Remember those lazy rivers at the water park growing up? You hop on the inter-tube and position yourself just right. Leaning back, with the sun in your face, you let the current take you. Sure, other kids were pushing and shoving to move faster along. But I never bothered to push myself forward. I just let it take me. The current was steady. Predictable. Safe.
I think I viewed life that way. I believed I just needed to float along. Trust Christ. Go to church. Read my Bible. "The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord." Sure, there were trials. But nothing long term. Before I stepped into the world of adoption, I was traveling through life on a lazy river. Comfortable. Safe. Predictable.
Most of my life had been very predicable. I graduated high school. I went to college to be a teacher. I married and after two years of teaching, I became pregnant. Four years later I had three littles: ages 4, 2, and newborn. My life was good. Well-adjusted. Content. Nice and smooth. My stair-step children were healthy and happy. Serving God in the midst of dishes, Bible classes, and laundry was what my heart had always wanted. The days were long, but so was the joy. So, there I was. Being faithful. And God was too. Faithful. Trustworthy. Steady. He made each new step clear and beautiful.
We wanted to add to our family, so in 2013 God pulled our hearts toward adoption. So we began the process in 2014. Little did I know the rapids that were ahead. I found myself on the raging river of waiting. Oh how the ! I clung to my tiny raft of faith and began digging into Scripture. I found joy and hope from not just reading about Jesus, but knowing Him. I found the anchor my soul needed.
For fifteen months we waited. Adoption is full of the unexpected. No certain time frames. Countries change laws. Governments change procedures and forms. Paperwork gets lost. The process stalls, then charges ahead. All 0f the unknowns would be worth it once we held our daughter. Right? And surly the unknowns would end once we laid eyes on her. Right?
The moment she was placed in my arms I felt the relief and joy of having the waiting over. I sighed. This is it, I thought. I can relax. We have her. She is ours.
That day was the turning point. It was the day my heart shifted into a new realm. No, I could not relax. Bringing home a daughter with special needs doesn't mean you can coast through life anymore. And so, with a disillusioned heart and a new baby, we came home.
Life is not a lazy river. Life is not just sitting back and letting God do His work. These past few months I've come to the conclusion that life isn't just about hanging on and surviving either. Life is about digging in. Leaning in. Trusting Him. Abiding.
"I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing." - John 15:5
Bringing home a child who has experienced such painful loss can be overwhelming. Some days the therapies, doctor's appointments, and life in general makes the abiding hard. I have to cling to God through these times. Not just what I know about Him, but pour myself in His Word and really get to know Him. I read His word. I write the lessons I'm learning. I pray. I cry and pray some more.
I try to see Jesus in it all. He is, you know. In it all. Through it all. Sustaining it all. Doing it all. I've learned that I don't have to do it all. In fact, fixing the situation is not my job. Resting in Him is my job.
For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel,
“In returning and rest you shall be saved;
in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.”
But you were unwilling - Isaiah 30:15
God is making the broken pieces of my life beautiful. Not because all of the pieces fit together. No, the pieces of my heart are still very much broken. They are scattered all over the floor and sometimes I can’t make sense of my life anymore. No, God is making it beautiful because I am leaning in. Resting. Abiding. Relaxing. My circumstances will never be calm or stable. That’s O.K. Life is like that. But let me tell you what is calm and stable: Truth. His truth. The truth of God's Word. Truth is the only thing filling me up and making me whole again.
"Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." - Matthew 11:28
God is calling for all of us to come and rest. My passion is to draw women into His Word. I have a desire to instill in other women, especially those in the adoption community, to draw closer to Jesus through the study of His Word and prayer. It is through knowing Him and His Truth that resting and abiding happens.
Each morning we have the opportunity to live fresh in the abiding and resting. Resting in His love. Resting in His mercy. Resting in His faithfulness. He is faithful, dear friend. He has always been faithful.
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.”
The Lord is good to those who wait for him,
to the soul who seeks him.
It is good that one should wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord. - Lamentations 2:22-26
The secret to a happy life isn't in the doing or resting. It is the balancing of both.
Life with small children can be a lot of work. With the work comes joy. Sarah is married to her wonderful husband. Together they have four beautiful children. Jack is seven, Titus is five, and their two girls, Emmalia and Liana are three and two.
Liana joined the family in 2015 via international adoption. During her season of waiting, Sarah found hope and joy - not in circumstances - but in God. His Word became the light for her path. “Abiding in Grace” provides hope and healing for women who are experiencing a season of waiting.
As a wife, mother, writer, and an active member in her church, Sarah has found the secret to working mightily for the Lord is resting completely in His grace. His faithfulness is the theme of her story. Sarah desires to encourage all women to seek after God through the study of His Word.
(This post was written by Sarah Frazer as a part of the Our Heart's Song Blog Series this month. I encourage you to read her story and check out her website. This is one of the many incredible women that I had the privilege to meet at the SheSpeaks Conference I attended in July.)