Hope came alive your very first cry…
-lyrics by Nate Kelly
There’s this story, you might have heard it, about a world in despair. Hopeless. Waiting. Wondering if the words spoken would ever be fulfilled. Then one night in Bethlehem a child was born and the hopelessness lifted. “Hope came alive your very first cry… on Christmas Day”. This was the one they had waited for. Hope for every man.
Sitting in church on Sunday I heard this song of a friend and this one line put perspective back in my heart. How long had they waited for the fulfillment of this prophecy? How many generations hoped they would see the Messiah? How many times did they wonder “did we really hear him?”?
My waiting… my wondering… the tension I live in every day… it pales in comparison.
But let’s be honest here. I live on the good side of that Christmas story – the retelling side. I live right smack in the middle of my story – the wondering side.
I’m writing this post mostly for my mom… and for all of you whom she has frantically emailed for prayer support. Good news, I haven’t jumped ship. I’m still here and I still know there’s a God.
The past 10 days have been an emotional roller coaster. Nothing about roller-coasters is fun to me. Somewhere in the past 6 months I allowed myself to really hope this adoption thing could happen this year. Last week we received news of a new road-block that will prolong us even more than what we were already facing. It was a blow to the heart.
As I briefly shared the news with my family I followed it with… I’m probably not going to answer my phone. I had to shut down. I couldn’t think about it, I couldn’t talk about it, I was trying to do everything I could to keep from that ugly cry. I was devastated.
There are things about it that felt threatening to our hope for sure. But I’m realizing what was most painful for me in the moment was the disappointment. Letting go of the hope that finalization could be soon… that broke my heart. Recognizing that finalization isn’t even guaranteed – well – we’ll see what God has to say about that.
Thank you to all of you who have sent messages, written notes, checked on us and prayed for our hearts. There are points that I clearly recognize I am standing purely by the grace of God and your support.
So to tell you how my heart is… it’s pressed but not crushed… perplexed but not abandoned… it’s holding on to hope and truth and driven by love. I am humbled by the support of those around us and those we don’t even know are praying. I cried today just thinking about the sweet load of gifts that were given for baby girl, just out of the kindness and generosity of a stranger that “adopted” our angel from a tree.
We do not battle alone. Thank you for fighting with us and for us.
Where am I in processing the disappointment and the delay? Well, I can’t help but wonder what God is up to in this story. Where things seem like he could easily move on our behalf, it’s not moving quite so easily. I have to ask, “what is it you want to be for me right now?”
I regret some of the questions I’ve asked in the past week… the honest, gut-level questions that make my mom wonder if I’m in a crisis of faith. (I’m not.) I wouldn’t be surprised if she’s pulled out her rosary and lit some candles 😉
I think what the enemy has meant for harm, to bring us down, to shake us… will actually strengthen our stand, solidify our hope and secure our trust. Yes, there are moments that I don’t feel or sound strong… but as I wrestle through my questions and choose to believe, I’m getting stronger.
One day, I know I will see the beauty in this journey. The glory in the pain. Right now, I just feel exposed. I feel like I’ve put my whole heart into something that I have no control over the outcome and it gets hit with arrows on a regular basis. I guess that’s the risk you take when you choose to live whole-heartedly. I can’t say it’s fun… but I will say it’s worth it.
To those of you that are holding on to a word, a dream or a promise, I’m right there with you. One thing I recently heard from a teacher on living in God’s promises that has given me courage is: “do not let your circumstances challenge the prophecy when the prophecy was given to challenge your circumstances”.
Don’t give up. There will be songs of joy. Maybe some wise-men will even show up with gifts. This waiting, this wondering, this hoping… it’s gonna be worth it.