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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Keeping My Chin Up

Unfortunately, I don't have any exciting updates or news to share today. As far as I know, Heather still has not been released from the hospital. And the birth father has not been in touch with any one since his last call to the court on the 17th - which, from what my social worker's say, is a good thing. Perhaps he won't show next Thursday at the hearing, which would be really great for us!

I've had several people ask me if Heather can be represented at the next hearing. The answer is, unfortunately, no. At this point, she is not stable enough to talk with a guardian ad litem or other representative and communicate to them her adoption choice. Therefore, she can't really be represented. So....unless she stabilizes soon the court date will more than likely be postponed....again. Laura (our social worker) told me that court systems try to be timely in any situation that involves children, so this won't be dragged on's just questionable as to how long it will last and what the end result will be.

Obviously, this has been quite disappointing to me. I've gone through just about every emotion in the book in the last 2 weeks: outrage, grief, jealousy, indignation, desperation, hopelessness, frustration, wanting to quit, hopefulness, patience, anger, impatience, compassion, urgency, irritation, and resignation.
"I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him.” The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD."                                                      ~Lamentations 3:19-26
And even when all of these things don't make sense and just completely tick me off (!), I'm learning to trust in God's sovereignty, and that He does have a plan - though it's obviously not what I thought it was!!
"Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning, for in You do I trust; cause me to know the way in which I should walk, for I lift up my soul to You." Psalm 143:8 
It really is amazing how the Lord ministers to you at just the right time. On Monday I was feeling downright crabby about everything going on. Kind of having a "poor-me" attitude, and just griping to God about how unfair all of this was. I didn't want to be thankful. And I certainly didn't feel like being joyful! But then, we had our women's Bible study that night. And what was the topic on? Joy. Ironic, isn't it? The following day, I told myself I'd choose to be joyful about this, thanking Him for the way He's working -- even though it sucks. And, to my surprise, the day was actually a little bit happy! He knew just what I needed to hear.

Likewise, I've had two devotionals really speak to me in the past 2 weeks. I've been reading out of L.B. Cowman's devotional book, "Streams in the Desert". It has a short 1-2 page devotional for each day of the year. Here's one that especially encouraged me:

"Have you prayed and prayed, and waited and waited, and still you see no evidence of an answer? Are you tired of seeing no movement? Are you at the point of giving up?Then perhaps you have not waited in the right way, which removes you from the right place - the place where the Lord can meet you.
    'Wait for it patiently' (Rom. 8:25). Patience eliminates worry. The Lord said He would come, and His promise is equal to His presence. Patience eliminates weeping. Why feel sad and discouraged? He knows your needs better than you do, and His purpose in waiting is to receive more glory through it. Patience eliminates self-works. 'The work of God is this: to believe' (John 6:29), and once you believe, you may know all is well. Patience eliminates all want. Perhaps your desire to receive what you want is stronger than your desire for the will of God to be fulfilled.
    Patience eliminates all weakness. Instead of thinking of waiting as being wasted time, realize that God is preparing His resources and strengthening you as well. Patience eliminates all wobbling...God's foundations are steady, and when we have His patience within, we are steady while we wait. Patience yields worship. Sometimes the best part of praiseful waiting is experiencing 'great endurance and patience...joyfully.' (Col. 1:11). While you wait, 'let [all these aspects of] patience have her perfect work' (James 1:4), and you will be greatly enriched.


And then just yesterday, another page eased my heart:

" 'Consider what God has done: Who can straighten what He has made crooked?' (Ecc. 7:13)
    God often seems to place His children in places of deep difficulty, leading them into a corner from which there is no escape. He creates situations that human judgment, even if consulted, would never allow. Yet the cloudiness of the circumstance itself is used by Him to guide us to the other side. Perhaps this is where you find yourself even now.

    Your situation is filled with uncertainty and is very serious, but it is perfectly right. The reason behind it will more than justify Him who brought you here, for it is a platform from which God will display His almighty grace and power.
    He not only will deliver you but in doing so will impart a lesson that you will never forget. And in days to come, you will return to the truth of it through singing. You will be unable to ever thank God enough for doing exactly what He has done.

We may wait till He explains,
Because we know that Jesus reigns.
It puzzles me; but, Lord, You understandest,
And will one day explain this crooked thing.
Meanwhile, I know that it has worked out Your best--
It's very crookedness taught me to cling.
You have fenced up my ways, made my paths crooked,
To keep my wand'ring eyes fixed on You,
To make me what I was not, humble, patient;
To draw my heart from earthly love to You.
So I will thank and praise You for this puzzle,
And trust where I cannot understand.
Rejoicing You do hold me worth such testing,
I cling the closer to Your guiding hand."

And finally....a passage from Romans that helps me to keep my chin up even when I'm feeling down:
"The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us."                   ~Romans 8:16-18 
I can hope, knowing that I am a daughter of God, and that no matter how awful this trial gets, there will be a glory that surpasses it in the future. Praise the Lord!!

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