Posts Tagged ‘waiting’

Tom Petty sang, “the waiting is the hardest part.” He was talking about long distance love, but I’ve found it to be true of all kinds of things in my life: waiting to be married, looking for a new pastoral call, adopting internationally. It is also true when renovating and expanding church facilities.

We now have a quote for a modular from the new company. We are not ready for our congregational meeting though. We still need the estimate on the renovation as well as the trenching to bring utilities to the modular. Very frustrating, but the architect has spend plenty of time making sure he didn’t set us up for failure. More on this later.

If/when we approve this we will wait 10-12 weeks for the modular to be constructed. We are now into April and August is looking too close for comfort as a deadline.

Expect the Unexpected. In preparing for renovation you will discover problems that you didn’t realize existed. We have found some problems with our sewer pipe. We will need a bigger pipe to service the bigger bathrooms in our current facility and the new bathrooms in the additional modular. We discovered that our A/C units really aren’t big enough for the facility as it is. Forget the addition of the narthex. We may not be able to upgrade them in light of the cost involved due to our size. But this is something we’ll probably have to do in the future.

Expect Things to Break. A few weeks ago we smelled an odd smell in the hallway. Our water fountain, or bubbler if you grew up in New England, was shorting out. We were considering a move around the corner. Now we will need to repair or replace it first. You can still get water, it just won’t be cold.

Expect Unexpected Distractions. A number of key people in our process have had emergencies that occupied their time, energy and money. The chairman of our diaconate experienced a pipe break in his home. They had the tubing that was used about 20 years ago. The upstairs bathroom had the break in the middle of the night, so that bathroom experienced damage, as did the walls downstairs. The insurance company, seeing more of these tube problems in the future, paid to have the whole home re-plumbed. The whole process took weeks when you add in talking to contractors to get estimates, and then the actual work.

CavWife was driving my car when she was hit totaling the car. She was not injured but I then spent the next few weeks looking for a car. That is a little distracting.

Things like these suddenly happen when you are in the midst of renovations and expansion. You better keep praying as you engage in this process.

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We didn’t realize how much of a miracle CavGirl was until we started trying to have another child. We had talked about adoption before we got married. When you have a thyroid disease, it only makes sense to cover all your bases. We had both thought about adoption before we met. I was now 40. We didn’t want too much time to pass before having another child, one way or another.

So we began the adoption process while trying to conceive again. We didn’t know how to choose an agency. We wanted one that shared our values. CavWife’s vacationing parents watched CavGirl as we went to an informational meeting at a popular agency’s Orlando office. There was only one other couple there. Amazingly I knew the woman. But we walked away unimpressed. I wasn’t sure what we were looking for, but I knew we hadn’t found it. This would become a theme in our process.

Nearly 4 months later we saw a poster that an adoption agency we had never heard of was having a seminar, nearby. I went alone. They didn’t begin with a presentation about babies, but a theological explanation of adoption as God’s plan A for some people. They understood where I was coming from, and spoke my language. We had found an agency. It was late spring of 2006.

We also had a country. We were leaning toward China after ruling out Korea. A couple had made a presentation about their experiences with Russia. Adopting from there at the time required you to be flexible and prepared for the unexpected. I was told that if you like a nice, orderly relatively predictable process you should go with China.

Soon they had another meeting at a local church. This was THE church in town at the time. We’d had a few people leave us to attend there. It had become the bane of my existence. I began to call it The Bane. But at that meeting one of the couple’s leading the meeting had adopted from China and lived locally. They would prove to be a big help in answering many questions that arose while we were in unfamiliar territory.


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Sorry to keep you waiting, but we weren’t done waiting. Both of us were waiting to get married. Future Cavwife had had precisely 2 boyfriends before we met. She was 33 at the time. One of them broke her heart. The other guy was someone I knew from seminary. She realized that he wasn’t a good match for her. She struggled with this hope too. Surrender comes hard. God’s timing can be hard to handle.


Before I left NH, I’d had 4 serious relationships. After moving to Florida, I wasn’t in a dating relationship for nearly a decade. I tell Cavwife she was really waiting on me, not just for me. I had issues that God was still sorting out in my life. Marriage to me would have been disastrous. So I waited while God kept knocking off those rough edges. About a year after starting my first pastorate, I had a short-lived relationship.  I was disappointment. But that was okay because she wanted something I was not.


I was 35 when I met Cavwife. The young couple that introduced her to my friend from seminary began to attend the church I served. We met in February at a Valentine’s Party and were engaged in July. She still lived in NJ and I was still in FL. We came down for Spring Break. I went up for vacation. She spent the summer in FL while we figured it out. We didn’t want to waste years of our lives on a long distance relationship. Our wait was over.


But not waiting. During our engagement we learned she had Graves’ disease. It is an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid. They tried to manage it with drugs, but it wasn’t cooperating. They decided to burn it out with radioactive iodine. The funny thing about radioactive substances is that they take awhile to leave the body. We would have to wait a year before even trying to get pregnant. But a messed up thyroid makes it difficult to conceive and maintain a pregnancy. The waiting had begun, again. It had not yet dawned on me that God’s people spent most of their lives waiting for God to act (note Genesis 12-50 and the infertility of Sarah, Rebekah and Rachel).


Finally, in the Fall of 2002 we could start trying to get pregnant. Each month brought disappointment. After awhile I think I started to take it harder than she did. Sometimes tears would come to my eyes when she told me THAT time of the month had come, again.


At times it was humorous (that is how I tend to deal with these things). I would pray while lying next to her as she was in some awkward position to gain every advantage we apparently needed. I would speak to her abdomen, telling those little guys to swim relentlessly until they had reached their intended goal.


It is amazing how the time flows by imperceptibly. While there was the monthly disappointment, I didn’t realize how long that went on. And then one day in early 2004 she showed me the stick- we were pregnant!


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Tom Petty was more right than he ever knew- the waiting is the hardest part. By the time we got to our second adoption process you’d think CavWife and I would have had Ph.D.s in waiting. After all, both of us had spent most of our adult lives, then over 20 years, waiting for one thing or another.

We both waited vocationally. CavWife wanted to be a teacher, in a Christian school: a particular Christian school (mine is not to wonder why). After graduating with her degree in Elementary Education, she waited. No, she didn’t sit in a room by the phone waiting for them to call until she was covered in dust and cobwebs. She ended up working at the Bible Institute she had attended for 2 years. But her eye was always on that Christian school. For 8 years she waited, hoping, enduring long Adirondack winters.

She’d given up- the demanding anyway.  She still had the desire, but she was no longer demanding God do this for her.  She was amazed when they called. Oddly, it was difficult for her to leave upstate NY and her dearest friends that she met during that period of life.

I left the small city I grew up in just before I turned 25. I was going to seminary: over 1,000 miles away. I was escaping the cold, and a series of relational disappointments. Seminary wasn’t my plan even though it was The Plan. I thought God was crazy, but one day He turned the light bulb on and The Plan was suddenly sweet. So I wasn’t just running from things, I was also running to something. But my plan was to return to New England when I was done. Little did I know that I’d be stuck in Florida for the next 19 years. Sometimes the wait is how we move from our plan to His plan; it is a slow course correction. Our hearts need time to transition from our plan to His.


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This was sent to me by a church secretary when I sent my info in to apply.  Very nice lady.

Waiting, Not Running

“Truly my soul waits upon God: from Him comes my salvation.”

—Psalm 62:1

Blessed posture! Waiting truly and only upon the LORD. Be this our condition all this day and every day. Waiting His leisure, waiting in His service, waiting in joyful expectation, waiting in prayer, and content. When the very soul thus waits, it is in the best and truest condition of a creature before his Creator, a servant before his Master, a child before his Father. We allow no dictation to God, nor complaining of Him; we will permit no petulance and no distrust. At the same time, we practice no running before the cloud and no seeking to others for aid: neither of these would be waiting upon God. God, and God alone, is the expectation of our hearts.

Blessed assurance! From Him salvation is coming; it is on the road. It will come from Him and from no one else. He shall have all the glory of it, for He alone can and will perform it. And He will perform it most surely in His own time and manner. He will save from doubt, and suffering, and slander, and distress. Though we see no sign of it as yet, we are satisfied to bide the LORD’s will, for we have no suspicion of His love and faithfulness. He will make sure work of it before long, and we will praise Him at once for the coming mercy.”

— C.H. Spurgeon

“In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength.”—Isaiah 30:15

How little did I realize how much I needed to hear that today.  I sit and wait while a church interviews a few guys with more experience in a particular area.  The door is not closed, but it isn’t wide open either.


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