I can have a post title, Epic Fail, because I teach middle school. This career choice also gives me the right to name my posts That's Where It's At, Beast-mode, The Boss, or Legit. (I dare anyone else to try it.)
My recent failure is epic. The following conversation sums it up, if you don't want to read the dirty details that follow. I was having dinner with a groups of gals, including someone I don't know very well. We were talking about Lainey and the adoption process and her comment was, "Well, what you are doing is a great thing." Her intentions were to encourage me, but really, that comment usually ticks me off. People who say it don't understand it's not that I'm an amazing person trying to save Africa; they don't get it - how badly I want a child. My response was quick and sharp. "Oh it's not about doing a great thing. It's about me."
It's about me. When I make it about me, there is no room for Jesus.
And here are the details of my failure -
On the adoption front, the process is slowing down. (Click The Breaking Point? for details.) Lainey's file, which we were hoping would be submitted to Embassy over a month ago, had a few minor date errors and paperwork delays, has not even been submitted to Embassy yet. Since our government Embassy in Ethiopia only accepts file submits on Tuesdays, my weeks have gone something like this:
- Wednesday - check in with our agency rep to find out if there has been any progress updating/correcting/researching paperwork in Lainey's file to make it ready for submit
- Thursday -check my email multiple times per hour hoping to hear the file is completely in order and ready to submit the next Tuesday
- Friday - check my email a few times in the morning, knowing the U.S. Embassy closes early on Fridays so anything I don't hear, I won't hear before the weekend.
- Saturday / Sunday - cope. Avoid people because it hurts to answer the same questions over and over again.
- Monday - same as Thursday, except with more urgency because the day to submit is tomorrow.
- Tuesday - listen for the "ding" of my email all through the night and check my email when I hear it. Turns out that Restoration Hardware and Pottery Barn send their marketing emails in the middle of the night. When morning comes, I go to work and get through the day until I can just be at home where no one expects anything from me.
That's the self-pitying failure. I've made this all about me.
Even though I began (and since stopped) a Bible Study - Believing God - that is centered on trusting Him. Even though each morning Ty reads to me from Jesus Calling and each morning, the devotional speaks exactly to the hurt we feel. Read on:
From today's devotional: "...The journey has been too much for you, and you are bone weary. Do not be ashamed of your exhaustion. Instead, see it as an opportunity for me to take charge of your life....I can fit everything into a pattern for good, including the things you wish were different...remain attentive to Me...This sounds like an easy assignment, but it is not...you are in the path of my choosing, so do not give up..."
Or, from yesterday: "I am teaching you a difficult lesson, learned only by hardship. Lift up empty hands of Faith to receive my precious presence...Life, light, joy & peace."
February 4: "Do not wear yourself out with analyzing and planning."
January 26: "Give up the illusion that you deserve a problem-free life...Link your hope not to problem solving in this life but to....Heaven."
It just keeps going back. January 23: "I will never leave or forsake you."
January 22: " Strive to trust Me...instead of running away from [things that make you anxious] embrace them, eager to gain all the blessings I have hidden in the difficulties."
January 17: "This is the day that I have made. I want you to rejoice today, refusing to worry about tomorrow. Search for all that I have prepared for you, anticipating abundant blessing and accepting difficulties as they come. I can weave miracles into the most mundane day if you keep your focus on Me. ..Come to Me with all your needs, knowing that my glorious riches are tore than adequate supply...live above your circumstances even while you are in the midst of them."
January 15: "When you start to sink, ...I will life you up."
And this! January 13: "Instead of staring at the day that is ahead of you, attempting to program it according to your will, be attentive to me and to all I have prepared for you...No matter how steep or treacherous the path before you, the safest place to be is by my side."
Or, from way back on January 12: "I will not show you what is on the road ahead, but I will thoroughly equip you for the journey..."
Not done yet. January 9: "When you decide on a course of action that is in line wiht My will, nothing on heaven or earth can stop you. ...never give up.Much, much stress results from your wanting to make things happen before their time has come."
Seriously, I could keep on going back until the first day of 2012 when we began reading this tricky-little-God-speaking-directly-to-me devotional. And yet, I still am in the midst of failure.
(BTW, Bible verses are referenced that confirm the promises written in the devotional.)
Some days, it is so hard to feel hope. I am angry, bitter, impatient, cynical, grumpy, selfish, short-tempered, depressed, anxious and every other non-Christ-like trait out there. Some days, it takes all my will power to face another day. I sometimes think of our case as just a file, and I wonder what turn I missed in life that would've allowed me to avoid all this pain. I forget that our case is not a case at all. She's a child! She is our daughter who is alive and breathing and growing and so stinkin' beautiful. And when I remember those things and I'm filled with more pain and guilt. It's just so hard.
And some days, on the better days, I know others are praying for me. I know that because I feel a peace and reassurance beyond logic. The calm I wake up to on some days is supernatural - it can only come from God. And since I know it's not because of my prayers - because mine are nonexistent or tears without words - I know it has to be the prayers of others. My parents, who pray for me every day. Friends and acquaintances. My husband. But not me. Because there are just times I can't.
Oh my. I might actually publish this pity party post.
Thank you, friends, for lifting me up when I can't lift myself up. Thank you, family, for loving me in spite of myself. And thank you, Jesus, for forgiving me in my failure.