Sunday, June 3, 2012

Remembering the joy that's coming

Last Sunday we visited JT's parents' church to worship with them as they celebrated some big (& wonderful) changes that have taken place within their church over the past year. As they continue to celebrate growth both spiritually and numerically (...configuring the addition of yet another nursery is a good problem, right?), it was inspiring to hear snippets of personal stories of lives changed by Christ.  Beyond the inspiration I received through the stories of life and heart healing of many sitting in the pews next to me, I believe I was purposed to be there that day to be reminded of healing within my own heart.

Over the past few months, I truly believe God has given me a such a peace of where we are in our waiting. If you've followed our story over the past year, I've had plenty of ups and downs (at times, many more downs) emotionally as we pray and wait, and wait and pray for our children, but overall, lately I have had this sense of peace within me: calming me, comforting me, echoing reminders of His faithfulness in our lives. So as we wait, I've begun to understand TRUST on a whole new level...until momentary naggings of doubt hit me last Sunday.

The worship team was getting ready to lead us in a few final songs and the children were running back into the sanctuary to join their parents for the remainder of the service. As I stood there and watched numerous, excited children hug their waiting parents and (literally) jump into their arms, I broke. Tears started flowing, and honey, they weren't stopping. The sights before me were so beautiful and yet so heart breaking to me, that I began to question God right there in that pew...

"Why God?"
"Why don't I have any children yet?"
"Why don't I have little ones running eagerly to me??"
"Why haven't we gotten our referral yet?"
"Why does it seem like our path is at a stand still, while we're certain we're following you?"

I have tried SO VERY HARD to not cross into the "Why" world. Plenty of people who I talk with about our adoption inevitably try to take me that direction, but because that world can be so dark, I try my best to steer clear of it. Despite my usual mindset, I found myself there, crying my way through all of my questions, crying so loudly in my head (hopefully not out loud!) that any promises of peace I'd been clinging to simply could not push through my pity-party sobs to reach their way to my heart and mind. I was an ugly, crying mess; the worship team was finishing, I was quickly trying to dry my eyes and wipe off the raccoon-looking mascara mess from my cheeks (I really should know by now to wear water-proof mascara...), and a woman began to sing a solo for their "special music" part of the service.

Thank you, thank you, Maryann for the song that you sang. You have no idea how God used your choice of song to touch and heal my heart last week.

"Before the Morning" by Josh Wilson was a song that I had on repeat when JT and I first started researching adoption agencies in the summer of 2010. It came out at a time when I was struggling through the realization that I may never be able to have children biologically, yet we were beginning to feel this incredible excitement that came with acknowledging and following God's call for us to begin the adoption process. I hadn't heard the song in a while and forgot how poignant and true the lyrics were. I couldn't believe just how perfect this message was for me to hear:

Do you wonder why you have to,
feel the things that hurt you,
if there's a God who loves you,
where is He now?

Maybe, there are things you can't see
and all those things are happening
to bring a better ending
some day, some how, you'll see, you'll see

Would you dare, would you dare, to believe,
that you still have a reason to sing,
'cause the pain you've been feeling,
can't compare to the joy that's coming

so hold on, you got to wait for the light
press on, just fight the good fight
because the pain you've been feeling,
it's just the dark before the morning

I used to love the line " 'cause the pain you've been feeling, can't compare to the joy that's coming." And I still love it (side note: every time I sing that line I picture myself spinning circles with two, giggling babies on my hips!), but the bridge has taken on new significance to me as our wait has lengthen substantially. I honestly can say in all of my times listening to and singing along with this song, the bridge never caught my attention like it did last Sunday:

Once you feel the way of glory,
all your pain will fade to memory

I've read so many blogs and talked with so many adoptive families who voice this very thing. As their adoption is carried to completion, the paperwork, the red tape, the long wait become a distant memory. While in it, the glory seems distant, sometimes unattainable, sometimes downright questionable, but that's just the dark before the morning. I am so thankful for God's faithful reminder to me through that song. His love is incredible, His grace sufficient, He forgives me when I doubt Him, and He's continually teaching me that I still have a reason to sing.... the joy that's coming.