Ugh. I seriously hate that word. It makes my stomach churn and gives me a very not-so-good feeling. I despise fear. It is not of God. He commands us to not fear for a reason.
But my reality, right now, is that I am afraid. Fear has, once again, gripped my heart, friends. I am so human and so darn frail sometimes. I allow fear to creep into those places in my heart where I feel so vulnerable. Like now.
Recently I have been journeying with a friend. We met through blog world and have become special friends. I love that about blogging, by the way. This friend has walked a hard road–one that my heart cannot imagine or even try to comprehend. A road so painful it must almost feel like your heart is being ripped in two. It’s a road you never see coming your way, nor one you ever choose to take. The road called *adoption disruption.
* An unsuccessful adoption
My heart is aching for my dear friend. A friend I love dearly. Their hopes and dreams have come crashing down around them. A part of their hearts will always remain with the daughter they so desperately wanted to be theirs, I’m sure. But it was not to be.
We are certainly not new to disruption in adoptions. We adopted our own precious Haven after a disrupted adoption in China. Disruption happens. It’s a reality of adoption. Especially those done internationally. Getting on a plane and flying across the world to meet your child, and instantly having them be yours is not for the faint-hearted. There is no time to ‘check this out and see if it works for you’. There is no time to ‘bond’ with your child. There are no precious months to carry that child in the womb and have your heart be connected with theirs. Nope. They’re your child. Instantly. Just like that. And sometimes things just do not go as we had so desperately hoped and dreamed.
It’s the craziest thing, international adoption. It’s something that should never, ever be entered into lightly, or without ginormous amounts of prayer. Still, there are times when, even after the heart of God has been sought, things go horribly wrong. It’s just life. It happens. So many times in this life things just do not go the way we hope or anticipate. I can testify to that so many times in my life.
In light of recent events with my dear friend, I have opened my heart to the ‘what ifs’ again. What if I look at Hailee and am overcome with fear? What if I feel I cannot meet her needs? What if I cannot bond with her? What if I am afraid for my other children? What if the very sight of her, and her neediness, makes me too afraid to carry on? What if down syndrome scares the living dickens out of me when I see it face-to face?
On and on and on I have gone for the last 48 hours. Torturing myself with the ‘what ifs”.
Then I sat listening to my beloved pastor teach on Mary and Elizabeth yesterday morning and all of a sudden something happened in my heart. It suddenly came to me. Not a new revelation, or anything like that. Just a quiet reminder from my Father in heaven. A gentle whispering to my heart the very thing I needed to hear….
The things God calls us to do are never (well, most of the time) easy! The journeys He calls us to take are, for the most part, stretching, challenging and difficult. They cause us to press into God with everything that is within us. Ultimately it’s for our good.
As I sat there pondering the lives of Mary and Elizabeth I realized that they had tough assignments from the Lord. How would I feel being pregnant at a ripe old age? Or how about having to announce to my family that I, a virgin, was pregnant. Oh, and that the child in my womb just happened to be the Son of God–that must surely have been the clincher. I’m sure they both suffered immense criticism, possibly even hatred from those around them. I’m sure most thought that both these woman were completely insane. Was it easy? Heck no. Still, they were on a mission from the Almighty Father. And that really was all that mattered. To know that you know that the Lord has directed your steps.
Missions are never easy. Missions do not mean we have to leave our homes and travel across land and sea to fulfill them. Though we have done that for years, and it is an amazing thing to do, God has us on a different mission now. He has turned our hearts toward home and given us a mission right here in our own house. Rescuing orphans.
I do love this new mission. I am content and totally fulfilled in what God has called us to do in this life. But, it sure does not come without fear rising up in my heart every now and then. There are days when I would love to add my little two cents worth and ask the Lord if He would possibly mind just tweaking that calling a wee bit. “How about sending me on a mission to adopt a non special needs child, Lord?” Yep, that sure sounds so much easier. But deep in my heart I know this is it. I know we’re right in the center of His will for our lives–rescuing those who have little chance of being adopted. Rescuing the hard to place children.
Is it easy? No way. I have days when I look at my precious Haven and wonder what in the world we’re doing. I have days when I feel like I am failing horribly. Then I have days when I look at her and wonder what life was ever like without her. Yep, I am so darn human.
I am still learning, friends. Learning to trust my Father in this journey. Learning to cast all my cares and concerns upon Him. Learning that the only thing He requires from me is my obedience. He’ll take care of the rest. I’m learning daily what it means to be a servant.
On days like these, when fear grabs a hold of my heart, I cling to this….
“I said, ‘You are my servant’;
I have chosen you and not rejected you.
So DO NOT FEAR, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
He sure is able to strengthen me and help me on this journey. That I am positive of. When He sends us on a mission…He equips us with everything we need to do the mission well.
I know that there are never any guarantees in life. Things can, and do, go terribly wrong. Dreams come crashing down and hopes are shattered. But I have to live in the here and now–putting one foot in front of the other, trusting my God to lead us, and praying that He will meet us on the other side of the world on the day that they place our little girl into our arms.
And when I forget that, or my heart grows weary, I have a strong husband beside me who said, “Honey, I will be with you for the first part of the trip in Eastern Europe, and I will NOT let us leave without our daughter!”
We’re on a mission. I’m afraid and sometimes even terrified at the thought of this mission. But this is one of those times in my life that I know that I know that the Father has spoken. And He said, “Go!”
And so forward we go–with my fears and my anxiety, with my hopes and dreams for my family, with my cares and my concerns…and with my GOD!