Steve took the boys out and so I was home alone (Benjamin was sleeping) and I asked God audibly, "What is going to happen with the adoption?" (I think that is the question I asked. I am having a really hard time remembering exactly but I know I asked him something and it had to do with the adoption.) I was very discouraged because the CBS news had cut our adoption story.
Later on that evening I was determined to have a quiet time (they are fewer than they ought to be because I confess to prioritizing things like cleaning to spending time with God). I also didn't want to just kind of "float" around like I normally have been. I fear when I do that I will land on a verse or verses and try and fit them into what I want them to say, and what I want God to say to me. So I pulled out a book I have called "How to study the Bible". I read it for several minutes. It said something about Romans chapter 15 being about how to handle disputes and disagreements between Christians. I thought that might be good for me to read and so I turned my Bible to Romans. The chapter I turned to what Romans ch.8, vs.12. The subtitle is "Following the Spirit." For some reason I just thought that sounds like something good for me to learn, although it doesn't have anything to do with a lot of the issues I'm dealing with right now (well, actually I'm sure it does, if I followed the Spirit I'd be a lot better off!) but I will read it and learn.
So I start reading and as I got to verse 18, the verses started jumping off the page at me:
vs. 18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us...
vs.26 and 27 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will.
vs. 28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
I felt in my heart that God was telling me that in this adoption, he is going to work it out for good.
Well later that night I got an email from a dear friend of mine. I had emailed her to let her know that CBS news had cut our story. I had told her candidly that I wish I had more faith but I didn't, and I was sad and confused. She encouraged me greatly and told me that God understands and loves me and that he is going to work all of this out for good! Ahhh! I knew that God was confirming his answer! Now of course he hasn't told me how it is going to work out for good but just that it will end up good!
So, I've also been wondering if I should just let go, stop praying, stop trying and kind of move on from the adoption, except for the necessities, like renewing our home study, praying for the children's well-being, etc. So Steve was gone yesterday with the kids and so I was talking aloud to God again and I asked him "What should I do, stop praying about the adoption and just move on until you throw the ball back in our courts by opening up adoptions? Or should I continue to work towards bringing the kids home in prayer and in action?"
When I ask God these questions I don't expect an immediate answer but an eventual answer.
So, we have been visiting Harbins Community Baptist Church and this morning the Sunday School class was about Abraham and God's call on his life. And specifically on how God called Abraham to go to Canaan. Abraham went on faith but when he got to Canaan there was a famine (so he left for Egypt). The teacher said that often when God calls you out to do something on faith and you go, the next thing is he will test you. I couldn't help but think of our adoption and how we went forward with it on faith and then have absolutely been tested. The entire lesson very much caused me to think of our adoption.
This afternoon our social worker came to renew our home study. So of course I was thinking quite a bit more about our adoption. I've been reading a book called "Faith is not a feeling". I think I'm finally getting it, that is, that faith is not a feeling. It is an action. I've felt so guilty for doubting our adoption all this time. The reality is that I'm not always going to feel what I "should" feel. What is more important I believe is to in faith, obey what God has called me to do as best as I can discern what that is. I called Steve and said, "I've had a light bulb moment!" And I told him all this. Then I grabbed his bible that was next to me and thought I want to learn more about faith. I remembered Hebrews talks a lot about faith. I opened it up to Hebrews chapter 6 and my eyes were drawn to verses 13-15, maybe because Steve had them underlined and circled. It says,
"When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself, saying, "I will surely bless you and give you many descendants." And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised." (How long did Abraham wait, years and years and years)
Then I looked at verses 9-12 that say,
"9Even though we speak like this, dear friends, we are confident of better things in your case—things that accompany salvation. 10God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. 11We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, in order to make your hope sure. 12We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised."
So I thought to myself, wow, this really seems to apply to my situation and the question I asked God yesterday. But I feared that I might be doing what is called "proof texting". Basically taking some verses out of context to fit my own agenda. So I said, I really want God to be speaking to me right now, and that this is His answer to my question but I'm going to go ahead and read the whole chapter to make sure I'm not taking these verses totally out of context.
So basically the verses leading up to verse 9 and 10 is about Christians moving on from the elementary teachings of Christ to the more weighty teachings. And also about producing fruit. And not falling away from the faith. In verse 9 it says, "Even though we speak like this dear friends, we are confident of better things in your case-things that accompany salvation." And then it goes on to the part that I believe God is using to tell me that he is not "unjust" (which at times I've felt he is even though I know he isn't) and that I need to be "diligent" even to the "very end". And this diligence is diligence in obeying HIM, whatever it is that he has called me to do (specifically at this time I believe he is calling me to work diligently on bringing home Gidstina, Serena and Gideon). It also says that "We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised."
So I've been discussing here with Steve this situation. We both believe I am not to stop praying and I'm not to stop working diligently to accomplish the adoption. So I will continue to work--and I will work harder than I have--until God completely closes the door. To Him be the glory!