When the dust settles.
I don't know about you, but sometimes when I talk to God it goes a little like this:
"Ok, God. Could you please help me lose weight? And not just a couple pounds. Like fifty. And maybe in the next 3 months? I don't want it to take me a year. I know you can work miracles and boy is it going to take one to make this happen. But I trust you. Oh, and I would really like to still be able to eat tacos. You know I love my tacos and there's meat and lettuce in the ones I make so I feel like that would be totally do-able. And peanut butter cups. I can't live without my peanut butter cups but I SWEAR I will give up the rest. Thanks. Amen."
And to top it off, the more desperate I get, the more I start making outrageous promises and negotiating like I'm in a hostage situation. "If you make this pregnancy test positive I promise to NEVER say another swear word ever again in my ENTIRE LIFE!! I'll also devote my entire months pay to the church for the rest of my life. I'll live off zero dollars. I WILL!!!"
So what happens when God gives us what we've asked for, maybe even begged for, and it doesn't look anything like what we envisioned in our head?
There have been countless times in my life that I have had to step back and re-evaluate what's in front of me. It's not until the storm has passed, and I'm left digging through the rubble for treasures, that I find exactly what I need. He knows what we need even more than we know ourselves. But it doesn't feel like that when everything around is us falling apart. I remember times when I feared that our adoption process was unraveling (along with my sanity). Days when the fear of a failed marriage consumed my thoughts. What if my marriage doesn't survive this? What if this ruins us? What if there is just no coming back from the damage that's reeking havoc on our hearts right now?
My perfect image of life wasn't looking so perfect. Things weren't going the way I had planned them in my head. 'God, it wasn't supposed to be this way!'
Maybe what's falling apart is your marriage, your adoption process, your fertility process, relationships with family members or your kids, your job or finances. The possibilities are endless.
The biggest lesson I have learned, especially through adoption, is that my "perfect plan" wasn't so perfect after all. If it had gone exactly how I wanted it, I would have missed out on all these unexpected things that came with God's plan. These are things I can never see until the dust settles.
If you are in the middle of your storm, drop to your knees, hang on to God's promises and brace yourself. When the storm passes and all you see is the ugliness and rubble left in it's wake, the dust will settle and that's when the best part comes. That's when you start digging for the treasure that's hidden. That is when the work of God becomes clear.