This is one of those days when I wish I had been brave enough to share with you exactly what I had been praying for earlier, so that you could experience the thrill of answered prayer along with me now. Hearing a great story about God’s provision after the fact is always heartwarming, but there’s nothing like the wonder of a specific prayer answered clearly and definitely.
Our family has been keeping a record of every person who has helped and supported us in this adoption, every answered prayer, and each milestone as we achieve it. It has been incredible to watch those lists grow.
Over and over I question and doubt, and God is faithful to reassure me. I pray for something specific to happen and am answered within 24 hours. Here’s an example, but don’t judge. I’m a bit of a hypochondriac, and I’m pretty embarrassed about it. I have had lower back pain since September. I’ve tried a new mattress, chiropractic adjustments, and diet change but I haven’t found much relief. Because it had been going on so long, I started to have a niggling fear that it was something more serious than muscle strain. At 3:00 am something false suggested to me that I had a spinal tumor.
A bowel obstruction.
The beginnings of fused vertebrae.
I lay awake and wondered if this adoption would come to a screeching halt when I was suddenly diagnosed with something awful. Would we have to ask all our kind donors if we could use their gifts to pay my medical bills?
I began to dread the physical exam required for the home study. What would they find? When I told the doctor about my pain, would she look at me with compassion and thinly veiled concern? Part of me knew I was being silly and catastrophic, but another part was genuinely scared. I prayed specifically for the doctor appointment. I prayed that if there was something wrong, I would find out at this appointment. If there was nothing wrong, I would know that God was watching over us and encouraging us to move forward.
The day before my appointment with the doctor, I was scheduled to have fasting blood work done per the home study requirements. Only two though; an HIV test and a TB test. Should be quick and easy. I sat in the waiting area, my stomach pinched with hunger, and fretted. Should I tell the doctor about the back pain tomorrow? Am I inviting extensive unnecessary testing? Or will I then have to face a scary diagnosis? Do I not mention the back pain at all? Would I be jeopardizing the adoption?
A nurse swung the door open and called my name. She was very kind, but obviously feeling rushed. I showed her my paperwork, then offered my arm and turned away from her tray of needles and gauze, explaining that I don’t like to watch. Understanding, she chatted with me while she prepared my arm and then started the blood draw. It seemed like minutes passed. I waited for her to press the gauze against my skin and pull the needle away, but she didn’t. I heard her start a new vial and felt confused. More time passed. At long last, she finished up and stretched the rubber bandage around my elbow. I asked what tests that blood would be used for. She listed several things, and I began to wonder if I had read the paperwork correctly. I was sure that Jason had said he only had two tests done.
As I drove away, I worried that I should have said something. Would I have to do the blood draw all over again? Had they not even ordered the correct test? But as I was driving, I realized that all of those blood tests were going to give me the answers I had been praying for.
When I arrived for my appointment the next day, I felt at peace. I wasn’t in any pain. I felt great. I chatted with my friend at the front desk and told her about the blood test the day before. She apologized and told me to come back into the lab and they would do the blood draw again because the wrong tests had been ordered. But before she started, she decided to call and ask if the blood drawn the day before could be used for the HIV test. She smiled as she told me that they were able to use the blood already drawn, and I wouldn’t have to be poked again.
In the exam room, the doctor pulled up my results on the computer screen and showed them to me. Because of a mix up, the antidotes to all my worries were right there on a screen in front of me. She went through each result with me explaining that my results were “beautiful.”
I am healthy.
My prayer had been answered clearly. And in a way that I did not manipulate.
I had also prayed for a particular resource to come through for funds. A resource that we had been hoping for since November. I was standing in the shower Tuesday and I asked for it out loud. In earnest.
Wednesday, the very next day, that resource delivered a healthy sum to us. THE NEXT DAY! We tallied our funds, standing around the island in our kitchen. Our total was over $10,000. Jason immediately started calculating how much of our adoption fee we had left to cover, but with my hands raised in eagerness, I blurted out, “Wait!” He looked at me, surprised.
“That’s 1/4 of our total! That’s 25%! That’s something!” I didn’t want to move on to what we still had to raise until we had noted and celebrated what we had already achieved!
Shortly after that, I drove my daughter to practice. We were both giddy with the news. I told her, though, that I have noticed a pattern in my responses to these answered prayers. At first I am delighted. Fulfilled. Assured of my faith. Aglow, even. But unfailingly, something disappointing follows, and my faith and gratefulness dissolve. Do I not remember?? Where is my resolve? I am fickle and forgetful. I told my daughter that I would be on my guard this time, determined to stay strong.
As I drove home after dropping her off,
I received a notification on my phone. I pulled into the driveway and read a message from the publisher saying that my book cover was delayed by two weeks.
But this time, I remembered God’s timing and provision. February 19th, it is. I can wait, Lord.