at the end of myself

My husband gave me a new journal for Christmas. The journal is filled with inspirational quotes in the margins of each page. This quote served as the “Introduction”:

“Life throws us curveballs. Dreams get shaken by reality. We are sometimes put into situations we don’t have the strength or wisdom to handle. But the good news is we don’t have to! God loves it when we come to Him because we are at the end of ourselves. That’s when we start relying on Him. He is God of the impossible.”

Heading into this new year, I couldn’t be more “at the end” of myself.

I read this quote on a blog a few months ago, and it resonated with me:

“God does not often reveal His plans for us, because we would run away in fear of the trials that lie before us, not valuing the refining process that makes us a just a little more like Him.”

I have to say, if I’d known what my journey to motherhood had in store, I would have surely run away.

After 3 years of waiting to be matched with our 2nd child from Ethiopia, our journey has come to an end. We are now a little older, our savings account is a lot smaller, and we now question if God was truly calling us back to Ethiopia in the first place. It feels a little like we’ve been wandering in the desert, and we made a giant circle. We are back to where we started from.

If you had asked me 3 years ago what I was most afraid of, it would have been this very thing: waiting on our child, only to find out in the end that there will be no child coming home with us. That after all this time, the door would close for us. Three years ago, that kind of news would have sent me over the edge–or at least into my closet where I would have cried my eyes out and may or may not have ever come out. I am now living the reality of that once-dreaded fear.

And guess what?

I haven’t crumbled.

Although there have been moments where I have been close.

When we started this process the second time, I was fresh off of a “mountaintop experience.” I was holding the son I had longed for in my arms. I had tasted and seen that the Lord was indeed good. I had witnessed His faithfulness in the face of my doubt. And I went into the “waiting” with expectancy.

And now?

God has not changed. He has not left us. The same God who led us to Jude when he needed a family will lead us to our other children. The years of waiting have brought me to the “end of myself.” This journey to motherhood is where I have come to know and understand the heart of God just a little bit better. I have leaned into Him, begged Him for answers, and pleaded for favors. And each time, he whispers these two words: “trust me.” Two simple words that are so very hard for my controlling spirit to comprehend.

I find it hard to make myself vulnerable and share the hard things. I’d prefer to keep it all to myself until I have good news–something positive to say. But for others to truly share with us in our joy, I am learning that you have to allow them to see your grief, too. In the meantime, we continue to pray that God will use us to parent a child in need of a family. He put that desire in our hearts, and we know he will use it for good.

“…therefore I will hope in him. The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him”-Lamentations 3:24-25