Monday, March 11, 2013

On forgetting and remembering

"So, any news about Baby Faith?"

I get this question daily - multiple times daily.  And I love and hate it.  I love it because it means our sweet friends and family are hoping with us, anticipating, praying for and thinking about our Sweet One.  But I hate it because my answer is always the same: not yet.

This is what we anticipated, what we prepared ourselves for.  We didn't expect to hear anything until the end of March.  And I'm sure that - had the situation been such that we might have heard something each day - I would be a complete and utter ball of anxiety.  So, the fact that we weren't expecting to hear something has made it easier as we wait.  But that doesn't mean it's been easy.

The last news we heard was at the end of January at which point we were told to mark March 28th in our calendars.   Which meant that we would have two months to putter and plan and nest and anticipate all the while battling the fearful reality that, as they say, "It's not over till it's over."  It is a strange thing to be planning for a child who is not even ours yet.  Which is to say, HOPE is a strange thing.

I made it through February with Hope as my sweet companion.  But as the end of February rolled around, marking both a month of waiting and a month left to wait, my friend Hope seemed to slip away into the shadows of What If and Worry more and more often.  The Wednesday of our wait turned out to be the hardest part.

I guess what I mean to say is that the first month of waiting allowed us to be excited and to plan for a baby daughter and a sister for Lila without actually having to take any risks.  But when February snowed its way into March - March, that month that had hovered for so long in the dim and misty future - suddenly we were faced with decisions to make.

Do we have a baby shower?
Do we buy the rug we have been saving for?
Do we set up the crib?
Do we buy a double stroller?
Do we turn in our time off at work?

Each decision was a choice between self-preservation and recklessness; fear and faith.  In other words, do we act with the "assurance that what we hope for will actually happen?" or do we play it safe and wait it out?

Each decision brought to light my lack of faith and each time I heard the Lord say, This isn't about fear.  This is about faith.  Am I trustworthy?  Do you trust me?

I realized that each decision was a choice to either say, "If I don't protect my heart from the possibility of being hurt, no one else will"  or "I trust God to carry me no matter the outcome.  I trust that he has led us here and that he will either fulfill my hopes or repair my broken heart."

Do you ever read through the Old Testament and want to scream at God's people for doing the same thing over and over again?  Last month, the devotional I follow took us through Chronicles and I have just been banging my head against the wall as king after king does "what is evil in the Lord's sight."  Then there's a king who gets things turned around, the Lord forgives and restores his people to their inheritance and then WHAM! another king takes power who forgets who he is and whose people he is leading and everything goes to you-know-where again.  And from my perspective I wanna tap King Whoever on the shoulder and say sarcastically, "Is that workin' for ya?"  God's people forget who they are and what's been done for them time and again.  And looking at their stories all summed up it's plain to see where they went wrong, but they just seem to forget.

And for those of you who have followed our story over the last two years or even the last two months, I want to apologize in advance for the headache you might have from banging your head against the wall when I say this: I forgot, too.

You may have noticed by the tone of my last post or the fact that I finished our 28 Days of Lila three days into March that February was hardly a walk in the park.  February was a battle.  It was a literal battle at times with my sweet girl who is stretching her will and exercising some new muscles (manipulation, coercion, defiance and all out insanity to name a few), but mostly what I mean is I believe I have been in the midst of a spiritual battle.  And I think it has everything to do with Faith and faith.  

Why do I think that?  Because I started to notice that every time something would be difficult, my first and honest thought would be, "How am I going to do this when Faith is here?" or "If I can't handle this, why do I think I can handle adding another child - and one with special needs!"  I started to doubt God's hand in my life.  I forgot what he has done for us.  Already.  

I forgot how God led us to adopt in the first place.
I forgot how clearly God told the Husband that our child is in Ethiopia.
I forgot how he provided each dollar we needed in just the right time.

I forgot how, just five days before a baby girl would surprise her parents (both with her early arrival and her extra chromosome), the Husband and I had a conversation that marked a turning point in our adoption path.
I forgot.
I forgot how we felt a rush of peace and permission to begin our home study for our Chinese adoption when we heard that the wait for Ethiopia had doubled again.
I forgot that just weeks into paperwork - on December 12, 2012 - we received an email that would change our lives.
I forgot about how everything just fell into place - how we were swept up in the current of Faith's adoption.
I forgot.
How could I forget how our friends and family pledged over $12,000 to our One of One Hundred project after just one email was sent?

But I did.

With each temper-tantrum, each time the thermometer registered a fever, each nit-picky argument with the Husband, I forgot a little more.

Two feet of snow and a power outage fogged my memory.

A terrifying low-blood sugar incident for my diabetic husband made me tremble in forgetful fear.

An insensitive comment left on this little ole blog clouded the Truth and old lies snuck in creating a sort of Truth Amnesia.

I was angry and scared and tired and restless and just...floundering in my forgetfulness.

And the worst thing about forgetfulness is that you start to live as though you aren't a part of a bigger story.  You begin to think that it's all up to you and that you can do it by yourself and that you know the best way and you carry the fear and guilt that if you can't make it happen then it will be all your fault.  Or at least I do.

But then I heard that Voice.  Remember, Little Lamb.

So I did.  I allowed our Good Shepherd to flood my memory with his faithfulness.  I am replacing my fears with His words.

I am remembering that the snow brought extra days at home with the Husband and that we were blessed to stay at my in-law's house while our house was without power.  

I am remembering that diabetes does not control our lives or decide how long I have a husband.  Our lives are in His hands.

I am remembering that my value and worth does not come from what other people think of me, but from the Name that I carry - Christ the Lord - which allows all condemnation to slip away.

I am remembering that He who has called us is faithful.  And I am remembering that it is no small thing that the little girl whose room I am preparing - for whom we pray and hope beyond hope will be our daughter - carries the name, Faith.  

And each time I want to get carried away on a river of fear and worry, I hear that Voice calmly reminding me, No, Little Lamb.  That's not what this is about.  Remember.  This is about Faith - the certainty of things hoped for - not the fear of what might or might not be!

So, any news about Baby Faith?

Not yet.  But we are hopeful.  We believe that we are a part of a big story that - no matter the outcome - will bring glory to the King.  And we trust that our hearts are safe in his hands.  He hems us in before and behind.

I'm going to go order that double stroller.


Jenny said...

Praying for you friend. Thanks for the update and for the reminder to remember. Love you!

mallory dahmer said...

Thanks for the update Kels! We are thinking of you guys and praying for you. Our friends are also asking us for an update on you guys... I'll give them this link. :)

Love you and encouraged by your journey of faith.