I just kept praying, “I want to hear You. See You. Touch You. Smell You. Feel You. I want to be surrounded by You and Your presence where its completely undeniable. I want to delight in You and You alone and know that You deeply delight in me.”
This has been my plea to the Lord the past 4 months. I began to pray it when I started to realize that I still did so many things because its the “right thing to do”, not because I am caught up in love with Him. I’ve got the churchy, christiany life down pat. I know how to bust out a quiet time, speak words of “wisdom” to a friend in need, pray a prayer for those hurting or sick, go to church, serve in ministry and give of our time and money. But if I don’t have love…. its worthless.
I love Jesus. I do. Very very deeply. ButI just wanted to know and feel Him afresh. I want more. I want to go deeper. And for some reason, that was the prayer that kept coming out. I felt silly praying it sometimes. Feel Him and see Him, sure. But smell? Taste? Touch? How do you do those things with the One who is alive yet not bodily with you? I had no idea why it was what kept coming out, but I knew that He knew what I meant. And what I desperately wanted. Him. I desperately want Him.
Fast forward to today.
Today has been hard. You see, we got news yesterday afternoon that we are going to Ethiopia to meet our future 7-year-old daughter and 3-year-old son. 11 days from now. You know the story of our referral. If not, read it here. You know how freakin’ fast that came. Well, it also came during a time of multiple baby showers, wedding showers, last Biblestudies with girls I had walked with for almost 4 years, graduation parties and goodbyes with college students who we loved and will miss deeply. It came during Eric taking a masters class, organizing and working a two-day MASSIVE garage sale to raise funds for the adoption, and then 9 day trip to LA to visit my sister.
I got home from that trip this past Wednesday night at midnight. Britt and I basically slept all day on Thursday. And then boom. Friday we got the call for our court date.
Today I broke. I saw the packing list that we needed to start working on. I was reminded that I hadn’t gotten any of my vaccinations. Our adoption agency is closed until Tuesday and I haven’t even spoken to our travel coordinator since getting our court date because she is on vacation. We have to book tickets to Ethiopia. We haven’t done a thing to K & F’s bedroom. We need bunk beds, mattresses, sheets, comforters, clothes, shoes. Their room needs to be painted. I have to figure out what the heck am I going to say or ask K and F’s birth mom when I meet her. We need $8,000. I need to pack Britt up for the two weeks she will spend with my parents. I’ve never been apart from her for more than 24 hours. I am so emotionally maxed and I don’t even know where to start processing.
We had gotten some things done this morning and afternoon, but after Britt woke up from her nap we went to the outlets to get Eric some new shorts. Then the car completely died on the side of the road on the way home. I thought it was pretty funny in a not-so-funny way since I was picturing writing an email to people saying, “Hi, we need just wrote a check for $20,000 in the past month. We are a little low on cash and need $8,000 more to get our kids home. Oh, and our car needs massive work done, do you mind donating?” We prayed over the car and after about 15 minutes of trying, it came on and we got home. Serious miracle. But I think it just sent me over the edge. That and Britt’s screaming because she didn’t want to take a bath.
I thought I was going to snap. I felt like throwing something. Breaking something. Yelling, screaming. Anything to release the stress and the pressure that had built up over the past month. So I shoved earphones in, put on the Tenth Avenue North station on Pandora, and while Eric bathed a screeching Britt, I went into the garage to sweep. Yeah, a real getaway. I have no idea why I went out there.
And what came out was my plea. “I want to hear You. Taste You. See You….” And I couldn’t get the whole way through it when I just stopped and sobbed. Because He told me before I could even finish, “You are Anna. This is how you will hear Me. This is how I want you to see Me. And you will smell me when you smell your children. You will feel Me when you touch them. You will taste Me when you kiss their cheeks. I am answering your plea. I have listened, and I am answering.”
And right then chorus of “Your Name” came into my headphones, and the words rang in my ears.
Your Name is a strong and mighty tower
Your Name is a shelter like no other
Your Name, let the nation sing it louder
‘Cause nothing has the power to save but Your Name
And in the dark, very humid garage, I met with God Almighty and recognized that it was only in Him where I would find refuge and strength for this time. That it would only be Him that will save my children from the brokenness they have been through. That He would be their shelter, their Savior, their Restorer. That He would sustain me even though we aren’t prepared, don’t have the money, don’t have time, etc. He is Enough and He is able.
So, we leave in 11 days. We fly to Virginia to drop Britt off and then fly to Ethiopia where we will meet our daughter and son. We may not feel ready, but when we get there, we shall see Him, feel Him, smell Him, hear Him and touch Him while we are there. And I couldn’t be more ready for that.