The Doldrums 🙏
So Kara and I are still waiting and praying, wondering when we are going to get our child. It seems like it has been forever since we started this adoption, but it has also been years of struggle to get here. We have seen more cases than we can count come through our email, yet none have panned out to a match (obviously, or this would be a much different blog post). The way it works is we first review the expectant mother's profile and should we choose to move forward we present to her then she reviews our profile. If she chooses us, then we are matched! It feels weird that this is the way it has to happen, but we also feel discouraged that it hasn't happened. So here we are waiting and wondering, praying hard and sometimes feeling God isn't going to answer.
I think most people are familiar with the old sailor's term "doldrums", but I also grew up in a family of sailors (both sets of grandparents), so allow me to explain. Sailors well know to avoid the doldrums when possible because it is a large area of windless waters, which can cause ships to be stuck for weeks, immobile and lifeless. Some sailors have even perished by running out of food and water, so it's best to avoid these waters! Sometimes, however, it can't be avoided. That water may have to be treaded and journeyed through to get to the desired destination.
To continue this illustration, you prepare and do all the right things, but then it happens. As the U2 singer, Bono, sang, "Now you're stuck in a moment and you can't get out of it."
As the Psalmist, David, a man after God’s own heart, exclaims in torment “O God my rock, why have you forgotten me? Why must I wander around in grief?” (Psalm 42 NLT). We try to avoid the negative feelings or thoughts, but they happen anyway as part of our fallen, human nature. It's why the Psalmist also proclaims praises to God in one breath and then doubts His goodness in another breath. So we must also grasp our souls, shaking it back awake "Why are you downcast! Put your hope in God!" That's why we have a cross we run to in this great race when we fall, acknowledging our Savior. Remembering that this is all about His glory, not our comfort or suffering. Except, God instead meets us where we are and then when we are well again, he gently spurs us to more. He knew our nature would fail us and Him, so He gave us the cross to take away our failures, doubts, worries, fears, and anguish. Over and over. Until His return. King David knew this, which is why he felt freedom to bring his mixed emotions and fickle feelings to God, who listens and forgives. He is a good Father of infinite ability caring for his adopted children of infinite need.
Lord, your winds of mercy and blessings have blown us this far, the community and support you've raised up for us both emotionally and financially is staggering; and we are incredibly grateful. Now, however, I feel we are in the discouraging doldrums of waiting for a child and seeing many cases fall through. Also sensing the hopelessness some of these cases come from. I don't know what to do, but praise be Your name that You are growing me through such trials (Rom. 5; James 1) because You are all that matters. I pray that the ever-changing winds of circumstance would not affect my spirit because only You are my rock and salvation. Amen.