I'm in that really uncomfortable place where I have to truly trust in the Lord. You would think after visiting this place so often, I would get used to it. It is not fun. At. all. Every day feels like a battle to surrender and trust. It was very, very difficult to cut ties with my agency when I was in the #1 spot for a referral. Even though I know the Lord was pressing on my heart to leave, it doesn't make it any easier. All of this waiting, the ups and downs, takes it toll.
A number of families also left my agency because of the same concerns I had. It's been a blessing to be able to communicate, complain, encourage, and vent to one another because we know exactly what everyone is going through. But at the same time, it has made me super anxious because all of these families, who are also using the same facilitator as I am, are receiving referrals. Granted, their referrals are for older children but it still leaves me with a panicky feeling. I play these scenarios in my head and wonder if I've been skipped over? Did she forget about me and my referral request? It's crazy I know, but it's still a daily struggle. And then there are all of the pictures of the newly home Congolese children and babies. That sends me into another tailspin of, I wonder how old Joaquin will be? What will he look like? Will he be healthy? What if he turns out to be HIV + ? And the crazy train continues.
A few days ago, I was listening to my cleaning playlist (yep! anything to make it enjoyable!) and a couple of U2 songs came on. I was a HUGE U2 fan back in the day before they were mainstream, as in, I thought I was SO COOL for loving an alternative band that was still considered "underground." I was such a dork. I mailed my sophomore school picture to Bono and even wrote a message to him on the back of it. That in and of itself is enough to lose cool points for life, but what's more is that I fully expected him to write me back! Anyway, I was cleaning, praying, and listening to music. I was telling God just how spent I felt. Completely strung out. And then two songs came on back to back. The first is called Drowning Man off the War album. At the end of the song, he sings the verse from Isaiah 40:31 -
"But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength; they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and will not faint."
In the song he sings, "Rise up rise up. With wings like eagles, you run, you run, you run and not grow weary. Hold on and hold on tightly to this love lasts forever."
I stopped and thought about how much God really loves me. His love lasts forever. And in that moment he spoke to me what I needed to hear. But he wasn't finished because he followed it up with "40," which is also on the War album. This little number is straight from Psalm 40.
"I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit, out of the mire and clay; he set my feet upon a rock and made my footsteps firm. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. May will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him."
So I've been pondering these verses the last couple of days, trying to keep my focus on him. I know that I could never do this on my own and his strength has completely sustained me. This morning when I was reading my bible, he gave me another nugget of encouragement. I was reading in Matthew when Jesus walks on the water to them in the middle of the night. Peter says to Jesus that if it's really him, can he walk too?
"So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on water toward Jesus. But when he saw the strong wind and waves, he was terrified and began to sink. 'Save me, Lord!' he shouted. Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. 'You have so little faith,' Jesus said. 'Why did you doubt me?' When they climbed back into the boat, the wind stopped." - Matthew 14:29-32
The things I took away from this are:
1) Faith is a mind-set that expects God to act. When Peter stepped out of the boat, he fully expected that Jesus would make him walk on water.
2) When in the midst of a storm, I NEED to keep my eyes focused on Jesus- not the wind and waves around me, or else I WILL SINK!
3) When I do start sinking (let's be honest, I will!) Jesus will immediately reach out and grab me. He will sustain me and encourage me.
4) I should never, never, never, never, never doubt Jesus. :)
5) When I am taking steps of faith is when I will encounter the storm. That's also when I will encounter Jesus' power.
I have absolutely NO IDEA when I will receive a referral for Baby Joaquin. I don't have any inkling how it will happen either. But, I am trying really hard to keep my focus on Jesus, reminding myself that he is the one who called me on this journey, and however it turns out, he knew all along.