Twenty-seven years ago today, the waiting ended because of a 16 year old girl’s obedience in being still and listening . . . to God. The culmination of ten years of infertility treatment that Larry and I limped through came to a screeching halt when on December 7th I answered our kitchen telephone–that hung on a wall, no less–and learned about a pregnant teenage girl whose estimated due date was December 25th. The waiting for a baby ended when the woman on the phone said to me, “My husband and I prayed about adopting this baby and God showed me your face, Martha.” You see, Gloria and her husband also struggled with infertility and, yet, she also chose obedience over her will and her heart’s desire of this soon-to-be Adam Christopher Hupp. A pregnant teenage girl whose only desire was to see the man and woman who would raise her son–something that the North Carolina Children’s Home Society was not doing over two decades ago–and a woman with an empty heart and an empty womb–these two women in separate cities separated by a myriad of different desires–they waited, listened and obeyed.
And, Larry and me–well, we’re simply the instruments in a plan that is far bigger than our finite minds can get wrapped around. And let this sink in way down deep–we’re all instruments in His wilder-than-our-minds-can-imagine plan and, yes, we’re all waiting for something . . . or someone . . . or some answer . . . or just some hope. A. Big. Heaping. Dose. Of. Hope.
Twenty-seven years have ticked off the calendar quicker than I would have chosen and I’ve spent quite a bit of that time asking for forgiveness for doubting His plan is, indeed, The Best Plan. That very plan that catapulted Adam into our home led to Sarah which led Sarah to Thomas which means that Larry and I have immeasurable joy when we think of who will sit around our Christmas tree again this year. Yes, we have another empty chair and, yet, we reflect on how much Dad enjoyed the first ten months of 2016, as well as the previous 91 years! Now, he celebrates the Christ-child by spending Eternity with Him and so many loved ones and friends, especially his beautiful “Baby” as he affectionately called Mom in later years.
So, today–December 7th–Larry and I celebrate two women who waited and who both blessed this waiting husband and wife through their own forms of waiting–in His answer to our prayers for a family.
We travel through the season of Advent waiting. We anticipate the birth of the Christ-child. We anticipate the excitement and mystery of unopened presents. We anticipate the arrival of family and friends. And, this anticipation–this waiting–what are we to do in the midst of it? In her book, “The Greatest Gift”, Ann Voskamp gives a beautiful picture of Advent:
“And that is the blessing God graced Abram with, the blessing He graces you with this Advent, the gift that makes you a gift. The greatest gift God graces a soul with is His own presence. So the whirl can hush and the spin can slow because He will bless, and He will bless with Himself come down. The present is His presence–looking into someone’s eyes as you listen, refusing the wrong of rushing, lingering long enough to really listen–to everything. There is no need for more: the heart is full of gifts that is full of Christ. It’s strange how that happens–that any place becomes the Promised Land when the blessing of His presence becomes the gift we receive–and give. Advent happening everywhere.”