OK—first before I get going…for those of you who are (YAY! SO EXCITED!) going to be accountability with me in 2010 in the chronological 1 year read through of the Bible (see previous post if you haven’t already! And join us!)–someone made a GREAT suggestion to post a link we could ALL print off to follow! I’ll still post the “reading scriptures” each day—and any “WOWs” that spoke to me and please, please post in the comments the WOW moments you are learning too so that we can all learn from one another! This is going to be SOOOO good I just know it! And…I also know there are some WHO REALLY WANT TO read through with us;)…but they aren’t comment fans…so please join us in digging into scripture this year as we wait on Him for BIG THINGS in 2010! OK…so maybe you aren’t adopting—not EVERYONE is called to adopt! BUT…we ARE all called to do SOMETHING. Not hearing it yet?! Well…join us this year in digging into His Word and knowing His heart deeper…so you can better know His heart, hear His voice and THRIVE in your calling!
The 1 Year Chronolgical Reading Plan that us, women, will be holding hands following together in: http://www.oneyearbibleonline.com/readingplan/oneyearchronologicalbiblereadingplan.pdf
Print that baby off. Print off two…one to tuck in your Bible and put one some place that will serve as a reminder for ya! Pray about joining us…scared you can’t do it?! You can do ALL THINGS through Christ who gives you strength…and this will be way fun to do with others. And if you get behind—no biggie…you can easily read a few days at once to catch up. I think it’s going to be so cool to be on the same page with so many of you…together! I am praying that the Lord speaks mightily to each of us this year and uses His word to call us deeper into His heart and into being used for HIS GLORY in 2010!!! JOIN US!
Daily, I feel the Lord cultivating a heart of waiting and patience in me. Now…if you know ME—that IS A MIRACLE! I am the most impatient person on the planet…ask anyone who knows the “want it now ME” and they will shake their head affirming this statement for me. When we signed up with our agency back last summer, I thought, “With three children to keep me occupied—this is going to be a cake walk.” Not so much.
There have been tears. Lots of tears. Tears of frustration. Tears wondering, “Lord, is this really what you want me to do? Stand in a line for a 0-12 month old Ethiopia baby when there are 145,000,000 orphans in the world?!” Yet, the Lord has NOT asked me to move. I feel His hand consistently saying BE STILL. SO…here I am. Still. Still waiting. OK, so maybe I get a bit (or VERY) antsy from week to week—but I’m sitting here. There have been very FEW referrals since we got on the waitlist–but this was to be expected. Hannah’s Hope, our agency’s home in Ethiopia, is upgrading to a BIGGER, NICER orphanage and the move took place on the 28th…and I’m sure they are STILL moving. Now after the move, the referrals will start finally coming—but even knowing this information, it hasn’t made the wait easier—except for the Lord is truly cultivating a heart of patience in me. YES…it is a MIRACLE!
I have to think back to the Lord’s goodness on me. One of the hardest times in my mommy life was when we were trying to get pregnant with our 3rd child. For months I would take both ovulation and pregnancy tests. Every month, I would sit on the bed and depending on the month I would either say, “Well, it’s just not the Lord’s timing—maybe next month!” OR I would say NOTHING and just sit there and cry. And you know the Lord has a sense of humor when you and your husband have a ministry in Africa (www.wiphan.org) and you have to buy your tickets early and because we WERE trying and thought MAYBE I could be pregnant by that spring–I would NOT go (spring is the rainy season and malaria in Zambia is everywhere!). So, the tickets were bought in the Fall–just one…for Richard. I would stay back and we were sure I’d be well into my pregnancy by then. Fall went with no plus sign. Winter came and went with no plus sign. And I thought for sure Spring would bring the plus sign. Richard boarded the plane to Zambia and I wanted to go SO BADLY to hug on and love our 400 orphans in Zambia—but here I sat…without a ticket and NOT pregnant. I left, and I came home sad to my sweet little 3 and 4 year old kiddos. I packed them up–and we decided to head to crash Aunt April’s beach trip with her girls:). One hour into our trip South, my Laney got CARSICK—puked EVERYWHERE…so I turned around, headed home and decided to try the trip down again the next day. Not easy to do by yourself. I bathed the kids, cleaned out the van. Put the kids down…and sat there and cried. I tried to call Africa to hear Richard’s voice—but knowing I would get no sympathy from him as he had seen and dealt with MUCH WORSE conditions that day. It reminded me that the Lord had been SO GOOD to us…and to keep patiently waiting ON HIM. I began to sing—worship and just for kicks…even though I knew there was NO WAY—I took another pregnancy test. And…POSITIVE!
I knew the Lord allowed Laney to get sick, bring me home…and HE even allowed Richard to be in Africa when I took this test…to have me all by myself worshipping HIM—to confirm Africa WAS PART of our family story…and WA-LA! ANOTHER GIFT FROM THE LORD! It took me over 24 hours to get in touch with Richard to tell him the news! And as soon as he heard, he was so filled with joy and praise that He screamed out our news to a village in Africa! I heard the ladies cheering—and I remember fussing at him that we weren’t going to tell anyone for 12 weeks. He laughed and said, “Seriously Andrea, who are they going to tell?!” Good point. And it was VERY appropriate for 400+ in Africa to know our news before anyone else did. God was simply confirming who our family in HIM was…and where He wanted our hearts to be planted here on Earth.
This is what God’s Word says about developing patience–(from the Message – Romans 5):
By entering through faith into what God has always wanted to do for us–set us right with Him, make us fit for Him–we have it all together with God because our Master Jesus. And that’s not all: We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that He has already thrown open His doors to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand–out in the wide open spaces of God’s grace and glory, standing tall and shouting praise. There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary–we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!
I wouldn’t trade that wait for our Frank for the WORLD. And I recognize that all stories DO NOT end the way we dream for them too. But there is power in the waiting WHEN we are waiting ON Him. There is teaching in the waiting when we are waiting WITH Him. And in the end–when we THROW OPEN those doors with joy—we will see Him already standing there…saying, “Sweet child. I told you. I told you that it would be worth the wait! Thank you my child–for waiting on Me. My plan is FAR greater than the plan YOU could create for yourself. Rejoice—rejoice and be glad and worship. I love you sweet child, and this—this is my plan, my beautiful perfect, pleasing and good plan for YOU.”
Because in this moment…
I forgot the pain of the wait—of the unknown…of the desperation. I will never forget the tears I shed—but I have to say in the end…every tear was part of it. And I am now thankful for every tear. My wait now for a new number—is still with anticipation…but it is filled with more trust and a WEE BIT more patience (I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t super ready for movement on our waitlist!). But I am reminded through my last wait that there is no ONE that I would rather wait through this with than my Savior. How people do life without the Lord–I just don’t know. But this is another reason I’m excited to dig deeper into His Word while I wait.