Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Waiting for Faith

This was first posted on Facebook, but realizing not all the blog followers have FB, I decided to post it here too.  I am hoping to start blogging the back story - the how we got to this point, which was filled with so many Godcidences , that if I DIDN'T believe in God before this journey, I'd be hard pressed not to now!!!  God directed throughout  (and of course, still) ... this was a very powerful night of prayer and communication with God, I pray it blesses you as well!!

Patience is defined by as an ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay. Christian definitions include ideas of letting go of our own plan and leaving God in control, its an act of love, and fruit of living in the Holy Spirit of God. it’s a virtue, because it is a very valuable personality characteristic. One I have discovered is of utmost necessity when adopting from a foreign country. The other virtue of importance is that of faith. Faith is defined in the Catholic Catechism a theological virtue by which we believe in God and we believe all that he has said and revealed to us. This week has been filled with more practice in these than ever before in my life, alas practice makes perfect.

The next leg of our journey to Faith, began on Monday night (very late Monday night). I began to feel an overwhelming sense of fear and dread. I ventured into Faith’s bedroom, whose door I keep closed most of the time because its hard to see it empty. Suddenly I was just overcome with emotion, I dropped to my knees on the side of her bed and began to sob. The type of sobs that come from so deep within you , they almost produce fear on their own, because they are raw, and uncontrollable - but very healing. I cried out to the Lord all my fears. “Are you sure God that we are the family to do this work? I am filled with anxiety about travel, and being able to console this nearly 4 year old being ripped from the only world she knows, with no way of communicating the plan.” The words spilled from my heart, the deep fears I’ve been fighting, hiding, holding on to. I could no longer bear it alone, and I gave them all to God -- just as Jesus instructs us in Matthew 11: 28 - 30:

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

Feeling indeed unburdened by this moment, I headed into the kitchen to prepare the boys assignments for the next day. God in his ultimate love and compassion places before me three signs that bring more light to my heavy spirit. First, the notepad I grab, from a tin of at least 6 notepads is adorned with a giant beautiful butterfly. I had been seeing a butterfly as a sign of hope, daily, since an intense prayer session about 2 weeks earlier. You see, butterflies are deaf, just as is my daughter, and it is a beautiful symbol to remind me of her, and the loving arms both of are held in each day as we wait to be united.

Second, as I calculate which saint my son was to read about the next day, I turn to St. Don Bosco in his book. He happens to be one of my favorite saints because of his devotion to Mary, love of confession, and heart for children in need. The quote for the day on Don Bosco’s page, “Please pray today for all the children with no homes and no families.”

Third, as I’m placing the books on the counter for the morning, I glance at our scriptural flipchart that sits under the Sacred Heart of Jesus icon. It had been flipped to Proverbs 3:5-6:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your paths. You are great at putting your trust in God. Keep following him and you will be amazed at what he does.

A warmth filled my being, the one that comes with peace knowing you are not alone, and that God is not only hearing you but reaching out to answer. This verse has been very prominent in the adoption process, emerging last July, when a friend gave me a huge plaque with the word TRUST on it, and the first line of the verse. She creates these with people’s life verses on them, and said she felt inspired to create it for me. To be honest, at first I was disappointed, as I had always counted Gal 2:20 (It is no longer I who lives, but Christ who lives in me), as my life verse. It was so beautiful, and being a prayerful person, I knew that indeed God had wanted this for me and that within time it would be revealed. Faithfully it has, over and over again, and always JUST when I need to be reminded that a life of faith, is also a life of trust in the one who created me, wants only good for me, and loves me immeasurably.

Although comforted by these signs, I knew God had more to share. I felt a very strong desire to sit quietly with his word. On many occasions before God has spoken light and love into my heart through the reading of scripture. I searched for one of my 7 bibles, but I had cleaned that day, and they were all tucked away on shelves, in bible study bags, or upstairs with my sleeping husband. The one book left out was St. Maria Faustina’s diary. As I looked down at it, I was reminded of a conversation I had with my husband the day before when he revealed that even Sr. Faustina had experienced moments of fear. Early this summer I had begun a devotion to the Divine Mercy (the prayer given to us by Jesus through his conversations with Sr. Faustina), praying the chaplet everyday at 3 o’clock. Inspired, I grabbed the book and returned to Faith’s bedroom.

I sat in the near dark on her floor, and prayed over the book. Lord, I asked, lead me to where she writes about her fear so that I may learn from her experience. I opened the book, but was first lead to day six of the Divine Mercy novena. Here Jesus states:

Today bring to Me the meek and humble souls and the souls of the little children, and immerse them in My mercy. These souls most closely resemble My Heart. They strengthened Me during My bitter agony. I saw them as earthly Angles, who would keep vigil at My altars. I pour out upon them whole torrents of grace. Only the humble soul I able to receive My grace. I favor humble souls with My confidence.

Sr. Faustina enters into her journal about learning from Jesus. I thought about the scripture readings where the little children are brought to Jesus, and we are counseled to have faith like a child. I thought about Jesus love for Faith, and the grace he had and will continue to pour over her during this transition in her own life. My heart longed to be humble and meek, and I prayed for forgiveness of my sins and for a blessing of grace to understand and accept God’s plan without fear.

Once more, I prayed asking to be lead to the page in this nearly 700 page book where Sr. Faustina shares with Jesus her fear. I opened the book to page 345, the diary entry for January 14, 1937 where Jesus first words to her are, “My daughter, why are you giving in to thoughts of fear?” Tears flowed down my cheeks, I put the book aside, and laid prostrate on the floor praising and thanking God for this gift (even though I had not read another word yet, I KNEW I was enveloped in his loving embrace and would soon be counseled by Jesus himself). Excitedly I returned to the book and read on.

Sr. Faustina wrote, “O Lord, You know why. This work frightens me. You know that I am incapable of carrying it out.” Jesus presses, asking again, “Why?” At which point, she much like I had done an hour before spills it all out. I am going to add what thoughts were racing through my head in brackets as I read her words.

You see very well that I am not in good health [for me, it’s an ongoing struggle with anxiety], that I have no education [for me, I thought of the doubts that come when I am challenged on whether I can teach a deaf child language.], that I have no money [self explanatory], that I am an abyss of misery [see early part of story when I knelt in the same spot wailing just moments before], that I fear contacts with people [for me, I thought of my absolute obsession with avoiding the piggy flu, and my sometimes consuming worry about the consequences if we can not].

It is Jesus’ reply that is PRICELESS!!! There was no doubt as I read, that he was talking directly to me, and once again I will interject my thoughts as I read with brackets.

My daughter, what you have said is true. You are very miserable [way to console me gently], and it pleased Me to carry out this work of mercy precisely through you [are you ready for this] -- who are nothing but misery itself. [Yes, by now I am wholeheartedly humbled. Which is perfect because now I am open to God’s perfect plan, and to receive the peace and strength he is trying to send me, that up to now I had been rejecting out of fear and doubt.] DO NOT FEAR; I will not leave you alone. [Thank you, Jesus]. Do whatever you can in this matter; I will accomplish everything that is lacking in you. You know what is within your power to do; do that.

Here in the last few sentences was the instruction I so desperately needed. As well as the assurance that I am not capable of doing this, that without God it is impossible, but that HE will bring to completion the good work he has begun. That I will be equipped with all I need according to what is needed, and I don’t even have to think about the unknown in this situation but only what is in my power. So I laid against the wall, eyes to the heavens and pondered what in this situation was within my power. Praying and preparing -- so that is what I resolved to do.

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