Psalm 43 – I shall again praise Him

I’m thankful that we were able to spend time with many loved ones during this past week. There were great moments of peace, connection and celebration, and many firsts – first Independence Day, first birthday together as a family, first piñata, first movie theater outing, first successful bike pedaling – took place. There were also many moments that demonstrated how well our family seems to have been matched, how faithful God was to prepare James’ heart for this change, and how much progress has been made in a short period of time.

“Vindicate me, O God, and plead my case against an ungodly nation;
O deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man!
For You are the God of my strength; why have You rejected me?
Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?

Time has been moving slowly since the missed reunion date. Not only that, but as we wait and pray and aim for normalcy, difficulty seems to be mounting. We are clinging to hope, and as we do so, potshots to our health and thoughts and household increase. God doesn’t forget or reject His children, but in the frustrated and sorrowful moments it is easy to project my own weakness onto Him.

O send out Your light and Your truth, let them lead me;
Let them bring me to Your holy hill
And to Your dwelling places.
Then I will go to the altar of God,
To God my exceeding joy;
And upon the lyre I shall praise You, O God, my God.

The funny thing about the potshots is that they aren’t innovative efforts from the enemy. They are the same old tactics that we and every other believer have experienced at some point between salvation and glorification. I can practically HEAR Screwtape’s voice. So, we remain confident and can say, albeit weakly at times, “I shall praise You, O God, my God.” (And for this, AS I typed this, one of the very things that I am referring to occurred.) “I shall praise You, O God, my God.”

Why are you in despair, O my soul?
And why are you disturbed within me?
Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him,
The help of my countenance and my God.”

Psalm 43

Our own journey as a family is fueling this post, yes, but so are the stories we are hearing from other families: people being terrible to people, bodies decaying in the aftermath of sin, apathy breeding suffering, relief remaining distant. It is normal for people who are clinging to God to find a target painted on their back, so I’ll just remind my soul – and perhaps your soul, too – like the psalmist:

Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him.

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Missed Birthdays, Waiting and Hope

What does one do while they wait for their son, as birthdays pass, as holidays march on, and as day after day their inbox provides no news?

Psalm 130:5-6
I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning.

Lamentations 3:25
The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him;

Psalm 25:4-5
Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long

Galatians 6:9
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

Psalm 40:1
I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry

Psalm 62:5-8
Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God;he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.

Romans 5:3-4
Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.

Hebrews 6:15
And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised.

It is so easy to become discouraged, but we are also so grateful to know that we don’t have to *stay* discouraged. We are able to move from that place of melting into the couch, doggedly refreshing our inbox, to a place of thanksgiving for the amazing things we have already witnessed and a place of hope for the amazing things that we will someday witness.

When James’ birthday passed, we sent him a card. It was so hard to pick one out(it is our first birthday gift! No pressure!!) but we settled on Superman because he is an outstanding orphan role model, and what little boy doesn’t like superheroes? The card came with a little wristband and we did our best to translate the words so that it would be easier for him or one of his attendants to read it. No word on whether he received it, or liked it, or hated it, or anything, but I pray that in some way receiving it helps him to feel loved by us already, and that he was able to celebrate his 6th birthday with increased joy.

photo (2)

In other news, did you see this? Our friend Sara Lucero and her husband have decided to adopt an infant domestically! We are very excited for them, and she started a blog about their process. Last week, she added a post in which she allowed me to answer a few questions for prospective adoptive moms. In the future, she will have other adoptive moms do the same! Sounds pretty great to me!

The interview

A comfort

This blog, Bringin’ Home Baby Sister, has given me great hope today.  I was beginning to wonder where the other Thai adoptive families were and why I couldn’t find their blogs, when I stumbled upon this gem.

The lovely author, Jenn, and her husband seem to have brought home their little girl, age 4, this past June after about two years of waiting, start to finish.  As I devoured her posts, it became clear that she shares so many of our sentiments and frustrations, and that they finished the paperwork phase of their process in roughly the same amount of time that we did.

Now, obviously, this doesn’t really mean ANYTHING to what our wait time will be, but, still, to see that they have been down this road before us and the Lord moved things swiftly along for them…. I felt a swelling of hope in my chest.

All in Your timing. Not my will but Your will.

 

It’s still tough.

James

My time in the word the last two weeks has been spent in the book of James. The words of James have been so relevant and reassuring and helpful that I am set to reside in this book for the next few weeks. With MacArthur Commentary in hand, the time has been very rich.  It is exciting. My reading is often filled with stops and starts, but the Spirit has really been giving me the resolve that is needed to be consistent.

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