The in between times ...

by Kristi Van Dyk


As soon as I told my mom about our adoption journey - the challenge we were accepting from God - the leap of faith we were taking - as soon as those words came out of my mouth, she told to keep a journal. To write down each and every small blessing, small word of encouragement, small setback, or large pitfall. Mom encouraged me to date it all and to simply watch and wait and see ... 

I have taken that challenge seriously and kept a journal of this process. But, I admit, my journal has been pretty "dull" these last few weeks. 

  • I filled out more paperwork
  • I chased down more documents
  • I responded to this inconsistency ...
  • I waited some more ... 

Please don't hear this as a complaint. It's truly not. We are chasing down our Joshua with all of the energy we have (and neglecting some other important things in the process ... my floors, the girls bathroom, Kayleigh's bedroom ...) But nevertheless those journal entries don't flood a person with emotion, don't force the tears to well up in your eyes (well, unless you're sleep deprived and can't read properly, which may also be a factor). Day after day of apparent lack of progress can take its toll on the frail human spirit. 

I often find myself questioning God, doubting if we really made the right decisions (I KNOW, I'm incredible ... doubting EVEN AFTER the work and people He has brought into our journey thus  far. ...) In these moments I allow my feelings about the situation, my human interpretation of things, to mask the truth. 

The truth is that we are NOT abandoned. That in between mountains and valleys are long long stretches of dry flat plain. We still must walk the plains to come to the foot of a mountain or even to reach the cavern of a valley. A journey is made up of many different kinds of terrain, and we aren't called to talk about the journey only in seasons of intensity. We are called to chronicle the journey amidst the flat, uneventful periods too. 

As we travel this season where progress isn't as visible, I've been searching for an anchor point - a promise to cling to that motivates me to keep pushing forward. God gave us Oceans as a launching point and theme song to beginning (and to weathering the waves of adventure that characterized our launch into the process), but I think God gave our preschooler the anchor point for this phase of the journey. It's probably not a coincidence that it was a core song this week at church during the worship set. (UGH will I EVER come out of church again without mascara running down my face?? Waterproof or not, its not holding up!!!)

On Thursday of last week I had a particularly trying day at work, we had a small set back in dossier paperwork for Joshua, our eldest daughter was working on some emotional challenges, and Benjamin was distraught about the conclusion of Kindergarten. Our plate was full of moments to turn over to God and my heart must have been visible on my face. As I tucked in Madeleine she said, "Oh Mommy, I just know you need an extra hug today. I can see it." She encircled my neck with chubby little (although thinning in that way they do as baby fat melts away) arms, and I awaited the customary three prong kiss (one on each cheek and the top of the nose). Instead she nestled into the crook of my neck and softly sang (mid song at that), "Morning by morning new mercies. All I have needed thy hand hath provided. Great is thy faithfulness Lord unto me." 

I'm not claiming that my not quite 4 year old knew I needed that word from the Lord, but I am saying that God used my 4 year old's passion for singing hymns to remind me of deep truths. God's faithfulness doesn't promise to be there when we recognize it, when we "feel" it, when we are in an exciting adventure. God's faithfulness promises us new mercies every morningevery. single. morning. That's today. That's this morning. That's tomorrow morning. That's the morning when I realized I have to repeat a physical I had just 2 months ago due to timing. That's the morning I realized we never ordered ANY birth certificates for Benjamin (!!!) so we need to delay obtaining a passport until we have that ... It's this morning ... when I probably won't "go green" at work, when I definitely won't get to read my adoption book or watch our training film, when I will probably miss half a work out simply due to lack of energy, when I'll be late to something important for about the 1 billionth time this spring ... I still receive the new mercies from God, a fresh start ... as well as all I have needed. And that ...  THAT is enough to keep me plodding on, attempting in my human frailty to mimic HIS faithfulness. every. single. morning

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