I feel like I have been neglecting my blog lately; I need to get back on the writing train. We have been super busy around here, with Adam working in overdrive, me wrapping things up with my students before the holiday, starting up with Noonday and trying to balance all of that with working through the waiting for our little ones to come home. In a lot of ways the busyness is good, because it keeps my mind occupied. That is a very good thing, because if I am not actively thinking of or working on something, my mind is in Ethiopia.
Over the last few weeks, though, it has seemed like the Lord has been trying to make something clear to me. He is allowing this to happen for a purpose, and I need to trust Him in that. A couple of weeks ago, our pastor preached a sermon on "The Cross and Christian Suffering." He focused on why God allows suffering and how we deal with it as Believers. It was a very difficult sermon for me to sit through. If you have been reading here for any amount of time, you probably know that my heart has been hurting for a really long time. I often question why this is happening, why God is allowing me to hurt this much for this long. And I realize that when I do that, I am questioning God. I'm not saying that it is wrong to beg God to end suffering. I seem to ask for that a whole lot. But I am trying to get to the place where I can say and mean it every time, "God, your will above my desires."
The next week, my friend Amy sent me a sermon her pastor had preached called "No Thanks." I laughed when I got the CD in the mail. Clever title. It is an incredible sermon, and I have basically had it on repeat in my car for the last ten days. The pastor is preaching from 2 Corinthians 12, when Paul asks God to take away the thorn in his flesh. Three times he pleads with the Lord, and God says, "No." He doesn't remove it. Instead, God allows it to continue and tells Paul that he is better of for it. That the thorn in the flesh teaches Paul to rely on God instead of his own strength. Paul goes on to write that God's power is made perfect in our weakness. This is good news for me. I have felt so weak for the last few years. At this point especially, because I am completely powerless to do anything to bring our children home. I have said it before, but I want so badly to be a mom. I know that God has called us to this adoption and so we are in His will for our lives, but I did not know it would hurt this much. So I am trying to trust in God's strength instead of my own. The paster opens by asking us a question. If you could change one thing in your life right now, what would it be? Well. Guess what I picked. Then he followed up with a more difficult question. What would happen to your spiritual life if God's answer to your plea to change that thing is no and stays no? Yikes. Tough question. God does say no to us. Not out of spite or malice, but to give us something better. Even when we don't realize it is better. I do know that God is working through this time of suffering in my life, and I am trying to focus on that. But it is tough.
It is tough because I hurt a lot. Not a day goes by that I do not want this waiting to be over. And a few months ago, when we made a huge jump on the waiting list, I thought we were getting so close. But it doesn't seem that way any more. It seems like things keep getting farther away. Today is November 26, and there have been no referrals (that I know of) this month. That means there is a very real chance that December 1 will arrive, and we will still be at #29. That means we will have moved 3 spots in the last 4 months. Oh my. Will it ever end?
When we started this process, I thought for sure that we would have everyone home by the end of 2013. Then I thought we would definitely be matched by the end of 2013. But it is looking more and more like that will not happen. That we will get all the way to 2014 and still not even know what our children look like. This reality fills me with a sense of helplessness. I am trying to keep it away and trust that God knows when this will happen. But it is hard.
I have asked before, but will you please pray that we do not get to the end of the year without a referral? It will be an absolute miracle. I know God can do it. Nothing is beyond the scope of His power.