"Pit Happens". That was the title of a message at church a couple Sunday's ago. We are doing a series on Joseph, which I have absolutely loved, and the "Pit Happens" message was about Joseph being thrown in the pit by his brothers, but God still had his hand on Joseph and a plan for his life. Joseph didn't give up even when things got bad. Well, that's at least what I took from the message. By the way, I feel like every message the last few Sunday's was preached just for me. Right now I feel like I am in my own pit, I'm ready to get out of the pit but The Lord has me right where he wants me, for now. It has taken me awhile to realize this, but even though I'm in the pit God's hand is still on me and I have favor with him. Let me explain a bit about how I've been feeling. I really hate to share this publicly because only the people closest to me know and frankly I would prefer to keep it that way, but in order to understand what I have to say I need to share.
I have been struggling. I have been a mess emotionally and spiritually. I am so weary and frustrated of waiting for first approval. It's the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. I have cried more in the last few weeks than my whole life. I haven't felt very gracious either. I struggle to be happy for others who are getting good news and I know it's wrong. My mind has been so full of thoughts and worst case senerios that I actually prayed for God to just shut all of my thoughts off! I have tried to focus and keep my mind from wondering but until today I have been unsuccessful. I feel like we have been watching the pot and waiting for it to boil by living from one DSDW meeting to the next. Holding our breaths and trying to will it to happen and finally coming to the conclusion it's never going to! The frustration is so great you would like to just give up to be rid of the pain but you know that would never be an option because there's a little girl that needs a family half a world away and there's a family that needs their little girl before they can feel complete. Oh, we are continuing to live. We go to football practice, church, baseball games and family dinners. We go to the races and cheer on my cousin. We put on our happy faces but even when we are laughing and having a good time there's still that pain in our hearts and that thought that someone is missing. This has been the reality we have lived in for too long. I have begged and pleaded with God to make it happen, thrown myself on the alter and poured my heart out. All in the hopes that I could gain some peace and understanding. The truth is I may never understand why this adoption is taking so long.
Sometimes you grow so weary you start to question that if what your doing is really what God wanted for your life. Sunday at church I was so emotional I couldn't sing, I could barely stand and the tears wouldn't stop. All I could pray to God was for him to hold me up and give me strength to keep standing. I could feel his embrace and even though I was so broken I knew he was with me. Even though I couldn't sing the words for crying, my heart was singing his praise. I have prayed so much lately it felt like I was in constant prayer. While I'm driving, eating, washing dishes, but I felt like I wasn't in devoted prayer time. So, last night I went to my closet and got on my knees and prayed for strength, grace and a peace filled heart.
I have been reading a book that I borrowed from my uncle David, who is a preacher, called "Not A Fan". He told me about this book several months ago and I had kind of forgotten about it. I happened to be out of reading material and remembered this book. So, I borrowed it and have been reading. I have enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone. I decided I would try to finish it tonight so I took it with me to Isaac's football practice. I hadn't even read half a page when The Lord spoke so clearly to me. The chapter was talking about how we have to die daily.....what does it look like to die daily? That's what I was asking myself. I mean I've been in church my whole life and I've always heard that phrase but what does it really mean? The very next paragraph I read starts out with the question "What does it look like to die daily?" This is what it went on to say..." Dying to yourself may mean walking by that empty room in your house and asking God if there is an orphan child in another country that should be sleeping in that bed." What!?! I about dropped the book! The chapter ends with the suggestion to pause and think of ways that you can carry a cross and die daily. Everything fell into perspective in that moment. Adoption is the cross we have been called to carry and I will do it gladly and with joy in my heart. It is not all about me and what I want but about Gods plan and I will wait for it! So, I continue reading...
The next chapter talks about following Jesus, wherever, whenever. It talks about the end of Luke chapter nine where Jesus meets a "fan". A man tells Jesus he will follow him wherever he goes. Jesus replies "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son on Man has no place to lay his head." We're left with the impression that the man quickly rescinds his offer. When we say we want to be a follower of Jesus we need to be prepared to follow him "wherever". The chapter goes on to say..."Wherever? What about at the game? What about in the neighborhood? What about when you're back home with old friends? Or what about this, what if God points to a place like Burma or Thailand and says, What about there?" Talk about a punch in the gut! This time I had to lay the book down and let it all soak in. I felt God clearly had me read those words at a time when I needed reassurance that I was doing what he wanted me to do. I don't want to just be a fan of Jesus I want to be a follower. WOW! I was speechless.
So, let me end with this...I have answered God's call to bring home an orphan from Thailand to complete our family. However long it takes, however much the cost, I will conduct myself with grace and faith and continue to wait on God's perfect timing. I will pray on my knees daily for strength that only God can supply. I will follow him wherever he takes me. My name is Angie Ledbetter and I am not a fan!