We received our referral on July 23rd realizing that it would be a while before we received our court date assignment due to the fact that courts in Ethiopia would be closed for most of August and September. I was prepared for that wait. I survived all those weeks without a bit of fretting or even impatience. But the day courts opened in late September, I was ready to receive a court date.
Days went by.
Others received court dates.
We did not.
Then more received court dates.
But we did not.
Some of the ones who received court dates before us actually received referrals after we did – that was hard.
I was torn. In my mind I knew that God knew what was best and that everything would happen in His time, and that we were not waiting on the Ethiopian government for our court date - we were waiting on God. But I also wanted that date sooner rather than later.
Friends kept asking, “Got a court date yet?”, “Heard anything yet?”, etc.
My response would be, “No, haven’t heard anything. Thanks for asking.” Sometimes I would even add, “But it’s all in God’s time.”
The problem with that was that even though I claimed that I was trusting God for the timing, I actually was disappointed in His timing. I was frustrated that God hadn’t done what I wanted Him to when I wanted Him to. I was saying I was okay with it – and I really wanted to be okay with it. But deep down, I was NOT okay with it and the disappointed tone in my answers revealed that – not only to me but also to others.
Over the last few days, however, God has really been showing me what I was doing. He shined a light deep down in my heart and revealed what I was hiding in there – and it wasn’t pretty.
God showed me that when I said I trusted His timing but was still disappointed in it, not only was I doubting His plan but I hadn’t really surrendered my will to His. If I were really trusting His perfect timing, then I would have an excitement that His will was being done. I would actually be joyful that no matter “what” happened or “when” or even “if” it happened that it would all be the way He planned it to be and that it would be perfect. God’s perfect timing is something to be EXCITED about! It’s something to count as a blessing rather than something I must tolerate until I get what I want.
Yesterday God really began to convict me that whenever anyone asks me about a court date that I should not speak with a disappointed tone but that I should speak with joyful anticipation about what God is at work doing on our behalf. I had a chance to start last night when a few people asked at a home school “thing”. (If you home school, you probably know what I mean!) I LOVED sharing with them that I knew God was at work and that we were excitedly waiting on His timing. And the best part was I actually meant it! I had completely given the timing to God. I had completely surrendered what I wanted. Finally.
All morning I couldn’t wait for more people to ask if we had a court date yet just so I could answer them. I kept thinking about getting to church Sunday morning and sharing my “new” answer and what God had been teaching me with everyone who asked. Then, this afternoon, I was driving alone and thinking and praying that I would be able to share accurately in a blog post all He has been teaching me. I was overwhelmed with emotion and near tears in thanks for the blessing of God’s teaching in my life and wondering when the next opportunity for me to share it would come.
And then guess what happened literally less than two minutes later…
Michael called to say we have a court date!
November 8th. YAY!
(Now I’ll have something different to share with everyone who asks. I had my other answer already planned out, but I’m happy to share this one, too!)