Or at least I'm working on it.
I have found myself to be bitter lately. Bitter about loosing my father, about the unknowns and forever waiting in the adoption world and just plain bitter. I've been clinging to a verse that speaks of my heart:
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. Proverbs 13:12
The deferment of our adoption has made my heart sick. It has made me sick. I long for our daughter, that's no secret. Parents in the adoption world just get it. Especially those with long waits, like longer than pregnancy...lol. For those who haven't experienced adoption, it's like knowing your child is in another country and you can't get to them. This hope of adding to our family has been a constant anticipation. I set myself up for "the call" everyday.
I recently picked up my One Year Bible, that I've been reading for three years, and found a scripture that I had written on an index card. I completely forgot about it. And God knew I needed it.
Consider it nothing but joy when you fall into all sorts of trials, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect effect, so that you will be perfect and complete, not deficient in anything. James 1:2-4
If your like me, I have to break this verse down by sections and apply it to my life. "Consider it nothing by joy when you fall into all sorts of trials," tells me that I need to find joy. I used to be such an advocate of adoption. I wanted everyone I knew to adopt. Recently, I have found that I'm the last person in the world that should be encouraging people to adopt. In fact, I don't wish this pain on anyone! But this verse is telling me to find joy when I fall into all sorts of trials. Lord knows I'm in all sorts of trials, so I need to find joy. How? I'm not really sure, but I'm a work in progress. Like Steve Harvey says, "Don't trip, He ain't through with me yet!"
"Because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance." God also knows that my faith has been tested. I haven't lost it, nor will I ever. God has done too many things in my life for me to loose my faith. This has to be the first time that my faith has really been tested. Yes, those are two different things. I love my Lord and know He has called us to adoption. I know in my heart that He knows what is best for us. I just don't understand His ways right now and it's been testing me, making me question His will. So this verse is saying that the testing of my faith produces endurance. Wow. If I can endure this! So the testing of my faith isn't such a bad thing. It's growing me.
"And let endurance have its perfect effect, so that you will be perfect and complete, not deficient in anything." I need to endure this part of my journey. It's hard, man it's hard. But this verse is telling me that if I let it run its course and endure and have its perfect effect, that I will be perfect and complete, not deficient in anything! Wow. I can't wait for that day!
This past weekend message at our church hit home for me.
I urge you to live a life worthy of the call you have received. Ephesians 4:1
It made me think. Am I living a life that exudes my calling? What is my calling? Well we know, we KNOW, we were called to adopt. There's no question there, but am I encouraging others to adopt with my current attitude? No, I'm not. Am I becoming more Christ like with this journey? No, I'm not. As Christians, we need to be on a path of constant change and progression towards a Christ like life. Our spiritual lives should not sit on a shelve. We need to take risks and grow. My spiritual life has been on a shelve. My heart has ached and instead of finding joy, I've wallowed in my agony. But, I have realized it and am determined to change my attitude. I truly to want to give a good name to adoption. I do want it to be an amazing thing that everyone has the opportunity to experience or help with. We, as Christians, are called to love and care for orphans. And I am choosing, today, to do it with joy!