“Jesus Christ demands that there be not the slightest trace of resentment even suppressed in the heart of a disciple when he meets with tyranny and injustice. No enthusiasm will ever stand the strain that Jesus Christ will put upon His worker, only one thing will, and that is a personal relationship to Himself which has gone through the mill of His spring-cleaning until there is only one purpose left—I am here for God to send me where He will. Every other thing may get fogged, but this relationship to Jesus Christ must never be.” ~Oswald Chambers, My Utmost For His Highest, September 25.
It’s hard to describe how exciting it is to go on Home Assignment. I suppose it is akin to anyone who goes home after a year or more of not seeing their family, except that it’s more than just seeing family. It’s the relief of being in a place where everyone speaks English and you know where to find things and you know how to operate in the culture. It’s the joy of being with friends and a church who have known you since you were small…people with permanency…significant since our lives here are so full of short-term relationships. Don’t get me wrong—you who have stuck with this blog for sometime know that I love Tanzania and I do love living here. But there’s just something about going home….
I guess I’m just trying to explain why this has been so crushing for us. The anticipation of counting down days…we were down to 12…to only find out that now there will be a whole lot more than 12. The last few weeks have been a frenzy of activity for me…doing so much to get ready….all of my thoughts centered on October 6th. So today, this morning, I suddenly wondered, “What am I going to do today?” None of the things on my list really matter anymore.
But it’s okay. The disappointment is huge, but this is not a life-long tragedy. One thing I have learned through adoptions is how to wait…and how to deal with disappointment. There have been greater disappointments than this. There is far greater suffering in the world than this.
Yesterday I was putting away all the documents I had brought to the embassy, and took a moment to gaze on Josiah’s adoption certificate. After receiving it a couple weeks ago, I was in such a hurry to get his passport that I didn’t even stop to consider the significance of this green piece of paper. Yet it is so significant! And really, so much more important than a visa! That paper says that Josiah is ours forever—what more could we want?
And God is good. He could have softened the heart of the consular officer; He could have put a different officer in place. He could have had the judge sign Josiah’s adoption order weeks earlier, which would have allowed us the time to apply for Josiah’s citizenship and prevented this delay. He could have; He could have. All of those things are easy for Him. Yet He didn’t, despite hundreds of people’s prayers. So. I trust Him. I trust that He knows what is best.
And already we see His hand….in Gil’s substitute, Lisa, who immediately said she could reschedule and flex with us. What an unexpected praise! In school administrators who said they would work with whatever we needed to do. In the prayers and encouragement of God’s people.
And who knows? My parents have contacted their congressman. Oh my. What could be next in God’s unexpected plan? :-)