We have been praying the whole time. From the moment we said yes to hosting our boy, to the moment we got the call that Jason has an SDA appointment (AKA travel date and hopeful matching-us-to-our-son date), we have been praying.
For wisdom, for discernment, for patience, for strength, for forgiveness, for the ability to forgive, for resources, for community, for work, for speedy paperwork, for barriers to be removed, for our actions to reflect Christ… and we have failed. SO. MANY. TIMES. No matter how hard I try, I’m still a foot-in-mouth, overreacting, hair-trigger, untrusting, stressing, ever-forgetting mess. At work today, my coworkers briefly reflected on the strange pre-occupation we have with extending our life – though the extra days or years we may accrue are the ones that will undoubtedly be filled with disease and pain – when we know that our future home is SO much greater than any pissant thing we are presently capable of scraping together.
“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” – C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory (Thanks, cousin Aaren!)
This is how I find myself behaving. I behave as if the paperwork is the end goal, or the clean house, or the adoptions, when they are just the means to a greater end: the outworking of my salvation to the glory of God. I’m so thankful for the mirror that our journey has held up to my sinfulness (in that grumbly sort of way, of course). It has encouraged me to try to reach out to others more intentionally, to pry my eyes off of my own crap and lift others up instead. It has also helped open our eyes to the ways that our life fits in to the overarching story. We have seen pieces fall into place. We have felt spiritual darkness. We have felt relief by resting in Christ. We are learning to embrace pain that brings forth growth (in that grumbly sort of way, of course).
As we begin preparations for Jason’s first trip to Ukraine (he goes for a week and change, returns home, then flies out again for an indeterminate amount of time), it is imperative that we continue to pray. Otherwise, we will be doing these things in our own strength, and that is missing the point. Praying for safe travels, for ethical interactions, for protection, for a joyful reunion between father and son, for the hopeful possibility of an as yet unknown but available to us sibling, for James’ heart, for Jason’s health, for heavy reliance on God, and for God to be glorified at the end of it all. Small potatoes, right?