I used to have a small plaque in my bathroom, back in my bachelorette days, that had gold calligraphied letters on a black background that read, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28”
What an inspiring verse! God is personally looking out for me! Really, when looking to have someone to work toward your good, God should definitely be at the top of the list. And of course I would let God know what exactly was best for me, and I was happy when He would give it to me.
Except that wasn’t very often.
And over the years, it began to irritate me. It seemed like God wasn’t listening to me, or even to my friends and loved ones. I had an extended illness and was laid off at work. A friend lost his infant daughter and was paralyzed in an accident not long after. A boy in our dorm was killed in a car collision as he was moving in for the semester. A friend lost a long battle with a chronic illness when he was much too young.
God? How are these things for the best?
C.S. Lewis once said tongue-in-cheek, “We’re not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be.”
Even now, I tell myself that just because we lost our referral, just because there were no twins to adopt, just because adoption through foster care was not what we thought it would be — it’s all because God has other children waiting somewhere else to complete our family.
But what if there aren’t?
Oswald Chambers in My Utmost for His Highest points out that God’s definition of success is not necessarily the same as ours,
“We tend to think that if Jesus Christ compels us to do something and we are obedient to Him, He will lead us to great success. We should never have the thought that our dreams of success are God’s purpose for us. In fact, His purpose may be exactly the opposite.”
So I have to ask myself: What if He doesn’t have children for us to adopt? What if this entire process is not about adopting children but about me learning to trust Him with our future family?
“What we see as only the process of reaching a particular end, God sees as the goal itself. What is my vision of God’s purpose for me? Whatever it may be, His purpose is for me to depend on Him and on His power now. If I can stay calm, faithful, and unconfused while in the middle of the turmoil of life, the goal of the purpose of God is being accomplished in me. God is not working toward a particular finish— His purpose is the process itself.”
Truthfully, I am realizing that the point of our adoption journey is not merely the children who will complete our family. The point of our adoption journey is every bit as much about what God is doing in my heart along the way.
Maybe even what He is doing in your heart as you walk beside us.
Do I believe and hope that there are children at the end of our adoption journey? Absolutely. But even if there are no children at the end of the road, a God-directed journey is still worth every step along the way.