There. You have it. As I've found out, nothing brings that fact out more than adversity. Often times it is easy as Christians to look back at stories in the Bible and to harp on the fact that those Israelites had been given so much and yet still failed to trust in the faithfulness of God. It's easy to see all the mistakes they made and to think, "Well, if I had seen God part the Red Sea, then I would have had no reason to doubt." OR "If I had witnessed manna falling from the sky......or plagues......or the battle of Jericho, then I would have believed."
But is that really truth? Well, as it turns out for me, it's not.
Throughout this whole adoption process, God has been so faithful. Everytime we prayed for direction, God showed us clearly His plans. Everytime we have needed to make a payment, the money has been there. Everytime we began to fret that things wouldn't go through, God made a way. And yet, still, throughout the process, I find myself continually doubting in His goodness and His control over the situation. And, continually, He brings me back to this,
"Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say, 'Rejoice.' Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace that transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."
Last month we had our home study visit. It was the one piece of the process that I was the most nervous about. Not because I didn't think we were a good family, but the unknown of having a stranger into my home to "evaluate" us was a little nerve-racking!! What if my children chose that exact moment to misbehave? How would I handle that? What if the social worker took one look at our home and said, "You want to fit another kid in THERE??" What if the fact that I don't have child-safety locks on EVERY cabinet and drawer could prevent us from adopting?? I was a nervous wreck!
And then, ever so gently, God reminded me that I am not in control. It is not my responsibility to worry about those things. It is only my responsibiity to be obedient to Him. To step out in faith and do what I believe He has laid on our hearts to do. And to trust. To trust that He will show up and make a way when there seems to be no way. To trust that His ways are always better than mine.
"As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."
And just like that, as I let go, our home study was approved. We are now onto the next phase....the dossier. We still have a ways to go before we bring our child home. We have to await approval from immigration and the Department of Homeland Security. We have to pray, pray, pray that our passports get here quickly. We have to pass court in Ethiopia. And although it is easy NOW to see God's hand and His provision, when our backs are up against the Red Sea again, I pray that we will not lose faith. My prayer is that we will remember who our God is and His provision thus far.
"[Our] Redeemer is strong; the Lord Almighty is His name."
As new obstacles come up, won't you pray along with us that God renews our strength? We love you all and really could not be on this journey without you! All of your prayers, emails, kind words, financial contributions and such have given us the stamina to continue on. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!