Thankful that everything will be okay!
“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe”
The sun is shining through my window this morning as I wake. The faithfulness of God is more evident to me this morning than I have noticed in past mornings. I get up and breathe… “Lord, help me finish well…”
Today is the day before I leave to visit my son in Haiti. Today is the day that ends the “Week before I leave”. Tomorrow will be my ninth trip to visit my son. The “week before we leave” has been faithfully painful in different ways since we began our journey between these two countries 2 years ago. Tomorrow will be my 9th trip to see my son who I long for daily, but also to leave him again. Tomorrow will be my 9th trip to bring my son a part of his future, but also to speak of the future that is not fully clear yet. Tomorrow will be my 9th trip to leave my worries here alone, but also to leave my 3 other children behind. Tomorrow I will walk ahead into this journey that has been both glorious and devastating all at the same time.
The “week before I leave” has always given me a fight. I am one that will make lists and plan…take notice of what is ahead and anticipate all of my needs! What I can not do is anticipate everything that will interrupt those plans to sabotage my entire goals of finishing the way I wanted to. I have many things lined out in my mind that that tell me, “Once this happens, you will be okay to go…okay to leave.”
Leaving is never something my mind, heart or body can fully embrace without concerns. Fears and anxiety come from the underlying knowledge that it’s impossible for everything to be ‘okay’ when it comes to leaving. I have a list: for the grocery store, for the packing bag, for the time with kids before we leave, for the things to do before we leave, for the bills to pay and the mail to send off. I think if these lists get done, then I will be okay.
But every day of that “week before we leave”, I am shaken. Every list, every need within my family, every road to accomplishment meets an obstacle that shakes my trust that things will “be okay”. I am like a soda can that is shaken causing bubbles to erupt and give pressure…leaving me to spew everything that has risen up in me due to the shaking of these obstacles.
Almost always I yield to arrogance and attempt to control my week. The irony is that this attempt almost kills me every time. I go into distress because I can’t get to the store because someone gets sick or our car breaks down. I don’t account for the normal emotional drama and parenting that has to continue despite my stress or to do lists. My attempt to control only yields fruit of anger, bitterness and blaming everyone.
As I am shaken by this “week before leaving”, I am reminded that I am not all knowing. I do not hold all things together. I do not rule time and providences. I do not know what I need. I cannot live on my own. I am broken, meant to be shaken, so that I can see that I need my faithful and loving Father who is God of all of these things.
My God is at work. And I have been adopted into His kingdom that cannot be shaken to destruction. He says that He will work all things for my good, to His glory even when I don’t know what that practically looks like.
I begin this last day of this “week before leaving”, that has been one of the hardest weeks out of the 9 times leaving, taking a new breath. I see Him. Despite all of the darkness that the week has seemed to give, the sun still comes up. My God is faithful and is my help. Nothing will be okay if I act as god and seek to help myself. But I know that everything will be okay because my God is indeed my help and it is my prayer that I will finish in this truth today.
So as we walk in this month of thanksgiving, I am thankful for the shaking that happens to me in my adoption journey. It testifies that I am not God, but that I need Him desperately. It testifies that I am a part of a kingdom that cannot be shaken and for that I am thankful and in awe of my LORD who has once again shown himself faithful. I will leave tomorrow and everything will be okay.
I am married to Michael Stewart. We live in Austin, TX with our 3 children, Wesley-Grant (7 yrs), Sally (6 yrs) and Karis (4 yrs) while waiting on our son, Kelly who is 5 yrs old, to come home from Haiti. We have been in the process of adoption for almost 2 years. We are imperfect people but loved perfectly by a gracious and loving God. Follow our journey on our family blog.