I want it to go away.
For the last few days I have been feeling like all of the stress I have been living under for the last three years has finally manifested itself in my body. I am EXHAUSTED. Seriously. Every morning when my alarm goes off, I think to myself that I could easily sleep for another four hours. My emotions are all over the map and I feel like I am wound so tightly that I could snap and collapse into a puddle of tears at any moment.
Aren't you jealous?? :)
And as I sit here and really think about it, I realize that this part of my story is probably not too different from that of any adoptive mom. There is all of this tension as you move through paperwork at the start of an adoption. You want it to be perfect. Every i dotted and every t crossed. You get frenzied over your house being flawlessly clean for your home visit. Clean baseboards mean I will be a good mom! You record your entire life history and your beliefs about parenting (Some of which have not even crossed your mind yet, because, really, who thinks about how you might one day handle a hypothetical situation and how your experience with your parents will impact that? We do now!). You take classes on incredibly difficult things about parenting kids who come form hard places. You hear stories of kids not attaching to their adoptive parents and you PRAY TO GOD that will not be you. You finally send off all of that precious paperwork, representing countless hours of work. And then you wait. And you wait. And you wait. And you wonder if your child is alive yet. And if he is alive, is he being taken care of? Is someone holding him, comforting him, loving him in your place?
Then you get to see his face. And every single thing in your life changes. He is yours, but you can't protect him or comfort him. You have to love him from afar. And you know, that even in the best of circumstances, the person caring for him is not you. And you have to trust God and God alone to watch over your son. You have to beseech the Lord to care for him and somehow, let him know that you love him so, so deeply.
And then there is the part you are not ready for. No matter how much training you went through. There is his story. A story that you alone will carry. A story that cannot and will not be shared with anyone, not matter how close, because it is not your story to tell. It is your story to protect. It is a story that carries an enormous weight.
So all of these things are crashing down on me this week. And my body is looking and me and saying, "Yeah...you need a nap, a nice twenty four hour nap." But there are all of the other things in life that demand attention.
My soul is weary, dear friends. And my body is right there, too.
I am so overjoyed that we are really in the final stretch before Bradley is in our arms. And I am trying to hang in there and on to God's grace and provision and strength. These arms are tired, though.
And here I am reminded of Paul and his first letter to the Corinthians.
"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize?
Run in such a way as to get the prize.
Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training.
They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.
Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air.
No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others,
I myself will not be disqualified for the prize."
1 Corinthians 9:24-27
He is talking about preaching the gospel here, but I also see a LOT of parallels to where I am in life right now. I am trying so hard to run this race God has laid before me. Trying to run with purpose, not aimlessly. Trying to discipline myself.
So easy to say and SO much harder to do.
God has been at work in my heart in such a deep way over the last three years, and I do not want to give up now. I'm trying to work on my prayer life so that I can stay focused on Christ, because I know that everything else in my life needs to flow out of that. And in that, I am fighting of extreme exhaustion and the feeling of being wholly and completely overwhelmed. In those moments, when I let exhaustion win, I forgo the very thing that will bring me rest. Prayer.
God is bigger that these things, though. A good friend and fellow adoptive mom reminded me the other week that my circumstances bow before God. I just love that. It is such a clear picture of reality, and it is one that I am clinging to these days.
My circumstances bow before God. Yours do, too.