Without much new information to share on our adoptions, or be distracted by, my mind has wandered these last several days…wandered into dangerous areas, terrifying close to the edge of that mental cliff where you are just so tempted to “jump” because the fight seems to be too much! The internal struggle of my emotions, heart and mind is warring at a heightened extreme and I just want PEACE! My own efforts to bring that calm which every ounce of my being longs for, like a drop of water in the desert, have fallen dramatically short, and that is probably a huge understatement. But of course, like a stubborn child, I keep trying, grasping, acting through the day in an attempt to get a little more control and bring my emotions back into my comfort zone. One epic failure after another…. (just ask Craig)
So this morning, in the shower (where God and I have our best talks), He says, “My child, don’t you know I have equipped you with all you need – I have GIVEN you this life so you have something to GIVE back to me.” And then I remembered… sacrifice.
It’s a lesson I learned during another very difficult phase in my life. I was alone, drowning in a pool of emotions so deep the bottom was black. And the Lord, My God, my Kinsman Redeemer, demonstrated so clearly to me that He WANTED my pain, my devastation, my lack of control, He actually WANTED it and not only that, it was beautiful to Him. And that brings me back to our conversation in the shower…sacrifice.
The Old Testament is riddled with that word: SACRIFICE. I see red when I read or say it. In my mind it means blood…not the romantic, vampire-induced type our society is so obsessed with, but gruesome, steaming blood poured out in violence on the dust from the veins of a living breathing thing. It is horrific. I can’t even begin to imagine just how many animals would have lost their life at my hands had I lived before Christ walked the earth. (Read Leviticus and keep a tally…I’m talking flocks of doves, and herds of sheep…per year in my name.) But all that is over! Christ’s Sacrifice, His blood, the violence He endured, it became my sacrifice…all of them, once and forever paid! ATONEMENT!!! And it’s not surprising that I see red when I write that word too.
So what does this all have to do with NOW? With our adoption? God reminded me this morning He has given me this 3 year and 9 month (and counting) long adoption journey of frustration, agonizing waiting, deep longing for my children, and blatant embodiment of my insufficiency SO THAT I have something to give back to Him. I have no control, but He does! I am so very small, but He is as vast as the stars are numbered…and on my own I have nothing to offer Him. SO He has given me these things, and beginning this morning, I lay them on the altar of my heart where my God reigns as King:
My impatient spirit with this lengthy process, wrapped in so much red tape it looks like a Christmas present
My ever-deepening longing to embrace my precious children who are so far away
My doubts, always veiled by trusting words, in His ability to supply our financial need for our kids’ ransom
My manipulative thoughts and prayers, as if I can coerce God into doing something different than His perfect plan
My physical and emotional fatigue from fighting this battle that has already been won for my family by His mighty hand (it’s as if I am beating at the air…and I am tired)
…and the list will continue to grow daily I’m sure
Then yesterday - the real yesterday (Wednesday, Sept. 22) we received an email saying that because our precious girl is no longer sick, we are back in line...in line, to wait.until.January. My heart sank, my stomach instantly tied itself in a boy scout knot, I slid from the edge of our bed where I sat reading staring at the blurry screen of my laptop, and my eyes welled up with hot tears...tears of devestation, the only way to outwardly express the ache that seared through my body, tears.
and then, it happened, in an instant, my body was washed in peace! Sweet, cool, refreshing PEACE that settled deeply into my chest, soothed my sobs, and brought me to my knees. My GOD was still in control, He still held my children, both near and far, safely in the palm of His hands. The realization that I had nothing to give but my longings and desires, nothing to control but the sacrifice of that pain and deep emotion, nothing to do but to relinquish everything to the Only One Who has control - it set in right with that peace and I felt utter and complete CALM.
It is going to be ok - as our social worker reminded me, we will NOT WAIT FOREVER, and
"Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever." Psalm 73:25-26