Real Faith

What are you waiting for?

Let’s pretend you and I are sitting at a coffee house, drinking our favorite drinks, and a comfortable silence settles over us as we happily sit in the presence of one another.

Then I break the silence with a thought provoking, heart searching question: What are you currently waiting for?

What would your answer be? Might it be as simple as looking forward to your next day off? Or preparing a favorite dinner this evening? Or getting watch your favorite show?

But I am looking for a more complex answer. I would like to know, on a much deeper level, what are you waiting for?

I will share with you that one of my waitings is to find space and time to fully express myself as a writer, to share my heart and give people my words to help them find their own.

But with wait comes worry and doubt, if we aren’t careful.

At times, I worry that I am wasting time by writing. That writing for the pleasure of writing is silly. Aren’t there much more productive things I could be doing? Who am I to think I have such important things share and say?

You nod. Then you share how worrying creeps in as you wait.

Thoughtful silence returns to our table as we both wrestle with the wait.

Will the wait be worth it? What if we wait and what we are waiting for doesn’t come? Or doesn’t come in the way we imagined it would?

My soul sister Courtney knows waiting. Do you know how I met her? I heard from a friend of a friend that there was this lady looking to adopt from Ethiopia and she was having a fundraising yard sale.

Since 1984, when I was about 7 years old, my heart was drawn and called to Ethiopia. All I remember is watching something about the Ethiopian Famine of 1983-1985 and something in my heart stirred and I latched on to Ethiopia. To this day, I still have a strange draw to that nation. My biggest hearts desire is to some day open an orphanage and rock orphans all day long hope God shows me why he has put Ethiopia in my heart. It’s another waiting thing.

But anyway, this Courtney girl was having a yard sale. We were in seminary at the time, and could barely afford it, but I wanted to give $20 to her, just to feel like I played a little part in the adoption of this child from Ethiopia.

I went to her house to drop off the money, but she wasn’t there. I gave my donation and left, bummed that I didn’t get to meet this mythical wonder woman, but happy to help her cause.

Two months later I finally met her when her kids come to my backyard bible club. We hit it off. Her kids hit it off with my kids. Our husbands hit it off.

Fast forward five years – I now, by God’s grace, have a soul sister who is not tied to me by blood but tied to me by our shared heart for Christ. Her kids and my kids run around like  close cousins on a multiweekly basis. She feels like family.

I love how God invested my $20 toward an orphan and I gained a best friend with the interest.

Courtney and her family continued to slowly save up for this orphan, putting aside tax returns, getting extra jobs, and holding fundraisers.

Then a little more than a year ago, they heard the crushing news. Ethiopia had begun to suspend its processing of out of country adoptions.

At this point, Courtney and her husband Mike had been raising funds, completing all the paperwork and were in the waiting process for over three years and the door had been closed in Ethiopia.

Three years of hoping, waiting, working towards the idea of a baby across the world that needed their loving arms, all for naught. Struggling to make sense of the seemingly fruitless wait, there must have been grief, disappointment and disillusionment with the idea of adoption being right for them.

After a prayerful period, they continued to believe that God was still calling them to a baby in need of their family, this time, in China.

More papers and documents and records and fingerprints…and waiting.

Several months back, I remember sitting with Courtney in her screened in porch as she told me about a major hurdle that had popped up and threatened to prohibit them from being able to adopt from China too.

Quietly, she confessed that she was thinking maybe they just weren’t called to adopt. My heart bled for the quiet grief and disappointment that was thick in her soft words.

It always seems like when hope is at it’s tiniest, God comes crashing in.

He crashed in to remove the hurdles. With the hurdles removed, this little peanut’s face popped into Courtney’s life. Her new baby girl.

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Meet Zoe. Courtney and Mike are hoping to take a plane ride to China sometime at the end of July to be united with this girl that has been loved in their hearts for years and years. Can you imagine the joy of setting eyes on someone you have been waiting five years to meet? To have that ache finally filled? The idea of it is so beautiful that it is more than I can bear.

Zoe has been worth the wait.

And you, coffeehouse friend. Could you allow yourself the freedom to wait well? To trust that your life and its plans are in much bigger and more powerful hands than your own small striving and struggling? That the wait, no matter how it concludes, will be worth it?

I am going to ask you, coffeehouse friend, for a favor. Will you honor your waiting by blessing Courtney’s wait to get Zoe? Will you donate to her adoption fund as a way of encouraging your waiting heart AND participating, in your small way, in the miracle of bringing home of baby Zoe?

I hear you. Your wallet is not nearby. You have bills to pay, food to put on the table. You aren’t physically getting anything by doing this. You are soon going to get up from your phone or computer, moved by this story, but you will quickly forget it and forget to give. I only know this because I do that all the time.

Don’t let this be the time that you get up and forget.

Here is how you can help bring home Zoe:

Sponsor me (Jill Piteo) at https://bothhands.org/project/schnee-365.

All the money you donate goes directly to Zoe’s adoption…and they have quite away to go to reach their goal and reach their girl, so every little bit will add up, and your bit counts.

“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.  And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.” Romans 2:3-5

Waiting leads to hope, and hope to God’s dear love. Coffeehouse friend, I will pray that you, like Courtney and Zoe, find hope and God’s love in your waiting story.

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