Pat and Karen Schatzline had gone days without sleeping. Their daughter, Abby, kept waking every couple of hours to scream. Every time she drifted off, a night terror would overwhelm her and she would break out in a panic.
The Schatzlines were at their wits' end. Their entire journey thus far had come with challenges—starting with their decision to adopt Abby from China.
Pat and Karen longed for a second child after their son, Nate. And they believed God would bless them with one. Family and friends prophesied they would have another child. Karen dreamed of cradling a second baby in her arms. But it never happened. The couple would get their hopes up only to be disappointed again and again.
One day, after dropping Nate off at school, Karen parked the car, turned off the ignition, and wept. She cried out to God:
"Where are You?"
"Why won't You give us another child?"
"Don't You care about me?"
Karen felt herself give up. It was then that God gave her clarity.
She realizes now: "God wasn't out to change my circumstances. He was out to change my heart, to change my thinking—He was out to change me!"
Karen realized that she and Pat were called to a greater purpose: adoption. As she sat in the garage, a picture formed in her mind. It was a map of China.
What followed was a long process of paperwork and province-hopping. When they received Abby, they found she had several infections in her body. But despite the process and despite Abby's health, the Schatzlines were thankful.
"We couldn't believe God had trusted us with such a gift," Pat says.
Once the adoption process was complete, the Schatzlines were able to take home their new daughter. Their first night at the hotel was, as they describe it, magical. The following nights were entirely the opposite.
A night terror is a partial waking from sleep that can involve kicking, screaming, panic, sleepwalking, thrashing and mumbling.
Abby's behavior was relentless. Eventually Pat decided to play worship music and pray in tongues.
As he worshipped in the hotel room, his eyes fell on a shadowy figure looming in the corner of the room. It looked demonic. Pat fought his fear and demanded the figure to leave his daughter alone.
"She now belongs to me, and my name is hers," he said.
The shadow shifted and slipped out through the window of the hotel room. Since then, Abby never suffered through another night terror.
The following day on the plane, Karen whispered to Pat:
"I saw it."
"What are you talking about?" he asked.
"I saw the demon in the room," she said, "and I heard you command it to leave. I watched it go out the window."
Pat became overwhelmed with emotion. He realized he had an obligation and an authority to protect his family.
The Lord taught Pat and Karen an important lesson through their adoption journey. It's not the enemy who holds us back. (God has given us the ability to overcome evil.) It's our fear of the enemy, and of many other things, that holds us back. It's neglecting to trust God.
Karen reflects on that day when God called her and Pat to adoption. Even though it was prefaced with a season of feeling beaten down and hopeless, God used that experience to draw them closer to Him. In their weakness, they found God's strength. They learned to trust in Him no matter what He had planned for their family.
"Abby is an utter delight and a blessing in our life. While many think that we 'rescued' her, Abby actually rescued us," Karen says. "The end of myself was the beginning of God."
Listen to the podcast to hear how about the vision God gave the Schatzlines to "rebuild the altar."
Pat and Karen Schatzline are international evangelists and authors who co-lead Remnant Ministries International. Their book Restore the Roar releases Aug. 6, 2019. Pat and Karen are known for their passion to lead people of all ages into deep encounters with God. They are frequent guests on Christian television and radio shows such as Sid Roth's It's Supernatural! and The Jim Bakker Show as well as networks such as Daystar and GOD TV. They have written several books, including Why Is God So Mad at Me?, I Am Remnant, Dehydrated, Unqualified and Rebuilding the Altar. Karen also leads The Breathing Room, an international vlog that ministers to thousands. Married since 1990, they make their home in Fort Worth, Texas. Their joy is their daughter, Abby; son, Nate; daughter-in-love, Adrienne and grandsons, Jackson and Anderson.
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