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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

God, guide my arrow today

(Dan writing)

     A couple of weeks ago I finally finished reading a book that I had set out to read about a year ago,  "Stepping Up" by Dennis Rainey.  It is a book filled with stories and lessons calling men to lead lives of courageous manhood.  Apparently we are in need of guys who are willing to be more than just boys, they need to be willing to stand as men.  Many of the stories were fascinating and pushed me to grow, but one story caught my attention and challenged my lifestyle.  A true story based on a father's love for his son.
     Two men, a father and son, set out to hunting elk in one of their favorite hunting spots in a remote location of Wyoming. They decided to hunt by bow and were excited about the adventure that they were on together.  Hunting elk in the wilderness is not just a one-day journey, so this father and son had been at it for a a few days.  The son already had a few kills but the father, having only a few opportunities, was having no success.  That morning before they went out he prayed, "God, guide my arrow today."  A simple prayer, but one of faith.  The son was committed to helping his father get another chance with an elk, so he went out baiting and calling.  Little did he know he was not the only one tracking that elk.  As the elk moved closer, it suddenly took off for the trees.  The son was confused about what had happened until he turned around to see a giant grizzly bear facing him.  As he ran, the bear gave chase.  He ran towards the direction of his father.  The massive grizzly was on top of him in an instant, and the father knew he had one chance.  He took aim and let that arrow leave his fingers.  The bear tackled his son and began to chew on his arms.  He violently fought to keep the bears mouth away from his face.  After a few seconds, the bear stood and began to turn away.  About 8 yards away, the bear fell dead.  The father's arrow had just barely missed his son and pierced the bear's aorta artery.  The perfect shot and only place to take the bear in one shot.  They were able to hike out of the wilderness and get to a hospital where the son spent just one night.
     So far, this adoption process has been challenging, it has been difficult, but it has been rewarding.  We received a note a couple of weeks ago from someone asking us if we were crazy for wanting to adopt, for being bold enough to think that we would be better parents than others.  My answer...sometimes it does seem crazy.  Our goal in this life is to live in full obedience to where God leads us.  Sometimes, to some people, (including ourselves at times) it seems crazy.  I know there have been times during this process that I have felt more than a little weird.  For instance, when the adoption agency asked if I was fully on board with the adoption, because most of the cases they see are guys who are just going along with their wives, trying not to upset them.  Or, when people assume we have chosen adoption because of infertility and dive into stories of friends who weren't able to get pregnant.  Or, when we went to Babys R Us to register for things we might need.  I had no idea what I was getting into.  I was just fortunate that Emily let me use the scan gun (I may have gotten in a little trouble).  It was strange going to a newborn care class and being the only couple in the class who were not pregnant.
     It is a strange place to be...waiting for that phone call.  That one phone call that will change our lives more than we could ever imagine.  Believe me, we don't claim to know what we are doing.  We are trying to take one day at a time and enjoy the journey.
     One of the things that freaks me out the most is being a father.  It also brings an immense amount of joy, feelings I never knew.  I received some advice a year ago about life from a financial counselor.  "Learn from your mistakes, seek God, and in all of life lessons, pray that you and your wife will grow closer together in Christ...for Christ."  So, here is my prayer...God, guide my arrow today.  Allow my life to be used for you...allow us to be more...whether we get that call today or not.


  1. I love this...and I love that you and Emily have chosen this as your path to becoming a family... and even those of us who choose pregnancy often feel like we don't know what we are doing! We have a 4 yr old and when we wanted a second child God surprised us with TWO more : ) We are on the verge of losing our home because the cost of the twins has been more than we can handle but I have faith that we will be in a better place when all is said and done. God wouldn't have put these two beautiful babies in my world if He wasn't going to walk with me every step of the way. And in the end my kids will know that they are LOVED, that's all that matters : )

  2. Dan, thank you! Thanks for being real and for stepping up. I'm thrilled for the boy or girl who gets to call you dad!

  3. What strong parents the little Sheafer will have! Hoping that call comes very soon. As far as God is concerned, the call will come right on time!!!