Paper Weight

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.”
Hebrews 12:1

sear-greyson-671095-unsplash.jpg

I have papers—the record of our plan to internationally adopt—filed, stuffed, and strategically tucked away…much like the grief attached to them.

I have official binders of completed Home Studies—one for Ghana, one for Domestic. Another folder is filled with the remnants of our Ethiopia dossier.

Love letters addressed, “To Our baby from Africa, From Big Sister Ciana,” randomly skydive out of shelves when I tug at a book. It’s routine for me to tenderly tuck them back in the crevice from which they escaped. It’s routine for me to cry as I do it.

God pressed my heart yesterday,

Why are you keeping all these papers?
Papers have no power.

I struggle releasing hope that the International Adoption Program in Ghana will re-open. What if it does? Even if I made gazillion copies of these documents…they’re all expired.

Yet, there’s no expiration date on hope.

Don’t hoard what could’ve been. It takes up valuable spiritual space.

Stop asking, “Lord, what-if…”

When God called the Israelites to enter the Promise land, he told them…

“You have stayed long enough at this mountain.” (Deuteronomy 1:6)

It was time to move forward to the new place God had prepared; A land of hope. If you’re familiar with the story, they had major trouble trusting in God’s promise. They’d rather be literal Slaves in Egypt than to trust God’s call to move forward.

We all do this. We make ourselves slaves to the past. We’re terrified God doesn’t have a better way. So we remain on timed-out mountain-tops and needlessly wander the wilderness.

His word reminds us,

“As for God, his way is perfect” (Psalm 18:30)

Start asking, “Lord, what now?”

If we don’t, we may miss the new thing God has for us.

“ See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”
Isaiah 43:19

Snapshots of the past 5 years have, indeed, looked like a spiritual trudge through waste land. I want to perceive new things God is springing up in my life. Physical things can clutter the halls of our spiritual house. I’m making room. But it’s not easy.

I couldn’t bring myself to throw all the papers away. I’m constantly handing my heart over for God to complete his work in me. However, I did consolidate them and move them into a garage space. Now they can’t ambush my peace. I’ll revisit them only if God calls me to.

God has faithfully held me as I’ve mourned on this mountain for a season. But I’ve been here long enough. It’s time to follow him to new territory.

Honestly, there’s still sorrow in the descent.

Honestly, I have no clear vision of where he’s leading.

I do know it’s a land of hope.

I do know—in order for him to make a “new way”—he’s asked me to move all the papers off the path.

by Jenna Masters