Lately, I’ve been feeling more and more like a child. A child who wants something and refuses to back down until she has it.
An impatient one. Whiny. You know the type.
God’s keeping secrets from me and I feel like I’m going to burst. He’s up to something, He’s planning something, but He won’t tell me what it is.
I feel like a little girl watching my dad walk out the garage every night. He’s making something for me, I know it! I hear saws and drills and see flickering lights. I can’t help but watch through the window, I’m simply too excited. What could it be? A doll house? A table and chairs? Can’t I just have a peek?
Each time I get near, he laughs a bit and gently sends me away. It’s not time yet.
And the waiting is long. Not because I need this thing, whatever it is. Obviously, I’ve been living my life just fine without it. But the possibility of something new, something sweet to add to the joys in my life. It’s almost more than I can bear at times.
Recently, many doors seem to be closing and it’s all a bit confusing for us. We were created to be parents, right? Surely we were. It’s ingrained in us.
But it didn’t come the way we thought it would the first time around. No clear explanation has been found for that.
So we’ll adopt, we said. Adoption is great and something God surely wants us to do. We sent in our application one day in February 2011 and hoped to have our book together shortly after. Then we had a fire, things got busy. We finally had everything done in November, fully expecting to hear something within 6 to 9 months. And now, we stop to consider the book we made, sitting at the agency, touched by many but chosen by no one. Not so much as a “maybe” phone call in 15 months.
Then we heard about the orphans in Haiti. We love Haiti, we’re connected to Haiti. Surely God wants us to adopt from Haiti. That must be it! We don’t meet the requirements, but they sometimes make exceptions. Then, just last month new laws were passed, good laws – laws that we hope will take better care of those little ones. The laws said no exceptions.
So, what, Lord? What would you have us do? We have open arms and an open home. What else is there? Foster care, we said! Tiny babies need arms to hold them, to help their brains grow, to show them love. We can do that! Oh, but we can’t work with the state and our adoption agency? Ok, well then a private agency. It’s perfect! So we got the paperwork together, only a few more questions to fill out. Then we heard the office we were hoping to work with had closed, just a week before.
Today we’ve stopped. After all that, it’s a good time to stop and look around. When you don’t know which way to turn, sometimes the best option is to stay put and wait for direction. We’ll spend time asking what the Lord would have us do. Perhaps, for just this moment, we are to do nothing. Just be. Maybe that’s it.
But how does one do nothing, when God is clearly up to something?
And like a child waiting on a surprise, I get restless. I ask tons of questions and guess at what my surprise might be. Sometimes, I ask God if He forgot. If He lost the directions somewhere or can’t find the right tool. Sometimes, I tell Him this or that will do – if I can just have it now. But He smiles and says He has something even better.
For those who are waiting, I cannot offer advice to make it easier. It’s too fresh, too real right now to see in that way. I hope someday to be able to share a gift that might help another pull through. Today, all I know is that the only way to hang on is to trust the One who gives good gifts. My earthly father would not spend hours in the garage and then give me a pile of dirt. He desires to give me so much more, he would give me the entire world. And the hands of my Heavenly Father are extended even further than that. So I know He’ll bring good things, I trust His promise.
One of the great challenges of my deeply flawed human mind is that I always look to the known. I believe that God will only use me in ways I feel prepared for. I may have this gift or that talent or knowledge about this thing. Automatically, I assume this is how He will use me. But I have given my life to the God of Abraham, the One who waited years and years to give him a son, later asked him to slaughter the boy like a lamb, and at the last minute provided the offering. He may have something planned that I have never experienced before, that has never crossed my mind, that I didn’t even know existed!
This scares the life out of me. How could God expect me to do something I know nothing about? I suppose that’s where His grace becomes enough, and where I learn to lean into the strength of His hands. It’s in this place where we would learn to fully rely on God, but do I really want to enter a world where my depravity is so harshly evident? Oddly, I think I do. Because I can trust Him. And His power is made perfect in my weakness.
So we journey on, cautious yet eager to see what is up ahead. I don’t ask for pain to cease or the path to be made easy. I only ask that in the darkest moments, He would not allow me to forget who He is. That I would ever be confident of His presence.
Blessed are those who have nothing. For to them, God can be everything.