I didn't plan on writing this post, but I wanted to cap it off with this one for two reasons.
First, I want to say thank you to all of you who have walked through this week with me. Thank you for all the words of support, encouragement, and love as I waded through some very difficult waters. For five years, I felt guilty because I wasn't the person everyone thought I was. I I felt like a hypocrite and a fraud. I have felt incredibly alone, ashamed at what I was thinking and feeling. Not only that, I was angry at God for leading us down this road. I felt like He was playing some cosmic joke on me. I felt this isolation acutely on all fronts.
So being able to share these things--my own orphan ways, my own neediness, my small heart, my struggle with the limits adopting Anah has introduced--has become the opportunity to face the pride of my heart in a way that has brought me further on in my journey than I had expected. James 5:16 reminds us to "confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working." The outpouring of God's grace through your prayers as I processed these struggles has brought healing in a way that I had not anticipated. Thank you for walking this journey with me.
But most of all, I wanted to end this week of posts with praise and worship. I was listening to Jenn Johnson's Here I Bow and I just wept, for it expressed the very things that I longed to say to the Lord.
After years of fighting Him, trying to escape from His plans for me, there is finally peace. I can finally pray these words with honesty, faith, and hope. I realized that I deeply long for Him to be glorified in this story.
I'm sure that doesn't mean my trials are over. The road before me is still long. I still struggle with giving Anah a hug and telling her that I love her. But God has taught me one more lesson: that learning to love someone is not a matter of my will power. It is about loving Him first and continually turning my heart towards Him. It is in these small degrees of change taken faithfully, one moment at a time--daily, regularly, routinely--that He begins to change stubborn, defiant, and prideful hearts.
So this is my prayer:
"God here, and now, be lifted high
Right here, and now, be glorified
God of Heaven and Earth
God who brought me back to life
I am Yours, forever Yours"