It’s late and my phone battery is almost gone, but I keep staring at your picture. Baby girl, we got word early this week that because of things outside our control it may be next October to December before we get to come to you. I sobbed. So much that I decided to forgo the standard wad of toilet paper and just grabbed the yellow duck towel that was on the kitchen floor thanks to your big sisters playing in the water out back. I could fit my whole face in there at one time, but only after did I realize there were bits of grass on the towel too. Maybe it was the crying or maybe it was rubbing grass all over my face, but I woke up Tuesday with swollen eyes and a weary heart.
What does a person do with the middle of her story? When the newness of the adventure has tarnished but the sweet union of the end is still far off? When you’re white-knuckling promises with bloody knees? What does a person do then?
We got word Monday about a probable delay with travel to Ethiopia. Today I took Peach to the doctor to find out she has pneumonia. Again. Second time in three months. I had to call my niece and tell her we wouldn’t be at her birthday party. She was crying. I was crying. My Lydi was in the backseat crying. The poor pharmacist at Walgreen’s probably thinks I’m a mess.
I am a mess. These past eight years of our journey to each of our girls, to your sisters and you, have revealed that in great display. I so desperately want the happy ending, the beautiful resolve. But He wants the glory. He wants my praise in despair. He wants my trust in hopeless days. He wants my rest in the wait.
Sweet girl, I don’t understand why the long, long wait. But I know He is never late. Emily Freeman said in her book Simply Tuesday when she was talking about Abraham and Sarah and their 25-year wait, “Our part is not making the promise come true. Our part is to count the stars.” To count and remember the One who flung jewels into a velvet sky and sprinkled sand along the shore. To remember the One who made the Promise.
I just snuck out of bed and looked out the window to a full moon and a smattering of stars peeking through cloudy striations. And I heard a gentle whisper, “Look to your crashing-wave circumstances and you’ll fear and doubt and drown. Lose yourself in comparison, and you’ll want to throw yourself a sugar-laden pity party. But look to your Promise Maker. Keep your eyes locked on Me, and no matter what the storm your Anchor holds. No matter what may come, you, my daughter, can press on.”
There’s a card hanging on your wall written in Hebrew by the hand of my friend Emily. It says Jehovah Shammah. The Lord is there. This great star-flinger is holding you, and He’s holding me–all at the same time. Because of that, we press on.
All my love,