What Ignoring God Could Have Cost Me

Well, we’ve been working hard to spruce this place up a tad. I hope you like it. After all, I want you to feel as at home on my blog as I do. (And if you’re reading this through email, you may want to click here to see what I’m talking about.)

I’m so glad you’ve popped over for a visit. Feel free to poke around, but before you do, read this…

It was a hot day inside and outside at the orphan village in Liberia. The 12 boys inside, practicing their choir music, found their eyes wandering over to the soccer field, where the promise of fun and the cheers of their friends tugged at them.

They were feeling the pull of wanting to go outside and play soccer. But these boys determined the choir was worth the sacrifice.

Years earlier, Liberia had been ravaged by a civil war that left more than 25,000 orphans to be cared for. So to raise money and support, an a cappella boys’ choir was formed to travel throughout the country of Liberia and perform in churches.

Two of the teenage boys in that choir, Jackson and Mark, had been orphaned as babies when their parents and most of their siblings were killed by rebel forces.

Night after night these boys knelt beside their makeshift beds and poured out prayers of thanksgiving and hope that one day they’d hear six simple yet life-changing words, “You are my child—welcome home.”

God had a perfect design for their prayers to be answered and worked miracle after miracle to bring the boys choir to America. But little did I know that my husband Art and I would be part of the answer to Mark and Jackson’s prayers.

Our life was busy and full, and we were enjoying being the parents of three little girls. So you can imagine my surprise the night I went to see The Liberian Boys’ Choir concert at our church that I was stirred to consider adoption.

As I sat in the concert, God whispered to my heart that two of those boys singing were mine. No, I thought. Not me.

I felt like sticking my fingers in my ears and singing, La, la, la, la, la . . . I’m not listening to You, God! But the stirring in my heart wouldn’t stop.

I decided to try a new tactic with Him. Lord, I just came here tonight to bring my girls to a simple little cultural event. I’m not looking for a major life change. My life is already very full with speaking and writing and homeschooling three girls. Besides, all my friends would think I was crazy, and my husband would never think this is a good idea.

But God wasn’t discouraged by my response. His directive in my heart became more intense as the evening went on. After the concert, I asked the coordinator of the event which of the boys still needed homes so I could pray for them. He told me that eight of the boys still needed to find families and encouraged me to walk into the reception area where they were. If God intended for some of these boys to be ours, he was sure I’d know it.

Reluctantly, I walked into the reception area. In a matter of seconds, Jackson and Mark walked up to me, wrapped their arms around me, and called me Mom.

I was moved and terrified at the same time.

What began as a small heart prompting had turned into a very big decision for our family to make.

After talking with Art, we cried out to God, desperate for His guidance and wisdom. We pondered every aspect and wrestled with this decision deep in our spirits.

Still, doubts and questions flooded our minds: How could we financially increase the size of our family? How would we find the time in our already crammed schedule? How would we raise boys? How would we find room in our home? The list went on and on.

One day, I called my friend and poured out my heart. I told her I could list off many other parents who I felt were much more qualified than us. She patiently listened without much response as I asked, “Why me?”

Then quietly and prayerfully she answered. “Because God knew you’d say yes, Lysa.”

I was stunned. It was the highest compliment I’d ever received. My heart was filled with joy as memories filled my mind of the years of small steps God had me take to get me to the place where I could be prepared to take this much bigger step.

Now, over ten years later, I think back to me sitting in that church pew, just going about my ordinary life when God’s extraordinary invitation burst forth. I could have so easily walked out of that church and ignored God’s stirring. I’ve done that more times than I’d like to admit. But look at everything we would have missed out on had I done that.

TerKeurst Family

Hear my heart: I’m not saying that everyone is called to adopt. But each day we can look for His invitation to leave our plans behind to join Him in His wondrous work through our own unique small steps of obedience.

What if the next big step God wants you to take is actually small?

Remember, my big step of faith came after years of taking small steps of faith. But no matter where you are or what God has called you to, you can take the first step. Find out more in our next FREE online Bible study of my book, What Happens When Women Walk in Faith. Sign up today.

I’m giving away 10 copies of What Happens When Women Walk in Faith today on the blog to help you get ready for the study. To be entered to win, leave a comment below telling me what small step you’re going to take this week.


  1. Michelle says

    Newly divorced and raising four children by myself was never my plan. God has shown Himself mighty, but also gentle, and available for both major and minor problems. I long to know Him better and trust Him even more.

  2. Cynthia Royer says

    I plan to seek the Lord daily and set aside my own agenda as I sit at His feet. I am looking for His direction regarding a job. I just finished my master’s in education and love to teach, esp from God’s Word.

  3. Bobbie says

    My marriage has been a HUGE roller coaster ride…the first 9-10 years really tested my faith, my patience, my belief in life/love…but I fought through it…and now my husband and I are traveling this road side by side…now that God is our #1 focus blessings flow abundantly…of course we have obstacles, but instead of raising our hands to give upwe raise them to praise Him in the storms!! Right now we are up in the air about staying where we are or possibly moving where he can make more money. The location of a possible job was a ” dark place” for us…but he is confident that all of those demons will not overtake us again…so much leap of faith this week will be to help him submit his resume/application and believe that God will lead us where we need to be…huge leap for me because it’s the one part of our past that is the hardest for me to let go…but God is in control not me…God is in control not me…God is in control not me!!

  4. Izzy says

    Thank you for sharing this story. I am new to your blog and know that it was God who led me here. I have always been a woman of faith but over the last few years have felt my relationship with God has grown so much stronger. I have finally truly found God and want to not just “have faith” but know His word and be led by His will. I never understood what people meant when they said that God spoke to them until the last few years. About a year ago we adopted our adolescent nephew. To have him join our family was an easy decision but it has a hard year filled with many struggles. I believe God was talking to me through your blog today and reminding me that we are doing the right thing no matter how hard it may be right now. This week I plan to focus on God’s plan and His will. That is truly the greater picture. Thank you!

  5. Carrie W. says

    My next sMall step of obedience is not eating after 7:00. I said it was a small step, but feels so big sometimes.

  6. says

    Lysa, I had never heard of you before today when my SS Teacher said she had some of your studies that we might consider using in our Wednesday night Ladies Prayer Group. I looked you up and find your blog. This post about Jackson and Mark so touched me that I had to share the link so my daughter could see it also. Her family has back in their home a two-year-old that they had from birth to 14 months while his Mom was in prison and now at two he is back because his mom violated her parole and will go back to prison. My daughter will be encouraged by your writings as they are struggling with all the issues involved in this situation. Thank you for these encouraging words.

  7. Missy says

    committing to reading my Jesus is Calling devotional every morning and staying positive with what I put in my head.

  8. Sarah Johnson says

    Oh my! I definitely have a calling to take care of women and children. Its been on my mind for so long. I’ve asked the Holy Spirit to soften my Husbands heart. So we will see. 🙂

  9. Takeshia says

    Thank you, Lysa for sharing. I love adoption and the beautiful gift that it is and how God uses this exchange to bless all involved and show a new depth of love and trusting Him. I’ve had the desire to adopt for a long time and look forward to stepping out in faith.

    Currently, I’ve been struggling with fear and it’s been showing up in several areas of my life. I know I need a faith booster to overcome this fear rollercoaster and am taking strides to grow in God, to increase my faith in Him and, today my friend, Kalila invited me to join your online Bible study on faith which is so timely. God knows! And, I recently bought your “Best Yes” book cause I need grow in that area, too! Joining this online study is my small step to growing and I’ve been professing the Word of God when fearful thoughts enter my mind. It’s a start.

    God bless your ministry.

  10. says

    A few weeks ago I felt God say something to me. It made sense in my heart and it filled me with so much passion when I heard it like a whoosh in my bloodstream, something so simple – “meet me on the mountain,” “build my house that I may build yours”, and one other thing I’ve been avoiding and avoiding because I have a gift for it (I am told) but it really costs me to practise it.

    I have just spent weeks forgetting this, recalling it occasionally then dismissing it again, like a nice distant memory. It has been so easy to further my own life, my own house.

    Tonight I opened my internet browser and I heard your name in my head so loud I came on to your website. (I had, many weeks ago, listened to one of your sermons on Elevation Church’s website). And reading this post … the whoosh in my bloodstream … God really is patient and he really doesn’t give up!

    Blessings to you Lysa for your courageous obedience – and thank you for sharing your journey, please keep doing so.

  11. Joy says

    The small steps that I am taking this week is to really, really remember that God is there to hold me through each and every moment. When the going gets tough then I need to turn to Him in obedience and when the going is great I need to turn to Him in obedience. I need to remember to praise Him whether it is a storm or calm.

  12. says

    Love the new blog- it’s just as beautiful as the words it contains!

    “The Best Yes” challenged me to step out in faith and start a blog site the Lord had been speaking to me about for years. Thank you for your encouraging, inspiring, and compelling words- they have played a significant role in my life.

    Can’t wait to hear you speak at Newspring in a little over two weeks… my husband and I are traveling from Atlanta!

  13. Melanie Philips says

    I made the decision today to start a fitness/nutrition boot camp next week. It is going to be painful but your book “Made to Crave” has given me the motivation! Keep writing Lysa, I love your voice!

  14. Tonya says

    Knowing God has heard my prayers and teaching my daughters how to pray and see that God has a plan for us during this tragic time of a divorce with 3 daughters after 13 years together

  15. Lacey C. says

    We’ve taken lots of faith steps along the way, some huge and some small. I honestly don’t know what step needs to be taken next, or this week. But if there is one, I am praying I don’t waver and step right on up.

  16. says

    I will be listening hear what god has to talk to me about. I feel something missing from myself, it would be nice to feel whole and complete and to have the ability to pass on my knowledge and wisdom and obtain ways to spread the lords word to my family so that we are all in this together.

  17. Karen D says

    After hearing u yesterday in Derry NH, I’m encouraged to humble myself each day in one situation……to start. And that will become the start I need to change to become Prov 31 woman. Thank you, Lysa! God Bless.

  18. Tona Haywood says

    I decided to post one of my poems on Facebook to encourage all those who read it. I am also going to continue to finish my poetry book. I want to really be able to build others up with words of encouragement.
    Let all I do Oh Lord in words, thoughts or deeds,
    Let those works always drive people to seek after Thee!
    By Tona

  19. Alek C says

    For the longest time, I’ve struggled with my faith and belief in the Lord and his love for me. For many years, he has done so much for me but yet I have continued to doubt him. This week, I am going to work on strengthening my faith and belief in the Lord.

  20. Indira Alvarez says

    I have only recently discovered God- and trust me, it wasn’t pretty. I want to be closer to God, but I just don’t know what to do sometimes. My small step is that I read my Bible everynight, and pray that He will break through my stubborn thoughts. Pray for me please!

  21. DIANA MORALES says

    THANK YOU!!! OHHH LISA! I am not sure where to start… Maybe praising God for K-Love where I first hear about you. I am so grateful that he gave you all the right words – specifically for my ears- (I know to many other woman’s ears as well)…as you would say “oh sweet sister” words are not enough to express how much your words have touch me and help me to change my life in many different aspects in such a small period of time. Thank you so much for you words, your books your work…. I have been “bingeing” in your material for a couple of months now… first i listened to Made to crave… what a wonderful book and then unglued….. Both precious, honest and truthful books. I wasn’t sure where I could leave a message for you so I hope here is a good place to do it. I feel like I want to tell you all the ways your books have helped me but for now…one more time, I just want to say thank you. God bless you and your ministry. I love you Lisa! Thank you!!!!

  22. Michelle says

    Love this article! How God blessed everyone involved because of your family’s willingness to obey Him. God is good, isn’t He? My next small–yet incredibly big–step is to let go of facebook. Something so simple, yet also complex in letting go of trying to keep up with the outside-of-my-home world. Phew…I pray for an obedient heart in all things.

  23. Cara says

    Newly divorced and a single mother I have been displaced from my home for a week now and may be displaced for a few more weeks, but I’m not sure what is going to happen. Even though it is hard, and I feel like a failure as a mother, my sweet young child has been excited about the change and has encouraged me and helped remind me of our blessings. I’m on the verge of tears constantly, but then direct my thoughts and visions to God and remind myself that He has something great in store for us. My small step(s) are more prayer, more reading in His word and letting go of anxiety about our situation. I’m giving this to you Lord. Jeremiah 29:11 is something that I read and pray about daily.