I’m super excited to share some incredible news on the heels of the article I recently wrote called, Living Victoriously in the Messy Middle. What I’m about to share serves as an example to what was written in that article, particularly the point I made about doubts.
So anyway, here’s the news! The Coombs Family adoption has taken a bit of a twist. Just under a month ago, my husband Travis said, “If God wants us to adopt, He’s gonna have to drop something in our lap.” Famous last words, it seems. Not more than a few days later, it happened. A wonderful little bundle of joy was dropped in our lap. A baby girl, only a few weeks old, in Uganda. For those of you just tuning in, we’ve been pursuing an adoption in Ethiopia for the past five years, not Uganda. Hence, the twist of this incredibly wonderful, yet immensely difficult, faith-testing journey.
The last several weeks have been ones marked by wrestling and seeking Jesus with all we have. I found myself saying things like, “I just don’t want to miss God’s will.” And, “I don’t want an Ishmael. I want our Isaac.” And, “What if we’re being presumptuous?” It’s not that we didn’t want to pursue this little one. We simply don’t, under any circumstances, want to take even one step out of the will of God for our lives, even if that means we must say no to something we desperately want.
At the beginning of September, both Travis and I had the distinct impression that God was saying, “Wait on Me.” But for what? We wondered. The door in Ethiopia had shut altogether after having lost the two children we were once given. And we found ourselves at a crossroads, not knowing what to do, praying and fasting and wondering if we were to pursue another country or give up or simply wait.
God’s promise has been clear for over five years, but according to what we saw, that promise was all but void. I began to wrestle with my faith like never before. Doubts arose, ones I tried diligently to stuff, not wanting to admit they were there, even to myself, until there was no denying their presence. Are You faithful? I wondered.
I hated this thought because I know God’s faithfulness. I’ve witnessed it. I write and speak about it, for crying out loud. But this adoption journey has worn me down. It’s tested both my faith along with the rest of our family’s. This journey is not just about being blessed with a child, though that’s certainly at the heart of our motivation, but it’s about our faith. This is a faith journey more than an adoption journey. Like the disciples, we cry to Jesus, “Increase our faith,” but this prayer, like most prayers, is not answered instantaneously. Growth happens through trial. Strength happens through tests. And so it is with faith. Faith grows when required to exercise it.
I brought my doubts and my fears to my girlfriend and gave them voice. No longer could I deny them, and to be honest, I was hoping they’d take flight if uttered. “Cleanse me of all unrighteousness and help me to believe,” I prayed, as I set free what had taken residence in my darkened heart. And it worked. The moment I gave utterance to the doubts I was trying to deny, its power over me had been released. “Forgive me, Lord. Forgive me,” I prayed. “I know you are faithful.”
The Uganda door opened a few days later. And despite our fears, we prayerfully walked through it. Our story is not yet over. Far from it, in fact. Only God knows how it will end, but regardless of what happens, we know Jesus, the God we serve, is faithful and good.
“But You, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.” – Psalm 85:15
To that, I say, AMEN!