The society we live in today is no doubt results-based. Further, the way Christians often approach the topic of faith is works-based. Now combine the two ideologies and what do you come up with? I say a whole lot of measuring of a person's worth or merit by outward signs or appearances.
For instance, do we ever try to gain God's favor by doing everything "right"? Or do we give ourselves a pat on the back when we pray, and our prayer is answered speedily without hindrance? And might we measure ourselves up against another whose "luck" seems to have run out, thinking to ourselves, "Whew! Thank God that's not me!"
Of course, in the Christian world, we might venture to guess that this person in question must lack sufficent faith or else God would have answered their prayer as readily and as proficently as He has answered ours. Maybe we even go so far as to guess that this person must be standing completely outside of God's good and perfect will, and that is why things have gone so awry for them.
With our adoption of beautiful Mei Mei, sometimes God has answered our prayers in an instant, and sometimes He has made us wait... During the wait, thoughts will at times creep into my waking state and accuse me of having done something wrong or not "right" enough, so in turn i conclude... God must be making me wait because of it...
I cry out to the Lord in anguish and say, Lord, haven't I been faithful? Haven't i done all that you've asked me to do? Lord, do you love some of your children more than you love others? Is that why you are answering their prayers right now but not answering mine?!
I realized this morning before i left for work that when i question God in this way concerning our journey to Mei Mei, i might as well ask Him point-blank, Lord, do you love some of your orphans more than you love others? Because, really that's what I'm saying, isn't it? And the bible tells us in Romans 2:11 the Father is "no respecter of persons", meaning he has no favorites. No favorite moms, no favorite orphans, no favorite families, no favorites period. God loves His children equally, and He wants to bless them equally.
As a matter of fact, as disciples of Christ Jesus, the Holy Bible not only promises us God's blessings, but it promises us that our lives will not be a "bed of roses" and not to expect it. A fellow mom-to-be reminded me just the other day in James 1:2-4 it tells us, My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
As a Christian, I am called to be joyful when things don't go my way, or i should say when things don't "appear" to go my way. It's in these hard times that my faith is inevitably tested because i am a Christian and for that i am called to a greater purpose, meaning even when matters look their bleakest will i still hang on to the Truth of God's promise? Will I be faithful to my end of the deal? Will I?
Through this "struggle", a true and everlasting patience will have a chance to work itself out in me, and for me i think the last part (perfect and complete, lacking nothing) means once i get to the other side of this struggle within- which threatens to rip me limb for limb- the dawn will break and the Truth will shine forth unadulterated and unobscured from the lies of the enemy, and in my own eyes i can see for myself God's good and perfect will manifesting, RIGHT ON TIME. Because He loves me, and He promised, and God always keeps His promises.
And His promises when fulfilled are perfect , lacking nothing.
I've had a rough couple of days. I heard of a family who got their LOA in a relatively short period of time, and within seconds the "accuser of the brethern" did what he does best - he accused me of screwing something up telling me that is why i can't seem to get to my little girl. In a matter of seconds i went from confusion to fear, and then fear escalated into anger. I became first angry at myself and then at my Father for making me wait and wait and wait. Why, Lord? Why?!
I woke up yesterday morning having gotten on the other side of it, asking God to forgive me for my outburst. As i checked emails, I found pictures of a family's visit to my daughter's orphanage. I had asked in an email for them to give Mei Mei a little attention and take special pictures of her while there, and apparently they never got my email because there were no special pics of Mei Mei. Instead, what was captured in an incidental picture containing my little girl was a look of complete and utter distress covering her tiny face, and really, it was almost more than i could bare to see at that moment. I had to completely put it out of my mind, and go on with my day or else become a blubbering, forlorn idiot until i went to bed.
This morning when i awoke, my heart hurt so badly in my chest i asked for the Lord to comfort and soothe me somehow because i really didn't feel at that moment i could take much more.
Not long following, i felt my first tiny glimpse of reality in the past few days, and what had once posed as reality but was really an imposter started to lose its grip over me.
It wasn't long before i had a revelation! I thought to myself, if it's true that if God gives speedy LOAs only to families who deserve it and lengthy and torturous waits to families who have somehow done something "wrong", haven't had enough faith for instance, what then do we say to our children who have lived in orphanages their entire lives who have waited and waited and waited forever, and no one has come for them? Leaving them with tortured, distressed looks on their precious little faces when they think no one is looking and no one cares!!!!
What will we say to them if they ask, But mommy, if i matter so much to you, if you love me so much, why did you not come for me sooner?! Why did He make me wait and watch while all the other children were adopted before me?! What do we say especially to the older children who have been passed up time and again ostensibly by the younger, "cuter" ones, about why they had to wait so long? Do we tell them God only answers prayers of the faithful?! Do we tell them if only they would have had more faith, then maybe He would have sent someone sooner and not have made them wait and wait and wait?! Of course not! Then why do we tell ourselves that?!
But wait a minute, if we tell ourselves that, then inadvertently our children will be forced to abide by the very same measuring stick no matter what we say to the contrary. If I say to God, Tell me what more can i do? What more can i say? What more can i learn? Lord, show me how to pray the right way! There must be a certain formula to it that i am not aware of! Lord, show me what i can do so i can get to my baby!
It's not what we do or don't do that will get us to our children any faster. It's simply God working everything out so His promise will be made complete at His fulfillment, not lacking anything. Remember, I tell myself, God doesn't choose favorites. God is not punishing me in this wait. He is growing me and maturing me, and making me more pliable to love others the way He loves me!
For most of Sonya's life, i have considered it a blessing that we brought her home at only seven months of age. I have felt favored by the Lord in receiving a baby mostly free of institutional memories. What do I say about that now? How can i continue to perceive a baby being more of a blessing than an older child when my second baby girl is soon to turn seven years old, having never had parents or anyone to call her own! How could i ever possibly explain to this precious child that the Lord intends to bless her just as richly as her big sister when her life has started out so differently if i still remotely believe (when it comes to myself) He blesses some more than others?
In some ways, i know how Mei Mei feels only because i started my life off in an environment where there was virtually no love, belonging or acceptance, and i have the mental and emotional scars to prove it. i know abandonment, i know rejection, i know what it feels like to not matter to anyone special...and i know God is allowing me to wait right now to feel the sting of Mei Mei's wait. Oh Lord, please from now on let me carry her burden until I can hold her in my arms and never ever let her go!
I've said more times than i can possibly count that i believe God's Hand is all the way in our journey to Mei Mei. That doesn't just mean when things go smoothly and quickly and without incident. That means even when things seem slower than i think i can bare, God is blessing every step of the way, and He loves us just as much as the families who get LOA in a seeming flash. God knows what's best for us. And he hasn't forgotten about His promises...
Please pray for Mei Mei. Pray for all the children waiting for their forever families, and pray for the children already united with their moms and dads, brothers and sisters to begin to believe they really are loved and they really are safe and that it really is forever!
Thank you so much for allowing me to once again share my heart with you!