Amanda Martin Said "YES"
So what does it mean to say “Yes” to God in the Martin household you ask - well it has looked like a sprinkling of “yeses” that evolve and change on a consistent basis. Raising 3 young ladies can do that to you - make you need to keep saying “yes” to God even when it seems like the hardest thing to do.
Our journey to saying yes ultimately started when each of us (at different times in our lives) said yes to Christ and his saving grace. But being saved for us didn’t automatically mean saying “yes” to God. Even though we had given our lives to Christ it wasn’t until a few years into our marriage, when we found ourselves in deep pits of sin and a looming divorce, that we began to understand and submit to Christ as the Lord of our lives. One of the very first things we did after realizing the pit we were in was join Bible studies that actively got us engaged with community and the study of scripture rather than being simply a Sunday morning church goer. Through those first years of marriage and then subsequently studying scripture we made a pact with God early on as parents, to just our first Emma, that we would give 10% of our income to the local church - God's church. We were definitely a bit legalistic with it at first but as we gave, our hearts began to change.
We began to surrender our hearts in a way that prepared us to open our home up to our second daughter, Amiah at age 2, just 7 weeks before our third, Olivia was to be born. Oh what a challenging time in our lives. One of the darkest times to be completely honest. Feelings of failure, loss, doubt, hopelessness, brokenness, woundedness, and a lack of bonding with Amiah plagued our family life for years and still does at times. Through these past 7 years and even through all the pain “grafting” an adoptive child into your home provides, God has showed us that our heart attitude to be generous and self-sacrificing for the good of His kingdom is what allowed us to hear the call to adopt in the first place and the call to be this sweet baby girl's parents.
The road adoptive families like ours travel down is an extremely hard one yet miraculously beautiful as well. Since Amiah’s arrival into our family we have had many ups and even more downs at times but she was our biggest “yes” since trusting in Jesus. Adoption is also the “yes” we have to keep saying to God and recommit to as it morphs and grows and tends to have a life of its own. Sometimes it’s multiple times a day this “yes” needs to be re-spoken.
Now, since joining Netcast almost 2 years ago, we have seen God challenge us to go deeper in our walks with Him. Our initial desperate pleas for God to save us from the end of our marriage, in the beginning, have turned into an adoptive family that serves God with our time, money, and ultimately our hearts. Our “yes” has helped us give more, offer more of ourselves (even our home) and leave the fear of failure and provision behind. Someone recently told us that it’s never been about the money it’s always been about the heart. That growing in maturity with your walk with God comes from your willingness to be generous and say “yes” to Him. That we don’t become more spiritually mature, which then allows for generosity but generosity always comes first. We Martin's have seen this first hand. We still have so much more to learn and so much more waysides to grow but as we opened our hearts to the “yes” it got more important that we continued. God stretches us for good reason so that one day saying “yes” to Him and fully surrendering is all we know how to do.
We often cling to this scripture in our household because, simply stated, adoption is hard and we need the constant reminder. It reminds us that the “yeses” we need to say are us ultimately “welcoming” God into our spiritual walk and our hearts daily. This allows Him to bring about growth, maturity, and good in our lives. May it bring comfort and encouragement to you as you seek the ways God wants you to simply say “yes” :
“Whoever welcomes these children in my name welcomes me” - Mark 9:37