Today’s Gospel: Luke 11:29-32
In April, 2009, I received the most amazing call of my life. The woman from our adoption agency said, “We believe we have found a match for your family.” She was calling to see if we’d be interested in pursuing the adoption of a three year old girl with a profound hearing loss. My answer was YES before I ever saw her picture or checked with my husband. How was I so sure?
God had provided me very clear signs of what to look for in response to my prayer, “Lord, how will I know which child is mine? How will I be certain to accept the child you have chosen for me?” It is very different when you give birth – the child the doctor hands you moments after the birth is the one God has chosen for you. In the adoption process, I was unsure how many children we would be offered in the decision making process, so my reliance on signs and assurances from God was rather vital.
God did not let me down. The first message I received in prayer came three years before we were matched with a child. He revealed that she would be deaf. It didn’t surprise me that God was calling us to that specific special need, as I told my mother when I was in 8th child that I wanted to adopt a child many would consider unadoptable, and specifically that I would love to have a child who was deaf. So I wasn’t surprised at that inspiration and in fact trusted it so fully I began taking American Sign Language classes the next week.
The second sign I was not as enthusiastic about. In prayer just days before this call, God revealed that the child would be 3 years old and not the infant I had longed for. In God’s infinite wisdom though, it was truly the perfect choice for our family. I’ve never been much of a baby-mom. I took care of their needs but secretly longed for them to be a little more independent.
My husband hadn’t shared out loud but, with our sons at 10 and 13, the idea of starting again with an infant was stressing him out a little bit. I also didn’t know at the time that my 13 year old had been begging God for a preschool aged sibling so that he would have more play/quality “getting to know you” time before he graduated and moved out.
So there it was – we had our clear signs, this was her. Wu Feng Hua would become a member of our little family. We were elated and then… the waiting began. What should have been a 6 to 8 week waiting period between getting her picture and traveling to China to bring her home turned into nearly 6 months! One evening during this long, frustrating and heart-wrenching wait period I sat in her ready but empty bedroom crying. I was begging Jesus for another sign that everything was going to be ok, that the little girl we would name Faith, would be home with us soon. I had already been given so many consolations – signs of butterflies and special scripture verses, random people offering encouraging words and even messages from the altar – yet I wanted more.
That evening I opened to this passage and I laughed out loud. No I don’t think Jesus was calling me evil, but my lack of trust and faith sure bordered on sinful. Sometimes, we don’t need new promises but can instead focus on the promises God has already made and fulfilled and on the love and mercy offered to us by Jesus salvific work on the Cross. We can remind ourselves of the Spirit’s constant guidance. We have all the signs we need – as long as we remember hindsight and the Cross.
What prayers have you asked God to answer? What signs do feel He has given you in answer to those prayers? How do you deal with the doubts and fears that can sometimes creep into our hearts when signs are absent, and God instead is choosing to teach us to trust?
Dear Heavenly Father, I am so grateful that you hear all my prayers. I am grateful that the God of the Universe takes time to hear and answer me. I ask for the grace and strength during those times where it is best for my soul to be left wondering and waiting, absent of signs but never left without your love. Father, I do believe that my trust in your faithfulness will never be left unblessed or unrewarded.
Copyright 2014 Allison Gingras