Waiting is synonymous with adoption. Or at least it seems that way at times. It has certainly felt that way in our journey. It’s a gauntlet of waiting.
If you have ever read Dr. Seuss’s Oh The Places You’ll Go! you might remember the Waiting Place. Dr. Seuss does not care much for the Waiting Place. Nor does he assume that any of us should like the waiting place either. And i get it, trust me, i totally get it. i have always hated the Waiting Place… BUT GOD… is teaching me to love it. Because, in this place, He is showing me Himself. And as i wait, i know Him and i am known by Him.
Waiting is synonymous with adoption. Or at least it seems that way at times. It has certainly felt that way in our journey. It’s a gauntlet of waiting. The length of the waiting has varied wildly from situation to situation. But the occasions in which we find ourselves waiting have been numerous and relentless in their occurrence. Some folks wait longer and others wait for less time, but all adopting families experience the waiting. And of course, if you’re reading this, you know that waiting is not exclusive to adoption. All of us have waited.
Waited for a diagnoses. Waited for a call back. Waited for release. For an apology. For something in the mail. For a job. For your soldier to return. For forgiveness. For it to “just click”. Waited for trust to be mended. Waited for someone to say, “I love you”. Waited for the pain to go away. And waiting is an activity that i have always disdained at a very high level. All of us have waited. Some have waited more and some have waited less but few have allowed themselves more frustration as they wait than me.
…9 weeks later, we’re still waiting to be reunited with our boys. To hug their necks and kiss their cheeks and see our family of six united and whole. So much waiting.
i hate to wait and this is evidenced by my frequent sighing and my reckless driving and my short tone and my quick temper. i am so easily frustrated by waiting… so put-off by waiting. My bride can testify to what a loose cannon, what a depraved sinner, i can be when i am forced to wait.
The waiting of this adoption journey has been brutal for me. And all the more once we began our journey here in Uganda. It began right out of the gate, in Washington, DC when our flight was delayed and then in Dubai when we missed our connection to Entebbe. A twenty-four hour layover in Dubai isn’t the worst thing that could happen, but it’s still waiting. And there was more to come. We’ve waited on judges and officials and drivers and orders and paperwork and service and electricity and internet and we’ve just waited and waited again and again. Two weeks for a postponed hearing, 6 hours for a judge, two weeks for an order. Waiting to bond with a four year old. And 9 weeks later, we’re still waiting to be reunited with our boys. To hug their necks and kiss their cheeks and see our family of six united and whole. So much waiting.
Waiting that normally surfaced in frustration has manifested itself in despair. The deepest despair i have ever felt.
i have been immersed in the waiting. And it’s been a brutal grace! By week two i was already wrecked in the waiting. Gut-wrenched by the waiting. Weeping alone in the shower under the weight of all the waiting. And we had only just begun. Waiting that normally surfaced in frustration has manifested itself in despair. The deepest despair i have ever felt. BUT GOD, is rich in mercy and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. He is a patient and persistent Teacher and a Lover of my soul. And here in the waiting place, i am learning much about how to wait. How to avoid waisting the waiting. There are three things that have brought peace in the waiting and pushed back the despair.
(1) Rest the Gospel: The gospel story, God’s redemptive plan for mankind is filled with waiting. And it is filled with God’s perfect timing to bring rescue and joy and help and salvation to His people. Remember, God’s timing is perfect. God is never early and never late, but always right on time. And this is seen most vividly at the cross. For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly (Romans 5:6 ESV). The gospel screams, “God’s timing is perfect!”
when you’re in the waiting place, you’re going to need reminded that God’s timing is perfect, His love is infinite, and every promise of God, belongs to His children in Christ.
And not only do we see God’s perfect timing at the cross, we also see His infinite love. God loves me more than i love myself and that means i can trust Him more than i trust myself… even in the waiting place. The gospel reminds me that all the promises of God are yes and amen for God’s children in Jesus. And when you’re in the waiting place, you’re going to need reminded that God’s timing is perfect, His love is infinite, and every promise of God, belongs to His children in Christ.
So know the gospel as you wait. Read it, pray it, sing it, speak it, meditate on it, write it, learn it, know it, love it, and ask God to give you the faith to believe the gospel. Rest in the gospel.
(2) Remain in Community: This one has certainly been huge for us. We traveled here with some very dear friends. The Wells family is part of our church family at Redemption and they are adopting from Uganda as well. God graciously worked it out that we would be on the same flight as them and live right next to them while we were here. And that most of our important events would be at similar times and we would travel together and eat together and shop together and wait together.
You see, sometimes the waiting will blur your vision and strangle your hope and break your will to carry on.
God worked it out, in His grace, that we would laugh together and cry together and curse together and worship together. Waiting is more bearable in community. And we praise God that when the Wells were forced to return home, we were blessed with a gospel centered community of Ugandan friends who we will carry in our hearts forever.
You see, sometimes the waiting will blur your vision and strangle your hope and break your will to carry on. And if you have people surrounding you who will be quick to lovingly hold your hand and hug your neck and speak the truth of the gospel to you in the midst of your struggle… if you have that kind of community, waiting is far easier to endure.
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken. (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 ESV).
There is strength in gospel centered community. So remain in community while you are in the waiting place. You won’t regret it. Find community, ask God for community, and remain in it… even in the waiting.
after all the time waiting, i find myself thanking God for the waiting place.
(3) Remember Who You’re Waiting On: Lastly, remember who you are waiting on. It’s really easy to forget Who you are waiting on. It starts to feel like you’re waiting on a judge or a driver or an official. Waiting on a doctor or a friend or a spouse. It might feel like your waiting on someone or something. And that is a shaky place to stand because people fail us all the time and circumstances disappoint us all the time. But for the Christian, we do not wait for any person or a “twist of fate”. Instead, we wait on the Lord.
Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. (Psalm 20:7 ESV)
I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth. (Psalm 121:1-2 ESV)
This entire journey in Uganda has been a constant battle for me to remember Who it is that i am waiting on. To remember that i wait for a God whose timing is always perfect. A God whose love is infinite. A God whose promises, by the bucket full, belong to me in Christ. i wait on a God who lives in community and invites me to do the same. i wait on a God who is perfect and holy and all powerful. i wait on a God whose plans cannot and will not ever be thwarted. i wait on the God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob. i wait on the God who raised Jesus FROM THE DEAD.
And those who wait on this God…
…they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31 ESV)
So after all this time waiting, i find myself thanking God for the waiting place. And if you find yourself in the waiting place today… rest in the gospel, remain in community, and remember Who it is you are waiting on.
And take courage. You’re waiting is not in vain. Instead, even in this waiting place, you will know God’s great glory and He is accomplishing your deepest joy… just you wait.