Saturday I typed a post about Shantou City, the city in which Lily sleeps right now. We had gotten some new information on her orphanage and I fully intended to share it (& I probably will later this week), but I felt the Lord tugging my heart in a different direction first. It was too late to type, so I decided to just wait.
Sunday at church God confirmed that this is what I was to write.
If you've read my inaugural post on this blog, you know that when the Lord called us to Lily, He called us to wait for Lily. He was doing so much during that time, but one of the things that the Lord was doing was that He was allowing me to long for someone...for a long time...like I had never longed before. There is a question that has so often been the one of my heart, that is truly more of a statement, that I have wondered and marveled at all these days, weeks, months and years. How can I miss someone I've never met? Oh, but I do...with a missing that is a deep, deep ache.
I couldn't possibly number the times I've tumbled over in my mind meeting her for the first time. What will it be like to see her, smell her, touch her, hold her, rub my hand over her hair and back, cuddle her, to finally know what her voice and cry sound like? Will I sob uncontrollably? Will I be so excited I laugh? Will I simply be so in awe that the time is here that I have no words? Will I jump right into mom role with her or stare at her with tears streaming? What will my heart do? Will it burst or leap? Will it sing praise or shout praise to God? I've imagined the room and the people, the clothes she will be wearing, what I'll be wearing, what I'll give her, seeing my strong Kevin holding her for the very first time. I imagine the chatter of the other waiting families and officials drowning out and a kind of hush coming over my heart as my little girl enters the room and I see the pictures that I've been staring at for months come to life.
So many scenarios have played through my mind, but I know God has written the real one long ago and it will soon be revealed. And so I wait and I wonder and I anticipate and I long for the day of our meeting...and every day after that.
And each time I do, I am challenged. I am challenged because the closest thing to which I can equate this longing and ache I feel for Lily, is my ache for the coming of my Lord and King. How many times my Father has challenged me: Mandy, do you long for My coming as deeply, intensely, persistently as you long for Lily's?
Each time I check the email for word of her, He nudges me to look to the sky...is He coming in clouds yet?
When I prepare something for her soon homecoming, He calls me to ask Him to search my heart & see if there is any unclean way in me...to be one whose oil has not run out when her Bridegroom comes.
Each time I imagine seeing and holding Lily...my mind's eye turns to the day when I will see my Savior face to face. He challenges me to dream of the day when my forever with Him will begin. To dream of what it will be like to be held by His nail-pierced hands and to gaze at the place where He has engraved me. My mind is turned to the moment when He will announce my new name...and to wonder at the sound of His voice. Will it be so totally familiar, yet at the same time brand new and finally complete? Will a deep, quiet hush of peace settle in as I look at Him with my own eyes and finally hear the audible voice of my Prince or will I weep uncontrollably like Mary at His feet longing only to be near Him and to serve Him?
Each time I picture the setting in which my baby girl will be handed to me, my finite mind tries to imagine what it will look like in the very presence of God. I ache for the day when I will finally know as I am known, the day when my faith becomes sight, and the descriptions become experience.
As I consider that Lily has no idea what is in store for her when she becomes part of our family, I am blown away at the knowledge that the best that I could possibly envision of Heaven and eternity with my Beloved can't even come close to the reality. No eye has see, no ear has hear, no mind can conceive of what God has prepared for those who love Him!
And I am ashamed and humbled that I don't long for Him Who is My Everything more that I do. Praise Him for His tender grace that teaches me to long for Him...more that watchmen long for the morning (Psalm 130)!
A verse in 1 Peter has come to mind over and over when I am drawn to these dreams. Chapter 1 verse 8 says: "Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though You do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy..."
Lord God, continue to stir up in me a deep and abiding longing for Your appearing. Thank you for the wait for it teaches me to long for You.
2 Timothy 4:7-9 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award me on that day--and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for His appearing.