There are times I wonder what God is up to. There are some things that show up in my life, God says “now,” and they happen. Our exchange student last year and a few unexpected book contracts are evidence of that.
Then there are things that I believed God spoke to my heart … yet they didn’t happen quite as easy. Our adoption was/is that way. When Nathan was 5-years-old I heard about baby girls in China who were in need of homes. I was excited about it, but John wasn’t quite as excited. I tucked that desire deep in my heart, and I prayed. I knew if God wanted it to come to pass GOD, not me, would speak to John.
Fast forward nine years and God did. John brought adoption up and I was excited and on board. We started the process, sure this was what God wanted. The paperwork alone (for numerous reasons) took two years. By the time the paperwork got to China (last November) the waiting list had grown and China’s speed at matching babies with parents had slowed. Currently–if the pace continues as it’s going–we’re looking at getting a baby girl in 2012! (Just a few years longer than I’d expected or hoped for.)
Thinking of waiting until 2012 overwhelms me. In fact, in my human nature I immediate start thinking of other places we can adopt from or other ways we can expand our family. But in the end something tells me that those plans are just my fretting and worry getting the best of me. And when it comes down to it, John and I go back to the one thing we know: God has asked us to work through this process to adopt from China.
We have done everything we knew to do. We’ve done the paperwork, and it’s sitting complete on a desk somewhere half-way across the world. It’s completely out of our hands, so now we must simply trust and wait.
There are times in the past when I’ve tried to push my own agenda and it has caused a lot of frustration and worry, but never the results I expected. I have a dozen (at least) half-written books on my computer because I was tired of waiting for God’s plan. Instead, I looked around to see what editors wanted and tried to write that. It never worked.
One thing I love about Experiencing God is this message in Week 1: God does not play guessing games with His people.
Experiencing God says this:
When God spoke to His people two things were certain:
1. it was God who spoke
2. There was no question about what God had asked them to do.
“If we are not certain if God is leading us, we need to go back to our relationship with Him. If we sense God is leading us or guiding us but do not know to where or for what purpose, we need to go back to our relationship with Him. Stay before the Lord until there is no question about what God is asking of you or how God is leading you.”
When we embarked on this adoption journey John and I thought we new the purpose: to expand our family and open our lives to a child. The leading was certain and hopefully we will some day have another, wonderful daughter in our lives, but maybe there is more to all of this than we thought.
Through our journey we’ve talked to many others about adoption. We’ve fallen in love with China. We’ve prayed for the country and the people. And we appreciate the three children God has given us even more.
This reminds me that during times when I do not understand the purpose of God’s leading the most important thing I can do is GO BACK TO HIM. My worry and my fretting shouldn’t be the things that change my path … the only that that should impact my steps is what I feel God speaking to my heart and what John feels God speaking to his–what we feel together.
That is where true peace comes from: knowing it was God who spoke and knowing what He is asking us to do. And then we just follow, wait, and watch. We trust and we grow. And we believe that we would choose this very same path if we knew everything that God knows.