Three years ago on August 22, we sat heartbroken and confused at a small Cuban dive in Tallahassee, Florida. Over delicious food (that took an incredibly long time to be served), we talked and we didn't talk and we simply sat together in our grief. A beautiful storm rolled in. It grew dark while we sat there together. We looked into one another's eyes and we then we didn't look at each other's eyes and there was no making sense of it all. Why were we even there? Why had we even come?
We got back in the car and I flipped through the stations, landing on a song that became a rallying cry for us. "My God is awesome. Heals me when I'm broken. Strength when I've been weakened. Praise His Holy Name." Oh, how we needed that song-needed that reminder of who God is and what He's really like. We sang it and I probably cried (because we did a lot of that during that weekend). I don't remember much more of that evening, but I do know this: there was no part of us that knew what God was about to do. We couldn't see what He was up to. We didn't know the good plans He had coming. We knew He is a powerful, healing, amazing God. But we couldn't see that He was working...there was so much we simply could not see or understand.
We had no idea. We had no idea that an incredibly brave and beautiful woman scheduled for a c-section in the morning was getting ready for bed that evening, too, a couple hours away from us in Florida. We went to bed, sad and worn out from our tears, confused and wondering what God was doing in our adoption story. All the while she was going to bed with a different weight on her heart, very aware that it was her last night with a baby boy she had been carrying for nine months. She went to bed knowing she would wake up in the morning and do one of the most selfless and painful things any mother can do for her child. She would wake up and give birth to her son and lovingly place him into the heart and hands of another family to love and raise him.
So tonight I'm remembering it all afresh and here's what gets me crying: it's thinking of what it must have been like for her that night-thinking of her strength, her courage, her resolve. I'm imagining what must have been going through her head and her heart that night. I'm guessing during those hours, she may have been in a place of wondering what exactly God was up to. The hard and the pain and the struggle she was walking through had to loom large. I'm guessing she likely couldn't see that good was on the horizon in her own life. Maybe she couldn't see Him much at all.
I've written before about why I think you should be amazed by her but I've got to say it again. My baby could have been one of the millions who were never given a chance. These three years filled with watching him smile, laugh, learn, hug, and live could have never happened. But she gave him life. She gave him a future. She gave us the gift of him. How can we possibly convey our gratitude? We simply can't.
Sweet reader friends, I don't know what your Cuban restaurant experience looks like right now. I'm not sure where you feel confused and where you are wondering if God's really doing anything good at all. But when I look back on our story three years ago, I know this: just because we can't see what God is doing, doesn't mean He's not at work. If you can't see Him...hold on. Your story is not over. There is life to come.
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