I Almost Ignored the Call that Altered my Life


I am blogging on different segments of my upcoming book, Adopting the Father’s Heart.  This is one story that causes my throat to tighten.  A one second decision altered my life.

We became certified as foster parents January, 2011.  Now it was June.  We turned down several foster placements for a variety of reasons.  We traveled a lot those 6 months.  We also narrowed our parameters quite a bit about a foster placement.  For example, we decided that it would be wise to begin with only one child instead of a sibling group.

The summer of 2011 in Austin, Texas was brutal.  The heat wave that summer broke the record of days over 100 degrees–by a long shot!  This particular day was hot enough to fry an egg on the dashboard of my truck.

Because we had turned down several placements, I was beginning to doubt our decision to foster children.  I was weighing other options in my mind.  To feel productive, I bought ceramic tile to put in our kitchen and breakfast area.

I unloaded over 300 square feet of ceramic tile in 110 degree heat.  Then I sat down at our kitchen table to drink some ice water.  I sat with drops of sweat running off the end of my nose as I read some emails.

Then my phone rang.  It was Arrow, our foster care agency.

Here is what went through my mind in about 2 seconds before I answered:

  • I do not want to talk to anybody right now.
  • I do not want to turn down another placement.
  • I am not even sure I want to foster a child.
  • Danielle is not here.  I do not want to make a decision without her.

Then I answered the phone.  Arrow needed a home for one 8 month old boy.  The only other information was that the child probably would be with us for only a few days or weeks.

I share more about this story in my book.  Bottom line is that we accepted that placement. And, it did alter my life.

This story causes me to think about how seemingly insignificant decisions often have a great impact on our lives.  Some people call it coincidence or fate.

I prefer to see it as God’s hand of direction and providence.  I have no doubt in my mind that God intended for this little boy to be placed in our home.  And, even though I came so close to not answering that phone call, I believe that it was God’s Holy Spirit that nudged me to answer.

The question for me is not whether God works in our lives like this.  It is instead are we very good at listening and noticing what He is doing in and around us.  I recollect other times when I was definitely not paying attention to Him.  The results show it too.

Question for you:  What happened in your life that was the result of what seemed like an insignificant decision at the time?

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I am a longtime Austinite. Married my beautiful wife over 25 years ago. Adopted our son September 2012. Currently a writer and loving it. Previous jobs and careers include project management, missionary, and pastor. I enjoy sports (both watching and playing), traveling, reading, digging in dirt and hanging with my friends and family.

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2 thoughts on “I Almost Ignored the Call that Altered my Life

  1. A few years ago, Jeff told me about a guy that was looking for a job. He was the brother of a mutual acquaintance of ours and “could I hook him up here at the shop?” I said, “sure”, but I had a completely different acquaintance in mind, so when the guy showed up I was “uh, who are you? OK, whatever.” Because he had no oilfield experience, he started out in an entry-level position receiving in raw material and I had done my random act of kindness for the day. He proved to be a hard worker and quite intelligent. He was sent to training and picked up a very valuable skill, ended up leaving our company and gaining high-level experience at another major player in our industry, and eventually came back to work with us. Now, that guy works in the cubicle next to me and is a valuable asset to our team as well as a daily encouragement to me.