During the wait
by Angela Wells
PORTAGE, MI – Have you ever heard of a paper pregnancy? My husband and I have experienced it twice! Our paper pregnancies consisted of almost ten months of filling out papers, filing papers, getting stickers on papers, and waiting on other people to push papers through the proper channels so we could adopt two children.
Although different from what we experience during the Advent season leading up to Christmas, it was still a time of waiting for the coming: the coming home of two beautiful daughters.
Much like the Christmas season, this time in our lives was filled with contradictory feelings and events. There was the joy of seeing a baby’s face for the first time and then the second time stumbling across it on the internet and thinking, “There is my daughter!” This was quickly followed by the sorrow of knowing where she was, but not being with her.
There was the peace from God knowing the financial burden would be met and the turmoil from knowing that the next set of papers brought a fee we could not pay. There was the satisfaction of dotting i’s and crossing t’s and the frustration when a caseworker said, “You are doing things too quickly; slow down.”
The longest part of our process was about forty-five days waiting for our Letter of Acceptance from our daughter’s birth country. During this time, there is nothing to do but WAIT (and refresh email 1000 times per day). There are no social worker visits to endure, no plane tickets to buy, no fingerprints to take, and no wondering who your child will be. There is only waiting for the coming of this letter.
Although there was a stillness in the wait, there was chaos in my mind and spirit about what was coming. As I drove around for work, I listened to the news. There was yet another story about a country across the world making nuclear threats. Countries were on alert, trying to negotiate, and taking precautions. All I could think was that we would be flying right into the battle zone to pick up our daughter. My thoughts were spiraling during the 4-mile drive to my next school. I admit I was not praying, simply worrying, entertaining the thousand “What if’’s” in my mind.
The Lord was so kind to me in this moment of not waiting well. His voice exploded over the airwaves and He asked me, “Would you lay down your life for this child?” Only by His grace could I say, “Yes, Lord” and immediate peace followed. On this day, Jesus’ voice was so clear. He had given the purpose, provision, and protection for us to go get our daughter and to Him goes the glory.
I have not found myself in such a dramatic season of waiting recently, but actually each day I live is spent waiting for His coming. When I do not look to Him, I live in contradictions: yearning to see His face and praying He will tarry; wanting Him to administer justice and asking Him to give mercy; being still to know and going to all the world.
In Him, though, the waiting is simple and straightforward: wait in strength, wait in hope, wait patiently, wait wholly, and wait actively (Ps. 27:14, 33:20, 40:1, 130:5, Matthew 24:42). He is asking you like He asked me, “Will you lay down your life? Will you take up your cross?” During the wait, every day, every moment.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Angela Wells is the wife of Chad, pastor of FBC-Portage. You can read about how God worked during their adoptions on her long-neglected blog praiseandfireworks.wordpress.com. These days you can find her caring for a family of 7, working as a speech-language therapist, and taking much-needed Sunday naps.