By Sam Olson
I have experienced the resiliency of faith these last couple of months, willing my heart to stretch and snap back from the hard things it faces while still trying to resemble its original form. The adoption process will do that to a heart. With each possible match I encounter I have read over every line and imagined every story as if it’s really happening. As hopeful parents, we put our heart on the line, we stretch it and we give it, and we hope. Yet, most days those profile opportunities we are given are meant for someone else, some other family, or even meant for a sweet birth mama somewhere in the world to hold tight to her baby and choose to parent on her own.
Sometimes, adoption feels like we have to sell ourselves. We have to get our profile and our information out there to the world so the birth mama God is leading will find us, will pick us, will know we’re the right ones. This feels hard very hard for me. Infertility had already left me feeling like I wasn’t enough, and with every email from the agency informing us that our profile either wasn’t chosen or even read, my feeling of being “good enough” to be a mama seems to fade quicker and quicker.
But my heart and faith must become like a rubber band, stretching and bouncing back, holding things together and binding what will be with what is now. This has become the way of things, and God has led me to a place where I can recognize that every hardship on this journey to become a family is worth it, and each day serves a purpose: “But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship” (Galatians 4:4-5 – NIV).
BEAUTIFUL TAKES TIME
I document grace. I write down all these hard moments, all the nights I cry myself to sleep, all those days that seem pointless as I wait and wrestle with God. What I find when I look back at those moments, is that God is always actively working in them and through them. I read my desperate prayers and I remember how God showed himself faithful, how one hard thing opened the door for one grace filled thing and how this has become the steady pattern I’ve been a witness to these last few years. In order to see this grace, I’ve had to change my perspective. I’ve had to look back, because right in the hard moments I’m standing too close. I have to look back and remember, in order to look forward and be resilient.
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NIV)
God sees the timeline of the world in its entirety. He does everything at exactly the right time because He can see how everything works together. He sees how one life story affects another. He understands what must be done now so that something else can be done later. He builds and He weaves all the moments of all of our lives into the most beautiful story of Grace the world will ever see.
FAITH TAKES GRACE
As I find myself waiting to become a mama, I have also found myself stretching to become something new in God. Every battle with infertility, every moment I thought I wasn’t good enough, every prayer I shouted up at God, grew me. I needed to have every single one of those moments in order to become who I am now, and through this adoption process I know I need every single moment that is still coming to become who I will be in the future.
It’s the resiliency of faith, being stretched out so that we can bind together all of our moments of grace and when our time of stretching is done we can bounce back, stronger for what we experienced and still able to hold more when a new time of stretching comes.
However God is stretching you this year, know that He has equipped you with the strength to become resilient. Even when it feels like we will break beneath the hard days, know that Jesus broke for you so that you would no longer break, but would stretch. Building up this kind of faith is exhausting, but the farther we carry our crosses in this life, the stronger Christ makes us. He is our strength when we are weak, He is our anchor when we are drifting, and He is our stronghold when we feel our hearts are crumbling.