A red songbird perched atop the utmost branch of our tree and proclaimed his presence to the morning, his crest standing straight up as he sang. I sat in a wicker chair on our back porch, hearing the song and filling up my soul with the beauty of the day, washed clean from the storms of the night before.
This morning I had felt so distant from God. Like I had forgotten how to commune with Him. I reached out to a small group of women that hold me accountable to spending time with Jesus each morning and asked them to pray for me. I didn’t really know what it was that I needed, just that I needed…Him. His presence. His nearness. I wanted to feel Him and I wanted the God of the universe to speak to me.
My friend, Rebecca, texted me back, assuring me that she was praying for me and she wrote these words,
“My friend, remember that God’s voice is not always heard, sometimes it is seen and sometimes it is felt. He’s always with you and has never left you as He promised in His Word.”
I thought of her words to me as I sat listening to the songbird. It almost sounded as if he sang, “Beware, beware!” Or was it, “Aware, aware!”?
I had so many questions still unanswered. Mainly, the one question. The question that always haunts me. The question of adoption. In a few weeks it will have been one year since we found out that we were not adopting Isaac. Our lives were so very different last year than they are now. We were prepping our home to receive a child. Gearing up emotionally, physically and spiritually for this. And now? A year later we have gone on with our lives. I am the very busy mother of older kids. I am preparing to teach a Classical seventh grade class next year and Jason and I have moved on from adoption. Definitely moved on from the diaper stage.
And yet, I haven’t really moved on.
I’m still there. I’m still holding on. That longing to enter into the miracle. I am holding onto adoption because, as crazy as it seems, I do not want to miss the pain and the blessing of sharing in the gospel of Christ.
It’s just that I don’t see how adoption fits into our life.
This morning, as I sat looking out over the lush pasture, I pulled out a bookmark from my Bible with declarations of my identity in Christ. I read them out loud and several of them jumped out at me, so much so that I knew I needed to slow down and meditate on them. The one that resonated the most was an old, familiar passage from the book of Philippians chapter 1.
God will carry on to completion the good work He began in me. Philippians 1:6
This was big. I grabbed my journal and started scribbling. And I wrote to the Father, “The completion of the good work in my life depends on YOU!”
How very quickly I lose sight, in my mad dash to work out my own salvation, that this very work is not my own. It is God’s work. He has begun it and He will finish it. Yes, of course, I partner with Him, but I don’t carry it on my own! It is from Him, through Him, to Him. It is all His!
And so, if the completion of the good work in my life depends on God, then…
- I can stop striving to make sure I don’t miss out on His best for me.
- I can rest in His promise.
- I can trust in His perfect timing.
I don’t know if we will ever get to adopt. I don’t know what the future holds for our family. But I do know my Shepherd. He is good and He leads. We hear His voice and we follow. And He will bring the work of our lives, that He has started, to completion.