Sprinters and Marathon Runners

When I was a teenager, I heard a story about children in a developing country who heard about Jesus for the first time. Their biggest takeaway from the gospel is that Jesus is coming back. They were so excited about Jesus's return that they began waiting at the doors and windows of their homes so they didn't miss the opportunity to witness Jesus returning for His Church. I remember longing to wait like that, and feeling a sense of guilt that I didn't. 

Walking actively through two adoption processes is teaching me a lot. For the last three years we have waiting half expectantly for Judah - so excited for the day to come, but knowing that even after a referral, the road is long before he will come home. We count on a monthly updates to gauge our level expectancy, and so we are continually reminding ourselves to slow down and pace ourselves in this marathon. Waiting for Baby Sunshine is different. We could honestly get a call at any minute. Sometimes I literally look at my phone and try to will it to ring. So far, that hasn't worked - yet :) just kidding.

Waiting for Baby Sunshine is teaching me to wait in a different way. Jason and I often talk about how different we are, as he waits (probably with much more faith) quietly, knowing that God will provide in the right time and right way. I wake up every single day thinking to myself, "This could be the day," and stare at my phone for long periods of time and I answer every unknown number with an elevated heart rate and exasperation in my voice. Walgreens is the worst...

As we've talked about our different ways of waiting, Jason expressed that he was afraid that too long of my "everyday could be the day attitude" would leave me feeling resentful and hopeless too quickly. I'm running sprints and he's on a nice steady pace to run this marathon. And while he may be right that my sprinting tendencies may cause me the need to rest more, I can't ignore the small voice reminding me of the children waiting for Jesus to return, waiting for Jesus to fulfill His promise. "Wait expectantly, My child," He tells me. So I continue to yell at my phone, commanding it to ring, and waking up every morning knowing that today could be the day, and pray for a lot of patience and grace each day.

I have to admit, though, that I'm not good at the whole sprinting thing. And I know that God has called Jason and me to wait differently so that we could spur one another on, but I'm a little jealous of his steady pace. I got used to the jog of international adoption, finding the pace and living there for a while. We are only three months into waiting for Baby Sunshine and I'm feeling tired, fatigued, and worn out. I'm not a runner in real life, only a figurative one, but after watching way more than my fair share of the Olympics over the last several weeks I'm reminded that marathon runners have to refuel along the way. They may not stop running, but they are regularly filling their bodies with liquids and nutrition to continue on their journey. I pray that I don't forget to rest in my sprinting and encourage my husband to fill his body with the nutrition of the gospel along the way.

It's in this mix of emotions that I'm reminded of manna from Heaven, and how God instructed the Israelites to only collect what they needed for the day. I'm reminded that Jesus instructed us to pray for "our daily bread". We are meant to be restored each and every day, just as we are instructed to die daily to ourselves. 

This walk with Christ is not a one and done thing. It's daily. Daily dying. Daily collecting sustenance. Daily relying. Daily surrendering. I've prayed all along since we began the adoption process that God would sanctify us in the waiting, no matter how long it is, and that we would grow closer to Him through the ups and downs. I think I speak for both Jason and me when I say we've felt like it's been more downs than ups, but I think that God is using that to still our, or at least my, restless heart and teach me to rely on His daily provision for my life, for our family, and for our future children. And in the midst of my daily struggle to wait expectantly, I'm ever so thankful to have the calm steadfastness of my sweet, marathon running husband who gently reminds me that God is always good, and sometimes it's okay to slow down and walk for a while.

I'm not there yet, but I hope that someday I'll be a child who waits at the window to witness God's promises.