Last week we celebrated my 3-year-old’s birthday. With my older two children, their birthdays stir up memories of the day they were born. My oldest child’s birthday was filled with an anxious yet happy anticipation as we stepped into the whole new world of parenting. The day my daughter was born holds different memories. I remember being flat-out terrified that we were going to lose her little 1-pound self to a premature death following her premature birth. Thankfully God has raised both these two into healthy, full-of-life teenagers.
But on the day my 3-year-old was born, I don’t remember what I was doing. It was a Friday, so I’m sure I was going about my usual business. Going to the grocery store, carpooling to ballet, planning for the weekend ahead.
I only know one thing that I am absolutely sure I was doing that day… I was waiting.
I was waiting for a phone call. I had been waiting for that phone call for about 9 months. Waiting to hear that our adoption agency had a baby for us. Waiting to hear that God had chosen to add another child to our family.
But I didn’t receive the phone call I was waiting for that day. Due to some legal hold-ups, we didn’t receive that call for another 4 1/2 months.
So when we celebrate our little guy’s birthday, it feels a little different. We are so glad he was born, so grateful his birthmom chose to give him life, but his actual birthday reminds us of our… waiting. A wait that sometimes got long, tiring, and hard.
I have come across many waiting people in the last month or so. I have a friend who has been waiting to hear about a job interview. I have another friend who has been waiting to move into a new house. I have friends waiting to get married, waiting to get pregnant, waiting to have a baby, waiting to adopt or foster a child.
Some of my friends have been painfully waiting. Pam has been waiting for over 4 months for her teenage daughter to show signs of life after a traumatic car accident. Tanya has been waiting to hear that her kids in Ghana have their visas so that she can go get them and bring them home. These women remind me of how excruciatingly difficult waiting can be.
Now that we have a very full-of-life 3-year-old to contend with, the memories of our wait for him have faded a little. But his birthday brings them back to the surface. While we were waiting, I remember the questions being the hardest things to deal with. Questions like, “What is God up to?” or “Has he forgotten about us?” or even “Does he care?” haunted our thoughts and prayers.
When I look into my toddler’s eyes, I know now that God didn’t forget about us. He was up to something good all along. While I was grocery shopping and carpooling, he was overseeing the birth of our son. He was setting him apart, reserving him for us. He was placing him in good hands until he could be ours. While I was waiting, God was working.
If you’re waiting, even waiting painfully, never forget this truth. God is working while you wait. He is up to something good. He loves you and that’s what he does. He gives good gifts to his children. You can trust him for that.