"How's the adoption?" a friend asked excitedly as I walked into church one Sunday.
I desperately wanted to tell her that we were moving forward without a hitch and that we had everything ready and that we would soon be traveling to bring our children home, but I couldn't. Instead, I reluctantly spoke words that broke my heart. "We've hit another roadblock," I said, before mustering enough faith to add, "but we've been here before."
I expected to see sorrow in my friend's eyes at my response, but she simply said, with complete and total assurance, "Yep, and you know how to get through them," before she quickly hightailed her way to service.
I was a bit stunned to be honest at her quick reaction to my heartfelt confession, but I couldn't help but smile. She's right, I thought. I do know how to get through them! God was reminding me that I knew just what I needed to do in the face of yet another insurmountable obstacle in our adoption journey.
It's been five years since we first began adopting. We signed up for one to two. This crazy messy adoption journey my family and I have been on has somehow morphed into an epic journey that has tried all four of us, in every way possible. By faith, we know we are walking out God's call for our family, but it has not been easy.
My family and I have been living in what I like to call the messy middle, the time between God's promise and its fulfillment, for quite some time. But how do we live victoriously in those times? How do we maintain faith despite the many challenges and oppositions and roadblocks thrown at us? How do we run our race well in the face of discouragement and setbacks?
I'd like to suggest that living in the messy middle is something we get better at, with practice. Most of us aren't born courageous but often choose the path of least resistance. But if we're going to live victorious lives, the very lives Jesus died for us to have, we're going to have start here:
Remember who God is.
Remember that God is sovereign and in control of all things. You and I serve a good, loving, and just God who loves you and has promised to work His will in your life as you submit your heart and your desires to Him.
Remember who you are.
The most important thing about you is that you are loved by God. If you are a follower of Christ, you have been given the right to become a child of God. It's imperative that you keep your identity straight. To know who you are in Christ. Without a proper understanding of your stance before God, you'll be tempted to believe the lie that your difficulties are an indication that God does not love you or see you or hear your prayers, but that's simply not true. Remember who you are!
Make sure you're on the right path.
Before we get too far, it's important ask yourself a difficult question: Are you pursuing a promise from God, or is it possible that you're simply pursuing your own desires? If you have genuinely sought the Lord in prayer, asking Him to direct your steps with a heart that is willing to exchange your desires for His, and you still feel the promise is true, then I believe you're on the right path. If not, it's time to realign your heart and your desires with God's.
Remember and recount God's faithfulness.
God has never failed us, and He never will. He is faithful. When you find yourself struggling in the messy middle, remember and recount that faithfulness. Keep a running list of all the times He's been faithful so you can go back to be strengthened in times of doubt.
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