Experiencing Infertility, getting misdiagnosed as pregnant, and having an international adoption fall apart have taken a toll on me believing that this adoption is actually going to happen. So my prayers over these last few months have been, "Lord I know you are good no matter what, but I'm having a tough time believing this is all going to work out." And I believe that God has spoken into my heart, "That's ok, sweet daughter of mine. You just keep your eyes on Me."
A huge part of my personal faith journey has been understanding what are true promises from God and what are not. When infertility first became a reality in our lives, I was deeply frustrated with God. I thought that if I was good and faithful and obedient, He would bless me with the desires of my heart. My desire was to have a child, but God wasnt giving me one. It is dangerous to put promises in God's mouth that aren't actually from Him, because then when hard times hit, we say back to Him..."You said..." or "This isn't fair..." or "I don't know if I can believe a God who does things like this..."
Just today, I was sitting around a table of women when a sweet older lady, quoting Proverbs 22 said, "I'm just clinging to the promise 'train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it". I wanted to hug her and share with her that promises of God are true for all people in all places at all times. While Proverbs 22 is certainly wise advice, it is not a promise. If her child never returns to the faith, it is not because she was a bad mom or because God didn't pull through on His promise. Its just that God never promised it in the first place.
I thought God would give me a baby as a reward for my obedience. There is not a promise in Scripture that says this. My mom has cancer. There is not a promise in Scripture that her cancer will disappear if we just have faith. Before moving to Colorado, I prayed God would move us closer to family. There is not a promise in Scripture that says we will get to live in the exact zip code we want. There is not a promise that we will get the job, win the game, make the money.... There just isn't.
But there is a greater promise that I can cling to about God. One of the most repeated phrases in the Bible is "fear not." This is almost always connected with a phrase that follows, "for I am with you." My husband Steve says it best, "God does not promise to walk us AROUND the storm, He promises to walk us THROUGH it."
There are countless Scriptures that speak of this promise that God is with us. Here are a few of my favorites:
To Joshua: "The Lord your God is with you wherever you may go." (Joshua 1:9)
David said: "Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me" (Psalm 23)
Jesus promised His disciples: "surely I am with you, to the very end of the age." (Matthew 28)
THIS is the promise I've been holding onto tightly over the last 2 months - that God is with me. And no matter what happens along this journey, He has gone before me, comes behind me and hems me in. What a beautiful picture!
Sometimes when we think about how God is walking with us through this journey, we have to laugh. Who would have thought that our child would be born in the very city we JUST moved away from, after living there for nearly ten years? Who would have thought we would be adopting a baby boy domestically after setting out on a journey to adopt a little girl internationally? Who would have thought that our first Christmas as Colorado residents would be spent in Akron, Ohio?
I know God is with us, because who else would write a story like this? So as Steve and I have thought about what we are going to name this little peanut, we keep coming back to this word: "Laughter."
There is a story in the Bible about a really old man and woman who God promises a child. It seemed ridiculous and impossible for this to occur. But God promised it to them. So when God came through on His promise, they decided to name their child Isaac, which means "laughter". Sarah (the old lady) said about her child, "God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me".
I couldn't have said it better myself. Our son, if God continues to move this story forward, will be named Isaac, because every time I think about him, I laugh - at God's goodness, at His promises and of course at his beautiful irony.
My sweet Isaac, you already bring a smile to my face. You are a picture of God's goodness in our lives and we love you already. May our lives be filled with laughter, surprise, and awe at how God walks with us.
- Isaac ("Ike") is due on December 24. His birth mama had a great doctors appointment this week - He's right on track, 34 weeks, 5 lbs, head down (whatever that means :))
- Dima and I will be heading to Akron on December 16th just in case he comes early. Birth mama has requested that I be in the room with her for delivery - so incredibly grateful for that opportunity.
- Steve will join us in Akron on December 23rd (or sooner if she goes into labor before then).
- Please pray for Ike - that God would surround his little body with protection in this last month of womb-living
- Pray for birth mama - that she would feel so confident in her decision to place this little guy in our family
- Pray for our hearts as we prepare to become a family of 4
Until next blog,
love: Steve, Kate & Dima