I've been in the spiritual ICU since Tuesday. Those who have been faithful in walking this journey with me for Little Sparrow rushed to my side and they have not left. Their words of truth, comfort, encouragement, and faith have coursed through my heart the way an IV mainlines life saving fluids.
These last days have been the yin yang of utter grief and faith that makes absolutely no sense.
This arduous battle is stretching my faith beyond comprehension. I know I sound crazy. I know it. But I also know the promise that God knit into my heart. I was not looking for her. He brought her to me. He asked me to trust and pursue her. I did. In his wisdom and love, he gave me a touchstone so powerful because he knew this moment would arrive. He knew I needed it and that I would cling to it while everything around me shook my faith. It is a pillar of his love that I wrap my arms around, knowing it steadies me as I navigate the landmines waiting to explode with every step I take.
Many people have reached out to me with good intentions. In their attempt to comfort, they told me it wasn't meant to be. They told me she was a doorway to another. They told me I can't adopt them all. They told me it was someone else's turn to experience the love I have with my daughters. They told me to be grateful for what I have.
But none of those things are the truth.
Faith is the bold belief in the unseen. It is trusting in what cannot be controlled by man. It is believing wholeheartedly when nothing makes sense.
There are many who think I am foolish for believing God. To them I say, I will gladly be a fool for Christ. His ways are not our ways. And even though Sparrow's entire story has not been revealed, I am proclaiming the truth He spoke so very clear to my heart:
She is my daughter.
I know she is coming home. Even more, I know that it is only by the power of his hand that she is. Everything that man can control has been done in this situation. I am now waiting on his hand to move. Faith is putting ourselves into situations that are so completely beyond our control that we can only say, but God. It is knowing that what is impossible for man, is possible with God. It is remembering how he parted seas, moved mountains, made the sun stand still, and raised the dead. It is walking in full confidence towards his purposes in spite of what the world tells us and circumstances that appear grim. It is risky to proclaim faith. What if. What if . What if. I can play mind games with myself all day long but I always come back to God's word and his character. He is good. He is loving. He is just.
God doesn't lie.
So in those weak moments after I've made bold claims of faith and immediately the pitbulls of doubt and fear viciously chase me, I climb his tree of life and find peace on the branches of his Word. His truth stands forever and will not be shaken.
It is not easy by any means. I have moments where I ride the crest of faith so smoothly and in the next, I lose my balance and crash into the turbulence of trepidation and disbelief. In all of that, Christ is tethered to me like a surfboard to my ankle. He does not leave me. Though I may get knocked around, I do not drown.
My dear friend who shares my name spoke such life into me yesterday. She has walked this journey with me from 2009. She's been by my side to witness God move mountains and make rough places plain. She encouraged me with the story of the Shunammite woman found in 2 Kings 4 (paraphrased):
Elisha went to her and told her after many years of barrenness, she would have a son. She told him not to lie to her. Sure enough, the next year a son was born to her. He grew and flourished. Then one day, he died in her lap.
She hid him away in her room, saddled her donkey, and went straight to Elisha. Along the way, people inquired of her and she simply responded, "All is well."
All is well.
Once she reached Elisha, she confronted him. She told him she did not ask for a son, yet he gave her one and now he is dead. She told him to make his promise right and resurrect her son. Elisha went to her son and prayed. God raised him from the dead.
My friend reminded me that I was not looking to adopt again. I did not seek her out. God brought her to me. He knit her in my heart and asked me to step out in faith once again. I did.
The words my friend spoke next brought me to tears. She told me that God needs to resurrect Sparrow's adoption. She reminded me that God does not lie.
Late yesterday, my caseworker called me. She all but told me to give up that it was a done deal. I told her I would not. I told her I believe God to be true to his word and I believe this family will unmatch with Sparrow and she will come back to me.
Am I a fool for believing this? Maybe. If people ridicule me for standing on his truth, so be it. Faith is crazy. Faith is insane. I believe that God has a greater purpose and allowed her to be initially matched with this family, as painful as it is. He could have very easy allowed me to match with her. But he didn't. He released her the very hour I was approved. Two years on the waiting list and the exact moment I can match, she is gone. His sovereign hand is writing a story bigger than I could have imagined and larger than what I can see. I know it is for his good purposes and that is what strengthens me.
Abraham went forward with Isaac to the top of the mountain to sacrifice him to the Lord. He did not waiver. He trusted that somehow, God would provide. Or, God would resurrect his son. Whatever his thoughts, his faith proved that he wholeheartedly trusted God with very thing most precious to him. At the very last moment, God intervened and provided another sacrifice. Abraham's faith grew and God was glorified.
I pray that God is glorified through Sparrow's story. I already know that my faith is growing. But most of all, I pray that my actions, my words, my beliefs - that all of me - brings honor to God.
Turn my heart, O Lord, like rivers of water,
Turn my heart, O Lord, by Your hand;
Till my whole life flows in the river of Your Spirit,
And my name brings honor to the Lamb