Days to a Healthy Heart, Mind and Body by Noelle Dey © 2012

Monday, March 20, 2017

Carefully prepared just for you by your friend, Noelle Dey

Blessing:

Oh sweet Lord, today I come to You asking to clean my heart and make me fit to enter Your presence. Open my to see Your truths. Let them take root in my heart, so that I might be transformed. Let this time bring glory and honor to Your name. For it's in the precious name of Jesus I pray, amen.

Scripture Reference:

For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.

Ephesians 1:4-6

Today’s Message:

After we received Sierra’s picture and her background information, I went shopping and made a special care package to send to our new daughter. The box we shipped had a Winnie the Pooh stuffed bear, the softest pink blankie I could find, our wedding photos and a CD of Ryan’s music.

We contacted her orphanage through our Chinese-American advocates. My first email was filled with questions asking about Xiao Xin’s (Sierra’s) day-to-day life: her likes, dislikes and what her little personality was all about.

Within a day, the orphanage director and nannies responded by saying, “Xiao Xin loves music and sweet food. She’s a bit of a trouble maker though. She’s often found stealing other children’s toys. But, she has a deep love for her crib mate named Wen Wen. Xiao Xin spends her days taking care of Wen Wen by giving her all the toys she takes from others.”

I analyzed every word in the email. She was obviously Ryan’s daughter since she had a love of music, she was a trouble maker and liked to eat sweets. The only trait she showed that was mine was the way she cared for her friend (Humble Living 101 by Noelle Dey).

When the time came for us to travel to China to unite with our daughter a couple months later, the thought of Sierra being separated from Wen Wen tore my heart. I worried that Sierra would miss her dear friend, but that concern paled in comparison to my fear of Wen Wen being left behind wondering where her big sister went.

We traveled from Los Angeles to Beijing with three other families. Two of those families were heading to the same province as us to unite with their babies. As we rode in the shuttle to the adoption office in Nanjing, our interpreter Mona explained, “Two of your babies are already there waiting for you. Ryan and Noelle, Xiao Xin is not there yet because her orphanage is further away and they’ve been driving through the countryside. She’s been on a six-hour car ride with another baby, two nannies and the director of the orphanage.”

Surprisingly, I really didn’t care that we had an extra wait because my heart was still fixated on Wen Wen’s loss. Since Ryan and I still had a half-hour wait, we were able to capture the other families “Gotcha!” moments on video. It was literally priceless to watch the families welcome their newest members with such elation.

After a while, Ryan said, “Don’t you think it’s about time? Let’s go wait by the doors.” As we stared through the double glass doors, we watched a white van pull up. There were two tiny shadows and three larger ones. Nervously I whispered, “I think that’s her… there’s two orphans and three caretakers!”

As they approached us, we called out, “Xiao Xin!” The nanny didn’t hand her to us until Mona spoke in Chinese, pointed to us and said, “Xiao Xin. Mama, Dadda.” We were handed Sierra Xiao Xin Dey. Nineteen pounds never felt so wonderful. Time stopped. Although there was conversation all around us, I couldn’t hear anything except for Ryan and the tiny little voice I now recognized as our daughter’s.

But just then, one more voice entered my world. The director of the orphanage was talking to our interpreter. I couldn’t understand anything she said until… I heard two words. I couldn’t believe my ears, “Wen Wen.” I looked behind me and asked Mona, “Please find out if this is the same Wen Wen that was Sierra’s special friend at the orphanage.”

It was! She was going to be adopted in two hours. I quickly wrote a heartfelt letter to her family-to-be. I explained the special relationship our girls shared. It didn’t matter where in the world Wen Wen was going, I just wanted the girls to have the opportunity to find one another again.

We were pulled away from all of the other families to meet with the government officials. After signing the papers and verbalizing our intent, Sierra Xiao Xin was released to us for one day. Sierra Xiao Xin and Wen Wen closed one chapter of their lives and turned the page with parents who were beyond blessed to take them into their predestined “forever families.”

APPLICATIONS

Heart:

For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.

Ephesians 1:4-6

As Sierra grows older, she will have a deeper understanding of the undeniable love that went into her adoption. Ryan and I yearned for her. God put a desire deep in our hearts that only she could fill. Her birth mother had the courage to bring her pregnancy to full term. She safely placed her tiny baby, perfectly wrapped in a blanket, on the west side of a busy market knowing she would certainly be found and she would be cared for until our arrival.

Love encompasses every side of Sierra’s story. Just the same, you were chosen before God made this world to be adopted into His own family. He yearned for you. Through Jesus, you are faultless in God’s eyes. You bring him joy and pleasure!

In addition to this miraculous story of Sierra, I distinctly remember my visits to the local animal shelter where I adopted my two dogs. Oh how they grabbed my heart. I could watch them play and cuddle with them all day long. They bring me such joy!

In your journal, explain what adoption means to you.

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How does the knowledge of your adoption into God’s family impact your self-esteem?

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What will you do differently today with that knowledge?

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Do you want to do something beautiful for God? There is a person who needs you. This is your chance.

Mother Theresa

Countless times I’ve been asked, “How did you travel to China and only adopt one, knowing there were so many more babies that needed homes?” Sometimes I laugh thinking God must have used my feelings of being overwhelmed to protect my heart since all I could focus on was Sierra.

In almost every area of my life, I’m a multi-tasker, whereas Ryan reminds me he’s a guy, “a one-trick pony.” Well, thankfully I became a one-trick pony in China because if that question had been rooted in my mind, I easily could have been overcome with the sorrow surrounding me, to the point where I couldn’t help anyone.

Without making a laundry list of people who need you, can you focus on just one today?

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What are you willing to do to “do something beautiful for God?” Who needs you?

Write in your journal what you are planning to do with your chance.

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Body:

Have you ever felt alone… in a place where no one understands you… to the point where you feel like an abandoned orphan?

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Undoubtedly, in our lives we will endure pain and suffering. Here’s the deal: we cannot control many of these circumstances. However, we do have control over what we eat, drink and how we respect our bodies. It’s not uncommon for people to turn to food addictions in these lonely times. Food turns into medication or a reliable friend. It doesn’t have a negative stigma like alcohol, drugs or smoking, so it’s incredibly common.

Do you turn to God for comfort during the low periods of your life, or do you turn to food or other vices?

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Do you eat or drink in hiding?

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Do you binge, purge or refrain from eating altogether?

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Have you gained or lost substantial amounts of weight right after a tragedy?

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Do you bargain with yourself or with God?

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Many people will say, “I’ll eat this now, but workout extra hard tomorrow.” When this occurs, ask, “What is the underlying hunger? Am I depressed, hopeless or stressed? Is my true hunger love, acceptance, affirmation…?” Using a concordance at the back of your Bible, do a search for that need. You can also use Google to find Bible verses on your particular topic or search a topical Bible (I like using the online topical Bible at www.openthebible.info).

Write out the scriptures that apply to your spiritual hunger.

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For instance, when I feel like no one understands me, I will hold tight to Psalm 34:17-18 which says,

The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

I’ll also saturate my heart and mind with 2 Corinthians 1:34,

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles…

Write your verses in your journal and ask God to reveal Himself through them.

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How do His words of hope and understanding apply to your situation?

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What does God want you to do on a practical level to implement His wisdom?

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Maybe you’ll seek out counseling, maybe He’ll heal your heart with the words you found in the Bible, or maybe you’ll be drawn to a book that addresses your struggles. There are countless ways God can mend your brokenness.

Take the time to wait on His answers.

Keep on this journey of seeking His truth for a lifetime.

These steps will address the underlying deep wounds that only God can heal. You’ll also need “band-aids” which represent your plan for using healthier alternatives to replace your current destructive behaviors. I know that when my emotions go haywire, I crave sweets and a bag of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. So, I have proactively taken out those tempting foods from our home.

When those times hit, I remove myself from the kitchen. Instead, I can pamper myself with a homemade spa. I take a hot bubble bath and sip a glass of water with a lemon wedge. Or I can watch TV or read upstairs away from the kitchen.

Sometimes I need to get away from the house altogether. I can go for a walk in the park with my dog Digger.

What would work for you?

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Can you call a friend?

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Take up a new hobby?

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Write your plan.

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How will you implement this now?

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I’m not talking about tomorrow, not next time, but now!

Closing Prayer:

Father… Daddy… thank You for the privilege of knowing that I am Yours and that You are mine. To know that everything that was true of Jesus Christ Your one and only Son is true of me. To know that I am considered a joint heir with Christ… oh Lord, it absolutely thrill my soul. I don’t deserve such an honor, but I am grateful. Thank You for seeing me just as I am and thinking me worthy to be called Your child. May I never live as the child of another. May my spoken words and my actions speak of the things I have witnessed and experienced at Your glorious hands. For it’s in Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

What is God showing you through this study? We’d love to know. Leave us a comment and share your thoughts.

Are you craving MORE? Do you know Jesus Christ as your personal Savior? He is waiting with open arms to comfort you in any situation. Click here for Extreme Encouragement: and five life-changing steps to eternal peace.

Encouragement Cafe was given permission by Noelle Dey to bring you this study via Encouragement Cafe. Content may not be reproduced or distributed without written permission from Noelle Dey. To purchase Transformation by Truth: 30 days to a Healthy Heart, Mind and Body in its entirety visit Amazon.com.

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