for I know whom I have believed. . .

Across my cell phone screen I read the words from my husband. . .

“Honey, I’m so, so sorry.  Melissa’s kitty was killed sometime last night.  I found him on my way out to work this morning.  Tell her I am sorry.  I know how much she loved him.  It breaks my heart.  I don’t want my kids to know such sadness.  That is what really bothers me.  I try to protect them from pain. . .and it still finds them.”

 “I try to protect them from pain. . .and it still finds them.”

It was just yesterday on his birthday.  I woke in excitement to text him a big mushy Happy Birthday message when I read those words instead.  “What an awful way to start a birthday,” I thought to myself.  We met for his birthday lunch and in our heart to heart conversation, I paused to really think about what my husband had said.  Those words.  I try to protect them from pain.  My husband is not a huge fan of cats.  But his daughters are. . .and the grief and suffering they were going to endure was too much for him that day.  He was physically grieved at their grief.


So, is this what God feels when I am grieved?  He is after all, my Father.  I am his baby girl.  Does He hurt when I hurt?  The answer?  Absolutely!  I believe our Heavenly Father is truly grieved over our physical, emotional and spiritual pains and suffering.  God does not enjoy our suffering, but a fallen world requires it.

We live in a world where the Lion does indeed eat the Lamb. . .

Because of our fallen world to sin, we are all at one time or another touched by suffering in this life.  But praise be to our great God. . .he did as promised.  He is trust worthy. . .He made a way for those who have accepted him, believed, repented and have become His children.  Jesus paid the ultimate price on the cross for each one of us.  He suffered for our eternal freedom.  Jesus is our way to a new and perfect eternal life.  One day the Lion will lay down with the lamb.  Our suffering on this earth is momentary but reaps eternal benefits.

Why are we to suffer?

The great age old question.  #1: We endure our suffering on this earth to be witnesses for others that they may see Christ in us.  When we suffer and give God the Glory, we show a peek of Christ. . .the fruit of labor.  Jesus is at the center of our suffering.

” …we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.  Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” -Romans 5:2b-5 ESV

 #2: We suffer to be like Christ.  The Bible tells us clearly that we can count on suffering in this lifetime if we choose to follow Christ.  So why suffer for Christ?  First. . .let me tell you that I am never more near my Lord then when I am in a season of suffering.  I wish it wasn’t that way.  I wish I had the make of the individual that believes, endures and has hope without constantly being cast into the furnace.  But this is me. . .and my Father knows me.  He often has to put my feet to the fire to get me to cry out to him. . .to be closer to him and ultimately. . .grow and love Him more.

“Our adventure was to go down the road

of knowing God in suffering as far as it would take us.”

-When God Weeps, Joni Eareckson Tada / Steven Estes

Later that day, I sat down bedside by Melissa.  Poor baby.  She had been in bed for over a week suffering from a horrible virus turned bacterial infection.  She endured an allergic reaction to her antibiotic and now I was gonna have to tell her that her kitty was gone.  She played with that kitty every day.  She brushed him, fed him, held and loved on him.  Talk about kicking someone while their down.  But I knew I had to tell her.

She never cried.  She said she was sad and began scrolling through pictures she took herself of him.  From his nursing moments to his final days. . .she had it all recorded and smiled through the memories.

melissascody

“Melissa, you know that Jesus is sad for you, right?”  “Yeah,” she said smiling.  Her sweet soft voice sings praises to her Jesus.  She loves him so much and seems to suffer so much.  But she loves Jesus and trusts Him fully.  Perhaps that is my issue.  Perhaps I simply do not trust the Lord my God.

“Faith is believing that God is telling the truth.”- Tope Koleoso

#3, Finally, I believe the Lord leads us through pastures of suffering for our very own good.  This is actually incredibly hard for me to write today as I have been wading through our very own rough patch this week.  My husband, a farmer, was injured and will need surgery.  In pain, he cannot effectively work.  He is now limited in his abilities.  And for him, that is an intense suffering.  The costs of a surgery when we are in the process of adoption, added to a little girl trying to get well and then followed last night by one of our teenagers that is suffering from complex migraines.

Honestly. . .there was a moment today when I grabbed Phil’s hand and cried out to my Father, “please Lord, pull me from the fire.  I cannot endure!”

Phil still needs surgery. . .Jacob still has migraines. . .Melissa still lost her kitty. . .and we still will have go on working.  But you know what?  God answered me.  Still in my suffering- He held me close.  He wrapped His great healing arms around me and said, “Sandi. . .my dearest daughter. . .I LOVE you, I created you, I died for you. . .and I will hold you through this.  TRUST ME!  I delivered my children from slavery in Egypt. . .I parted the Red Sea. . .I provided Manna and water and a way.  I will keep you in the fire until you are purified. . .pretty. . .pliable. . .and I will remove you and protect you as to mold you but not harm you.”

Just as I held my child and told her she would grieve her kitty. . .Just as I held my husband’s hand and said, “Yes, you will have pain, but I am here and I will take care of you in your recovery.”  My great God will hold my hand through this fire.  I will walk unharmed to the other side.  And the purpose will be to get to know my sweet God more than I did before.  I will know the feel of his gentle yet strong arm. . .I will close my eyes and follow his footsteps to safer ground.  I will get the awesome opportunity to SEE His face. . .His promises and His great rescue!

 I will know my Shepherd and I will hear His voice and follow.

jessadaddydillon.1

God is certainly not enjoying my tears today.  As a matter of fact. . .every tear is gathered and bottled for my joy in Him in Heaven.  I can tread these waters. . .walk the bumpy path and smile.  Because He is there to catch me, lead me, guide me and protect me.  And as I walk in Faith and trust His plan for me. . .He smiles as I let go of my grip and fall into His will for me. . .for my good and His glory.  For I know WHOM I have believed and He will never let me down!

“which is why I suffer as I do.  But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me.”

-2 Timothy 1:12

Tis the Season. . .

“Jake, if you’re alive, wiggle your toes.”  The foot that emerged from my burrito wrapped teenager extended from the thick blue comforter to reveal five wiggly piggies.  “Awesome!” I thought.  He’s alive. . .it’s gonna be a great day!

Yes, some days, this is my standard as a mother.  There once was a time when I would pat myself on the back for simply feeding my children three meals a day.

That moment in my life was busy, stressful and rather than trying to accomplish it all and go insane, I decided to embrace the season and ride it out.

Seasons…we often forget the importance of the changing from one into the other.  How our stages and struggles in life mold us into the beings we were created to be.

But How do we get through the hard season carrying joy inside our hearts instead of enduring
without hope?  How do we relax and enjoy the good seasons without the worry of the impending hard- looming around the
corner?

1. We know that each Season comes from God.

And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth
kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to
them that know understanding: Daniel 2:21
 

When we understand this detail and embrace that God is sovereign; and the complete authority on each season of life.  We can turn to Him; and rather than simply endure, we know there is a purpose to our seasons of suffering.

God blesses us with both the good and the hard.  We all feel the blessing of the good season, but the hard?

Some seasons are short-lived while others seem to be life lasting.  Illness, disability, death.  These seasons don’t always end with healing on this earth.  But understand. . .it is a season.  We live for life eternal.  Our time on this earth is a mere season.  The healing often comes when one enters the kingdom of Heaven.  Some suffering is over as one passes into life eternal with Christ.  For the bereaved family, your season of mourning is new.  And although you may never end your mourning, you can rest assured that your suffering through sorrow and tears can turn into hope and abundant joy as you grab on to God and let him lead you through to the next season. . .the next chapter in your life. 

2.  We have hope as we know Seasons are always changing. They come and go.  Yes. . .they GO!

“This
too shall pass”

While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat,
and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.

Genesis 8:22 

When in the middle of a trial, stress, or plain exhaustion, it’s hard to listen to the advice that says, “it will get better.”  We
don’t know God’s timing and therefore riding out bad seasons seems endless.  We tend to even cringe during the good
seasons just waiting for another bad one to come by.

For instance. . .the Texas Summer.  I hate it!  Anything over 80 degrees is hot to me.  So, you can imagine how miserable I am at 116.  The past three years have been almost unbearable here on the Ranch.  We’ve endured serious drought and temperatures higher than normal during the hottest part of the summer.  And each year, it seems to last longer and longer.  Around mid August, as we’re watering cows, watching crops burn and trying to work around the heat of the day. . .it’s hard to imagine it will be over soon.  It seems endless, tiring and for the most part. . .discouraging.  Many cries go out to God during the summer
in Texas
.

Just when I think I cannot endure one more sizzling day. . .we get the first signs of relief.  The evening temperatures begin to drop.  The scalding sunlight is shortened, and then before we know it. . .we’re turning off the air conditioning and searching for sweaters.  Indeed, the changes happen, but it’s not always abrupt.  The Lord leads us from one season to another.  During those days of testing in a Texas summer, I cling to God.  My prayers are urgent, heart felt, honest and pleading.  I see my dependence on God and His mercy and Grace.

3. We know that each Season has a purpose. Both the good and the bad seasons of life.

We also have GREAT seasons of joy.  Seasons are not always suffering, but adjusting.

I remember my first year homeschooling the kids.  I was six months pregnant and was teaching fifth grade, first grade, and kindergarten.  I had Hyperemesis which is severe morning sickness that lasts the entire pregnancy and it’s effects can be quite serious.  This was a “season” in my life that wasn’t entirely suffering, but for me, letting go of my daily control over a life that
was so obviously out of my control.

This season in my life led to discouragement.  I hardly kept a properly cleaned house.  I lived in a fog because our nursing baby
would never sleep.  I found that I didn’t even have time for devotions.  My prayer life seemed more like an SOS.  I was so
very tired and felt like a failure in every aspect of my life.

And then the words I so longed to hear.  “This too shall pass.”  A matured mother of a friend just hugged me
and smiled as she quoted that simple phrase.  If I could just see that moment of my motherhood as a season.  A time when I didn’t need to get all the laundry done. . .a time when I could count on paper plates and accept the messy as momentary.  I was merely in a
season.  A very busy season with littles. . .littles that can wear you down.  No help nearby, it was a time to cling to God.

Cry out to Him for even what seemed to be the simplest of requests.  “Lord, please let me find clean underwear
today.” 

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven;

Ecclesiastes 3:1

The joyous season can just as easily be dreaded by those always looking over their shoulder for the bad to come.  Embrace this God given rest in your life.  Thank God for the ease of a season to enjoy Him and his goodness and Grace…always knowing that walking with God also means suffering with Him.  The hard will come.  And you will be just fine because it is God planned and He will guide you.

Right now, I am in a season of waiting on our Adoption.  Instead of concentrating on the actual wait and forcing myself into discouragement. . .I’m chosing to focus on God during this season.  Learn all I can as I know this is God breathed.  When you turn your focus on God, it’s amazing how far you fly from discouragement and are drawn into God’s great season of life.

The season of busy, the season of tired, the season of financially poor, struggling relationships, new beginnings, empty nests, new
adventures, chapter endings.  God designs and cares for each of these seasons.  Our job is to find Him in each one and cling to the Joy that comes from learning more about him and growing closer with each twist and turn.

And let us not be weary in
well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

-Galatians 6:9

Fullness of Joy. . .

Today while eating our Fourth. . .yes, fourth Mexican food meal this week, I overheard a very spirited debate at the table next to us.

“So, if God can do anything, just why did He create this world knowing He would be crucified and why did he create people just to send them to Hell.”

Wow!  Talk about a reason to order another basket of sopapillas and honey!  Trying not to be obvious, all three of us simultaneously slid sideways in the booth to get better audio on the matter.

“Yeah!” I was thinking to myself.  Why would God create us knowing we would turn on Him and then. . .THEN. . .die for us to save us?  What about those other questions that just don’t make any sense to me?  Questions like, “Why does God allow suffering?” “Why does God create life, knowing it may ultimately end up in an eternity of hell?”  My limited human mind cannot understand or explain such a God and what He thinks.

Back to the food.  We found “Rosa’s” in Mansfield, Texas on our way to the doctor.  We have five beautiful children.  All just perfectly created. . .and all suffer from allergies or asthma.  So, this week, we set aside time in our schedule to make the 1 hour drive from our country home to visit our Allergist in the big city. . .times four days.  By the time we’re done with the doctor, we’re starving!  Although this place is fast and has good food. . .I should warn you that four visits in one week will leave you with at least a 3 lb weight gain.  4 lbs if you order a second basket of sopapillas.

Our final visit this week was with our youngest son, Matthew.  What a beautiful gift to our family.  As we’re explaining his medical
history, we had to review his heart murmur and then further review the medical history of our other son, William and his heart defect.

When casually explaining the death of our son to HLHS (Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome)- my voice no longer waivers, my heart does not skip a beat.  I’m in a robotic mode.  The window to my heart is closed and acting as an observer, I can explain in detail the life the Lord created and then took home. . .called. . .William.

After the burrito settled this evening, I found myself on Facebook and in front of me the words of another mother pleading for prayer for her daughter who was crashing and dying at that very moment.  “We didn’t have any warning…” Her words smashed that window to my heart and it dropped into the very bottom pit of my stomach.  In an instant, the short sentence on the computer screen had dragged me back to that hospital hallway where I was breathlessly running with that little limp and lifeless body in my arms screaming for help.  I could feel her panic…her world falling out from beneath her.

“Help!” We’ve all been there.  That incredibly hopeless moment when we know life has gotten so ugly and devastating that our soul cries for help.  The illusion of control has turned into the reality of hopeless.  Who is this God that we cry out to for help?  Why has he allowed this?  Why has he created this world to begin with?

God created man and this world for His Glory.  Plain and simple to write and say; but one of the most difficult for me to understand and explain.  God created this world and placed man, in His image, to bring glory to Himself.  If I could, I would explain it this way. . .Glory is not just the beautification of something, but, rather, a reflective honor, majesty, praise, a glorified grace
abounding through our Heavenly Father.   More than dying on the cross, I am mesmerized by the fact that knowing we would betray him…knowing we would choose other gods over Him…He still created us.  His love, is that great.  His grace is that strong.  He created us knowing he would save us.

On this Good Friday, we remember the horror our savior endured and the life he laid down for our very own salvation from eternal
damnation.  I fall to my knees and face before God realizing that without this day…without THIS day. . .I would have no purpose.  No reason to live.  And no reason to die.  We celebrate the Lord’s Resurrection sometimes forgetting just what we were saved from.

For someone going on a journey through the shadow of the valley of death, we become one wearing blinders to the noise and chaos that surrounds.  Our focus is on that of our circumstance.  We see life from our perspective of pain and suffering rather than the journey itself and where the journey leads.  The chaos and noise surrounding are all parts of one big story.   We are but a small, small part in God’s story.  If we could see from His perspective, all would make perfect sense.  But our limited minds, our sinful souls, and our blinders keep us wondering, why?

If for just a moment. . .I’d like to remove those blinders.  A chance to look around at the sovereignty of God and what his son’s suffering for us really means.  It is with this knowledge that one can travel this journey through the valley with hope. ..with a joyful heart…with a grateful soul.

William died.  Simply put.  It’s hard.  I won’t lie about that one.  Time does not heal a thing.  The pain of the loss is always great.  The shutting the casket lid is as vivid as the smell of the funeral home flowers.  But through his death, the Lord has removed my blinders and I can see that I am not alone.  Jesus walks this journey with me.  He guides me, He protects me, He comforts me, HE leads me beside those still waters for my good and His glory. 

My suffering tries and tests my endurance.  It strengthens my hope in God and ultimately. . .brings me unexplainable joy in Him.

“and we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.  For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.” Romans 5:2b-5

The Lord suffered for us and who better to walk with us than someone who has been through the ultimate suffering.  He knows our pains. . .He created us to be like him and He created each and every soul to long for Him and long for Home.  Without His death. . .we would have no home.  For some, this wondering seems eternal because you do not know Jesus personally.  You have not had that moment in life where you realize you are nothing without him and have not yet accepted Him into your life to rule and reign and obtain eternal joy in Him.

We serve a living and very real God.  One that suffered pain and abandonment to give us life with him.  WITH him.  Knowing Christ is more than a ticket into Heaven.  It is asking God to rule in your life, to open your eyes and remove the blinders so you can live a life of joy that comes from the hope in a God who rescues the hopeless.  Putting your trust and dreams and sorrows in
the hands of your very creator…that is what a walk with Christ looks like.  And in Him. . .you walk with a joyful heart
through any fire or valley or storm, knowing it is worth every step.

How do we get up in the morning, each morning, with tragedy and devastation?  We hold the hand that leads us.  We ask the Holy Spirit to take that pain and to open our eyes to His will and great love.  When your eyes are fixed on God. . .you only see Him.  William did not die without cause.  The Lord has used this little boy throughout my maturing life as a turning point.   A stamp in time where God reached down and pulled me from the pit and placed me on a path knowing Him and joy through him.

William’s death gave me a chance to have a new life.  And Jesus’ death gave us a chance to have our new lives.  His death gave us a way to God.  But it’s up to us to take it. . .to accept it and walk with him.

Life plain and simple, is not about us.  It’s not our story after all.  It’s God’s story, and we are all guided by His hands to bring glory to His name.  And this includes suffering.  Through suffering, we get to know Christ.  And the more you get to know Him, the more
you are willing to suffer for Him.

Yes, God is all powerful and could have saved us all without sending His son to die for us.  Heavy, huh?  But He shows his awesome almighty, everlasting and never ending love by sending a perfect Christ to take on our sin at the cross.  In my darkest hours,
my mind can wonder to question the love of God.  “Does he really love me?”  And then I look to the cross.  Having lost a child myself, I see God’s sending his son as the ultimate gift, showing me just how much He loves me.

“You
make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”

Psalm
16:11

 

Brother, sister, friend. . .life is a hard journey on your own.  Take His hand. . .let go of the illusion of control.  God loves to
rescue.  In His presence is fullness of joy.  We wait for the ultimate. . .to be home in Glory with our Lord.  But until then, we can have the Holy Spirit with us at all times and in his presence, we find joy through every trial, through every moment of suffering.  Our
endurance pulls us to our God and knowing Him brings the ultimate hope.  A longing to be with our creator. . .who created us to glorify Him.  What a purpose in life, huh?  Each and every one of us has a purpose, to glorify the almighty God.

Whom have I in heaven but you?

And there is nothing upon earth
that I desire besides you.

My flesh and my heart may fail,

But God in the strength of my
heart and my portion for ever.

Psalm 73:25-26

Chasing bunnies. . .

We were new in town, about three months, when my husband’s thoughtful co-worker gifted our 7 year old son two beautiful snow white, velvet soft, red- eyed bunnies.  The sweetest things, and so fun to watch. . .we didn’t know that we would end up spending the first five years of our new lives here in the country chasing bunnies.

Andrew showed us how responsible he was by caring for, cleaning up and looking after his new pets.  We were city folk. . .fresh out of the suburban smog.  How were we to know that. . .well…lurking around every corner of the field, barn, and stream banks were predators seeking a filling meal. 

It was Father’s Day.  Andrew jumped out of the car after returning home from church still wearing his navy blue pants, pin stripped shirt and clip on tie.  Before playing, I told him to feed the bunnies.  It was a scream I’ll never forget.  The kind that you know just took away part of your normal.  My purse released from my grip fell to the ground as I kicked off my heals and ran to the back yard. 

Andrew was walking back from the bunny cage, eyes wet from grief and shock from a reality far to
advanced for his young soul.  A child who had already endured the death of his brother, the loss of our home and now his new hope. . .gone.  All gone.

I ran to the bunny cage to find two crimson soaked, headless bodies.  The cuts were clean with no
evidence of entry to the cage.  The heads completely missing. . .I was devastated for my little boy.  Why did he have to witness this horror?  Why did the foundation of cynicism have to be lain so early.  This loss in life would keep us searching. . .chasing after a new purpose, new life, new hope. . .chasing after new bunnies.


A few weeks later, we entered a pet store and picked out three brand new bunnies.  One for each of our boys.  Three little boy bunnies we thought.  Within three months, we were a bunny factory.  Apparently, we had a combination of one boy and two girls.  I became the expert on everything. . .bunny.  The factory was quickly shut down.   But I still I spent more time chasing little hopplings all around our backyard than I did little children inside.  Many mornings, one could easily find the crazy Lamgo woman on the hill running around the yard, barefoot, in my jammies, swearing while running after these bunnies.  As frustrated as I was. . .the new lives made me smile.
Over the course of five years, we had every kind of bunny possible.  Lops, Dwarfs, Angora’s. . .our lawn was beautifully fertilized.
Living on a farm, we see constant death.  It’s a part of life.  But then there is that beauty that brings new hope.  The new life.  The birth of a new day, new hope, a new start.
A New life. . .fresh into this world, is a beautiful thing.  And because of that beauty of birth and newness, we celebrate new creation, new birth, the anniversary of the new birth; and the new love in our lives that brings the new hope that lives in every heart.
As a Christian, one of our most anticipated holiday’s is just around the corner.  The celebration of the Resurrection of our Lord and savior, Jesus, the Christ, the son of the living God.  Many know this holiday as Easter.  A word debated over time to mean both the resurrection of Jesus and that big ole giant white bunny that lays eggs and hides them for children to find.
I prefer Resurrection Sunday over the recognized, Easter Sunday, which after researching is actually a name for the pagan goddess Eastre.  As much as we would like to connect the rituals of fertility with our Lord, it is just another way Christians have confused generational sheep herding with actual truth.  I know, it’s harsh.  I’m not condemning anyone who collects baskets full of eggs or gives fluffy bunnies to their kids.  I loved on and chased those bunnies for years.  But this year, we’ll be looking at Jesus. . .His great life, death, resurrection and the meaning of it all.  I already re-visited my life with the bunny. . .now let’s look at the egg.
Why not take a deeper look into the egg?  I’m a farmer’s wife.  So, by association. . .I’m a farmer.  I have chickens that lay eggs and we gather them daily.  Not to color or hide on a grassy hill. . .but to eat!  And sometimes, we save a few chicken or duck eggs for the incubator.  A chance to witness new life. A brand new fresh start.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.  The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” -2 Cor 5:17
Life. . .a precious yet broken thing.  I spent so many hours of my life chasing after everything to satisfy the empty, the broken, the beaten.  Searching for the newness we all feel will fill that void.
 Even cute little bunny rabbits couldn’t comfort the sorrow.
Soon we will be remembering how Jesus was tortured, beaten, and died for the sake of saving each and every one of us who desires just what we’ve been seeking.  New life.  A new life, in Him. . .with Him. . .an eternal salvation.  The filling of the void with the love of a Savior.  Eggs and Bunnies may not be the real reason for celebrating His Story.  But the great gift given by our Lord. . .the saving from an eternal death. . .and a life without Him. . .the life He saves. . .newness of life, the life to be is something to celebrate.  It is a gift I pray each of you will one day open, receive and treasure.
“because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9
 
For so many of us, Easter Sunday is a one day celebration.  But without it. . .we have no new life, no hope.  Jesus did not just die for us.  He came back to life.  His Resurrection shows us that with God there is a newness of life.  The old is past away. . .and we are NEW!  Brand spankin new.  No matter what you came from, no matter what you’ve done. . .no matter how many bunnies you’ve chased in your lifetime. . .you can start over.  You can make all new.  And for the child of Christ who already believed, we are reminded that we have the remembrance of the Living God who raised from the dead as well as the Heavenly Father who has given us our inheritance through Him.
“In Him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.”
Eph 1:11-12
Every day is a party!  Every day the Lord grants us one more day, we celebrate.  Not only for the life He created in the first place. . .but the New life he gave us when he suffered, died and rose again for us. . .His children.  We have every reason to celebrate!!!
“And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.”
Rev 21:5

Waiting on God. . .is it worth the wait?

I was recently asked about a phrase written in my new-soon to be released- book, Living Water, and what I had meant by it.  While driving to our Son’s funeral, I had stated that I had “seen the face of God.”  The Face of God, not as a literal seeing the physical facial attributes, but rather, for me it was that God was with me.  A closeness indescribable other than to say I saw His face.  He was right there, in the midst of my suffering, holding my hand, lifting me up, granting me peace.  I was His and He was mine.  The Lord had given me an opportunity to be in such a place of sorrow, need, and loneliness that I could actually feel His presence and know Him in a very different intimate way.
As my fingers worked the keyboard explaining just what I had meant by those choice of words, it struck me that in that very moment, I was with God once more.  The day had been one for the record books.  You know, those days that will always stand in your memory.  The date, what you were wearing, your hair style, the colors of the painted sky, the smell of the season.  For me, it was the pain in my heart that I swore would never go away.  This wasn’t just any ordinary day.  We were so excited to have announced to family and friends just weeks prior, that we had made the decision to adopt a baby into our family.  It felt like we were pregnant.  So nervously full of joy.  We sent in our preliminary application which had awarded us more paperwork to send out to friends, church staff and various outlets to affirm that we were indeed a great family in which to raise a child.  Our confidence let us down.
That morning I received an emailed letter letting us know that we would not be invited to the next adoption orientation; as a referral concerned how any child could be properly educated while being Homeschooled.  Never even speaking with our children about academics. . .the judgement was made.  The knife turned deep as it entered our souls.  Immediate bitterness, anger and then complete sorrow.  Another child lost.  After miscarriages and losing a child, even with the crew of five sitting around the table; the loss of just one future child was great.  More than that, the heartbreak of deception, rejection and betrayal had broken us once again.
Was this it?  Our dream and God given desire to rescue and ransom a life. . .over?  The dream seemed to have died right there.  We held each other, cried, yelled out in anger at a judgement untrue and unfounded.  Would we recover?  Would we continue?  Would we run?  The 24 hrs to process what had just happened to us lent it’s way to seeking God, crying out to Him and feeling once again His incredible presence.  His rescue and ransom of our own orphaned lives.; it was He who had adopted us as His children and He would not let us suffer in vain.  The providence of the almighty sovereign God, our father, was to let us feel this rejection as He did on earth.  Even still, our constant rejecting him over and over and over again…  Did it feel like this?  The difference, we aren’t perfect and most likely deserve much of what is fed us.  But the perfect Lord, our savior never did anything to deserve his tortuous mutilation on the cross.  God gave me loneliness to see that I indeed was never alone.  He is always with me.  Even when everyone leaves.  When the cradle remains empty.  Like John Waller’s “While I’m Waiting”
 “I’m waiting, I’m waiting on you Lord, and I am hopeful, I’m waiting on you Lord, though it is painful. . .but patiently, I will wait.  I will move ahead bold and confident, taking every step in obedience. . .while I’m waiting, I will serve you, while I’m waiting, I will worship while I’m waiting, I will not faint, I’ll be running the race, even while I wait. . .”
Pregnancy, adoption, tough times, and even this short, short life are all moments of waiting.  We wait for the gestation to be completed.  We wait for the adoption agency to approve us.  We wait for the birth mothers to choose us.  We wait to make the orphan ours.  And while living here in this broken world, we wait.  We wait on the Lord until He takes us home.  And I will serve him, worship him, praise him, glorify him and long for him as I wait.  As the sting of rejection subsides, as the child yet to be created is laid in our arms, and yes, even as the cradle remains empty.  I will wait.  Because God knows my heart and the desires within.  I am His child.  And with His everlasting love. . .knowing him will be enough.  The closeness with him. . .seeing His Face is always worth the wait.  Our Adoption Journey continues. . .
“They who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;  they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” – Isaiah 40:31