"Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
but desire fulfilled is a tree of life."
On Wednesday, March 25th, I got a call from our adoption coordinator. Our dossier made it through the various offices in Kiev and we have been assigned an SDA appointment for April 14th at 10am. You would think this news would bring joy and jubilation. However, that was far from what I felt that morning. After hanging up with Tonya, I headed out for a run. Instead of tears of joy, there were tears of anger and frustration. As I sifted through my thoughts and emotions, one overwhelming thought prevailed. A whole year! A whole year of waiting. A whole year of discouragement. An additional year that Igor has had to wait in that orphanage. We should have been traveling in the spring of 2014 to get our boy. And here it is spring of 2015 and this adoption is still not completed. And now we must redo everything we did last November. The SDA appointment, the visit to the orphanage, the meeting with the orphanage director. Such a waste of everyone's time and money. For what purpose? Why God, must we keep waiting? Why must we redo everything? My heart was so burdened and heavy as I struggled to submit to God's perfect plan. I didn't realize until this week, how much of a toll this adoption journey has taken on me. A friend asked me at church last Sunday if I was doing ok. He said I'd lost my joy and hadn't looked happy in a long time. I was saddened to think this ache in my heart was obvious. And so, this blog post is really more for my sake than for anyone else's. As I try to journal this adoption journey to share someday with Igor, I need to remind myself of some important truths and refocus my gaze. When we started this adoption journey in November of 2013 I thought for sure God would bring Igor home in 2014. But as we've now finished the first 3 months of 2015 I have found myself losing hope. I have believed the lie that God is good, but He's not good to me. He accomplishes great things for others but not for me. My thinking needs a transformation (Rom. 12:2)
As Satan bombards my mind with these lies, I need to battle them with the truth.
1. God is good to me. Ps. 34:8
2. God delights in me. Zeph. 3:17
3. God has a good plan. Jer. 29:11
4. God is in control of this. Prov. 19:21
5. God has not forgotten or forsaken us. Deut. 31:6
6. His ways are not our ways. Isaiah 55:8
7. God heals the broken. Isaiah 61:1-4
8. He loves the orphan and is a Father to the fatherless. Psalm 68:5
God has encouraged me through the devotionals of Elisabeth Elliot so often lately. I love her devotionals because they are so full of God's truth and she has a way of addressing exactly what I've been struggling with. I'm going to quote one of her devotionals in Keep a Quiet Heart called "Maybe this year…?"
Will 2015 be the year of my desire fulfilled? "…or perhaps on the other hand, it will be the year of desire radically transformed, the year of finding, as we have perhaps not yet truly found, Christ to be the All-Sufficient One, Christ the deep sweet well of Love…Life is likely to continue to hold many forms of torture and dismay... for all who refuse to receive with thanksgiving instead of complaint the place in life God has chosen for them. The torture is self-inflicted, for God has not rejected their prayers. He knows better than any of us what furthers our salvation. Our true happiness is to be realized precisely through his refusals, which are always mercies. His choice is flawlessly contrived to give the deepest kind of joy as soon as it is embraced. "
Deuteronomy 8:2-3,5, 7-9
"Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart…He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then fed you with manna which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord…Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the Lord is disciplining you…For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land - a land with streams and pools of water, with springs flowing in the valleys and hills; a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey, a land where bread will not be scarce and you will lack nothing."
God has been using this time to teach me to hunger only for Him. And perhaps He is using this wilderness time in Igor's life to teach him to long for God alone and to find Him to be the All-Sufficient One.
Elisabeth Elliot goes on to say, "The cause of our discontent? We simply do not believe God. The wilderness experience always leads to the promised land….Be patient. Wait on the Lord for whatever He appoints. Wait quietly. Wait trustingly. He holds every minute of every hour of every day of every week of every month of every year in His hands. Thank Him in advance for what the future holds, for he is already there."
This week as we are in the middle of Easter week and celebrating all that Christ accomplished at His resurrection, my friend, Glen, made a wonderful statement about hope, which parallels well the hopelessness I have felt over the last few weeks. My sweet husband shared this with me yesterday with these words…"God will not leave you in the darkness. Hope lives."
"There was a parenthesis of three days following Christ’s death on the cross and His resurrection from the grave. It was hard to be hopeful when it seemed so dark. Had the Romans won? Were the religious accusers right? For many disciples of Jesus their hope died when He died. They forgot or failed to believe His promise to bring Himself back to life after a short delay- maybe that was God testing them? Hope was threatened."
What were the disciples feeling after Christ's death? Fear? Abandonment? Confusion? Wasn't Christ supposed to be their Messiah? Their rescuer? And now he was dead? Did they remember His promises to them? Scripture tells us they were hiding, afraid, deeply grieved. They had lost their hope. But God was not defeated! God was about to do above and beyond their wildest expectation! Hope was dawning! A Glorious Unfolding was coming! Jesus was alive! He conquered sin and held the keys of death in His hand! He was victorious! The grave could not hold Him!
The sky is always darkest just before the dawn. And if I squint….
I can just begin to make out signs of pink on the horizon….
"My soul wait in silence for God only, For my HOPE is from Him."