Sunday, December 16, 2012

Reflecting on the past year

So many people have commented to us about how special these first holidays with Bentlee are going to be, and we couldn't agree more! We have already celebrated some wonderful occasions since she has been home with us: her first Halloween, her baby dedication, my 30th birthday, her first Thanksgiving, and now we are looking forward to her first Christmas. As I thank the Lord for these wonderful holidays we are enjoying as a family this year, I can't help but reflect on how drastically different our life is this year compared to the holidays last year.

Last year, we stayed home for Halloween; we handed out candy, commented on all of the adorable kids in their costumes, and wondered and wished for our chance to dress our little one up for this day. We were also waiting anxiously in anticipation for me to go in for my blood pregnancy test to see if that month's IUI was successful or not. 

On my birthday last year, I began the morning at the fertility clinic, getting my blood drawn, and waited with my stomach in knots all day for a phone call telling me whether or not I was pregnant. When they called and told me that my blood pregnancy test was positive but my hormone levels were very low, we  were cautiously excited. We wanted to celebrate but we were scared to until we went back to the doctor for more bloodwork. 

The Monday of Thanksgiving week last year, we went to the doctor for our first sonogram, excited to see our baby for the first time. After weeks of rising hormone levels, we were shocked to find out that I was going to miscarry again. We spent the week of Thanksgiving by ourselves in complete devastation, waiting for the miscarriage to happen. We stayed home from our yearly Thanksgiving family reunion for the first time since I was born and ate Thanksgiving dinner by ourselves at Cracker Barrel. It was one of the worst weeks of our lives. 

The first week of December last year, I had my second miscarriage. Just before Christmas we went in for a lot of bloodwork to be done to figure out why I kept miscarrying, and we were told we would potentially get some answers at the beginning of January. Our Christmas was still good, but our hearts were hurting and angry, and we weren't really in the "Christmas spirit". We weren't even looking forward to getting any answers; at that point, we were seriously ready for 2011 to be OVER! 

Now, a year later, our hearts are full. We experienced the birth of Bentlee on October 1, followed by a seamless placement of her into our homes and our lives. We have had an amazing time getting to know Bentlee as our daughter, and getting to see our families and friends embrace Bentlee and love on her. We got to dress Bentlee up as Minnie Mouse for her first Halloween. We dedicated Bentlee to the Lord on my 30th birthday and celebrated with family and friends. Bentlee got to meet tons of extended family at her first Thanksgiving reunion. And we are now approaching our first Christmas as a family, and our first Christmas with a grandchild on both sides of the family. It is all so exciting and we could not be more thankful. What a difference a year makes! 

When I reflect on the fact that last year at this time we had just lost our second baby and now we are parents, I can't help but be amazed at the way the Lord has worked in our lives. And He has definitely worked, because there is no way that things could have happened as seamlessly as they did for us to bring Bentlee home. As I write this on the night before our adoption is finalized, I have a lot of emotions. While I may never understand or be thankful for the years of painful and expensive fertility treatments, the repeated losses of our babies, or the daily turmoil of not understanding why the Lord wasn't answering our prayers to become parents, I do rejoice in the fact that the Lord WORKED ALL OF THESE THINGS FOR OUR GOOD...just as He promised in His word. I see now that all of the pain and anguish was part of the journey to get us here. Mike and I now see that the Lord's timing is perfect, because He was preparing us to enter into this journey exactly when we did because of when Bentlee was to be born. We believe that the Lord handpicked Andy and Danielle to be Bentlee's birth parents, just as He hand-picked us to be Bentlee's forever parents, and this is the way our story was always meant to go...we just didn't know it. 

Bentlee is a beautiful gift that has brought so much healing and love to us and our families. During this time of year, I am also reminded of another baby who brought healing, but He brought it to the world. As I thank the Lord for the gift of healing through Bentlee, I also thank Him for the gift of healing and salvation that He sent through His son, also in the form of an infant. Jesus was born that we might all have life, and that is the greatest gift of all. It is because of this gift of Jesus that I am able to recognize the amazing gift that Bentlee is to us, because Jesus is the reason I understand sacrifice, pain, and unconditional love. Because of the Lord's gift of Bentlee to us, I feel that we will experience Christmas differently this year, and we will be even more grateful for the blessing of Jesus' birth than we have ever been before. 

"But the angel reassured them. 'Don't be afraid!' he said. 'I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior-yes, the Messiah, the Lord-has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.' Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others-armies of heaven-praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased."    -Luke 2:10-14

Sunday, October 28, 2012

My life as Mommy

As of tomorrow, I will have been a Mommy for 4 whole weeks! In some ways it feels like she just came home, and in other ways it seems like she has been home for much longer. I have always heard that becoming a mother changes your life, but I don't think I really understood the magnitude of it until Bentlee was born. Our lives have been completely changed, forever, and we could not be more thankful!

Here are the top 10 things I have learned so far being a mother:

1. It's amazing how many things you can accomplish one-handed.

2. Seeing Mike be a daddy is probably the cutest thing in the entire world, and he's so wonderful at it!

3. There is a magical world called "Baby Land" that you get sucked into when you bring a newborn home. This place consists of feeding, changing, cuddling, not sleeping, and staring...lots and lots of staring!

4. Sleep deprivation is INTENSE! 

5. Seeing our parents be grandparents and our siblings be aunts and uncles is so special, and their love for Bentlee has been so incredibly deep, from day one. 

6. Only the Lord could have orchestrated this entire process-we found out about Bentlee on June 3 and brought her home exactly 4 months later on October 3. AMAZING! 

7. A baby sneeze is about the cutest noise ever. 

8. The Moby wrap is so complicated!! 

9. I was absolutely born to be a mother, Mike was born to be a father and Bentlee was always supposed to be our daughter.

10. Giving birth does not make you a mother-an intense, God-designed love for your child makes you a mother. 

Bentlee is by far the greatest blessing the Lord has ever bestowed on us. She is the most precious, beautiful, amazing child and we could not love her more. Biology or not, Bentlee is our daughter and we thank the Lord every day for her life, the birth parent's sacrifice, and that God chose us to be her parents. 

Feast your eyes on this beauty! 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Adoption Update

We have had so much going on lately, between this adoption process and football season, that I have been neglecting to blog! I think about it and then get busy with something else, but I figured I had better blog now before Miss Bentlee comes home, because then I will definitely won't have time! :)

One of the things I have been meaning to blog about for a while now is our Adoption Benefit Dinner. It was awesome! We had a great turnout (about 120 people) and everything went really smoothly. We had a wonderful response to the themed baskets and the dessert auction, and I think everyone had a great time! We had people come that we knew from high school, college, church, work, and other friends and family, and it was so amazing to see how many people love and support us! Overall, we made about $3500 from the dinner! It has been such a blessing to see how the Lord has provided for us through this journey. (You can check out pictures from the benefit dinner on Facebook!)

We also had a few more fundraisers, at Mooyah and Fresco's, in addition to our Adoption Bug t-shirt fundraiser. Again, we were overwhelmed by the number of people who came out and supported us! These are the fundraisers that helped us raise money:
-Garage sale
-Adoption Benefit dinner
-Mooyah fundraiser
-Fresco's fundraiser
-A friend at church who did photography mini sessions
-A friend at church who did a Scentsy fundraiser
-A friend who ran 60 miles in a month and had people sponsor him per mile
-Our Adoption Bug t-shirt fundraiser
-Our cleaning lady gave $50 per each new cleaning service we referred
-Our friends are running a marathon and people are sponsoring them to run
-Lots of people sent us donations either through mail or PayPal

Between all of these fundraisers, we have raised the ENTIRE amount of our adoption! That's right, in about 8 weeks we have raised over $17,000!! If you had told me 8 weeks ago that we would be able to raise the whole amount we needed for our adoption, I would have told you that you were crazy! In fact, I think we are both still in shock! We believe this is totally a God else could we have raised this amount in such a short time??

Over the past few months (as a reminder, this whole process started June 3!!) many people have asked us questions about this process, and we have certainly been learning as we go. One of the most common questions we hear is surrounding the finality or legality of the process....meaning, "What if...." We know that a lot of people are unfamiliar with the adoption process, and these types of questions are normal, so I wanted to explain this part of the process.

So far, we have submitted our profile, been chosen by the birth parents, met them in person, done our home study and GOBS of paperwork, had background checks, took some classes on bonding, attachment and CPR, submitted more paperwork, paid several huge amounts of money, submitted more paperwork, attended doctor's appointments with the birth parents, guessed it, submitted more paperwork! At this point, we have completed everything we need to do (except submitting our last payment) and we are just waiting....waiting for our home study to be officially approved, and of course, waiting for our baby girl to make her appearance. So what's next? The hospital...

Even though we will have everything wrapped up by the time of delivery, there will be one more obstacle to hurdle before our sweet baby girl can come home with us. That obstacle is the 48-hour-period. Basically, the birth mother has 48 hours after the birth before she can sign her rights away. The reason for this wait is because in the past, birth mothers have signed immediately after the birth, and later argued that they were still under the influence of drugs and the adoptions were overturned. So to protect the birth mothers and adoptive parents, the law was changed to 48 hours. During that 48-hour waiting period, the birth mother has the right to change her mind. Even though we have paid our money, jumped through all of the hoops, and done everything we needed to do, she could make the decision to parent and we would go home empty-handed....with no refund of our money and no baby.

Some days, that thought can paralyze me with fear.

We also know it's in the backs of other people's minds as well, and some even have voiced that fear to us (although, honestly, that just makes it worse for us, so please believe and be positive for us!!) But when those doubts creep in and threaten to cut off my ability to breathe, I have to remember one very important thing...


God has been completely in control of this entire process from the beginning. He impressed it upon me to finally share our story publicly on our blog, which my friend read. He led us through the journey of infertility treatments, and put it upon our hearts to stop treatments in May. Before we knew what the next step would be for us, he put it on my friend's heart to approach us about adopting a certain baby girl. He allowed us to meet the birth parents, have a great connection with them, and encouraged them to choose us. He allowed us to raise the ENTIRE amount of the adoption in less than 2 months. He has allowed this process to progress smoothly from the beginning, with no hiccups or set-backs. And He has brought so many friends and family around us to support us and love us through this process.

When I have doubts about whether or not the birth mother will go through with this adoption, I have to remind myself of how incredibly the Lord has provided for us and orchestrated this whole process from the beginning. I also believe Jeremiah 29:11, that the Lord has plans for us, plans to prosper us and not to harm us. Mike and I have prayed from the beginning of this process that the Lord would close this door if this was not our baby. We have been praying over her crib every night, that the Lord would protect her and bring her home to us. Even though we have been hesitant to put our whole hearts into this process, the Lord has thrown the door wide open over and over again, showing us that this is His will for us. Part of faith is believing WITHOUT seeing. We don't SEE our baby girl in our house or FEEL her in our arms yet, but we do BELIEVE that day is coming soon. Fear is powerful. We can either choose to live in fear, holding back and stressing and wasting this exciting time, or we can choose to trust in the Lord and His plan, we can choose to be excited about this process and enjoy every second of anticipating our baby girl's arrival.

We are making the choice every day to trust in the Lord and His plan, and to believe until we bring Bentlee Danielle home with us forever!

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Lord's provision

Since we began this adoption process, Mike and I have been amazed at how the Lord has provided for us and shown us that this is the plan He has for us. This past weekend was no exception! On Friday and Saturday we had our garage sale fundraiser and we were incredibly amazed by how everything played out. We had some great friends from our church help out with the whole garage sale, from setting up, working the garage sale, protecting the items by sleeping outside in the church parking lot, and by cleaning up afterwards. We could not have done it without these friends, and we are so thankful!
Another amazing fact is the amount of money we raised...our 2-day garage sale total was $5576.73! I mean really, who makes that at a garage sale?!? I was talking to Mike on Saturday night, saying that this garage sale experience reminded me of the loaves and fishes story in the Bible. When I was looking at everything after we set it up, I couldn't believe that we had all of the stuff in our house at one point! It was like the Lord multiplied not only the amount of things we sold, but the amount of money we made off of what we sold! It was incredible to see what we ended up with, and  so funny to see all of our faces as we asked each other, "WHAT did we SELL to make this much??" We had some really cool experiences at the garage sale that I want to share.
1. A friend of ours from high school showed up at the garage sale on Friday to give us a donation. She works in downtown Fort Worth and she drove all the way to Burleson on her lunch break just to bring us a $100 check! Her sweet gesture really touched us!
2. On Saturday, some of our friends came and hung out with us at the garage sale for a little while, and as they were leaving he slipped some cash into Mike's hand...after they left, we realized they had given us a $400 donation! We were floored!
3. Several friends and friends-of-friends gave us $50 for things like a flower vase, a purse, etc. and many more contributed to our donation jar!
4. Late Friday afternoon, a man drove up and walked up to the table where I was sitting and asked me what we were raising money for. I told him that it was our adoption fundraiser and he said, "Well I don't want to look around, I would just like to give you a donation." He handed me some money and I asked him if he was sure he didn't want to look around for anything and he replied, "No, I just felt like I was supposed to give you this." When he got back in his truck and drove away, I counted the money and realized he had give us $135!! This was a random man that we didn't know who felt like he needed to donate to us. Obviously, He was following the Lord's leading!
With our amazing garage sale total and the additional donations we had already received, Mike and I realized that we have raised $7386.73 so far toward our adoption! Once the birth parents give the go-ahead, our first payment of $8,000 will be due, and we had almost raised all of this. We were blown away about this figure, but the Lord wasn't finished yet! Last night we received a $70 donation, and today we received 2 checks in the mail, one for $50 and one for $500, which took our total to just over $8,000! The Lord has amazed us more each day through this process by providing exactly what we need.
This is also such confirmation to us that we are walking in His will. So many times over the past 2 1/2 years we have questioned what the Lord's will is for us and how we are supposed to become parents, but now we know that this is His plan for us, and that is an amazing and liberating feeling!
To top off this awesome weekend, I also talked to the birth mother today and we are going to dinner with the birth parents tomorrow night at 7:30! Please be praying for our conversation with them, that we would all feel comfortable and at peace with each other, and that they would decide to place their baby with us!
We can't thank you all enough for your prayers, donations, support and love as we continue on this adoption journey. God is so good! :)
Below are some pics of the garage sale so you can see how massive it was! :)

(Above is the couch Mike and Kip slept on outside Thursday night!)

Massive amounts of clothes!!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Adoption Bug Fundraiser

Thank you so much to everyone who has been supporting us thus far in our adoption journey! We are so excited that things are progressing and moving in the right direction, and we are trying to stay patient and wait on the Lord to work out all of the remaining details. Just as an update, so far the birth parents both really like us after seeing our profile (the scrapbook I made about us) and they want to have a phone conversation with us, which we will have tomorrow at 4:00! If everything goes well, we will then arrange an in-person meeting with the birth parents and both of our caseworkers. Our caseworker said typically we would arrange a time to go out to dinner with them so that it's more comfortable for everyone.

So please be praying: Pray for the birth parents as they make this decision, that they would have a peace about us as adoptive parents for their child. Also, please be praying for patience for us as we wait to hear their feedback and their decision. We want them to feel a peace about their decision, but after 2 1/2 years of waiting, we are also sooooo ready to bring our child home and be parents, so we are anxious! Also, please pray for our finances as we continue to fund this adoption.

On that note, we have a new fundraiser up and running that you can contribute to if you would like to! It's a website called Adoption Bug, and they have set up a personalized store for us through which people can purchase really great t-shirts, and we receive a portion of each t-shirt sold! The link is now up on our blog (to the right!) and all you have to do is click the link and it will take you directly to our store! (You will know you're in the right place if you see a picture of Mike and me at the top!) This is a great way to contribute to our adoption in a way that doesn't cost much for you, and you also get a great t-shirt for yourself out of the deal! Also, if you can't buy a t-shirt, we also get a commission for every time someone "clicks" the Adoption Bug link on our blog, so even if you can't buy a t-shirt, please click away!!

Mike and I are so thankful for the outpouring of love, support and prayers that we have already received-THANK YOU!!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Well, God certainly took the pen...

If you recall from my last blog post, Mike and I decided to end the fertility treatments since it was costing so much money and they were not working for us. We made the decision to take a break and pray about the Lord's direction for us from here. We knew that either In-Vitro or adoption would be our next step, but we were unsure where the Lord would lead us. We just knew that whatever decision we made, we wanted it to be the Lord leading us. A very wise friend of mine has said to me several times to make decisions from a place of peace, not from a place of fear, and I thought that was such great advice. The title of my last blog post was "Letting God write our story"...well, He certainly grabbed the pen and ran with it! And it certainly caught us off guard, but in such a wonderful way!

A few weeks ago, in the midst of this waiting period, I was contacted by a friend of mine from college who told me that the Lord had put us on her heart and she felt like she just needed to share something with us. I have not talked to this friend in several years (probably since college), but we were in the same sorority in college. She has been keeping up with my blog, which is how she knew what we had been going through. She told me that she knew of a young couple who were pregnant, due in September, and have made the decision to put their baby up for adoption. She said the Lord brought us to mind, and she felt like she needed to share with us.

Initially, when I read the message, I got really excited, and shared the message with Mike. Then I started thinking about the logistics and decided that it probably wouldn't work. I thought that 3 months was not enough time to get everything done, so I was quick to dismiss the idea. Mike said, "Let's just pray about it and see how we feel about it in a few days." I'm always so thankful for his approach to situations, and agreed to just pray about it. That night I "left" for a work conference. (It was in Fort Worth, but I stayed in a hotel with my co-workers, so it felt like I was away!) I found myself praying and thinking about this situation and this baby constantly, and when Mike met us all for dinner on Tuesday night, the first thing he said to me was, "Have you still been thinking about this baby?" I just laughed and agreed that I had. Through the course of praying and talking to Mike over the next few days, we decided that whether or not things worked out with this baby, we felt like the Lord was leading us to adopt. We felt like maybe this was the baby for us, or maybe the Lord just used this situation to make the decision for us that adoption is the way we were supposed to go. Either way, we felt such an immediate, overwhelming peace, which is something we haven't felt in this area of our lives in a long time.

I sent a message back to my friend letting her know that we were interested in seeing if adopting this baby would be an option. She then had her friend talk to the birth parents about us, and told me the couple was going through the Gladney Center for Adoption. The next day, my friend told me that the birth parents said we sounded like a great family for their baby, and said they were going to talk to their adoption caseworker about us! That Friday I called Gladney and was told what we would be going through is considered an independent adoption because Gladney is not having to match us with a birth mother/parents. I left a message with the caseworker (who was, of course, out of the office that day!) Then we had to wait for more information from her.

Last Monday, the caseworker emailed me back and said she needed to check with the birth parents' caseworker to see if they had talked to her about us. On this past Thursday (which seemed like an eternity of waiting) the caseworker called me and said she had spoken to the birth parents' caseworker and she reported that the birth parents are definitely interested in us as a possible adoptive family for their baby! So what that means is....

We are starting the adoption process for this baby girl!

We talked to the caseworker about the process briefly and on Friday as we were leaving for our anniversary trip we got the social and medical history on the birth parents, which was great! After hearing this, we gave our caseworker the go-ahead and she put the paperwork in the mail to us (all 60 pages of it!) So now our next step is to get our profile together to give to the birth family, so they know some more information about us, and lots of pictures of us (which I told her was no problem for me!) After that, they will (hopefully) agree to move forward with us and then the next step would be our home study. And then, if everything works out, we will have our baby girl home in 4 months!! (We found out Friday that she's actually due October 11).

This whole situation has been crazy...the fact that the Lord just dropped this in our laps, that He changed our hearts and desires almost in an instant, and that we feel just as excited about starting our family through adoption as we would be if I were pregnant. I can't explain the sense of peace that we feel about this decision...Mike and I just know that this is definitely a God thing.

These next few months are likely going to be really crazy (in a good way!) so we have some prayer requests: First of all, pray for the birth parents to have a peace about their baby becoming part of our forever family, and deciding to go forward with us and this process. Pray for a healthy pregnancy for the mother, and safety and health for the baby girl. Pray for us: we have to come up with the money for the adoption, everything we need for the baby, and if she comes home to us, I will be on maternity leave in a few short months, and won't get paid for the majority of it, so please pray for our finances! We are going to try to fundraise as much as possible, but we don't have a huge amount of time. I am also planning to apply for some adoption grants, but we have to have our completed home study done first, so again, time is a factor. So please pray for us as we begin this next phase of our journey to become parents!

As crazy as these past few weeks have been, we are feeling such a peace about starting our family through adoption, and we know that this is the Lord's path for us. We may still have biological children if the Lord chooses to intervene, or we may adopt all of our children. Either way, we know that His plans are better than ours, and that He uses any means necessary to bring His plans to fruition. I told Mike the other day, how amazing would it be if this baby comes home with us, because that would mean that the Lord used our blog about infertility to bring us our first child...and in 4 months, after 2 1/2 years of waiting!

His plans are always better.


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Letting God write our story

As I said in my last blog post, Mike and I are currently in a waiting period. We have finished our last month of fertility treatments for now, and we are praying about what direction we need to go next. While we are trying to enjoy the break and each other during this time, it is also really hard to remember some days that this is not the end of our journey to becoming parents. With all of the disappointments we have endured these past few years, it's hard to be optimistic and think the best is yet to come for us. It's so hard to know what the Lord's plan is for us, and if that will include children, and if so, how that will all come about. It is a constant, daily struggle to give it back to the Lord and trust in His plan and His timing. Luckily, He is right there with us, walking beside us and giving us little reminders that He is still working, and His plans are going to be so much better than what we could ever have imagined.

I have been doing a Facebook bible study with some ladies at our church, and it has been really good for me. Basically, we all are reading the same book, usually the same chapter each week, and we have a Facebook group that we use as a discussion board for everyone to write on to share what spoke to them the most. We have been reading the book "Stumbling into Grace: Confessions of a Sometimes Spiritually Clumsy Woman" by Lisa Harper. A part in one of the chapters really spoke to me this week. In this passage, Lisa is talking about letting God author our life stories, even when it doesn't match up to our own plans.

"I am stingy when it comes to handing God the pen. Sometimes He has to pry my fingers loose, but with each new page of my story, I'm learning to trust His narrative more. I'm learning to believe in an ultimate happy ending, even when I don't like some of the chapters He writes, because as Paul reminds us in Romans: 'And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose.' (Romans 8:28). We can become more content by giving God the sole authorship of our biographies."

I think this is such a powerful statement, and so important for us to grasp, but oh so difficult to actually do. Ultimately, I think all believers know and acknowledge that God is the one in charge of our lives, and the one in control of our destinies. But how often do we wrestle with Him for control of the pen? I know I do! Maybe I'm the only one, but I certainly think that sometimes the man upstairs can use a few pointers from me, and a little help to bring my great ideas to fruition. I'm trying to convince the author of my life that I know better than He does how the ending should play out. I think sometimes He must just laugh at my ideas, thinking, "Why would you want to settle for that when I have so much more to give to you?"

Lisa writes in this chapter that she never thought she would be approaching 50 having never been married and never having had kids, but that is where she is. In the same way, I never thought I would be turning 30 without having children, or at least being pregnant. I never imagined that I would have to celebrate 2 pregnancies, only to lose those 2 babies weeks later. I never imagined having to spend thousands of dollars on fertility treatments and putting my body through crazy physical demands with no good results, but that's exactly how it has happened. In my mind, this is NOT how my story was supposed to unfold! And I know I have told God more than once just how I thought my life should go instead.

But when I am close to becoming overcome with sadness and frustration, I always have to go back to Romans 8:28, and ask myself if I truly believe those words. It says God works ALL THINGS for the good of those who love Him...not some things, not most things, but ALL THINGS. That means that God will work good out of our countless fertility treatments, the loss of our first 2 babies, the tears shed and the stress endured. I don't know HOW or WHEN, but I have to trust that the Lord WILL, in HIS timing. And I have to trust Him for that now, not after we have our miracle home with us. I posted a passage on Facebook earlier this week from a devotional that I read that gives good advice for trusting God during the waiting periods.

"A lot of times people think, 'I'll have a good attitude as soon as I get over this health issue' or 'I'll give God praise when I get through these tough times.' But that's not how faith works. As long as we're negative, discouraged, and focused on our problems, it limits what God can do. You've got to give God praise first, and then the breakthrough will come. You've got to change your focus first, and then things will change in your favor. Praise always precedes the victory."

I think this is such a powerful message, but again, tough to put into practice. I am trying to meditate on this and stay in the Word so that I am reminded of these messages. It is so easy to be overcome by the insignificant life stressors that are thrown our way, but it is so hard to remember to trust ONLY in the Lord during this waiting period. No one knows what our story will look like, or when it will come to pass, but until then, I am waiting and trusting that the Lord has plans for our life, plans to prosper us and not to harm us, plans to give us a hope and a future.

"Waiting! Yes, patiently waiting!
Till the next steps made plain will be;
To hear, with the inner hearing,
The Voice that will call for me.
Waiting! Yes, hopefully waiting!
With hope that need not grow dim;
The Master has pledged to guide me,
And my eyes are unto Him.
Waiting! Yes, still waiting!
I know, though I've waited long,
That, while He withholds His purpose,
His waiting cannot be wrong."
-Streams in the Desert