Jim Caviezel’s Testimony is one of the most powerful testimonies I have ever heard. Not just because of who he is–an actor–but also because of the Holy Spirit-anointing on his words. He played Jesus in The Passion of Christ (which I haven’t actually seen, but it’s the highest selling R-rated movie ever made) and his story is absolutely incredible!! To begin with, Jim’s initials are JC and he played this role when he was 33. {What?!} Not only did he suffer from a painful dislocated shoulder and pneumonia while filming, causing him to go from 210 pounds to 168, he was also struck by lightning. When he was doing the crucifixion scene the doctor listening to his heart said he could die; Jim ended up having heart surgery after filming.

Throughout it all Jim told God he was willing to die for Him while filming this movie, and he spent much time praying and meditating in hopes that Jesus would seen, not him. He was warned that doing this movie would most likely ruin his reputation, but he was willing to give that up because He knew God was calling him to do something more important.

Around the 21 minute mark of the video (see highlighted link above) Jim begins preaching so passionately you will find yourself deeply moved–especially in the final minutes. He proclaims the power of God and the Gospel without apology, without compromise, and with deep passion. (I find it interesting that the pastor who interviewed him was not nearly as serious about this interview as Jim was!)

There are many (actors) who claim to be Christian but most times you will not find them speaking plainly about sin, taking up our cross for Christ and living a holy life; or proclaiming that it is good we are seeing our rights as Christians stripped away because “Freedom is not to do whatever we want, but what we ought…”

It struck me how Jim pointed out that many of us say, “Jesus died on the cross so I didn’t have to.” True. But then why did the apostles go on to suffer and die, some of them crucified also? {It goes without saying that none of them suffered the way Jesus did, with the weight of the entire world’s sin upon Him.} They took up their cross and denied themselves because they were willing to follow Jesus no matter the cost. Along with all the other martyrs who have given up their lives over the last two thousand years!

“If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:26-27)

I used to think that “taking up my cross” involved dealing with the trials and temptations that came my way, because they definitely reveal one’s level of commitment to Christ. But recently a light bulb went off in my head: Jesus was talking about something deeper. “Carrying and following” are not passive verbs {i.e. lacking energy and will}, but action verbs They involve being intentional. The cross is a symbol of death, so we are actually called to put to death our own desires and plans, and commit ourselves to God’s will.

When Jesus spoke with the rich young ruler He asked him to give up all his possessions and riches. Why?  Because they were nearest and dearest to his heart.

For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?” (Luke 9:24-25).

Carrying my cross may mean to give up or lose hopes, dreams, ambitions, health, possessions, or relationships. {OUCH.} To deny myself and my selfish desires. To get out of my comfort zone and let go of fears that are holding me back from fulfilling God’s plan for my life.

Am I willing to live intentionally rather than going on with my life the same way I have always done, expecting God to just show up? Am I willing to ask God how and when to fulfill His commands such as: go out and share the Gospel, care for the fatherless, the widow, and those in distress, love my neighbors…and then obey what He tells me to do? What is He laying upon my heart? I once heard from Focus on the Family that if we have thoughts like: “I wonder if we should adopt?” it may well be the still small voice of God speaking. Hmm..let’s take a leap of faith and see what God does!!

For years Gene and I were closed to the idea of adoption, resisting anyone who made that suggestion. We thought it was simply something we could not do. I’m ashamed to say we didn’t pray and ask God if we should consider it. We didn’t even go there. Unbeknown to us, there were others who were praying about this calling for us!

One Sunday, New Horizons Ministry shared at our church and I found myself fighting tears as we viewed pictures of little ones whose lives were completely different from my daughter’s. I pushed the thoughts and emotions aside and didn’t even say anything to Gene, thinking he would never be open to it. It wasn’t until we surrendered our dream of having more biological children that God began to change our hearts; in fact, He has wrecked our lives!! {In an awesome way!} What a journey it has been…and it all began with a life-changing conference called “Love After Marriage.”  God drew us together as He drew us to Himself…but that’s a story in itself for another time!

A few weeks later Gene and I watched the movie “The Big Lie” about a group of Sudanese refugee children. We went to bed and just cried. That night we began to dream about adoption and to earnestly seek His face. The months that followed were exhausting but exhilarating. Now over a year later and after being presented approximately 50-60 times to birth mothers, we feel some of that initial excitement fading.  Satan does his best to steal our joy, to make us question God’s calling on our life; he is the ultimate HOPE-stealer. To be honest, we have given up to a certain extent because it is easier than constantly having our hopes dashed. Waiting is so hard. But God is incredibly faithful. He will not let us go!!

Recently, in the very same week, God laid an intense restlessness on both Gene and I. Again we found ourselves weeping before the Lord. What would You have us do while we wait Lord? We are willing to wait on You, but is there more You want us to do? Are we to give up this dream of adoption? 

I still can’t believe what happened next: He placed a new dream in our hearts–fostering-to-adopt. We haven’t called DSS yet, but plan to soon. We are very excited!! Fostering was another thing we were never going to do…I gotta tell you, it looks very hard and scary and my flesh is screaming “NO! What are you doing?!” It’s all good to be saying I want to live intentionally and deny myself and all that but when it comes down to actually doing it…it looks very different.  The thing is, why do I run from the hard things when God is so good at meeting me through them?!  There is a quote I heard recently that describes what I am feeling so well:

“Uncertainty is everywhere. But I am living in the midst of the uncertainty and risk, amid things that can and do bring physical destruction, because I am running from things that can destroy my soul: complacency, comfort, and ignorance. I am much more terrified of living a comfortable life in a self-serving society and failing to follow Jesus than I am of any illness or tragedy. Jesus called His followers to be a lot of things, but I have yet to find where He warned us to be safe.” Kisses From Katie by Katie Davis

I do not share our story to bring glory to ourselves, but to God. He will “wreck” your life if you allow Him to do so, but you have to be willing to carry your cross and follow Him–no matter the cost!! Pray for us that we would be willing to wait on the Lord and that His good  work would continue in our lives! At this point we will continue working with Faithful Adoption Consultants until our contract runs out in October, and Lord willing pursue foster care as well. Who knows what the future may hold!? I’m thankful God knows. 🙂

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3 thoughts on “Am I Willing?

  1. I’m excited about the foster-to-adopt idea! There are so many kids who need a good home. Praying you will keep hearing God as He leads you through this journey!

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  2. Foster-to-adopt might take you on a journey that you never expected, and will be a hard, good, stretching, leaning-on-God kind of journey. We added a sibling group of 3 to our family like that. The whole story would fill a book. And we wouldn’t change a thing. 3 little people who sing praises to God, literally, every day. It never fails to amaze me.

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