A Journey Called Waiting

241 days. It’s been 241 days since the first document was signed stating that our family wanted to adopt. We started the adoption process in Uganda. After some careful examination on our agency and some country changes we withdrew our application from that agency and asked the Lord where he intended for us to adopt from. We knew without a shadow of a doubt the Lord was asking us to adopt from Africa, we just didn’t know which country. We prayed, sought counsel, and researched where we were eligible (since we are so young we do not qualify for very many countries). We finally came across this program in West Africa and after a careful examination of the agency and many interviews we decided to move forward with this specific country. We started the home study process at the beginning of February and had full expectation that everything would be expedited. And BOY WERE WE WRONG!

I’ll spare you the rest of the details but there hasn’t been one part of this adoption that has gone ‘according to plan’. It’s been full of curve balls and strikes. You get to third base only to realize you missed second and you’re tagged out. It’s been emotionally draining and exhausting. From the outside looking in, I'm sure you wouldn’t be able to see the tolling part of adoption but I can promise you, if you think pregnancy hormones are bad, wait till you experience adoption hormones. (I’m only kind of kidding)

So what do you do when you step into a journey that is literally defined by waiting when you can’t even wait for the microwave to finish heating up your food? You take courage and wait anyway.

A couple of months ago Kristene DeMarco came out with a new song called “Take Courage”. I know in a lot of my blogs I include a song that has ministered to me in that season and this blog is no different. This song has completely captivated my spirit and brought a supernatural and incomprehensible peace. If you haven’t listened to the song then stop what you’re doing, close the tab, and take a listen. Regardless of the season you’re in I am certain with all of my heart it will minister to you. The chorus of the song goes like this:

“Take courage my heart, stay steadfast my soul, He’s in the waiting. Hold onto your hope as your triumph unfolds. He’s never failing, he’s never failing.”

Then a few verses later she sings:

“Do not forget His faithfulness. He’ll finish all He’s begun.”

Discouragement is inevitable, disappointment is expected, but waiting, waiting is crucial. Maybe it’s cliche and maybe you’ve heard this a thousand times before but before the promise is always the process.

In this season God has walked me through this journey of learning the difference between expectation and hope. While they’re similar, they differ in the eyes of Jesus. An expectation is the belief that something should be achieved and hope is the desire for a certain thing and a feeling of trust. Do you see what I see? TRUST. Please understand my heart here- while both are important and needed in their own way, they are two very different things. In Job 11:18 the bible tells us “Having hope will give you courage.” It doesn’t say “Having the expectation of a deadline will give you courage” or “Expecting your baby by next spring will strengthen you.” It says HOPE. Meaning that hope is a spiritual weapon. The bible even tells us a heart without hope is sick and poisonous. It’s HOPE that propels us forward into the things of God, because we TRUST in His character and faithfulness…

“Hold onto your hope, as your triumph unfolds, He’s in the waiting…”

ARE YOU KIDDING ME. Those words are straight from the mouth of Love. The moment we allow the devil to steal our hope is the moment we suffocate our spirit of His promise. Because guess what, HIS HOPE IS THE PROMISE. God is showing me that before we arrive at the promise, we must hope. Above the end result goal, above the deep desire in my heart, there’s a space that is only created for hope. And that hope, that unrelenting, all-consuming, ‘I’m going where you’re going’ kind of hope is just as beautiful as the promise you’ve been hoping for.

Maybe you’re single and have been waiting on the promise of a spouse, maybe you’re waiting for physical healing for a family member, or maybe you too are waiting on the promise of a child. I want to say HAVE HOPE. It’s the currency of Heaven, the all-curing remedy for a wounded heart and the fuel of the spirit. Maybe you’re thinking “Ebie, you don’t know what I’ve been through. Hope won’t fix it.” What I say to that is you’re right, I don’t know who you are but I do know that hope will fix it, it’s just where you put your hope… Heavenly hope can’t be encapsulated and disgusted, it can’t be put on a credit card, and there is no generic version for it. It’s always available, it’s always inviting you, and it’s there’s always room for more of it.

I was recently sharing our story of adoption with a stranger in Starbucks and when I shared with her that the Lord told my husband and I to prepare the nursery before we even have a match she looked at me, patted my shoulder and said, “Oh honey. Now I’m not sure if that’s a wise idea. You don’t want to get your hopes up… If you have to wait longer than is expected it will be such a hard thing to go into that room!” I laughed because although I’m a total rookie to this whole international adoption thing, I’m still shocked at some comments I have received… And guess what- my hopes are up. They’re in Heaven sitting on the lap of love, waiting, contending and trusting in his perfect timing. And when I walk into that baby room, I’m not reminded of the baby that we don’t have yet, I’m encouraged and moved to pray for the baby that I will someday sing to sleep every night.

There are a thousand thoughts stirring in my heart that I want to start babbling about but I’ll end it on this… Open the Word and look no further to begin stirring the living waters of hope. Get out in nature among the trees and look no further to begin smelling the scent of an anticipated promise. Blast the worship music at a ridiculous level and look no further to hear the screams of a secured future when placed in the hands of a loving father. Hope is the real thing, there’s no counterfeit for it. And I promise, it can never misplaced if it’s put in the one whispered purpose into your bones.

I’m putting my hope in Jesus for this adoption and in every other area of life. And when the mountains seem unbearable, I’m going to pound on that freaking mountain with every ounce of hope I’ve got and I’m going to tell it to move. I’m going to keep my heart FULL of Heavenly hope, knowing that it will never lead me astray and I’m going to scream the testimony of His faithfulness at the top of my lungs so loud that it penetrates generations upon generations. Yup, that’s what I’m going to do, and I’d love for you to join me.

ebie hepworth