Waiting is not wasted.
I started the adoption journey for our second child with so much confidence. We had already lived through the process and experience of adopting a newborn…and it was amazing! We knew what it was like to be under the microscope of an adoption agency. We knew what it was like to meet a birth family. We knew what it was like to love a baby who God had so perfectly placed in our home. I felt prepared. I felt confident that God would bless us beyond measure as He had before. I had NO DOUBT that we were on the path that God intended for us.
But when months turned into years and still no baby, the doubts began to creep in. My mind was consumed with questions:
Where is God?
Does He have another child for us?
Why is this taking so long?
Hadn’t we already “wasted” enough time waiting?
I find myself in a period when my faith was being tested…again. My faith was rocked during the 7 years that we waited for our son. I questioned God’s goodness and many other truths that I had believed all my life. But God’s hands were all over those years. He was molding me into the mommy that I would one day become…
…but that is a blog post for another day…☺
Once I finally became a mom, I thought I was done questioning God. I was not expecting for my faith to be tested during this new period of waiting. After all, shouldn’t I be an expert on waiting by now? Shouldn’t my faith be strong enough by now?
Not quite 😉
So have I seen God’s hand in all this? Absolutely! In the midst of tears sadness and cries of frustration, He has given me strength, peace, and comfort.
Strength in the waiting
About a year and a half into waiting for child #2, I became so weary. The emotional roller coaster of expectations, hopes, and disappointment was sucking the energy out of me. I felt physically and emotionally weak and was filled with anxiety. Was this the journey I was supposed to be on? Was I on the right path? As I meditated on His Word, the Lord gently whispered,
“You can do this. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Keep going. I am here. I am right beside you every step of the way. You can do this. I led you here and I have not left you to do this alone.”
It is during this time period that I experienced God as my strength.
God is our refuge and strength,
a helper who is always found
in times of trouble.
It was no longer simply a Scripture verse that I had memorized as a kid…it was my reality.
Comfort in the waiting
God’s timing is not the same as our timing
People have said this to me so many times over the past 11 years as we have journeyed in and out of our periods of waiting. Quite frankly, it used to make me cringe. I used to think, “What does that even mean? Is it one of those Christian clichés that people use all the time without really pondering its meaning? And how is it supposed to make me feel any better?”
As I read the Bible, I began to notice that God talks about His timing a lot. It is not simply a cliché!
About a year ago, I was reading through the book of John and was pleasantly surprised at how many times “timing” is referenced during Jesus’ ministry on earth. In John 7, Jesus’ brothers wanted Him to travel to Judea so that His disciples could see the works He was doing. Jesus’ response: “My time has not yet come.” Later in the same chapter, the authorities sought to arrest Him but no one was able to touch Him.
Even in Jesus the Son of God’s life, things happened in GOD’s timing. Praise Him!
For the first time, I found comfort in knowing that our family would grow when God caused it to grow.
Peace in the Waiting
I am a planner. This is one of the many reasons that infertility was so tough for me. I wanted to be able to plan out when we would have each child so that they were perfectly spread apart and worked into my career. As children of God, He calls us to surrender completely to Him. Our greatest example of surrender is Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane:
“My Father! If it is possible, let this cup pass from Me. Yet not as I will, but as You will.”
He calls me to surrender ALL of me…including my timeline. I can’t say “God, I am wholly yours…and oh yea, here is when I want a, b, and c to happen. I trust YOU…but here is my plan.” Honestly, I was a little angry that God was asking me to give up more of my plans. I felt like I had let go of so much already. It felt unfair. Holding on to my ideas of how my life was to unfold somehow made me think that I was in control, but I still had no peace! But this is the cool thing: once I began to loosen my grip on my dreams, God began to fill me with peace. Surrender led to peace. Once I was willing to say “Ok, God. I believe that Your plans are bigger and better than mine”, the anxiety began to dissipate. Once I let go (and oh what a process!), peace began to seep into my soul and take over my spirit.
I always knew that I wanted to write our story for others to read, but I didn’t think that I would be writing a part that doesn’t yet have an ending. We are still waiting for child #2. I don’t know why he/she hasn’t yet arrived. And that is ok. Waiting is not wasted time! God is always with us, molding us to be more like His Son.
Alyssa lives in South Carolina with her husband and son. She was raised in NY but has lived as a Yankee transplant for 20 years. She and her husband have navigated the waters of infertility and adoption for 11 years. Her loves are the piano, the outdoors, fashion, and reading.