This? Is the story of my life. The truth is...that I don't "feel" very patient. In fact, I "feel" very frustrated. I "feel" very overwhelmed. And I "feel" very helpless. We had an expectation that there were variables we had no control over as we began this amazing pursuit of adoption. As we sat in the conference room both being interviewed by..and interviewing the agency program director, we were told that. When dealing with another country's government? There are just unknowns. We accepted that. And we expected that.
What we didn't expect? Was delay after delay. before our stuff even GOT to the other country's government. In fact? Our information...hasn't even gotten to OUR country's government. These delays? Are all in the homestudy.
We waited 4 weeks after approval to proceed before we even got a CALL about scheduling the homestudy.
We've now waited 7 weeks (7/20/10) waiting on an approved homestudy.
And, we? Don't even have a draft finished. My frustrations and this sense of overwhelmed hopelessness? Are beyond anything I have ever felt before. My heart aches. My mind is frustrated. And yet? There is nothing I can do...But, wait.
It's all very ironic.
And how does this relate to patience? Well, you see, patience isn't even necessary until you aren't getting what you expected. Until you're waiting for what you want.
Patience: \ˈpā-shən(t)s\ : bearing pains or trials calmly or without complaint;
manifesting forbearance under provocation or strain;
not hasty or impetuous;
steadfast despite opposition, difficulty, or adversity.
Patience? Is the art of handling adversity with a steadfast and righteous heart. The art of NOT getting angry, bitter, and self-righteous. Patience? Is pretty dang important.
And I am pretty bad at it...But, alas, I am also? Getting LOTS of good practice.
One guy put it this way:
"Irony is the hard crust on the bread of adversity. Irony can try both our faith and our patience. Irony can be a particularly bitter form of such chastening because it involves disturbing incongruity. It involves outcomes in violation of our expectations. We see the best laid plans laid waste... Amid life’s varied ironies, you and I may begin to wonder, did not God notice this torturous turn of events? And if He noticed, why did He permit it? Am I not valued? Irony may involve not only unexpected suffering but also undeserved suffering. We feel we deserved better, and yet we fared worse. We had other plans, even commendable plans. Did they not count?... In coping with irony, as in all things, we have an Exemplary Teacher in Jesus. Dramatic irony assaulted Jesus’ divinity almost constantly"
So, we may not understand why these unfair things happen...and I am well-aware that my unfair things are far better than others'....but in all cases of "unfairness"?
We simply stand steadfast.
We manifest forbearance.
And we love. Always. I think there is probably a reason why the chapter on Love? Started with patience. (1 Corinthians 13)
I may not understand why my best-laid plans to have Baby Smith here before next summer seem thwarted. I may never know why, it seems like the people who should carry this urgency with us, don't?
But I know that God loves his children.
I am confident that He has set our feet on this path.
And I am certain that He only paints beautiful life-murals..and in the end? Mine will be beautiful, too!
Til I have patience (or can at least pretend better),