Monday, January 26, 2015

Upon the Waters

Months and months ago, our worship pastor and I sang Oceans one Sunday at church. Our congregation has done it many times since. One thing you should know about me is that, for better or worse, I try not to sing worship lyrics if I don't mean them. I'm not a jerk about it. I won't storm out of a service or anything crazy like that. I'll simply use that time--or those few lines--to pray. If I can't own what I'm saying, why say it at all?

I had to wrestle with Oceans. "In oceans deep, my faith will stand." I love the sea. I love to wiggle my toes in the shallow waters and swim in the waves. But oceans deep? Not so much. There are sharks and trenches and triangles in that unexplored expanse. You cannot safely see the shore. Even the strongest of swimmers cannot be dropped into the middle of the Pacific ocean and expect to survive. The currents, too strong. The water, undrinkable. The dangers, real and untamed.

I wrestled with the song and came out knowing that I believed it all to be true. Difficult, but true. Your grace abounds in deepest waters. Your sovereign hand will be my guide. Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me, You've never failed and You won't start now.

On November 9, less than a week after Kate's mom chose us to raise her, we were visiting a church in Oregon. At the close of the service, they sang Oceans. After the great stress of our son's adoption in 2009-2010, I couldn't believe we were stepping out in faith, risking everything, committing what could be viewed by the world as financial suicide, trusting God so deeply and so honestly with our hearts. I leaned forward and buried my head in my hands. Over and over again we sang the bridge.

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders. Let me walk upon the waters, wherever You would call me. Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander and my faith will be made stronger in the presence of my Savior.

I meditated on the words. I'm asking God to lead me where my trust is without borders. I'm shedding fear and accepting His will, wherever He calls us. Through this, my faith will be made stronger.

I thought I needed to step out onto the water and trust Him so that we could experience the joy of adoption without fear. I cried as I sang out, louder and louder, feeling the freedom experienced only when we shed our insecurities and depend on our Savior.

My friend responded to a message this morning. A small portion of what she said was, "...your circumstances and your choices to proclaim the grace of God through them has greatly impacted everyone at Sonrise. It was so incredible to see the congregation weeping and loudly praising their God yesterday when 'your' song was sung (Oceans)."

My heart hurts for their weeping, but it rejoices in their praising. I didn't know, on November 9, that this journey was ahead. I sang the words out, through tears, unaware of the road we would travel. I told myself not to get too attached to Kate--birth mothers have every right to change their minds. But over time, that little girl wrapped her tiny arms around my whole heart. Instead of holding back, unattached, we became entwined so that it seems impossible to unravel us. I simply do not know where she ends and I begin.

But through it all, I somehow feel that my trust--for now--has fewer borders. I've been dropped into the middle of the ocean with only my God to sustain me. May He call me to walk beside Him on these waters. On my own, I never would have ever wandered into this abyss. But I know that my faith will be made stronger in the presence of my Savior.

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