Sunday, September 29, 2013

New Month, Same Number, New Vision

Shortly after I finished writing Friday's post, a surprise email popped into my inbox. It was our monthly wait list update email. I am always surprised when this email comes early, mainly because we have no warning. I am usually looking for it on the first of the month. But Lesley, our ever-faithful program director, is going on vacation this coming week, so she sent it out early. She is fabulous like that, even when the update is a tough one. The news was not what I wanted to read.

We are still sitting at number 31. (Sad face)

I knew it was coming, but if I can be totally honest with you here, it was still hard to read the words. No referrals this month. A whole calendar month and no babies matched with their families. No moving up for us or any of the families on the list. Not what I wanted to read. I had prayed and prayed that God would intervene, and that despite the court system closure in Ethiopia, children would somehow still be matched with their families. I prayed for that. But it did not happen. Somehow, no movement this month is what will bring God the most glory. It is not something I can even pretend to understand, but I know that God is good, that He is over this, and that He does not make mistakes.

And so we wait and we trust. 

It was 366 days ago that we got our first number. And I remember how thrilled I was on that day. So excited to be finished with the paperwork. So exhilarated to feel like we were finally making real progress toward our children. I am still glad to be done with the paperwork, and I know we are taking a step closer to our children each day. But I never once thought we would still be waiting 366 days after getting our first number. 

So that has been a struggle for me. 

In recent weeks, God has planted this picture in my mind. A picture of how what we are going through feels. I have only shared it with my mom so far, but I think I am going to share it with you today. 

There is a woman. She is standing alone at the end of a long pier out over the ocean. It is pouring rain; the wind is howling and the waves are crashing. A hurricane. She is standing with her feet planted on the dock and her arms locked at her sides with her fists tightly clenched. She has no umbrella, no raincoat. Her clothes are soaked through, and her hair is whipping around in the wind, being plastered to her face. She is looking out at the sea. This is not where she would have chosen to be at this moment. And she does not feel entirely safe. But God has asked her to stand there. She doesn't know why. But He has. And she trusts Him. It doesn't seem like it makes sense for her to stand there. But God has asked her to. And so she does. There is no sign of the storm breaking. But God is with her on that pier. He is keeping her feet planted firmly on the dock. That is His provision. She doesn't know how long she has to stay there or why she has to be there at all. But she knows her God is good, and that He would not ask her to stand there if it were not what was best. And so she stands. Trusting in the One she gave her life to, even though most of her being is telling her to run back to the safety of land and shelter. She is not standing in her own power, but in God's power within her. 

That is the picture, the vision, God has given me in recent weeks. I don't know how long the storm will last, but I trust the One who is asking me to stand here. Believe me, dear friend, there are days when I want to run fast and far away from this hurt. But I have to keep trusting that God is in control over this, and that He will not let me fall and be swept away. 

"'For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways' declares the Lord. 'As the heavens are above the earth, so My ways are higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.'"
Isaiah 55:8-9


P.S. So sorry I couldn't get myself to take a new picture with the same number for this month. The smile would have been a bit too forced. 

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