Sunday, November 17, 2013

At Any Cost, By Any Road

Getting ready to board our flight in Atlanta

It is 3 in the morning here in Bulgaria, and I'm going to go ahead and warn you that there will probably be lots of typos and unfinished, incomplete thoughts in this post. (I don't have my proof-reader with me!) After a long and rough day of travel (including lots of turbulence, crowded flights, and an unplanned adventure with our taxi driver, we finally made it to our hotel in the capital of Sofia! Praise the Lord that we made it this far! By that point in the afternoon, all we wanted to do was climb in bed and sleep!!! We had been up for more than 24 hours, but we knew that it was important for our bodies to adjust to the new time zone, so we opted for hot showers and an early supper. I had been fighting a cold all weekend, but after our long day of flying combined with not sleeping, I felt really bad. After eating a yummy meal, my mom and I went back up to our room and enjoyed catching up and talking! (I miss Will so much, but I'm incredibly thankful that she is here with me! The Lord was so good to provide her as my traveling buddy and prayer warrior for this week!) We were both tired and decided to try to sleep. My doctor had given me some prescription sleeping medicine right before I left, and I decided to give it a try. It worked! This was a huge answer to prayer! I fell asleep right away, but unfortunately I woke up 2 hours later. That's when things started to go downhill. My head was throbbing. My nose was so stopped up that I couldn't breathe. I kept getting nosebleeds. My face felt like it was on fire. My lips were chapped. My skin was so dry, and my hands had tiny splits and cuts all over them. I felt miserable! The long day of flying had really taken a toll on me.  I was beginning to feel claustrophobic in our little hotel room and didn't want to wake my mom, so I went into the bathroom and texted Will. He and the boys started to pray for me, and we even talked on the phone a bit! It was so good to hear his voice, and he reminded me that this exact same thing happened on the first night of our first trip when we went to meet Sophi and that we had all probably forgotten how physically exhausting it had been for me traveling while pregnant (not to mention that I am further along this pregnancy than I was last time). He encouraged me to listen to some music and to just try to remember to breathe! {It is funny how sometimes we forget to do the most basic thing!} I felt better just hearing his voice! In our little mini fridge, I found a bottle of water, and I drained it in about 15 seconds. I tried to rest some and even attempted another dose of the sleeping medicine since it was still early in the night. But it didn't work, and I stated to get panicky again. I knew that there was a long night in front of me, and I felt so bad. I decided to get another water bottle and hung out in the bathroom for a while so that I could read and not bother my mom. I began to realize how depleted and probably dehydrated I must have been. I drained that water and found an orange juice which I drained just as fast. Then I filled up the water bottle again and finished if off too! I must have filled it up half a dozen times over the course of the night! It's crazy how badly I felt, but I knew that Will was right and that this exact thing happened to me on our first trip with Sophi. In fact, I remembered thinking then (just like I feel now ) that I wasn't going to make it and that I just couldn't do this! It was good for me to remember that as the week had progressed, my body did adjust and I did start to slowly feel better. I remembered that I even got a little sleep that trip. Feeling more encouraged, I got back in bed, listened to some great praise and worship music, read my Bible and a few of my favorite devotionals that Will had downloaded for me on my iPhone. I decided to download one of my other favorites, My Utmost. (I had brought my actual copy, but hated to turn on the light to read it.) I read these words and knew that they were for just me on this very night and under these exact circumstances

At any cost, by any road

Yes, Lord! Even when it is hard! Even when I feel yucky! Even when I want to go home. Even when I want to choose a different road. No matter what. At any cost, by any road. This is my prayer! This is my heart!

Swollen feet + Black furry boots + Fresh {cold} air on our tiny balcony

I've shared here before that I can't believe that we are walking down this road again. I cannot even begin to describe how surreal it feels to be back in this place and to know that in just a few hours, I will meet my newest little girl for the very first time. I remember how I felt before we met Sophi, and it is a very different type of feeling this time around. I think, if I am honest, my expectations are pretty low right now for how it will be to finally meet Faith for the first time and then also for bringing her home in a few months. It's not that I'm not excited. I am. I can't wait to see our little daughter and to see those big brown eyes of hers. I can't wait to find out more about her, to find out what she likes and to see her smile and to hear her laugh for the first time. I truly am excited about Monday, but I am also prepared for any surprises we might find out about her {good and bad} and also aware that the information from her medical report and her file might not be entirely accurate. She might have more issues than what we are expecting or she might be in better health than what we are anticipating. This is also how we went into Sophi's adoption, but I am not sure that anything could have possibly prepared us for meeting her for the first time and definitely for the reality of bringing a very broken and wounded child who had spent 6 years in an institution into our family. We know so much more now than we did then, and this is good, but it also makes me a tad more reserved as we prepare to meet Faith. After all that we have experienced with Sophi over this past year, we know how hard it will be. And, yes, I know it will be different with Faith than it has been with Sophi, but the reality is that even in the best of circumstances ADOPTION IS HARD AND MESSY! In fact, I can't even imagine how challenging it's going to be bringing Faith home in a few months and having a new baby, both at the same time, all the while continuing to deal with Sophi's issues and being the momma to her, Web, Palmer, Hank, Barrett, and Evie. So, honestly, I'm looking ahead to these next few days with my heart full of so many conflicting emotions. I've tried to put into words how I feel today and I just can't quite do it! So, this morning I have 2 simple thoughts running through my mind. The first thing is just to take it one day at a time and not to allow my mind to go to far in the future with all of the what-ifs and possible scenarios. The second thing is that regardless of how I feel  today (I am tired and a bit overwhelmed) or how I may feel tomorrow when I finally meet Faith, these words by Oswald Chambers express what I want to be the truest reflection of my heart - at any cost, by any road.

So thankful to walk down this road with this guy! I already miss him like crazy!!!

This is what He has called us to do. This is the road He has chosen, and with confidence I can say that it will be good. Hard? Yes, I'm sure. Challenging? Yes, probably more so than anything we have ever done before. It might not even be good at first, but in the end, in the grand scheme of all things eternal, it will be good. And not just good for Faith. It will be good for me, for Will, for Web, for Palmer, for Hank, for Barrett, for Evie, for Sophi, for this brave baby tagging along with me on this adventure, for all of us, for His kingdom, and, most importantly, for His glory! And I really, really do believe this and I claim this as truth no matter how I feel or what the enemy says. In the wee hours of this crazy, hard morning, I'm asking the Lord to not let me forget it. I'm asking Him to fill me with hope, joy, and expectation that He has the power to put His hand on me and give me the will to do what He has commanded (this is one if my favorite John Piper prayers). I am asking him to fill my heart with a supernatural love for this precious little girl that I've never even met, and I'm asking Him to prepare her heart to meet me and my heart to meet her tomorrow morning. You can also join me in praying for safe travels today as we head to Stara Zagora. I hear the road is a little on the curvy side as we travel through the mountains to get to her town! But curvy roads aren't going to scare me! I know Who is going before us, and my eyes are on Him!  

It is a new road and a new morning. A really big adventure is unfolding, and I wait with expectation to see His new mercies unfolding on this new day! 

The view from our hotel in Sofia ! The sights and sounds brought back so many memories from our week here with Sophi! She loved to look out these windows!

“At any cost, by any road” means nothing self-chosen in the way God brings us to the goal. There is no possibility of questioning when God speaks if He speaks to His own nature in me; prompt obedience is the only result. When Jesus says—“Come,” I simply come; when He says—“Let go,” I let go; when he says—“Trust in God in this matter,” I do trust. The whole working out is the evidence that the nature of God is in me. God’s revelation of Himself to me is determined by my character, not by God’s character...

By the discipline of obedience I get to the place where Abraham was, and I see Who God is. I never have a real God until I have come face to face with Him in Jesus Christ, then I know that “in all the world, my God, there is none but Thee, there is none but Thee.” The promises of God are of no value to us until by obedience we understand the nature of God. We read some things in the Bible three hundred and sixty-five times and they mean nothing to us; then all of a sudden we see what God means, because in some particular we have obeyed God, and instantly His nature is opened up. All the promises of God in Him are yea, and in Him Amen.” The “yea” must be born of obedience; when by the obedience of our lives we say “Amen” to a promise, then that promise is ours.

Oswald Chambers , My Utmost for His Highest

Thank you for all of your prayers and for following along. I will try to keep you posted! :)



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