Psalm 23

((from Natalie))

There’s a teeny baby in my arms. She’s just over 6 pounds of sweet perfection.  I have spent many hours inhaling her newborn heaven scent. She has nuzzled herself right into my arms, the perfect fit for our family.

Our long-awaited daughter came to us in a whirlwind. We met her almost-due biological mother this July on the bittersweet anniversary of our late daughter’s birth (Yep, of all days!!! More about that here.) Just nine days later, blessed to be in reception at her birth, we adopted this new baby girl into our family.  She was LONG awaited and SOOO wanted by us, her new family. She was prayed for nightly by her four-year old sister: “Please, please God find a baby for our family.” She was desired daily by me, a mom with great hope every morning: “maybe today we’ll get ‘the call’ from the agency.”  She was wondered about weekly by a big brother who discussed his thoughts on having another little sister versus a little brother. She was carefully planned for by her daddy who was laser-focused on saving and allocating the family finances to make an adoption possible.

The desire to grow a family through adoption feels hard-wired into my being. It’s strong enough to deem a ‘call.’ It was a BIG, BIG want. So when it became a wait that spanned day after day into weeks, months, and then across the change of a calendar year and then another, the aching of the want really started to hurt. With hope unfulfilled, the ache tore at me. I began to ask God “How long?” I’d experience a dose of grief every time my phone rang and it wasn’t the adoption agency. My fuse started to feel shorter, my anger at God often misplaced and misdirected. And when my incessant wanting made me so heartsick that it blurred my eyes to a point that I couldn’t distinguish all of the joy right in front of my own eyes, I realized it was time for a shift.

Exhausted by the wait, I turned to the only thing left: SURRENDER.

I told God to take it away.  In prayer, I told him “God, if this thing, this burning desire, if isn’t from You, then take it away!  I can’t carry it in my heart anymore if you aren’t with me on it.  It feels like this is from You, but if it’s not, take it now!  Align my heart to Your will, because I can’t stand any more waiting for something that isn’t going to happen.”

The change in my prayers led me to some grace. I found how to put up some needed boundaries to protect my heart; practical stuff like asking our agency to not call me (but my husband instead,) to release me from the obsession over my phone.  And then a different phone call made by a friend to an adoption agency opened a door that I never imagined could open for us, and we pursued going through it.  I felt refreshed and useful when more paperwork came my way- thankful for something to DO during the wait.  And then, all at once, timelines aligned and in a blink, she was here! By God’s grace, she didn’t have to live one moment without a family.  It didn’t happen how I imagined, or even by way of the path we first stepped out on.  But we were led where we needed to be when we needed to be there.

Sometimes, surrender is the only way to find trust.

I pray that if you too find yourself in a season of unfulfilled hope, God will use it to work in your heart. I pray that if you get to a place of surrender, that it doesn’t feel like a weakness but instead brings you to a place of grace. I pray you don’t feel like a lost, wandering sheep, but instead sense guiding and pursuit by the One who watches over His flock. I pray your growing want is continually replaced by His will.

And when the time is right, I pray that His Shepherding love makes you lie down in green pastures.

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