Singing was my passion. Growing up I loved to share my gift. However, that didn’t make it easy. On stage at our little country church, my heart would pound within me as the nerves sent trembling waves through my chicken legs. I would avoid all eye contact but a few safe choices in the crowd. The honesty and genuine appreciation of my song of praise resounded through every smile of their shining eyes.
It bolstered my confidence to sing the next note.
And the next.
And the next.
At an early age, I had decided singing would be my career; my calling. I would sing everywhere I went hoping to be discovered by some big-wig passing through our little town of Ashtabula. Looking back, it feels like a silly dream. Less silly even so, however, than why it died: One negative criticism had a lasting effect.
It held me back from even pursuing any aspect of my passion for singing. I settled for the “easier” choir to get into in college. Fear held my vocal chords in knots at the one audition I pursued and at the declined result, I never tried again.
And that pattern has only continued.
It has held me back time and time again.
In far more ways than singing.
It’s this fear of stepping out onto the stage of life where the watching eyes form assumptions and conclusions based on one three minute segment. Where I’m judged by what I do or don’t do, say or don’t say, act or don’t act. Will she succeed or will she fail; rise to the top or fall flat?
Sure, writing it here sounds ridiculous, but I’m convinced I’m not the only one. I mean there’s a reason Wayne Gretzky’s quote is so popular, right?
Adoption is scary. Plain and simple. Everyone has an opinion on it – ones they are often not afraid to share. Some are great! Some are harsh. Some come from personal experience; others come from simple-minded assumptions.
It feels as if I have stepped onto this proverbial stage; one far greater than any I’ve previously known. I made the leap. Took the chance. I thought I’d set aside the fear to get here. Yet here it’s chased me down once more. The longer I stand here, the more intimidated I feel. The old patterns creep up my neck and threaten to strangle the progress the Lord has made in this heart.
The expression says, “No news is good news.” Usually meaning that no news from a friend often means things are good for them. However, as I dwell in this uncertain time of waiting, no news is hard to endure. It’s hard to continue answering the question of progress with, “Still waiting.” (Though the more I’m asked, the more I appreciate how we are thought of and our situation is cared for by so many.) I will also say, however, after three “rejections” – where a couple other than us was chosen to parent the child given by his/her mother/parents – I’m not sure my heart could handle such continual news anyway.
And so here we are still waiting.
The longing still present.
The desire still prevalent.
Yet all of it curbed in the fear it will never come to fruition.
I tend to tie up each of my posts here with an “it’s-all-good” feeling. Why, you ask? Because I need to believe it. The dialogue in my head fills the gamut between “This waiting is only for a season” to “It’ll never happen.”
And so I tie up every loose end with hope; hope my heart is desperately clinging to day-in and day-out. Hope this process won’t be for not. Hope that the God who calls, not only equips but is faithful in the details.
If I’m honest though, I’m not okay.
My heart is pounding in my chest. I can feel the trembling waves course through my veins as the song continues to beg for my input. So I’m looking for those eyes in the audience. The eyes that will continue to believe in me and for me; in us and for us. Who will gaze this direction with the warmth of their smiling eyes; who will exude confidence and bolster our own to go on to the next note…
And the next…
And the next…
Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all.