I visited with a dear friend last week, when I invited myself to her house for dinner-- and I adore that we have "that" kind of friendship. We talked about Lent, and I questioned her, “Did you give up anything this year?” “Sweets,” was her short reply. Uggh, I thought. Out loud I guiltily lamented, “I didn’t.” I’m not sure why I even started the conversation because I am not big on ritual for the sake of ritual. I’m big on ritual if it gets you somewhere closer to Christ, which it does for many. Anyway, here’s what my wise and precious friend Ginger said. “You are so fasting. You’re fasting from your baby.”
And here we are, at this sweet spot in international adoption…the place between knowing and being known. I want to live in this moment, to savor it, take it all in; and I want to get our little boy home as quickly as I can.
I wake every night, usually around 4:30am. My mind races to Levi, what he might be doing at this time. I picture his face and try really hard to trust that he is being cared for and loved and fed the way that I think he should be (did I tell you he has rickets?). Do I really believe that our God is big enough to care for a son on the other side of the world?
I long to race to an airplane and be by his side, and I can’t stand the thought of leaving my daughters and beloved husband to bring him home. I feel torn.
Wes King wrote a beautiful song that spoke to me in the early years of infertility, oh so long ago. I was a young bride and dreamed of being a young mother. Ha! I laugh at my youthful dreams: young meant 23; now it means 41. But, I digress. The song beautifully says, “We thought you’d be here by now, your mother and I…I never knew that I could miss someone I never met, miss someone I haven’t met yet.’’
How can we miss someone we haven’t met yet? I don’t really know how, but I know that we do. Our family of four-about-to-be-five misses him. We long to wrap our arms around him. We can’t wait to make him laugh and read to him and hear his first words to us.
And I know that this is truly Lent. It’s the absence and the promise, the knowledge that somewhere deep inside God misses us. That in the living and dying and living again of Christ, God is with us. It’s about relationship and being connected to our Creator and knowing that this God who is so much beyond our comprehension draws near to us in Jesus. So however Lent makes itself known to us this season, may we know that in this time when Jesus set his face to the cross and drew near to suffering that God was and is reaching out to us. He longs for you. He can’t wait to be with you. He misses you.