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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Red Letters Campaign- Some Sort of Something's Going On

It's been a bit quiet here lately. Trust me it's not that there's been lack of activity going on in my life these days. It might actually be the opposite. With everything going on I am having a hard time finding the words for it all. Some sort of something has been happening and I want to tell you all about it..... just can't find all the words. Some things have been BIG even though there seems to be a kind of delayed reaction between the spiritual world and the physical world. I know that doesn't make much sense. I told you I'm having a hard time expressing myself these days.

I already introduced you to my dear friend Brooke. I've had tons to be excited about and pray over as she and Kim get ready to leave for Ethiopia. They are first and fore most going to pick up Kim's daughter Netty and then they will be visiting Hope for the Hopeless' orphanage and in-take center to gather information for sponsorship and for financial assistance from churches back home.

Also, church has has me chewing on lots of good, meaty spiritual food. Last week in addition to hearing a great sermon (click the audio link to hear what I heard last Sunday or click vidoe to see the whole service) via video from Perry Noble (Who's church is also a part of the One Prayer campaign) we had the opportunity to hear from the High School Go missions team as they shared their experiences. One of my favorite things was being able to rock out with the high school guys who played the praise music for us. They were great!

Then, there is me and here is where I fall really short of having any words to explain what's been going on. I have definitely hit the slump in the middle of The Wait where there seems to be a battle ground. In the midst of all this adoption stuff flying around me, while I am deeply invested in the happenings in the lives of my dear friends, there is a temptation to feel more and more disconnected from the reality of our son. I am fighting to stay emotionally connected in a positive, healthy way that doesn't have me obsessing/controlling or, on the flip side, detaching .

The balance between two is harder than I ever would have thought. It's emotionally painful to wait. That might not make sense to anyone who hasn't had to do it, but it is. Harder than the 9 month wait to give birth by far. There is all sorts of space for the enemy and your mind to play tricks on you as you choose to open your heart, hopes and life to a person who is -as of yet- completely unknown to you. There are days when feelings that this is never going to happen wash over me and D. It occurs to me that it's because we want to identify with our child at this point not simply with our adoption. Does that make any sense? Up to now it's been adoption, a general word, a general idea, a general thing that will be happening to us at a time TBD.

Now, we seek a connection to the concrete, to our child. This desire for a connection is where the big rub lies. This is where The Wait gets really hard, because there is no concrete physical connection to be made right now. It's simply a spiritual connection ( I say "simply" not to mean 'merely' as if the spiritual connection were some small thing. I use it to imply the singleness of it. Maybe the word to use would be 'purely') Because it's spiritual in nature there is a spiritual battle that ensues. There are times when we feel almost ridiculous for feeling so in love with a 'mythical child' despite knowing in faith that he is oh-so-real and needs our prayers. We know these feelings are not of God. So, we continue to battle and fight. I just wanted to be honest and share these things with you because it is the ugly side of the process and it's hard to talk about.

So there's the above mentioned stuff and there still more! God is moving. I see Him in the lives of my friends. Amazing things are happening. Spiritual things. Preparatory things. If you listen to Perry's sermon then you'll know what I'm talking about when I say that I am standing in the anticipation line and there have been moments when my pulse has raced because of the hints God has given me that He's afoot and working miracles around us. I can barely catch a drift of what is about to go down but I KNOW it's HUGE.

Personally, I sense that I am fulfilling the role God would have me in right now by staying on my knees in prayer for my dear friends as they travel, by praying for the women of PVC and working to prepare for the Palm Valley Church women's retreat (which I will be attending here soon) and covering our son in prayer even on the difficult days. So that is what I continue to do.

BUT I also sense God is preparing my/our heart. I know He is faithful. Despite feeling lost in a never ending line at times and despite this strange desire to latch on to something physical that could give us a feeling of permanence and reality of our son I press on. I release my death grip on my will and turn it over to Jesus. I get on my knees and wait once more.

That's what's been going on with me lately.


Zack & Rebecca Caldwell said...

I totally, totally, understand how you are feeling. It is hard to put into words, but you did a really good job. Thanks for that post.

Heather Brandt said...

I can so relate to what you shared. We are hoping to be registered this month in a region of Russia. We have no clue if our referral will come quickly or not...and we know that even after our 1st trip to Russia when we have met our precious little one, we will have a 3-5 month wait to return to bring them home. I have never been pregnant but my adoption pregnancy is a very emotional thing...and a big opportunity for me to learn to lean on Christ even more...

Thanks for being so authentic in your blog,

Heather Brandt

Apryl said...

The wait is hard for so many different reasons--and you've hit a biggie. The area between obsession and detachment doesn't seem to exist in our lives :) Press on--soon the reality of adoption will set in (most likely as you are passing through those green gates) and the hardships of the wait will be forgotten.

Stacey said...

I don't know what else to say Jen but that I'm in prayer for you. I can't tell you how many times each day I think about you and the pain you must be going through as you just sit and wait. I hope you know just how much I love you!

Jen said...

Stacey you're a doll! Thanks sista! Love ya too.

Sherry said...

Jen -

You did a good job putting into words something I can so relate to. It is emotionally painful to wait!

And I totally get the being spiritually connected and totally in love with a child you don't even know yet. After waiting out El Salvador for 14 months and learning that things were closing down there, I grieved the loss of a child I never knew or met. And now I am falling in love with an yearning for an Ethiopian babe.

I hope it helps to know that you are not alone in your struggles or in your wait. The enemy loves to isolate and make us feel like no one else could understand what we are feeling. But Praise God through the blessing of YG there are many people who TOTALLY get what you are saying and experiencing. Know that I am praying for you!

Blessings! - Sherry Semlow :)