In a few short weeks we will reach the mark of a year since we received the referral of our son, Isaiah. A year since my cell phone rang on a Tuesday afternoon after 2pm with our case manager pronouncing me a mother. A year since I yelled and screamed and cried so loud that she had to stop talking, more than once, just to let me calm down. A year since I looked at that picture and into eyes of my last child.
Every day I pray for that kid, I have been since this whole thing started in 2011. There’s not a holiday, or a celebration, or a Wednesday morning I don’t think about him, that I don’t pray over him.
But I have to tell you something, lately I’m all out of words. How many times can you ask God to protect your child? How many times can you ask God to intervene upon the hearts and hands of the powers that be and resolve the obstacles? How many times can you look at a system that is just flat broken with jagged pieces sticking out at all angles and ask God to help you work within it?
For me, I just can’t ask anymore. I have begged, and cried, and prayed until there is no more breath in my lungs or tears in my eyes. I have prayed until the words taste like ash in my mouth.
So tonight when I laid down to sleep I went through my daily ritually of praying over each of my children, but I stopped when I got to our little man because no words would come.
I lay there in the dark struggling against myself because surely if I want my prayers answered I need to pray them. I need to push those ash covered words out of mouth and lay them at the feet of the Savior if I want results. I mean, isn’t that how this religion thing works?
But for whatever reason I can’t make those sentences again.
Instead, I just lay there with my wounded heart and ash filled spirit telling the Father,
“That’s it. I’ve got nothing left in here. No words, no praise, no confession that’s gonna set this ship upright again. I’m hollow. You already know what I would say if I had the strength left to say it so could we just cut through the formalities? Can I just rest in your presence and trust that you hear me without all the words?”
I bury my head into that orthopedic pillow and curl up into the smallest fetal position I can make with my 5’9 frame and breathe into him. I see my son in mind and imagine all the things he will be doing that day in his orphanage across the ocean. I see my fears play out if this boy, our son, has problems with learning, or eating, or being in a family. I see all of the joy I am hoping for and all of the fear about this adoption walk through the pathways of my mind.
I lean in then, I lean into the Father and breathe out.
And I wonder if this is what Paul meant by “pray without ceasing.”? (1 Thessalonians 15:17Is it the ability to rest in Father’s lap and know that he hears your heart in dead silence? Could it be the ability to daily walk with him in such a way that words are appreciated but not necessary? I think it may be. I think that perhaps when we are walking closely with the Father you don’t need ALL of the words. You just commune with him. You just lean into relationship with him and trust that the God who created your heart can read it too when you have nothing but ashes to offer.