Dear Daughter, what do you do in the middle of the story? 

Dear Daughter, what do you do in the middle of the story? 

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,

Momma 

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The Mistake Sarah Made {And the One I Make}

The Mistake Sarah Made {And the One I Make}

Aside from the no air conditioning (and pretending I was my husband’s sister), I think Sarah and I could have been BFFs–a couple of control freaks who love to laugh and have a hard time waiting. There are several things I’m waiting on right now, a list of things I’m praying for daily, and a child we continue to press on for. I’m guessing you are waiting on something too–a husband, a child, a job, an answer, a good night’s sleep. When I read Sarah’s story, I always think to myself . . .

She had the promise but not the timing.

God had given Sarah and Abraham the promise, “Look up into the sky and count the stars if you can. That’s how many descendants you will have” (Genesis 15:5).  There are a lot of stars in that inky sky that blankets our every night–1,385,859,623,298, 1,385,859,623,299, 1,385,859,623,300… they would still be counting today. The promise had been given, but the timing wasn’t there yet. And that’s when Sarah made a mistake. A mistake that still echoes today. She took the promise and tried to make it happen in her timing.

And that’s where I am right now. On my knees begging God to hold me still until His timing. I’m really good at running ahead and fixing things like I think they should be remedied, finding a solution that makes me happy. And He keeps whispering to me, “Wait, child. Wait. I’ve got this.” One of the verses I pray every day is Galatians 3:3, “Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh?” God doesn’t take us 90% of the way and expect us to finish the last 10% on our own. He is the Alpha and Omega, beginning and the end. I think maybe I’ll write those words in my prayer journal today. He is my beginning and my end, my Alpha and my Omega.

Whatever it is we’re waiting on today, let’s keep surrendering. Let’s keep coming to His feet with our requests, but let’s keep giving Him our content and satisfied heart that says, “You, Jesus, You are Enough. I have your promise, and I will rest in Who You are.”