Thoughts. Thoughts scurry in my mind.
Like fifteen toddlers who all are trying to get out the door all at once. What you really need is for them all to be quiet, and pay attention so you can instruct them to get in line and hold hands.
No one will get left out. Just calm down.
When you are dealing with just one toddler at a time, you can afford to use a quiet voice. It won’t work all the time, but some toddlers will quiet themselves down just to be able to catch the sound of a quiet, calm, authority.
But when you are dealing with a room full of noise, distractions and chaos……
Sometimes you just have to raise your voice. Just a smidge.
“Everyone needs to sit down. Now. And Be Quiet.”
I think, sometimes, God needs to shout at me. To “Pump up the Volume” as it were. Just a smidge.
Don’t know about you, but I get swarmed under by myriad fears, anxieties, worries, things I’m planning, posts to write, schedules to arrange….and when I was waiting for our adoption to come through it was even worse. The thoughts that crowded my head all the time…oi! Each thought was a mere whisper, but the cumulative effect was an overwhelming din.
Are we in God’s will? Will the paperwork ever go through?Will we ever be matched? Are we matched with the right birth family? Is this couple going to run off with our money? Am I sinful for worrying about the money? Is the baby healthy? Am I sinful for worrying about whether the baby is healthy? Am I ready to parent? Is anyone ever ready to parent? Will I be a good parent? Have I worked through my grief yet? Is adoption a moral option? Or am ripping a child away from her family forever? Is this baby going to be permanently emotionally damaged by just the mere fact of being adopted? Will I be able to explain the concepts of adoption to a child without giving him, or her, a complex?
At some point God had to shout to be heard above the babble of fears swarming around in my mind and heart.
“Everyone needs to sit down. Now. And Be Quiet.”
In other words,
When that verse is read out loud it is commonly read in a quiet, respectful, calm voice. But I have this vision of God occasionally having to shout it at me in order to be heard over all the scurry and noise of my mind. All those fears running in circles, and the things I spend my mental energies worrying at. Each one, individually doesn’t make that much noise, but collectively? They can be deafening.
How did God “shout” at me? I am convinced of this – He let our adoption proceedings get to a point where there was, quite literally
Nothing I Could Do.
Not one thing I did was going to make the process happen faster, or better, or proceed in a more understandable direction. Once we got to the point where nothing I did would have any effect…..
It finally dawned on me that God was in charge. He had been in charge all along of course, no matter how much I thought I was contributing.
Why am I writing this? Well Missy asked me to share “what to say to a friend who is waiting for an adoption”
First off, my reaction when she asked me to write this was something on the order of “are you kidding me? I am hardly the poster child of someone enduring a long wait for an adoption!” (ours went from the very first phone call with the agency all the way to the delivery room in an INSANELY short 6 months) but then I stopped and thought about it and remembered all the sleepless nights, the heart-rending questions I had, the grief of being convinced that each moment that we waited was some kind of judgment for my past sins and I realized afresh a very simple truth….
When you are in the throes of waiting for something, every single moment feels like the middle of forever.
When you are waiting, you can’t see the end.
When you are waiting for a phone call, you have no way of knowing when it will come.
When you are waiting on the good offices of some clerk in some office somewhere in a county, city, or country far-far-away, or even one next door, there is nothing you can do to make them work faster or look on you with favor. You just have to wait.
And when you are waiting, you become like a child eager for Christmas. Or a dog waiting for his master to return home from work. The only thing your brain registers is
So what to say to a friend who is waiting for an adoption? Well unless you can be right there next to your friend every moment, every second of her torment, to whisper to her that God is good and that He knows what he is doing, there is really no way that you personally can adequately comfort your friend.
Lots of people said lots of things to me. Some of them were helpful. Some, not so much. But I have to be honest with you, nothing really sank in until I was forced by God to sit still and listen. So my best advice is this –
If you have a friend who is waiting, (whether they are waiting for IVF results, or waiting for a clerk to forward their paperwork, or waiting for a match, or waiting for a baby to be born) Give them God. Give them Scripture. Encourage them to fill their every waking minute with the love and comfort of our Lord. Scripture songs on CD are especially good. Any human advice you give them is just going to get lost in the noise of their fretting, scurrying, endlessly circling brains. BUT scripture will echo in their hearts because it is by nature divine, and when they slow down enough to listen (or God brings them up short, like he did with me) they will finally hear, process and be blessed.
Well, that is between you and the Holy Spirit, but here are some ones that helped me
Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know. (this one was a great one to shout at God when my heart was crying one great big long WHY LORD, WHY?????!!!!!!!!)
In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.
Is anything too hard for the LORD? (nothing is too difficult for God. nothing. Simple and true)
Psalm 62: 1 & 2
My soul finds rest in God alone, my salvation comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.
Arise LORD! Lift up your hand oh God. Do not forget the helpless. (we prayed this for our as yet unknown child and her parents. Over and over and over)
For I know the plans I have for you declares the LORD. Plans to prosper and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
are you so foolish? After beginning with the spirit are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort? (this one stung me. I am a do-er by nature. Nuff said)
I John 1:5
God is light, in him there is no darkness AT ALL ( this one helped me immeasurably. Yes, I know. As a Christian this sounds like such a simple concept, but it really helped drive me to the point of acknowledging that God IS good.)
Any time you have a friend who is hurting ( and trust me, waiting for an adoption can be a long series of one hurt after another) you should pray, fervently for God to give you wisdom. For the Holy Spirit to speak through you and provide comfort. This is something that God has already promised to do for all of us, so you don’t have to worry about if this is in his will or not. You already know that it is.
If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.
The spirit of the sovereign LORD is on me because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners. To proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God. To comfort all who mourn and provide for those who grieve in Zion.
My family has not yet come to the end of our adoption journey. We adopted an infant girl from a wonderful family that we love and pray for daily.
But the journey doesn’t end there. Every day we get up and continue the process of adoption. As Ginny grows and understands more and more we will have new challenges. Every day there are new obstacles to confront, and new events to wait for and the scriptures that calmed me during our adoption process still apply.
And so do my instructions from the God that whispers in my heart (and sometimes has to shout at me to get me to listen)…..
Be still, and know that I am God.