Faithful God

The last 8 weeks have been hard to endure, but some of it has been because I have had the wrong perspective and have not listened long enough to hear God speak to me on what this waiting time is for. I was buried so deep within my own pity, I couldn't see passed myself and what I wanted. Yet He is still the faithful God. Sunday, I spent time praying and asking God specifically for some very clear direction. My husband and I were presented with something and weren't certain how God wanted us to proceed.

Stay in prayer until...

That day, we were going to be attending two different church services--at two different churches: our home church and a friend's church (who was recently ordained and was preaching that afternoon). My prayer was that God would clearly speak what He wanted us to do through both pastor's sermon's.

He did.

We have the opportunity for someone to act on behalf of our adoption process. Nothing major. But God doesn't always use trumpets to bring forth His will.

The first sermon was consistently laced with cooperating with others and with God. It also spoke several times of being "sent out". This was confirmation that God was giving us the OK to send this person out on our behalf. Our pastor went on to say things like, "We make a difference together", and "The mission isn't all on you".

The keyword for me throughout the whole sermon, though, was "co-op".

Then we went to the second church service and the pastor spoke about the importance of being in prayer and how we so often try to fit God within our "schedule box"; we only give Him so much time to speak before we leave prematurely. Come to God's courts with Thanksgiving--not a grocery list.

At this point in the sermon, I begin to wonder when God is going to confirm what our actions are going to be. But during this time,  He spoke to us about what we are to be doing while we wait. It's no surprise we're supposed to be praying that all our hearts are prepared for this enormous change of season and family assimilation. But there was one thing, one vital thing, that had escaped me throughout all this waiting.

We are missionaries. In both of the sermons preached that Sunday, was the message of the "Great Commission"; the mission to reach those who do not know Christ. But we need to be equipped for the task and the way to become equipped is to be in prayer. To spend more time praying and waiting on God before leaving my prayer closet. To take the time to listen for God rather than bringing Him a list of things I want and when I want them.

That's essentially what I've been doing -- and God invites us to lay our requests before Him. But that's all I've been doing. My prayer life has been very one-sided, which is why I haven't heard much from Him until this Sunday.

The pastor goes on in his sermon and says the word "co-laborers". There it is! There's the confirmation that we are to partner, cooperate (co-op) with someone to speak on our behalf! But God doesn't stop there!

After the service, the pastor (who's also a friend and mentor) comes back to chat with us. I tell him of my prayer that morning that God would use him and that He did, and how specifically talking about "co-laborers" was that confirmation we needed. And what does he say? "I wasn't even planning on preaching that." {Insert stunned face here}. At the end of the sermon, the Spirit kept him going to give me that confirmation I prayed for earlier that day.

Isn't that just like God? To confirm His confirmation? That's what I needed.

The highlight for me wasn't which answer we received -- whether "yes, send her out", or "no, do not send her out". It was that I heard from God and feel like I have direction and peace. He is a faithful God.

I still have no idea how much longer we need to wait, but rather than focus on the wait, I'm spending that time praying diligently for the souls of our girls, the family assimilation, and being equipped to handle the difficult reality that our girls have suffered loss and trauma and that it will effect them the rest of their lives. Not just a few months into becoming part of our family.

Adoption is a journey and the journey doesn't end with the process. It begins with their homecoming and continues on for a lifetime.

Read more of our adoption journey here.

Wait, Watch, Wait

Adoption means: Wait. Watch. Wait. That has been the cycle these past weeks.

Wait for word. Watch as other families bring their children home. Wait on God.

Just in this part of the process it's been: Three months. Two more months. Six more weeks {and counting}.

The whole of the process has been a journey of 17 months thus far.

M and C

All this time we continue to wait between communication on our case. And this last part? This last part is when we are supposed to get that answer so we can move to the next step. But that answer just isn't coming. And no updates on where we stand are offered.

So we wait. I cry. I hope. I trust. I cry some more. I feel deeply disappointed and at times, forgotten. I feel forgotten. Like our girls future was shelved and we are the laughing stock in the adoption world. As if we're mocked and powerless to do a thing about it.

My husband and I feel strongly that God does not want to us to bring in outside help at this time. So, while we watch others call their government representatives to fight for them, God calls us to wait on Him. And I feel helpless, and honestly, somewhat of a bad mother.

And I'm not saying what other families are doing is wrong. I'm saying if we did that after God specifically called us to wait, it'd be wrong for us.

My heart aches and longs to fight on behalf of our girls, but instead God is calling us to be still, and wait on Him. He's doing the fighting.

Instead, we're fighting battles of discouragement, hopelessness, and impatience. And quite honestly, some depression.

Sometimes I feel like this whole thing is a bad dream. You know, when you're standing there naked and everyone's staring at you? Maybe laughing? I feel like my weak faith is exposed and as everyone brings their children home, the joke's on me.

The voices haunt me,

"Maybe you should step out and do something more."

"Maybe you should fight harder."

"Maybe you should pray for a specific date."

"That's what everyone else is doing, and look, they're getting results."

It's so hard not to think that we're doing everything wrong because everyone else is getting results. But I also know that because the way God has called us to is so counter to what we want to do, it must be right. When thoughts of taking action flood my mind, I grow uneasy; uncomfortable. And God whispers, "Be still and know I'm here. I have not forgotten." It's subtle, though, and it could easily be missed if the louder voices were given permission to take over.

And if you're getting tired of reading different renditions of the same topic, I understand. I'm writing for those who might be coming up behind me in their adoption and need to know they aren't alone.

Another day has passed. Another week gone. Still we wait.

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

Coffee Break