SOS Daniel Doss

Daniel Doss is co-lead pastor and worship leader at GracePoint in Valparaiso, Indiana.

I would never tell you that God owed me anything.  But I found out that I thought He owed me a lot, even life itself.

My wife and I were married when we were in college.  In high school, we both signed “True Love Waits” cards and stayed true to our pledge.  We loved God and wanted to follow Him with our lives.  We had plans to do ministry together, buy a house, have some kids, grow old, have some grandkids and go to Heaven.  That sums it up pretty well.

When we began our journey together, I was a part-time Music and Youth Director at a small church and we were both still in college. The church grew and I became full-time when I graduated.  We were living our dreams.  Five years into our marriage we decided it was time to expand our family and begin having children.

Years passed and it was still just me, Emily, and our dog Suzy. We were in Clarksville, Tennessee helping start a church called Grace Community.

We found ourselves in a struggle with infertility.

I am embarrassed to admit what surfaced in my heart.  I would have never verbalized what I found deep down, but it was there just waiting to be mined.  For some reason, I thought that because I had surrendered my life and purity to God and walked the road of ministry that somehow I deserved something from God.  It was not a bad thing that I desired from God.  How can wanting to be a father be too much to ask?  I saw people around us having children, even people who did not want to have children, were having children.  And although we were experiencing explosive growth at every turn in ministry, I grew bitter towards God, questioning his sovereignty and even His existence.

“You’d think He might let up at some point,” I thought.  But we were just getting started.

Our struggle through infertility was tough, but the adoption journey proved to tougher.  We began the paper and money trail of adoption.  During that time, a church planting opportunity near Chicago opened in Valparaiso, IN called GracePoint.  We moved and continued the adoption journey resulting in the resubmission of many of the applications requiring new approvals.

Over the next year, we felt a baby kick in a birth mother’s womb in Indianapolis.  We had a shower for a baby girl. We had countless phone calls and road trips. We even had a baby in a hotel room in Georgia for a week over Christmas.  Every adoption opportunity fell through including the last one that ended with us taking our baby boy to a lawyer’s office in Atlanta and then driving home alone January 1, 2010.

We mourned.

It was the darkest day and season of our lives.  We decided to stop and regroup to allow the events of that week and the months leading up to it sink in.  We leaned into each other, our church family, and God during that time.  Six weeks later, we again moved forward in our adoption journey.

Shortly after our decision to move forward, we received a phone call about a baby boy that was born only 45 minutes from our house.  We left immediately.

We met the birth mother, to whom we’ll be forever grateful.

Then we met our son.

We named our new baby boy Oliver Emmanuel Doss.  We call him Manny.  Manny is proof beyond our wildest imaginations that God has been with us through this entire journey.

It scares me to think that I might have had my way.   I would have never met Manny.  God took something that seemed broken and made something that was more beautiful than we could have ever imagined.

I wrote a song about our experience called “Stained Glass Windows” and have found that many people have identified with our journey of God’s providence in the midst of dire circumstances.  I have experienced that no matter the roads we take, I know that God is in complete control and for that, I am thankful.   See related video here.

“I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.” Job 42:2 (ESV)

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