Floating

Genesis 8:1a,3a-“But God remembered Noah…so the floodwaters gradually receded from the earth.”

I often wish that God would give just a little more detail into the thoughts that the people of the Bible had. Such as Abraham. Wouldn’t you love to know what was going through his head as he made the trek to sacrifice Isaac? Or how about the disciples? The Gospels tell us that when Jesus called them to follow Him, they immediately left, leaving family and jobs behind.

Noah is also one of those guys that I wish we could have more detail on. For several months, he was cooped up in the ark while the world’s largest storm was barreling around him. As I read the above verses this morning, I wondered what Noah was thinking. Did he have days where he felt alone and that God had forgotten Him? Was he doubtful of God’s protection? Did he wonder if he heard God’s voice correctly?  I would have to think that at some point, yes, he did have those moments of uncertainty. After all, he was human. But God does leave that to our own speculation.

I wonder what Noah felt like for those 40 days, where the storm was at its’ most intense period. I imagine it to be like a scene from “The Perfect Storm” except lasting for 40 full days. Have you gone through your own storm that seems like it will never end? With life kinda swirling around you and you are left..floating? I remember times of feeling this way. Feelings of anger, loneliness. I remember a specific morning of feeling like this and wondering if God even heard me. A few minutes after praying these thoughts out, my phone buzzed with a text. It was from an old co-worker who I hadn’t spoken to in quite some time. She had been burdened to pray for me and wanted to check in to see what was going on. God’s voice through a friend, answering me that He does in fact hear me. “But God remembered Noah…” And God remembered me. And He remembers you. And will continue to remember you.

But what I love about storms..they DO have an ending. Physical storms end as well as storms of life. After a storm, there is always some sort of stillness. People wait some time to emerge before whatever clean-up needs to happen. The stillness of waiting can last longer than we want it to or longer than we expect it to. The Bible states that the flood waters covered the earth for 5 months and took another approximately 3 months to start to go down. “So the floodwaters gradually receded from the earth…” How similar this is to life and the testings we go through. God often delivers us from our storm but into a waiting pool. A time of stillness and inactivity. A time where we are forced to sit. But as I have mentioned here, God is not a waster of time and uses periods of waiting to draw us even more closely to Him and to deepen our relationship with God.

And then, soon enough,  the olive branch appears. After Noah had waited these months for the water to die down, he released a dove. The first time, the dove returned right away because the ground was still covered. More waiting. But after the second time, the dove appeared with an olive branch, symbolizing that the waters are coming down. Dry ground is appearing. Did you know that there are olive branches surrounding us? Symbols of God’s faithfulness of deliverance? Signs of Him working even though it may seem slow? They come in the form of words from friends or family; a verse that speaks directly to your heart; a person being burdened to pray for you. And the list can go on. Be persistent. Keep looking. God is speaking. Noah had to send out the dove 3 times before he knew his wait was over.

Before you know it, God’s rainbow of promise will be revealed, symbolizing His forever faithfulness. It may not come in the time frame we hoped or in the way we had anticipated. There may be pain involved and overwhelming trials. But it will come if we choose to persevere. Because of Jesus, there is always hope.

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Adoption Adventures: 2 Years (and counting) of Grace

I can’t believe that it has been just over 2 years that we have been in our adoption process. I remember vividly Adam and I out having dinner and with tears in our eyes decided it was time to start the paperwork to having our family. These 2 years have been the hardest, most beautiful, slowest, and fastest 2 years of our lives.  2 years that have been  completely covered in grace.

An update:
We met with our social worker, Carol, who is in charge of our home study. She came out to our house to update any information that may have changed. It had been almost a year since we had seen her last, so we had a wonderful time catching up with her. We showed her the hope chest that my sister in law and brother gave us for Christmas 2 years ago and told her that we are getting ready to prepare for our nursery. She was very excited. We’ve had some opportunities to talk about faith and adoption with her and she said, “You are a couple who definitely lives by your principles.”

We just spoke with our adoption agency in Indiana (who will be placing us with the baby) and Emily, who is in charge of matching us with moms, said that she just handed out our profile to a young lady yesterday. She was looking for a couple who was a Christian family. Emily isn’t quite positive that this mom will choose an adoption plan as she has already spoken to 4 other families and is being very selective (which is a very good thing!), but you never know what will happen. Our profile may also be shown next week to another family as well! Our hopes are definitely not up about either of these families as we know the process can be extremely slow. But we are reassured that at least there are families reading about us:) Will you join us in praying for these 2 families?
Emily stated that she loves our profile and knows that someone will be drawn to it. She also told us that we are one of the very few couples who talked about our faith in our profile and many searching mothers are looking for a family of faith to raise their baby. Our conversation with her left us greatly encouraged and excited.

We know that as we get closer to being matched with a mother, everyone will be interested in her and her situation. Adam and I had a long conversation about this the other day and have decided to keep her story private. Our reason is that we feel our baby should be the first to know about her and want to protect him/her from finding something out before we were able to talk about it. Every mom’s situation is different and we can’t control certain choices that they make. We want everyone in our life to see her as we see her~ a woman who loves her baby so much that she is willing to make the ultimate sacrifice. We don’t want anything to jade that. Thank you in advance for respecting our privacy on this!

God’s grace continues to cover us. We have learned :
* With God, there is no time wasted, even in waiting. He has used these 2 years to grow us as a couple, strengthen our faith, and grow in a deeper relationship with Him then we could have ever done otherwise. I am thankful for it. Really. Only because of Jesus can sadness turn into true joy and absolute contentment.

* God is our Protector. Yes, there have been some disappointments along the way. Our main one was when Moldova’s adoption program closed. I know some of have said to us how “relieved” they were that we weren’t adopting from an orphanage. But there was actually great sadness that came with our decision to pull out of it. Those were very hard weeks. We then talked about moving to the Russia program and had contemplated that for a bit. But, Russia’s program is now closed. God’s protection over us. We are so grateful.

* God is our Provider. We entered this 2 years ago with just enough money to get the process started. We knew for the rest, we literally had to come before God daily to ask for provision. We decided not to fund raise and just pray our way through it. Our faith has grown immensely because of this. God has placed so many people in our path that have covered us financially. We continue to be amazed.

I am praying over opportunities to do more writing and have been asked by a few different people if I would consider writing a book. I have recently been able to do some devotional writing for Proverbs 31 Ministries “Encouragement Cafe” and am leaning towards a devotional-style book geared for those in waiting. I think “Glued By Grace” will be the title, but who knows. Stay tuned. 🙂 I am going to a writing conference sponsored by P31 Ministries this July and am so excited to get to meet some fabulous Christian women. I am so thankful for Adam. He is beyond supportive. He said “If God is calling you to it, you need to go, despite the cost.” Love him. 🙂

We are blessed by each of you. Thanks so much for always checking in:)