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Like A Vow that Is Tested (Part two)

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So many open ends and questions about the next step.

So we looked back.

I look to see the traced lines of His faithfulness. I see how all along, we (our whole family, not just me and my hubby) have bowed our heads and said ‘Although we do not understand what You are doing, we are continuing to pursue You, and Your dream for us. We will continue. Will will honor You in our wait. You miss nothing, Lord. You see everything.’

This was not an accident.

There was nothing haphazard about how He led us in this long, arduous, winding path. We have done our best to walk faithfully with what we have been given. So there are no ‘what if’s.’ There is no question as to the path behind us, because on that path we said Yes and we went forward with open hands.

Now there remains only a question about the path ahead of us. So, we sit down after reviewing His faithfulness. After using our hindsight to call His active involvement fully into focus, we realize that to move forward with fear of any kind is pure foolishness. The path behind us is strewn with flowers of *Love, *Joy, *Family, *Peace, *Wisdom gained, *Longing fulfilled, *Financial provision, *Grace given and received.

If the path behind us is filled with such beauty, flowers blooming in the wake of obedience; why should I look forward in fear? Why should I doubt, just because there is no light cast on it, that the path ahead is just as full of beauty and faithfulness as the path behind me that is now lit? Just because the hands on my watch are not moving as quickly as I’d like? That’s what casts shadows of fear and doubt on the future? Surely not. God is bigger than that, and so is my faith.

So we move forward in the way that we feel led. He has given us wisdom and peace in the decisions that we have made in this adoption so far, so our plan is to advance in the same wisdom and peace. Even through darkness.

www.imgfave.com/view/2770538

Like a vow that is tested… (part one)

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As I near the 6 1/2 year mark, I’m wavering in my faith of whether or not this adoption will actually happen. I’ve found a pretty sharp disconnect between my head and my heart. My heart says ‘No way would God have carried you this far to make it all crumble into a heap.” But my head says “You signed referral papers a year ago (next week) and they have done NOTHING with it over there (except lose it and require us to re-sign and re-acquire everything).” ***Do you hear that cynicism?

Since I find myself standing in the midst of a ‘winter of the soul,’ and I’m staring at a big, vast, blurry expanse called the future, I need something to grasp. Something to hold me to keep me steady. Some way to hold on so that I don’t either crack down the middle out of anguish –or– put it all down, telling myself I didn’t sense His leading after all…

Altars. I need to look back at the altars I’ve built, and build some more (Refer to Abram in Genesis 12). I love this article that references the WHY of building altars. In my two favorite quotes in this article, he says:

There is a longing in every human heart for where we are meant to be, but we get caught up in our notion of how it’s going to be fulfilled. When Abraham was told by the Lord he had a place, he probably imagined a verdant valley, flowing stream, lovely mountains. But the Scripture says he came into the place and there were Canaanites in the land.

Abraham’s building of the altar represents his saying: “I’m accepting a promise, understanding that this is different than what I thought it was going to be, but it’s also something that I believe God can bring to pass. I trust You, Lord, that You will make it work.”

So, today I recall His truth, His faithfulness, His vows to me. Tomorrow (or whenever I can get it all written down), I go back and point-by-point recall specific instances of His leading, his promises ushered forward, and His unmistakable presence in this whole long drawn out situation that He is weaving into a beautiful story.

“Your love is devoted like a ring of solid gold
Like a vow that is tested like a covenant of old
Your love is enduring through the winter rain
And beyond the horizon with mercy for today

Faithful You have been and faithful you will be
You pledge yourself to me and it’s why I sing”

The beginning of this beautiful song has been resounding in my spirit all week.

 

More prayers please.

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Heard yesterday that the judge over cases in the state/district where Mercy lives is anti-adoption and not hearing cases… and that he sends them to other judges but those judges are also anti adoption. The caseworkers are attempting to go over their heads but it sounds like it’s getting messy/tricky. Not sure exactly how the legal system works over there, but it doesn’t sound ethical, does it?

We are still waiting (going on 10 months now) on a certificate from the Adoption Recommendation Committee, but hearing this about the judges makes me wonder if these judges (or like minded people) are the ones comprising this committee.(?) Maybe that’s why we have had no movement in this step.

A family I’ve met through the amazing interwebs who has already gotten their ARC certificate have had 5 court dates (another one soon), with no progress. They’ve been in the court system for more than 6 months already.

Please pray. Pray for the many cases stuck in the courts. Pray for our case to be approved for ARC so we can go to court. Pray for the workers to get the ear of someone influential who can help fight for the cases of our kiddos who need homes. Pray for the judges with higher authority to catch what is going on and personally push these cases through…

Thanks all.

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Praying again for the rock to be moved!

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IMG_5163-0As I’m praying today, I’m pondering these scriptures from this morning. I thought I would include them here as much for myself later, as for Mercy to see how we bathed her homecoming in His word and longing.

Psalm 27:13-14 I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord;be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.

Daniel 9:17-19 “O our God, hear your servant’s prayer! Listen as I plead. For your own sake, Lord, smile again on your desolate sanctuary. “O my God, lean down and listen to me. Open your eyes and see our despair… We make this plea, not because we deserve help, but because of your mercy. “O Lord, hear. O Lord, forgive. O Lord, listen and act! For your own sake, do not delay, O my God…”

And praying for the people handling our case: Colossians 3:12-15: mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.

I’m mindful today of a story that friends of ours who live in Burkina Faso, Africa told me three years ago.

The gist of the story is that our friend described an image of something that happens where they live in Africa. Often bribes are encouraged if you want your paperwork to get processed expediently… the way that this is expressed, is that the worker puts a rock on top of the papers, implying that if you want that rock moved off, you’ll need to offer some money. Will you (figuratively) pray the rock off of our papers? :)

So, today, almost 3 1/2 years after we prayed that prayer, the figurative (or literal, for all I know!) rock is still on our paperwork!

My scripture prayer for Mercy this morning: Ephesians 3:16-20 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your heart as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his (and our!) love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within you, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.

We are sitting on my bed, all 4 of us, praying for this process and for Mercy. We hit play on the Bethel worship session I had paused, and asked God to use the next song (that we had not heard yet) as a prayer for this process and for Mercy… So we are singing along ‘Jesus we love you, oh how we love you, you are the one our hearts adore… (Then he sings…) … Things that we thought were dead are breathing new life again… You cause your sun to shine on darkest nights… The hopeless have found their hope, the orphans now have a home.!!!!

Amen. Bring Mercy, Lord! Thanks for holding our arms up! Your solidarity means so much to us.

Pray with us- January 17th

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Pray with us- January 17th

Will you pray with us? We’re designating Saturday, Jan 17th as a day of prayer for our adoption. We would love for you to agree with us in prayer that day, and perhaps fast with us if you wish.

Things we are praying about:

  • ARC (Adoption Recommendation Certificate) from Uttar Pradesh to be filed
  • NOC (No Objection Certificate) to be filed
  • Our case to go to court/to get written orders that she’s ours!
  • That Mercy is being loved and cared for in her orphanage.
  • That Mercy is attaching/being loved on by an Ayah (her nanny)
  • That Mercy grows strong and healthy. She was born prematurely and has been listed as ‘failure to thrive’ on early paperwork.
  • For our family: that our hearts would remain hopeful! For our posture in waiting to bring Him glory.

Our family word for the year is “HOPE.” It was so hard to choose that. I kept hearing it everywhere I turned the first week of the year, but my heart has been so discouraged. I feel like I’m running a race where someone keeps moving the finish line. I believe and know that God has Hand on this whole process. It is hard to understand why we are nearing 6 1/2 years waiting, but I choose HOPE. I choose FAITH in Him and in His ability to bring this to pass in a timing that will give HIM Glory. Even at the expense of my sanity, some days. Thanks for loving and supporting our family through such a wearying journey to add a longed-for child to our family.

And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. -Romans 5:5 (NLT)

Thanks all.

-Sarah

Those who sow in tears…

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Those who sow in tears…

Shall reap with shouts of JOY. I like this translation (English Standard) of Psalm 126:5. I like the visual of SHOUTS of joy. Can’t wait to shout with joy!!!

What are you sowing in tears right now?

Mine are falling easily today. Shedding tears as I long for my daughter to come home.

Listening to some good Jesus-focused music while I’m holed up in my room for a few quiet moments alone.

(A Little longer – Bethel/Jenn Johnson)

-and-


(Lord I need you- Matt Maher)

To be honest friends, the wait is getting harder and harder.

How long, oh Lord?

I have well- meaning people tell me that it will all be forgotten once I hold her in my arms… I don’t know about you, but I don’t forget pain and longing after the longing is fulfilled. You do look back and thank God the pain is over though. This grief is shaping me, friends. I’m mindful of a word study I did a few years ago about wadi formation.

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(Photo credit:in2jordan.com)

‘A wadi is a gully, streambed, or valley which is characterized by being extremely dry. Geologists believe that features like wadis were formed during periods when water levels on Earth were markedly different, and that these valleys were probably carved by streams and rivers which later dried up.’ (From wisegeek.com)

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(Photo credit: omantripper.com)

I feel like the tears, longing and waiting have produced a wadi in my soul. Something beautiful, but haunting, that shows clearly where the tears have flowed as I’ve prayed for and longed for Mercy to come home.

Thanks for your prayers and love on me while I walk this valley of waiting. I wish I had fun, upbeat posts to write- but for now, the agony of waiting continues. No new info. And the ARC we are waiting on is ‘supposed’ to take 5 days for special needs adoptions- according to the guidelines. We are in month 6. No word.

Believing He is GOOD in the midst of this. Just LONGING for progress and to be able to scoop her up (legally!) in my arms!

Can’t wait until I have GOOD news to shout with JOY! And I think it’s fun that I blogged on this same passage in July of 2008… A month before we applied to adopt a little girl from India!

http://unfamiliarpaths.com/2008/07/12/we-were-like-men-who-dreamed/

Paperwork is on its way back to India!

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In the timespan of 3 hours, we: received word that the paperwork had arrived, signed it, notarized it, and delivered it back to the agency!!

So, when our Indian adoption counterparts on the other side of the world arrive back at work tomorrow, our paperwork will be sitting in their inbox (and on it’s way by mail).

Yay!!!! Thank you for praying!

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