In my last post, I shared about one of the obstacles in our adoption journey, my failed urine tests. For those of you who are wondering, no, I am not in any pain at all. In fact, I feel quite normal and just going through life as usual. We are taking the week off of school this week, which has been God's perfect timing. This has allowed me the time I have needed to schedule the special CT scan, which would have otherwise interrupted our schooling hours. I usually don't like to post or share things that I haven't first gone through and processed, but then I realized that it may look like I have figured everything out about God, faith, life, marriage or parenting. The truth is, like you, I am still on the journey too. I haven't yet figured everything out. I don't know what God is doing. And to be really honest, there is a lurking fear of the unknown behind all this. Sound familiar?
I think the biggest fear I have now is not so much for myself (though I am a bit worried about that too), but for my family and for Anah. When we first started the adoption process, it was out of sheer obedience, not really because I was all that overjoyed about rearranging my life and bringing in a little girl with special needs who may depend on me for the rest of her (or my) days. I submitted myself to the process not because I am all that spiritual but because I am selfish---I don't want to miss out on what God might have for me.
This may sound strange, but I don't know if I can honestly say that I loved Anah from the moment I saw her. I think my husband and daughter do, but I cannot say that I did. In fact, I kept a little distant from her in a way---not poring over her progress reports or watching the videos of her. I felt like I was being unfaithful to Jonathan in some way, that I wasn't sure if I could love her and still be fair to him as my youngest.
And so I began to pray that God would help me to grow a love for her, to make room for another little person in my heart. I have been praying it off and on, as the Lord brings it to mind. As far as I could tell, I wasn't sure if He was answering it.
But when this test result came up, and as the months have passed, I am beginning to see that maybe He has been answering it and I just haven't realized it. As we have gone through all the hoops and jumped through all the hurdles, dreaming with the family about what we are going to do with her when she gets home, making adjustments in our homeschooling schedule, planning with my parents about going to China with our family for the ultimate field trip of the year...little by little, God is making a place for her in my heart. And yes, I daresay that I am beginning to love her.
And so, I am finding that I do feel fear---what if we cannot bring her home? What if this test reveals a serious condition that holds us back or disqualifies us from adopting her? What if that happens and she is no longer going to be a part of our family? Who would care for her then? Even thinking of this brings tears to my eyes.
I share this with you to let you know that like you, I too am a pilgrim on this journey of faith. The Lord has been really speaking to me through the words of Oswald Chambers' devotional, My Utmost for His Highest, which I have been reading through this year. In particular, I have been reflecting on these words (from Oct. 2) in my heart:
"After every time of exaltation we are brought down with a sudden rush into things as they are where it is neither beautiful nor poetic nor thrilling. The height of the mountain top is measured by the drab drudgery of the valley; but it is in the valley that we live for the glory of God. We see His glory on the mount, but we never live for His glory there. It is in the sphere of humiliation that we find our true worth to God, that is where our faithfulness is revealed. Most of us can do things if we are always at the heroic pitch because of the natural selfishness of our hearts, but God wants us at the drab commonplace pitch, where we live in the valley according to our personal relationship to Him."
Our adoption announcement brought with it a "mountain high," an excitement, the affirmation of "Yes!" This is where we were supposed to be. But the Lord never meant for me to stay there. It is in the real life, the dishes, the hidden and the unseen, the CT scans, that God can really grow me in faithfulness. Will I pass the test in the humbling and fearful things of life?
In addition to praying for a clean result today, will you join me in praying that wherever we are, whatever paths God make take us down, that you and I will let God use our lives to bring Him the glory that He deserves.