On My Mind

** This post was written on Monday of this week, and I’m just getting around to posting it today… It’s been that kind of week!!

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Have you ever felt completely overwhelmed and yet completely, nonsensically, at peace at the same time?

I think that’s where I am.

Honestly, when I look at what’s on my plate over the next month and a half, and specifically in the next few weeks, it’s enough to send my habitually calm nature into anxious territory.  It’s that all-at-once kind of feeling — even when it rains (or pours) all good things.

There is so much on my mind right now…

How to plan ahead for being gone for much of August (at work and with our adoption process) while I’m in Asia.  Preparing for the trip itself.  Coordinating a BIG event at my church right before I leave.  Saying goodbye to my sweet friend I’ve had the privilege of mentoring and investing in over the past year, who is moving this weekend (and about to start sixth grade at a new school).  And I’m still taking in the abundance of information we received at our meeting this past weekend, bringing up choices we hadn’t thought about having to make, opening our minds in all-new aspects of the journey, and all the different scenarios for how this will go.  I won’t lie — it’s been a lot to process.  (But I have to admit, it also makes turning 30 right smack in the middle of all this be the very least of my focus!  Ha!)

With the way my mind works, when there is so much happening all at once I’ll seem to have the most random pairings of items that garner my attention regarding our adoption… which ebb and flow, and may or may not be in chronological sequence of priority.  Right now, it’s:

  • the discovery of an intentional, special birthmother gift (to give her in the hospital)
  • adoption maternity leave
  • and eyeing all kinds of books I want to buy (ironically, the one we’ve already purchased just so happens to be Adopt Without Debt).

And sometimes, it’s a single thought or phrase.  Like something said in our meeting this past weekend:

“No child becomes available for adoption if they haven’t already experienced loss in their lives.”

…which touches a deep place of grief and prayer and reflection and reverence…  And then, because I am human, sparks a whole new sporadic set of thoughts…

  • Finally looking up “infant massage for adoptive families” like they were talking about
  • What was that one article I saw that one time that was really good…?
  • and seeking God on how to continue being an advocate for foster care while pursuing a completely different option ourselves.

In the midst of EVERYthing, it makes absolutely no sense that there should be a peace.  But there is.  If anything, after our meeting, I feel even more affirmed in our decision to adopt.  Everything else — every challenge, every decision — is just secondary.  (Logistically speaking, blog-reading would appear to be so unproductive… until I run across a line like this that just makes my heart sing: “Adoption puts a stake in the ground that says ‘Restoration? Right here.’ And I want to stand as near to that sign, to that post, to that glory.”  Yes!)  And everything I probably should feel overwhelmed about, somehow I don’t.  Things that are completely out of my control: like when our condo will sell so we can move into a house to prepare for expanding our family.  That may or may not happen before we adopt… we just don’t know.

{ “On every level of life, from housework to heights of prayer, in all judgment and efforts to get things done, hurry and impatience are sure marks of the amateur.” —Ann Voskamp }

I absolutely believe that everything will happen in the right timing it is meant to.  Unfortunately, that’s not something you get to realize once and be done with it.  It’s a daily recognition and a daily surrender: a conscious choice to be in the moment, do what you can with what you have, and hold loosely to the plans and dreams that are all the while quietly knitting in the back of your mind… as the heart desires to press forward, stubbornly, unraveling toward its own selfish ambitions.  

It truly is the surrender of all things to God — trusting in His timing and will — that’s the only way we can ever feel like we have any sort of security or stability, despite the unknowns.  The affirmation of God’s promises and His sovereignty are the sweet saving graces that cause the “waiting” on Him — even when that’s an active term — to be joyful and filled with gratitude.  It’s such a blessing.

A good example would be the timing of my upcoming absence during the middle of a rescheduled follow-up meeting with our agency and the near-completion of our adoption home study…  It actually seemed like perfect timing when this door was opened, and now, the closer it gets, the more I feel as though everything is going to have to be put “on hold.”  And yet, I wonder in the surrender… how might God use the context of me teaching English in a classroom halfway around the world to reveal more of Himself during this specific time in which He has given me this opportunity, and how it might relate to our adoption — what He might be wanting to teach me.  His purposes will always grant a much richer, purer, more full return than the plans we make for ourselves.  (Not to mention I am BEYOND excited for this experience!!!)

There is much to be done — to be sure.  The to-do lists for everything upcoming (adoption and otherwise) are wide and long, and the pressure of planning ahead does little to dissipate in view of the timeframes that steadily creep up the horizon.  And slowly in their shadow, the ugly truth is revealed… the fact that feeling overwhelmed is really just rooted in pride.  The reality of our own sin makes the light of Christ that much more beautiful when we guards our hearts and minds with the unstoppable, enveloping, all-consuming conviction: IT’S NOT ABOUT ME.  And firmly settled in the unchanging scriptures, this verse eases me down into a place of contentment and dependence… quieting my mind and reminding me of my source for all things.

“Let all that I am quietly wait before God, for my hope is in Him.”

—Psalm 62:5

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