Letting God Write Your Story (an inspiring true story)
Recently I had lunch with a youth pastor who serves at a brand new church in Houston. Ernest Parker and I each have a child who tells an incredible story. (My daughter, Kristina, is battling cancer.) We shared with each other our stories of pain and heartache and peace and grace. Both of us would like to write out the painful parts of our stories. Both of us would like to write the rest of our stories, too. But both of us are learning to let God write that story instead, because we are seeing the most amazing things happen through our children.
I’d like to tell you his story.
Ernest and Debra Parker were ecstatic as they began the long process of adopting a little boy from Haiti. Two years had passed, and they were nearing the time when they could bring their new son home. Then the unthinkable happened.
Their son, Ronel, was out for a walk. Suddenly, he began to lose his balance. He heard people scream and loud sounds that frightened him. The deep foundations below the surface of Haiti shook violently. Buildings crumbled. People ran chaotically, and many of them died.
Horror and fear crippled Ernest and Debra as they watched the news about the earthquake. Making contact with the orphanage in Haiti was virtually impossible. Helplessness gripped their hearts, and they prayed with every ounce of energy they could muster.
Ronel had been living at a rescue center run by an American missions organization called Real Hope for Haiti. They had recovered him after the quake. While he was frightened, God had spared him from any injury!
The number of orphans in Haiti spiked incredibly, and most of the orphanages were severely damaged during the quake. So the US government created humanitarian parole which allowed kids who were already matched with a family to come to the states with their adoptive family and finish the adoption process here. The Parker’s new son was one of those children, and they couldn’t wait to get him home. However, due to the chaos in Haiti, the authorities lost his abandonment papers. Ernest decided he had to go to Haiti, but he had no idea how he would get there.
They prayed with anguish in their hearts–begging God to intervene. Things seemed to get worse.
My friend was running on fumes. He was angry and hurt. Why was God doing this? Then he got a phone call from a pastor-friend who wanted him to share his story to his church. He wanted him to tell what God was teaching him through this difficult time. My friend said, “You really don’t want me to talk about this now.” But the pastor insisted.
On the way to the church to speak, Ernest prayed for help. He confessed his anger toward God. And God spoke to his heart, “Let me have my pen back so I can write your story.”
He shared his story to the church, and toward the end he said, “So here, in front of all of you, I give the pen back to my God.”
Just a few hours later, he received a phone call from a friend who knew of his situation. He offering his frequent flyer miles to Ernest so he could fly to Florida. “I can’t get you to Haiti, but I can get you to Florida. It’s all I can do.”
Thirty minutes later his cell rang. It was another friend. This friend had no knowledge of the previous caller. “I know a missionary team who is about to fly medical supplies in their private plane from Ft. Lauderdale to Haiti. They have one spot open. I can’t get you to Florida, but I can get you to Haiti from there.” My friend was speechless. Goosebumps and chills formed all over. And he thanked God.
Ernest landed in Haiti with one backpack and a few granola bars. He planned to be there for 1 day. He helped deliver the medical supplies and was then taken to his son. Tears streamed down his face as he embraced his newly adopted boy, Ronel.
The next morning they went to the Embassy to deliver another copy of the abandonment papers. But the authorities lost his whole file. When they finally found it, they lost his son’s fingerprints. (They actually lost those prints 4 times during this process.)
A 1-day stay had turned into 10. Ernest slept on the floor of the Embassy. One day, several of the missionaries were arrested for “smuggling children across the border.” This created even more of a mess.
“This was like some kind of movie,” Ernest told me. But little did he know that the media in the States caught word of his story, and it began to spread like wildfire. Finally, their congressman and the White House intervened, but the story had gained ground during this time.
Upon his return, he was interviewed by CNN, BBC, and several other major media networks.
On national television he told his story. It was a story of God’s faithfulness. Then he began to receive calls from Christian strangers who shared that his story had impressed them to walk again with Christ. And many sinners came to know Jesus as their Savior after hearing his story.
My friend could never have written a story this beautiful. No pen could have created such a story that declared the glory of God being put on display for a nation to see. No pen unless one used by God, Himself.
Ernest had given his pen back to God. And God wrote a masterpiece.
What about you? Why don’t you give God His pen back. Trust Him enough to write your story. And watch miracles unfold before your eyes. We are not promised life without pain. But helplessness does not mean hopelessness–not with the God we serve.
What’s your story?
Wanna read of their adventure? Click here to see Debra’s blog. (Scroll down a bit.)