I read the Purpose Driven Life when I was maybe 18 or 19. One of the first things I read in it was, "It's not about you."
I bristled at that statement. I was just emerging into adulthood, but still clinging onto some facets of childhood, one of them being that life, is in fact, all about me. I'm the baby of the family. It was always all about me. Who did Mr. Warren think he was telling me it wasn't about me?
Since then, life (a.k.a. God) has shown me over and over again that nothing, not even the very breath I am inhaling right now, is about me.
Everything is ultimately for His glory. Every. Thing. Everything.
My entire adult life has been about waiting. The last vestiges of my last-child self-centeredness were still (are still) hanging on and I would despair. I would get so mad, angry, sad, frustrated, annoyed that God just kept telling me to wait.
Wait on going to college.
(I'm sending you across the world instead.)
Wait on coming back to New Zealand.
(I'm sending you to Bible college instead.)
Wait on pursuing that relationship.
(I have someone else in store for you.)
Wait on pursuing that relationship with The One.
(Neither of you are ready for each other yet.)
Wait on having kids.
(I have so much to teach you before then.)
Wait on having kids.
(Your infertility is meant for My Glory.)
Wait on healing.
(I've got a miracle to do in you, in your body.)
Wait on Baby J.
(Your intertwined stories aren't done yet.)
So much waiting.
I simplified my story of waiting and some of it seems glib, but interspersed in there are years of depression, anger, sadness. There was grief, loss, hopelessness.
But after each season has passed, I have been able to look back and see, "Oh, yes. That's what I was waiting for."
And, without fail, the thing I was waiting for was immeasurably better than what I was hoping for. Each and every time, God has pulled through my times of waiting with an outcome that couldn't have been imagined in my wildest dreams. Yes, that even means losing Glory. That was the hardest season I've ever had to traverse, but now that I'm on the other side of it, I can see so much beauty that has come from my pain.
That lesson is what is bringing me through this time of waiting. We thought we'd have answers this week. We thought we'd have our little guy.
But what I've re-learned is that NONE of this is about me. Yes, I want a child. I want to fill our home with little ones. And I want that to be Baby J.
Despite my desires, being with us may not be what's best for him. God may deem his current home a more fit placement and keep him there. And while that hurts to think about, I have confidently and consistently prayed for that little guy and know that God's plan will far outweigh the reality of having Baby J here with us.
And it reiterates the fact that foster care is not at all about me, about us. It's about the kids. It's about their health, their healing. Parenthood, in general, is about laying aside your desires so that you can bring about the best for the ones in your care.
I have prayed through tears and gritted teeth, "God, I love that little boy, but if we are not the home you desire for him, then so be it. Bring us peace."
It's like in Bible college when one of our professors would talk about holding (romantic) relationships in an open palm before the Lord.
With those clenched teeth and tears rolling down my face, I have opened my palms up, imagining the little guy cradled between them, telling the Lord, "He's Yours. Not mine. I've raised him up before you. I have done all I can from where I'm at. Call Him to you. For your glory."
So, we continue to wait. I continue to learn lessons. I continue to simultaneously beg for Baby J to come home, but also that God do what's best for him, which may not be us. And, instead of despairing, getting angry or depressed, I look forward to the next day knowing that what God has in store for me is way more than I could ever imagine. And that not only brings excitement, but it brings hope.
God is good, people. Even when life is hard and confusing and sad, He is so, so good.