When my son Matthew was about five years old, God started to stir in our heart the idea of adoption. It took many years and a lot of red tape, but eventually we met our daughter. We began to build a family just like everybody else – dinner time, and homework and arguments over what to wear.
Then one day while our daughter was at school, we received a call from a social worker, she let us know that even though we were two years into building our family, a mistake had been made in the paperwork, and our daughter had a father with parental rights.
She asked us to pack her things and told us she'd be there in an hour to pick them up – our daughter was not coming home. We never got to spend time together as a family again.
I cried a lot, but when I stopped crying, there was still this deep emptiness that I'd never experienced before. Emptiness because I missed my daughter terribly, but also because something in my relationship with God had changed. I was in the wilderness.
One morning in my living room, I was struggling to find any way to connect with God to hear him again. I opened my Bible, to the book of Psalms, and in Psalm 74 and again, in 77, I found this writer who was saying, "God, where are you?" and "How come you haven't rescued me?" and "I feel abandoned by you?" and "How come you're so mean to me?" and I felt like I could relate to what he was saying.
I think before, I'd always fast forward to the end of the chapter where the psalmist was saying, "Okay, God, no matter what happens, you're good, we're good." and I felt like maybe God wanted me to fast forward my life to that place, too.
But that morning, it was like, God spoke to me in a whisper and said, "Angel, you don't know how long it was between the pain and the praise, and it's okay for you to be right where you are."
God spoke to me and said "Angel, you don't know how long it was between the pain and the praise, and it's okay for you to be right where you are."
It's not like I was immediately out of the wilderness, But God used that time in the wilderness to grow me and teach me that he was okay with my pain and my frustration, with my hurt with my doubt – that he could handle it all and he would love me through it.
I'm so glad that he did. Because without that season, I could have never said yes – I would have never had the courage to say yes to what God had for us next. I still miss my daughter all the time and wish that that would have gone differently, but I'm also so grateful for the three amazing boys God has allowed us to adopt.
It took courage to risk that again, to say yes to the hurt that might come if we said yes. But in the wilderness, I learned that even if the happy ending is never written, even if the healing doesn't come, even if the road is long and hard and it feels like the promised land is so far away, I can trust God. He will get me through it.
Maybe I can't trust him to fix everything or make everything better all the time, but I can trust them to be with me, to hold me even in the wilderness.
STRUGGLING TO TRUST GOD?
We've been there before too – sometimes life is challenging, but God always has your best in mind. We'd love to pray for you and walk alongside you in whatever you're going through.