The place God calls you is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Banner Moments

My week last week was horrid. Gross. Disgusting. Depressing. Frustrating. Challenging. Exhausting. Annoying. Horrid.

The reason?

There wasn't one.

Not a good one, at least.

I mean there reasons but nothing new. There wasn't anything in and of itself that screamed "crap week comin' your way, hibernate if you can". It wasn't one particular event but rather perhaps a culmination of crap thrown around and of course it eventually had to hit the fan. There were moments of happiness and content but few of the latter.

While part of this will simply be kept personal I'm quite certain dear friends, if you've been reading this blog with any amount of attention you'll know before I even type it...the adoption.

Knowing that there is paper pushing going on a half world away is fine. Not seeing results of that labour is not. The most frustrating thing as a parent (either currently or waiting) is not only feeling but also being completely and utterly helpless.

I've not shared the story and don't feel the need to go in to details but while we were in the States a couple weeks ago we found ourselves in a situation on the I-5. Cruising along at whatever speed it is that one would drive on the I-5, we found ourselves with a small three year old boy choking. This was no joke, it was altogether as serious as it gets and I will never forget the following many seconds, after realizing what was happening before our eyes. And, while there were some things we could (and did!) do, essentially we were helpless.

And that was how I was feeling last more ways that just the adoption.

I digress.

After much prayer and trying with as much "fake it till you make it" as could be mustered, the weekend began to take a turn for the better. The past few days have been Banner Days. What I couldn't figure out before, I've now (I think?) been able to put my finger on: Community.

We serve at an incredible organization full of great community.

Yet, sometimes that isn't enough. There needs to be structure and balance and needs met that cannot be met by just, and in just one place. And, where I had thought and had intended to assume phenomenal community I found, (unbeknown to myself even,) that it had slipped away. And the realization of this, came after the realization that I was beginning to find "it" again.

This thing of community: it is what we were created for.

It is how we should live.

It is how I want and - have recently become well aware - need to live.

It isn't one of those cut-and-dry phenomena. There isn't one specific definition of community that I believe could accurately describe what we each feel and need, nor is there one particular way we must contribute to be a part of community. Yet, it's beginning to become more clear to me.

So how? What, all of a sudden sparked this realization or fulfillment?

A lot of stinkin' prayer.

Some patience.

Perhaps a little faith - and I'm still working on that for sure.

And a whole lot of "what are we going to do" thought processes and dialogue.

I believe God speaks, moves, and shows himself to us each in different ways. And for me, it's not as some "kooky" voice inside my head. I don't journal, (surprising w/ how much I write here huh?). I catch glimpses of his spirit through and while reading but even that is often hit and miss.

I feel that God uses others to speak to me, to encourage me, to remind me of His presence and plan and omnipresence. Certain people, in certain places at certain times. And no fail, when I am desperate He presents them to me quietly and as though to say "I have been here all along, all you need to do is have a little more belief in Me".

So while I won't go in to the details of what have been a fabulous few days, I will share one quick story of how He spoke to me today...when I needed it.

While out at a morning being offered by a local church, I shared very briefly about our journey after being asked where we would chose to go, if money was no object. My answer of course was to travel down the coast of Africa...and then spend much time in...well...I certainly needn't specify at this stage in our blog-relationship.

The woman sitting next to me briefly shared that she would go to Haiti as their son was born there and her other children ask constantly to go visit their brother's place of origin. Her son came home immediately after the earthquake. (That's not really relevant here, though I do believe it is a story of glory out of tragedy. And, in the same breath I ask that you please don't judge me for stating that adoption is all glory because I recognize the huge tragedy in the simple need for it here in our world.)

I didn't interpret this woman as being all that interested in our story, but let it go as it was a bit of a crazy few moments during this ice breaker.

She ended up having to leave early and we were in the middle of watching a video when she got up to leave. She took the time to walk across the room and speak with me - sharing encouragement to not grow faint and that it will all be worth it, we "just" need to hang in there. Her journey to her son had taken 3 years.

I felt excitement and anticipation as I left, knowing that another child from a different culture and who was racially the same as our daughter, would be nearby. I hoped to connect with her in the future.

Fast forward a couple hours and I am at the office working on some pressing things. I hear that a couple is briefly touring the camp and are just visiting from another camp in Alberta. I don't look out to see how it is as I have a finite amount of time and this work just has to get done. The kids are playing well and the sun is shining down on them outside so I must capitalize on that. Several minutes later I go down to pick the boys up from the park and the couple is finishing up their tour...and it's the lady from the church this morning! Let me add that I rarely work at the office as 95% of it can be done from home. She had gone with her friend to the morning event...because her friend is new to the area. And, for the second time ever (after waivering late last week over whether or not I would go) I had decided to go. Um yeah, probably not a coincidence.

And she wanted to chat. And she wanted to get to know our journey just a little more. And she wanted to keep in touch. And I, in that moment, was blessed. And I, in that moment, was reminded of the sovereignty of God.

And now here I sit.

Fearful for Thursday because the stupid Lilypie doll will fall off the ticker only to start back at the beginning. (That would mark 2 years, 24 months since our dossier arrived in Ethiopia.)

Cringing at how much longer I will plead and cry for our referral.

Knowing we still have quite a wait.

Wondering how many more nights we will listen as our boys pray for, "our baby sister, wherever she is, please keep her safe until she can come home and live with us forever".

Peaceful, that the God of the universe hears our prayers and answers them.

Aware that He cares.


Sharla said...

I love how God is able to find us in our moments of weakness and remind us that He is there, right beside us, unwilling to let us go. I am so glad that you were able to experience that in the midst of what is such a hard time.

I don't know if it helps at all to say that it is all worth it, but from someone who has had a bumpy adoption journey that began ten years ago and included the loss of our first foster-to-adopt daughter and kids stranded in the Transition Home during Imagine's bankruptcy, I want to say that it was all so worth it. Every day I am reminded what a blessing it all is, how worth it it was not just for me but for all the kids we have adopted. Hang in there. There is a child somewhere in this world who needs you and needs you to hang in there as long as it takes.

elsie hiebert said...

What an amazing story. God does know who to put in our lives and when. This international adoption is a crazy ride and you will get there - although it's never quick enough.