If you are frustrated with the current speed of progress, this is for you.
If you are being delayed and don’t understand why, this is for you.
If you are disappointed with God’s answer to your prayers, this is for you.
Today, I will share a story with you. It’s a personal story of a little girl with a hard childhood. A little girl abandoned on the streets of Mexico and taken to an orphanage at 5 years old. She had sad eyes and an angry heart, and rightfully so.
We met Alexa just a few days after she arrived at the Mexican orphanage where we volunteered. She and her little sister Paola began filling my dreams, and in my dreams they were my daughters. After a little wheeling and dealing with my husband, who was terrified of being a Daddy to little girls, we started the process of adopting the girls.
Now in my head if you’re doing the right thing, the way should be easy. Right? If you’re in the will of God, he goes before you, pre-opens all the doors, smooths the path, aligns the details and you’re good to go. Right? Easy peasy, step right up and claim your prize. Isn’t that the way it is in your head as well? If you’re doing it right, it will work. If it doesn’t work, then you’re clearly doing something wrong.
I was wrong.
And if you believe following God’s will for your life will always be a bed of roses with sunshine and butterflies, my friend you are going to be sorely disappointed. But here’s what I know, nothing is wasted. Not a single hardship or struggle goes unused. All things do work together for those who love God and are seeking his will.
So, we begin the process of adopting the girls. 9 months later we receive the green light to finally cross the border and bring them home. It was an exciting day! The house was a perfect palace awaiting it’s princesses. The barbies were all in a row. New clothes with tags filled the closets. Freshly painted purple walls and a tea party for 3 was waiting. This mama was finally getting her little girls.
We load the girls up in the car, we drive to the border, and they say no. No, you may not bring these 2 innocent little girls with no family into the US. No you may not give them a home. No you may not call them your own. Turn the car around and return them to the orphanage. Alexa began hyperventilating. Paola sat with her head hung, tears flowing down her chubby little cheeks. Our attorney had not done her job. I returned to our home and slept in their brand new bed by myself.
No was not in my plans, but it was in God’s.
Have you ever had good plans fall apart? Have you ever been royally disappointed with God’s failure to show up? Have you ever been angry with God? That’s where I was.
But here’s what I didn’t know.
Alexa was turning 6 years old one week later. Every night when she would go to bed she would pray and ask God to bring her a family for her birthday. Faithfully she would ask again and again. Please give me a family for my birthday. But this day, the day we were turned away and had to return the girls, was one week before her birthday.
On the morning of her birthday we received the call that the papers were complete, we could go pick up our girls and bring them home. Alexa received her birthday wish. She got her family. And she got her family ON HER BIRTHDAY.
This was just a great big, loving God being faithful. And I was a bratty mom throwing a fit the week before because I didn’t understand what he was doing. We had witnessed a DIVINE DELAY. Maybe you’re currently experiencing a divine delay as well, but in the middle of it all, it just looks like a senseless and frustrating NO again.
God’s ways are not our ways. We may not understand what he is doing. We may not understand why our good plans with good intentions get shut down. But here’s what we can bank on, God is FOR US, NOT AGAINST US.
You and I simply can’t see the full picture. We don’t know what God is working on for our benefit. As our loving father, he is willing to turn away the good and create a little delay for something better. He wants his best for us. His best for Alexa was a family ON her birthday, not 7 days before her birthday. He wanted to work through the impossible and show up at just the right time with the story we would never forget. She was a little girl who later in her life would need to remember a God who undeniably answered her very specific prayer.
So today, 14 years later, Alexa turns 20. Her sad eyes and angry heart have been replaced with a sparkle and strength I’ve never witnessed before. She’s an airborne soldier in the US Army stationed in Italy. I Facetimed her this morning while celebrating her birthday in Rome. As good as that is, we’ve never been able to top her 6th birthday. She will forever say her family was the best gift she ever received.
But her mama still remembers the 7 days before when the world came crashing down. When we were heartbroken. When we were hopeless and came home without our girls. When I cried out to God in anger and said “WHY! This makes no sense.”
Maybe that’s where you are right now. You’re asking why. You’re frustrated and disheartened by the continued delay of your hopes and dreams. Remember this, Isaiah 55: 8-9 says “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
God knows exactly what he is doing. His delays are for a purpose. His plans are unfailing. His ways are better. So today, trust him in the delay. Trust him in the no. Trust he has a yes lined up for you that will be better than anything you ever imagined.
This is all part of your story. The details of how a heavenly father loved his girl wildly and was working in every detail to prove it to her. And sometimes we’re demanding it 7 days early when God is saying, WAIT FOR IT … what I have for you is worth waiting for.
Maybe your delay will be 7 days, or it may be 7 months, or 7 years. But here’s what I know … it will be worth it. You’ll have proof of God’s divine work on your behalf and one heck of a story to tell!
Take heart, just because things don’t seem to be working for you right now, doesn’t mean it never will. This closed door doesn’t mean you’re on the wrong path. Perhaps God is working behind the scenes to show up with his miracle at just the right time. Don’t give up. This is just a delay. And it’s a divine delay.