Stop expecting, when you’re expecting…

 “The Lord will fight for you, you only need to be still…” Exodus 14:14

I haven’t written in a few months because I felt like I should wait for the next big step in our adoption process. I wanted my next blog to be about the phone call we received telling us we have been matched. The truth… waiting is hard. I’ve finished my checklist, all the paperwork has been submitted, we are home-study approved, we registered, the nursery is ready… we just need the phone to ring. As difficult and painful as the first few months were dealing with the sting of infertility and the piles of work and fundraising ahead of us, I think this last month has been the hardest so far. The stillness, quiet, and not having a “to-do” list have left me extremely uncomfortable.

Last Sunday, I found myself angry during worship at church. Our pastor had spoke on how our God is a good God who wants good things for His children, and that His purpose for our lives is for us to experience His joy. I was confused at why He wasn’t giving me a next step in our calling to adopt and really felt abandoned and alone…and bargained in my prayer that if He would just give me a baby I would experience joy. I know, childish right? When I got really honest with myself I knew the reason it was bothering me so much is because Jesus was taking away the walls of “busy-ness” I had built around my heart to protect me from being emotionally vulnerable with Him. I knew as long as I had a box to check I didn’t have to face the ugly truth… that I was searching so desperately for my baby and preparing so hard for him/her, instead of placing my focus and my pursuit on Jesus and finding my satisfaction in Him alone.

Sometimes, Jesus brings us to a place where we feel like we aren’t doing anything and it frustrates us, when we are exactly where He wants us to be… and He just wants us to sit for awhile with Him and for that to be enough. He wants our worship more than He wants our preparations, during our waiting (Luke 10:38-42). So that’s what I’ve been doing the last couple of weeks… sitting still at Jesus’ feet and listening. My heart has grown so full it feels like it will burst and He has taught me so so much during this waiting period. I am content for the first time in a very long time and no longer looking to the next box to check. I am confident He will provide because His promises do not return void and He wants more for me than I could ever want for myself.

So I challenge you to allow yourself to be vulnerable with Jesus, set aside some time for Him to break down walls in your life. True fulfillment doesn’t come the way we think it does—through our striving, achieving, conquering, and acquiring.
Jesus teaches us in the scriptures that true joy and fulfillment comes through sacrificing ourselves for others—through being vulnerable even to those who reject us. It comes through pouring out ourselves for others, and trusting God to fill us back up (John 12:23-25). Jesus uses circumstances in our lives, especially our places of woundedness, brokenness, disappointment, and rejection, for good. We are all reliant on Him all the time, but all too often, we fail to grasp this. When bad things happen, we turn to Jesus (just like David did in Psalms) with our fears because we have nowhere else to go. At that point in time we realize that no friend, no doctor, no medication can fill the deepest longings of our hearts, and so we cry out to Jesus.

When we feel like we just can’t do it or don’t want to be vulnerable, we can be reminded that He became vulnerable to us. He died naked, abandoned, and alone on the cross. Even God turned His back on Jesus on the cross, so Jesus could experience hell for us. Just as He did for the cross, God can transform our weakest, ugliest, most shameful places into sources of beauty that can bring Him glory. This has been such a sweet reminder that we will never “arrive” or know all there is to know about Him. He has so much to teach me and I have so much to learn from Him. It’s in this vulnerable state that my prayer has changed from “God, make me a mother” to “God, mold me into the mother you want me to be… no matter how long it takes.”

So, it’s not that He doesn’t want me to be excited or plan for this beautiful promise of a baby. It’s not that checking all of those boxes were wrong. Jesus wants me to be expectant during this time, but to be more expectant of what He has planned, than what I do…

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