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Paperwork Quagmire

September 29, 2011

After the completion of our home study and training, we (naively) assumed collecting the necessary paperwork that was needed to finish writing up and compiling the home study would be a piece of cake. In spite of my lack of organizational skills, we were able to collect most of the documents we needed without too much trouble. This included various financial statements, references, home floorplan and even pet vaccination certificates. The documents that proved to be the most difficult to collect, not surprisingly, were the ones we had no control over.

You see, every person in our house had to have a health profile filled out and signed by a physician, indicating whether that person was in good health. Fortunately, all four of us had been to the doctor for physicals and check-ups in the previous 6 months, so we just mailed the forms in to our individuals doctors and requested they be sent back to us as soon as possible. Then we waited…. and waited…. and waited. It took weeks, and several follow-up phone calls, to the different doctors offices before the forms were returned to us. And of course we could not complete our home study until these forms were completed and returned to our agency. Which means we could not move on to the next step.

This tiny wait was our first taste of how out-of-our-hands this entire process really is. Until this point, we had been able to move full steam ahead: filling out applications, getting our home ready to be “studied,” completing training, etc. It was all stuff we could do, get our hands on, make it happen. In hindsight, these few weeks of waiting for these health profiles from our various doctors were nothing compared to the waiting in store for us, and yet during this first (short) wait, I did not wait well. It was all I could do to not call the doctors’ offices every day, requesting (nagging) the paperwork we needed. I checked the mail as soon as it came and was disappointed every day there was nothing there. I was annoyed and frustrated that I couldn’t do anything to “hurry it up.”

It was during this first wait that the Holy Spirit gently started prodding my heart, revealing to me that something needed to change. Because of God’s grace, I realized that the type of frustrated, annoyed waiting I was doing at that point was not going to work for the rest of the process. God revealed that if I was going to honor Him at each step of this process (and if each step involves waiting), I would need to simmer down and chill out. Or, to speak in biblical terms, I would need to “Be still, and know that I am God.” I profess with my mouth that I believe that God is sovereignly in control of all things. And yet when I was waiting for a few sheets of paper to come in the mail, I was anxious and annoyed at how long it was taking. My actions did not match up with what I said I believed. God had some work to do my heart, and I am thankful this was mercifully revealed to me at the beginning of this journey, as we have had much longer waiting stretches since then. I still do not wait perfectly. Not. Even. Close. But most days that I find myself feeling anxious to get something done, to hurry this process along, the Spirit gently brings to mind my sovereign Lord who is orchestrating every detail of this process in His perfect timing, and I am able to rest in that truth. Thanks be to God.

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