“No man had ever longed for a son more than Abraham.  he had given up everything else to wait for this.  When his son came, he felt, then his community would finally see he hadn’t been a fool to give up everything to trust God’s word.  Then he would finally have an heir, a son in his own likeness… he had waited and sacrificed and finally his wife had a baby and it was a boy!
But the question now was – had he been waiting and sacrificing for God, or for the boy?  Was God just a means to an end?  To whom was Abraham ultimately giving his heart?  Did Abraham have the peace, humility, boldness, and unmovable poise that comes to those who trust in God rather than in circumstances, public opinion, or their own competence?  Had he learned to trust God alone, to love God for himself, not just for what he could get out of God?  No, not yet.” [Counterfeit God's - Timothy Keller]
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The story of Abraham and Issac has been on re-play in the background track of our lives for the past few months.  It seems to just pop up everywhere – and with so many new ways to look at this story of near child sacrifice.  Such a dramatic and beautiful story!  Two things that have been standing out to me that I just seemed to overlook before.  The first is how long Abraham and Sarah waited for the promised child – 25 years.  This was a promise from God – and He pushed them to the very edge of belief – to the very edge of possibility (they were 100 years OLD)!  I can’t imagine the build up to a promise like this.  I used to just think that Sarah and Abraham were just laughing at God for saying they would have a child at such an old age.  I never stopped to think about the painful years they spent waiting and WAITING for this child to come until all reason would point them in the direction of disbelief that this promise would be fulfilled.  And yet God came through – when it was time.

The second is the story of Abraham AND Issac.  What was Abraham like after this child came?  Was he ready to give up what he had spent so long thinking was God’s purpose for his life?  Was Abraham ultimately more concerned with what this child would bring him, or was he more concerned with God’s purpose no matter what it seemed to entail for Abraham?  God promised Abraham a child – and through this child many nations – was it too much to ask that Abraham trust this very God to do what was best in His timing and His way?  Abraham needed one final test of his allegiance.  Did he trust in what was right before his eyes, or did he trust in God alone.

It’s a painful set-up the way I see it.  The questions running through my head when I put myself in Abraham’s shoes sound something like this: ‘God, why would you go through all the trouble of promising me a child if were going to ask me to give him away the second I was blessed with him?  Can’t you see my confusion here – this is too much for me!  How do I trust in your promise to give me a son – and your command to give him up at the same time?”

Abraham’s final answer: ‘God will provide’

I don’t know that there is anyone that has walked on this earth that understands that more than Abraham.  He put everything he ever wanted on the line for God’s purpose – and he was given everything in return.  Abraham truly knows the peace that comes from trust in God alone.

….. “To whom was Abraham ultimately giving his heart?  Did Abraham have the peace, humility, boldness, and unmovable poise that comes to those who trust in God rather than in circumstances, public opinion, or their own competence?  Had he learned to trust God alone, to love God for himself, not just for what he could get out of God?” ……

I find these questions very convicting in my own life as Ed and I continue to wait on God’s timing in our adoption.  Things have slowed down quite a bit in Ethiopia.  Just to give you a bit of perspective, here’s the quick breakdown (“wait time” = from the submission of our paperwork to the time of referral):

August  of 2010 – wait time: 4-9 months

We’ve been waiting for 10 months….

October 2011 – wait time: 11-18 months

when we first started our adoption the total process was taking the average family 9-12 months.  Most families were adopting within a year.  I know some of you have probably heard about things slowing down for Ethiopian adoptions – the short of it is that they are understaffed and are fine tuning their process at the same time.  Paperwork for both children and families is taking A LOT longer to process.  Even though the wait time is technically in the range of 11-18 months (and we’re at month 10) we have had to mentally set our minds towards next summer for our phone call.  When we first heard this news we thought we were within a month or two of the getting a call – needless to say – we were a bit crushed.  But God has been good.

I’ve been learning that we didn’t start this process in order to make us a family of 3 as quickly as possible.  We didn’t start this process because we would only be complete when we became a family.  We started this process because God lead us through a number of hard decisions into an international adoption.  In fact, I have never been a part of a decision that was more God-lead than this one.  I know that even if we never receive a child that God has Eddie and I in His hands and that He knows what we need far beyond what we do.  I know that God is good and that I can trust in him.  I know that God will, has and continues to – provide.  How do I really know this?  Because he’s asked me time and time again to give things up to Him – and everytime I surrender I see God’s love and experience His perfect peace.  I am so grateful for this refining process – for this perspective – because I know that this time of waiting, trusting, surrendering – actually never ends.

This life isn’t about getting everything we’ve ever wanted – it’s about trusting our God to provide everything we will ever need, and more.  It’s about finding our peace in God alone.

“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” – Psalm 73:26


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On another note, Eddie and I took a road trip this September up to Portland.  We went camping and ate some good food and swam in a couple of lakes : )  I didn’t take very many photos, but here are a few!  And, if Ed hasn’t talked to you personally about the trip already – you may want to take a look at the videos at the bottom!!!



bandofbrothers - October 13, 2011 - 4:41 pm

you amaze me. you inspire me. you convict me. you are made of much sterner stuff than I ever thought, ellie girl. what you are experiencing and how you are dealing with it, blows me away. you are grace under pressure. and allowing God to have the glory. wow.

Tasha - October 13, 2011 - 6:15 pm

Thanks for sharing. Your initials are still up on our mirror as we pray for you guys.

Lorie - October 15, 2011 - 9:02 pm

SHUT UP!!! you’re such a stud.

Lorie - October 15, 2011 - 9:04 pm

That was in regards to the bungee jump. But it applies to your heart as well. I’m so incredibly, overwhelming inspired and challenged by you. God is using you in such big ways through this adoption. I love you so much.

Sarah - October 17, 2011 - 9:20 pm

You and your baby are still in our prayers.

Becca - October 19, 2011 - 9:00 pm

Okay, so, I saw that you wrote this post almost two weeks ago but I knew I had to have the time to sit alone and read it…I didn’t want to be interrupted. Finally read it…

Oh Ellie, reading something like this reminds me of just how grateful I am for your friendship! You mean so much to me. You inspire and challenge me to trust and know God deeper, love and forgive others freely, and to persevere through life’s trials. Thank you for your friendship!

I trust and know that God is holding you, Eddie, and your future kiddo(s) in His strong hands, and that He WILL provide in His perfect time!

Can’t wait to see you soon!!!!!!!!

p.s. I am seriously impressed with your jumping skills…I think I would have thrown up if it were me!

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