Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Near Despair at the Edge of my Waters

Yesterday, I was on the edge of despair.  We talked with our lawyer and found another thing told to us had in fact not been granted... said to be impossible.  I sat down after that phone call and doubt began to grip my mind and heart.  The raging waters of this journey of adoption were overtaking me.

Friends on this journey with us gave encouragement and others spoke truth into my despair.  But my battle was fierce.  It seemed that "having faith seemed like a denial of reality...." I looked at everything from the last 2 years from my senses and said, "I want to quit!!  A quitter I will be, I don't care!" I wished for the pain to go away, the waiting to cease and all lost to be returned.  Foolish.  I sat foolish on the bank of my waters, cursing all that has become, not seeing the true realities.

Then a friend posted a video of a spoken word and I melted, as quick as sand melts when waters crash over it.  It was called "strike the waters" and it spoke directly to my heart.

You see, this journey of adoption has had its seasons, but amidst them are moments when I am tempted to despair. Yesterday, I wrote this in my journal:

"I have fought for faith today.  My feet are at the edge of these waters I have been swimming in for 2 years...I got out of this water today and was ready to sit down on the beach away from it's depths and call it's win...and accept my loss.  I was content to go back to the sand where I once built my castles.  But I found that all my castles had been knocked down.   I turned in my heart towards those raging waters who have tossed me for two years now and all I had was anger.  I screamed out, "Let me be, you adoption journey!! Let me be!!"  I sat in doubt and admitted the cries of my heart.  This journey in these waters have been a place of slow death.  I look up from the shore and see the waters roaring up and down and curse it with my might.  I hate you! How dare you come and disturb my castles of pleasure and break through my walls, shattering all of my dreams.  You take down all my creations like they are nothing.

My parenting skills, my plan of education, my belief that all things will be properly put in its place if you just work hard and do right.  You take them down with a mighty blow.  How dare you crash down my savings and make me ask for help as though I could not take care of myself!  You knock down my schedules of time and seasons and expose my inabilities to manage this life!
You take my priorities of safety and security and snap it in my face.  You erode the face of my towers and proclaim my failures and lack of control!
You take my naivety of rebuilding and continue to wash away all of my pride telling me to "pray to my god"  Injustice you are!! And today in my despair I hate you!  I hate you because of what you do..You rage upon me and seek to call my bluff.  You call me out to your waters and seek to drown me in your depths.  Maybe you are true and too strong for me.  I walk away from your waters that give me daily, my salty tears!
I sit here on the shore running the sand grains between my fingers asking why..why so much destruction to myself..wasn't I fine before building my sand castles on this shore?"

And then God..He rescued me, as He has done every time.
Job 38:8-11
"who enclosed the sea with doors
When, bursting forth, it went out from the womb;
When I made a cloud its garment
And thick darkness its swaddling band,
10 And I placed boundaries on it
And set a bolt and doors,
11 And I said, ‘Thus far you shall come, but no farther;
And here shall your proud waves stop’?"

By the end of the day I stood back up to the depths of this adoption journey and said in my heart "I know the God who made you and so I stand up to your face.  You nearly pushed me back to leave this place, foolishly thinking what has died in me was waste. But now I will rise, b/c the truth has overcome me in this place.  What you have done to me, was meant to be that I might not be burdened in this fight.  No more will you overwhelm me, I see just what you are, with my given sight.  Your waves shall crash and roar at me, but when it is time, you will break at the sound of our Makers voice.  You will move aside with great big tides and I will walk ahead.  Triumphantly with jubilee, I will run ahead to the other side. I will remember this day that you nearly got me down, but then proudly say thank you, for all that you have done.  Without you, I would have not been able to win the race I've won.  I will get to the other side and this stance I will take. Unwavering and firm with shouts of joy! Thanking you, for your blows has shaped me for what I was meant to be!! Your injustice will no longer lurk only freedom will reign.  There I will rest and make my new home without fear or doubt, only the story of my God to talk about."

"...because we're holding on to a reality that is more real than the reality we can perceive with our five senses!"  Mark Batterson

that was my day yesterday....

Monday, October 1, 2012

Our journey of adoption....keep watching and see

If you were to come over to my home today, I would have one thing on my mind.  If you pulled a chair up to my table, I would serve you a drink and have only one story on my heart to tell.  If you came scheduled or unexpectantly, I would still have the same journey to tell you about....our adoption journey.

One of my favorite things is to sit in a cafe with any person in this world and drink deeply of the stories of life.  I wish I could take every friend and every stranger and have them over to sit and talk about life.

Two years ago today, I walked into a large building to attend a conference that was meant to expose me to adoption.   I was on the journey of adoption but had no idea what was ahead.  I just started walking.
Three months later I would be getting my fingerprints, shots, telling my childhood story and traveling to Haiti to meet my son.  I kept walking, with many questions, many fears and extremely wide eyes watching to see what the next door would open up to me.

Two years later, I have more stories of beauty and brokenness, miracles and impossibilities, death and life.  And in one sitting, I could speak of all of that just for my own life.

I used to see my neighbors in hardships and think it was too hard for them, now I point them to my God, who comforts in a way that makes them stronger and full of hope.  I used to be afraid of risks and only walk in what I could see ahead.  Now, I live more by what I don't see tangibly than what I can do with my own hands.  We had $165.00 to start our adoption with and have seen God take both our own money and others and create $30K.   I used to pride myself in my schedules and abilities to clean and keep everything in its place, now I hope to fold laundry within a few days after it is clean or have the kids clean the bathroom mirror and call the bathroom "clean".  What I thought were perfections in me are dying, so that real perfection of God can be seen more clearly.

So today, if you came by my house, I would fix a cup of coffee or Hot tea and slice you up some pumpkin bread, as fall comes and I enter into another year of this journey to bring our son home.  I would want to hear about your day, b/c my day is often too complicated to explain in it's fullness.  If you asked me how I was doing, my eyes would probably fill with tears and I would smile as tears ran down my face.  I would tell you that I am learning that hardships are not so scary anymore.  If you asked me when my son would be home, I would say, "I don't know, but God knows and He is coming, just wait with me and you will see."

Then I would take a deep breath and tell you of the beautiful story God is writing in us as we have journeyed to bring our son home.  You might cry with me, but at the end, all you could see would be God.  You see, our story is nothing less than God himself writing life into us and all 5 of us are being changed!

You might say at the end that "you are so strong" or "I admire you"  but then I would show you the wounds of my heart prior to my journey and tell you again of the One who actually holds and leads us. And it would be my only hope that when you left my house, you would understand more of God and your own story too.

Continue with we wait and see what God will do.  I have no idea what is all ahead, but I know our God will do it! He will bring our son him!

We will go to visit our son again in November and will be taking our oldest son, Wesley-Grant.  With each trip, I panic thinking about having to leave our son one more time. But each time, I hope that it might be our last.  The process in Haiti is very complicated to explain of where we are at and why.  August 29th, we moved forward b/c of your prayers.  Lord willing, we will run this last part of the marathon strong.    We need you.  Please stay with us.  Wait with me on this pier and together we will all rejoice, not only for our son coming home, but that us and all of you have changed in this journey together!! It is worth it...stay with us and you will see.

Kelly Josiah Stewart  5 years  August, 2012