Monday, September 15, 2008

Worth the Wait

I mentioned yesterday that my coffee pot is not the fastest thing in history. It takes several minutes to make a pot of coffee. However, especially early in the morning, when I finally get to take my first sip of steaming coffee, I know that it was worth waiting for.

In Sunday's post, I told you my life verse, Psalm 27:14. It says, "Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord." I chose this verse while in college, and never imagined how God was going to teach me what it meant.

My husband, Brian, and I married in September of 1996, just a few months after graduating from college. My goals in life were always to be a wife and mother. I hoped for a large family, and was excited about the prospect of a houseful of children to raise for the Lord. Months slipped by, and no baby announcements came. Within a year, we realized that having children wasn't going to be as easy as we anticipated. Another year came and went. By now, I was really discouraged. As friends and family around us began to have children, well-meaning people began asking, "Hey, when are you guys going to have a baby?" That question became harder and harder to answer. Soon the doctor visits began....tests, questions, more tests, more questions, and few answers. After about four years, we finally did have a diagnosis, and it wasn't encouraging. For me, getting pregnant was looking highly improbable, if not impossible.

Now, I am condensing this story quite a bit. Throughout these years, my faith ebbed and flowed. I knew that God was able to give us children. It was just so confusing, wondering why He didn't. I fought feelings of frustration, anger, discouragement and even fear, just to name a few. Waiting on the Lord was not a fun process.

We tried several medications and treatments, and found it was a seemingly never-ending roller coaster of hope and disappointment. We considered adoption, and came to a point where we realized this may be the way that God would choose to increase our family. Both Brian and I are blessed to already have adoption in our family. I have three adopted siblings, and Brian's mother is adopted.

In 2004, we were contacted about adopting a baby girl. Through a number of circumstances, the birth mother changed her mind. While this was discouraging, through the process of seeking an attorney for the first possible adoption, we found out about another possibility, this time a boy. He was due in just a few short weeks. We met the birth mom, and she agreed to place her child with us. How exciting! We began making preparations, buying baby clothes and furniture, rearranging our house. The week before the baby was due, as we were finishing painting the nursery, we received a phone call that the birth mom had changed her mind. We were devastated. This situation had seemed so perfect, and I felt angry and even betrayed. Why had the Lord let us get so close? I still can't answer that question fully, but I am so thankful for the Lord's patience with me, and for the prayers and encouragement of my family and friends through our grieving.

Over the next months and years, my heart began to heal, but my hopes were still so low. I was afraid to try adopting again. I wasn't sure that I could handle another disappointment. We received many phone calls over the next two years. We would hear of a baby that was going to be placed for adoption. We always said that we were interested, but each time, it didn't materialize.

At the end of 2006, while we were back at my parent's house for Christmas, my dad said that we were going to watch a movie. That's really not something we do much when we all get together. We'd rather spend time singing or playing games, or just visiting. However, that night we did. He put in "Facing the Giants." That evening was so difficult, and yet so wonderful. I felt like everyone in the room was watching me and Brian, even though they weren't. The Lord used that story to help strengthen my faith, and give me hope that God could still give us children. I wish I could say that my faith was strong throughout this entire process, but many times it was very weak. I had always known that God could give us children. I had just come to the place where I questioned if He ever would. We bought the movie and watched it several more times. I began to pray with a stronger faith, and really felt in my heart that somehow God was going to give us a baby in 2007.

In August, we began to go through a very difficult time in our ministry. There was a lot of uncertainty surrounding us. We were both very discouraged. My dad said, "I wouldn't be surprised if God gave you a baby right in the middle of all this." I kind of laughed, and thought that would really be something. Just a couple weeks later, one year ago this week, we received a phone call from a pastor friend. It started out much like many other calls we had received before, "Are you still interested in adopting? I know of someone...." But this time was different.

A few days later, we met a young woman who was carrying a little girl. She wanted a Christian family for her child. Six weeks later, our daughter was born. We were at the hospital that day, and I cannot begin to describe the overwhelming emotions that I felt. The most outstanding one was absolute gratitude, to the Lord, and to this courageous young woman. We named our baby Halle Simone. Halle means, "unexpected gift" and Simone means, "the Lord has heard."

Halle is now ten months old. She is an adorable, silly, sweet baby, and I treasure her as the gift that she is. Her arrival could not have been timed better. Her coming was an answer to prayer for multitudes of people who had held us up before the Lord for years. She came in a time of discouragement for us, and strengthened our faith in an incredible way. Because we had to wait, people could see that her coming was of the Lord. Every circumstance was orchestrated by His hand.

I would never have chosen this long path of waiting, but I am so thankful that God chose it for me. I would not trade my Halle for anything in the world. I know that this was God's plan. Many times, I was tempted to give up, and I am thankful that God sees our faith, even if it's as small as a "grain of mustard seed." Becoming a mother was not easy for me, but it was definitely worth the wait.

If God has you in waiting mode, I would challenge you to hold on. Keep your eyes fixed on Him. Trust that His plan is right. "Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord."

Tomorrow's Topic: What's Your Strength?

1 comment:

Becky said...

I loved this post. My heart was grieving and overjoyed with you all over again. God is good!