Even though I know we have been preparing for this week since June, it is still crazy. It will soon come to an end because whether we are ready or not we will have to leave for the airport. We are so grateful to the beautiful ladies who will be staying at our house while we are gone.
We have been talking about Artem and praying for him for so long that I am starting to get tired of the conversation. People at my work think this has been years in the making instead of months, because we have talked about it for so long. But through God's most beautiful Providence for us I can turn around and be thankful for all the things He has taught Brandon and I through this time and for all the preparation He has put us through. Just think how prayed over Artem is and the country he was born in, it has been saturated in prayer for the last six months.
From Romans 5:" We rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. This hope does not disappoint, because God's love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us."
We have produced much endurance through this time. Brandon and I often look at each other and wonder, who does this? and not just that but how did we get here. Look how we have endured. And the only answer is our mighty God brought us through this long and frustrating journey. He held us in the moments we thought we would never make it to the end or when things popped up we felt would bring it all to a halt. He held us together when we felt the other was not in the same place about something. And he held every piece of paper as it crossed the ocean. Endurance....
Though endurance proven character something I pray we are developing and continue to. Something we will continue to need as we walk the hardest stretch of this road on the other side of the world.
And our character produces much needed hope. It gives us the hope we need to fill our bags with clothes and toys for a little boy we have never meet. It will give us the hope we need to climb on a plane, and the hope we need to continue on the journey, the part of the journey that isn't written on a checklist I can follow, or with a schedule I can hold everyone to. Just an adventure that we will be praying through, and hoping in our Lord, who's Love has already been poured out into our hearts.
The thoughtfulness of our friends and family is also a gift from God. One of my favorite gifts has been a prayer calendar that Erin (my sister-in-law) put together so that there will be someone praying for us everyday we are here. Amazing. What an incredible gift. We are so thankful for all the people on that list and everyone who goes to God on our behalf.