Monday, January 21, 2013

Not For the Faint of Heart

I was talking yesterday with another mom in our church, inquiring about the state of their domestic adoption process. They've been anticipating a court date for months now, only to have one "paperwork" related issue after another. "No date yet" was her sad report and I immediately repeated to her something a friend told me a long time ago: "Adoption is not for the faint of heart, is it?"  We commiserated over each other's stories and agreed to hold each other in prayer for the specific steps needed to move these processes forward.

The conversation was over but I've been thinking about that phrase a lot since she and I talked in passing. While I said it kind of "off the cuff" (because I am trying to stay focused on His Word and His promises to us despite the many obstacles that keep getting thrown in our path to this daughter of ours), and while I know it's very cliched to even say, I also know how true it is. How REAL it is.

Adoption is hard work. It's messy. It's a lot of hurry up and wait. Only to hurry on to the next phase and have to wait again. And each bump in the road, each obstacle that crops up requires fortitude, strategy, and forward-focused eyes.

But that's not just true and real for adoption is it? It's true of any dream that God places in your heart, any journey that He places you on for your life. It's not easy. It's not smooth sailing. In fact, it's often quite the opposite. It's grueling. It's disheartening. It challenges what you thought about yourself. And if I'm being totally honest, it often challenges what I thought I knew about God.

In the days following the phone call from our Immigrations Officer, I knew I needed to keep this current situation as primarily a matter of prayer. Given all the variables that are involved, with Shaggy in Cambodia and largely unavailable during our regular business hours here in the States, I figured out pretty quickly that whatever solution would come about would NOT be of our own striving or action plans. Certainly we know that there are steps to be followed to fix it all. But I sensed fairly quickly that this would not be an easy or a quick fix and that we needed to be in prayer for our focus to be right throughout. As I spent time fasting and praying on Wednesday morning, I felt the Lord lead me to His Word. To a section of Scripture that has long been a touchstone of my life. In fact, in both of my older Bibles, it's highlighted and marked up. It's a section of the Word that I go back to whenever I feel like I need to adjust my course or my perspective. In my new Bible, it's marked with a date that was just a couple days after The Boss lost his job. Just weeks after our dossier was completed.

When we were growing up, my dad would remind us that this life would not be smooth sailing and calm waters every day. That we would face troubles, persecutions and difficulties. But he also taught us that when life got confusing or when we questioned what to do or what we knew about the circumstances, we needed to go back to what we know. I've said it before, actually fairly recently about this particular adoption journey: Go back to what you know. It's been good advice. I'm so grateful for my parents' training in The Word.

So I am going {again!} back to what I know. And I'm standing on it now. Regardless of what the current status of the "fix" is, regardless of how it all plays out. This is my declaration. And I know it's His promise to me and my family. It's okay that my heart is faint - His never is. And that's what really matters.

"I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.
My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.
He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.
Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand.
The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.
The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.
The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in
from this time forth, and even for evermore."
Psalm 121 ~ King James version

I look up to the mountains;
does my strength come from mountains?
No, my strength comes from God,
who made heaven, and earth, and mountains.
He won’t let you stumble,
your Guardian God won’t fall asleep.
Not on your life!
Israel’s Guardian will never doze or sleep.
God’s your Guardian,
right at your side to protect you –
Shielding you from sunstroke,
sheltering you from moonstroke.
God guards you from every evil,
he guards your very life.
He guards you when you leave and when you return,
he guards you now, he guards you always.
Psalm 121 ~ The Message


Scott and Jane said...

I so needed this today! Thanks for sharing your heart and for allowing that heart to stay in step with the One who created it, and for reminding me to do the same!!!

Aus said...

GM - I so "get this". And I know I keep going back to it - but I've got "this list" - and on this list are things or thoughts or issues or whatever you want to call them, that I want to ask our Father about when I get to the great reward. And stuff like you are going through is on that list. I mean He has charged us with care of the widow and orphan and all of that - as well as care for each other. then why does He allow snags to happen anyway? How does that "fit" inot the "plan"?

Just a sigh - and prayer for y'all - and a hug

aus and co.