Last night, I was at a worship & communion service at the church I attend. There was a point in the evening where the pastor was leading us through a time of prayer/reflection.
After a few moments of pause and meditation, he said “Now, what is something you want to ask of God?”.
My mind immediately went to our little one in Ethiopia.
I repeated over and over with tears running down my cheeks, “Lord, bring my baby home…Bring my baby home soon…Bring my baby home safely.”
My mind fixated on the word “safe” for a moment. I thought about all of the statistics we have heard in our training classes, in my own personal pursuit to educate myself on what life looks like for a child in an institution. I thought about the possibility of malnutrition, sexual and physical abuse, physical and learning delays. I thought about the possibility of our child being mutilated or cut from a previous tribal ceremony. I thought about how their body may not yet understand touch or their mind might not comprehend safety and trust. I thought about all of the possible negative repercussions that could take place after being separated from their mother, then separated from the only caregivers they have ever known before even coming home.
As my mind went to a dark place asking God to protect and keep my child safe, the pastor said, “Now, just listen. Listen and hear what God might want to say to you”.
And over and over, these words ran circles in my head…
I will restore. I will redeem. I will restore. I will redeem.
You see, we have NO IDEA what our child’s story will be before we meet them. And, we have NO IDEA how their story might affect how they learn to communicate, love, trust, grow.
But, God whispered to me last night something that completely changed the way I “asked” for safety.
I was asking that nothing would happen to our child. I was asking to protect them from harm, pain.
And I STILL hope for that.
But, the world is messy. Ugly, at times. People are perverted, hard hearted, view humans as animals sometimes. Horrible things happen to the most innocent of us.
I can’t align myself to the notion that if we pray for safety or whatever we need, that God will provide it.
Because, sometimes God isn’t in control of it. It’s the part of Him that I don’t understand but totally understand. It’s what makes this world so noticeably broken and God so noticeabley good.
I can’t say that everything will be safe and calm and loving and perfect while our child is out of our care. I don’t think any parent can 100% guarantee that even when their child IS in their care. But the God who I serve is a God who restores hearts. Restores hope. Restores trust.
And that God loves this baby more than I ever could. And though the world may do things that are out of my control to cause harm to any of my kids…
Gosh…The whole “Be still and know that I am God” continues to take on new meaning in my life.
The road to bringing our little one home is going to be a long one, I know. I have a feeling I am going to re-learn this over and over again until our child comes home.
And then some.