Tomorrow marks eight months since our paperwork has been in Ethiopia. While the wait has been longer than originally anticipated, we are definitely making progress. Several recent referrals from our agency have bumped us up "in line." According to the listmakers on our adoptive family Yahoo Group, the Tappers are actually next for a sibling group referral and in the "Top 10" for a single referral. (If no sibling groups were available for referral, our agency has stated that is is "very probable" that we could receive a single referral and then request another slightly older unrelated child.)
All that to say that we do expect a referral phone call from our agency in the next month or so. I must admit that I go back and forth between feelings of excitement about being so close and feelings of despair at not knowing. Throw in a little stress from moving considerations, schoolwork, travel arrangements, etc. and AGAIN, I realize how much work God has to do in me. My prayer is that I will be constantly moving toward the Spirit-led life described by Paul:
Live freely, animated and motivated by God's Spirit. Then you won't feed the compulsions of selfishness. For there is a root of sinful self-interest in us that is at odds with a free spirit, just as the free spirit is incompatible with selfishness. These two ways of life are antithetical, so that you cannot live at times one way and at times another way according to how you feel on any given day. Why don't you choose to be led by the Spirit and so escape the erratic compulsions of a law-dominated existence?
It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time: repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; trinket gods; magic-show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community. I could go on.
This isn't the first time I have warned you, you know. If you use your freedom this way, you will not inherit God's kingdom.
But what happens when we live God's way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.
Legalism is helpless in bringing this about; it only gets in the way. Among those who belong to Christ, everything connected with getting our own way and mindlessly responding to what everyone else calls necessities is killed off for good—crucified.
Since this is the kind of life we have chosen, the life of the Spirit, let us make sure that we do not just hold it as an idea in our heads or a sentiment in our hearts, but work out its implications in every detail of our lives.