by Bailey Prescott, Back2Back Staff in Mazatlán
Nothing will ever make this okay.
I laid in bed, tossing and turning, considering the events of the Christmas party. I’d been asked to help at a Christmas party for a local children’s home, and had spent the entirety of the party holding a tiny, sick baby whose mother is a drug addict. One-month-old Maria had already been living in the orphanage for two weeks, and as I held her against my chest, I felt overwhelmed by her sad storyline. She slept, and I prayed God would give her the strength to endure, He would protect provide for her, and to give her a family.
I came home and cried myself to sleep, thinking about how her situation was unfair. I’d prayed for Maria, but doubted anything would come of my prayers. Maria was born into poverty and would probably spend her childhood in a children’s home. This, it would seem, was just how the world worked. I fought to believe God is good and that He saw Maria, but I fell asleep in doubt. Nothing about the situation was okay.
One of my favorite characters in the Bible is Abraham, because I think he is good at all the things I am not. God gives Abraham beautiful promises, and then makes him wait to see them fulfilled. So many times, I expect God to show up immediately, to instantly gratify my desires and my flesh, and to show off in ways really obvious to me, but that’s not exactly how faith works. Abraham, along with many other “heroes of the faith,” is mentioned in the book of Hebrews, where it says, “All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth” (Hebrews 11:13.) Abraham was able to see some of God’s promises fulfilled, but died waiting on others. He had faith up to the very end, and believed God thoroughly. This is the kind of person I want to be: someone who believes in the goodness of God, even when I don’t see the promise fulfilled. I want to love and trust God regardless of the happy ending, but after holding Maria for hours, I found myself struggling.
A year passed, and with it came news, both good and bad. Maria had been removed from the government-run orphanage where she’d been living and placed in a special-needs home run by Back2Back. She’d been diagnosed with several illnesses, and her life expectancy was uncertain. I accepted Maria would likely spend the duration of her life, however long it was, in the orphanage. To be honest, I had not given much thought to the baby I had prayed so fervently for until one evening when I ran into some friends. These friends, John and Kim, were retired and had been volunteering with Back2Back for years and, to my complete shock, were pursuing an adoption. Maria’s adoption.
“God told me if we adopted Maria, He would heal her,” said John. The pair went on to explain they were in the very beginning stages of adoption and had no idea if their plans to adopt Maria would even be successful. They were acting on obedience and faith, and expecting God to do the rest. I thought back to the Christmas party a year earlier, where I had prayed for Maria, but doubted God would act. I had accepted maybe God’s promises for Maria wouldn’t be fulfilled in this life, but the next. The news of Maria’s adoption impacted me, and I felt joy this baby would grow up in a loving family. The promise and the blessing weren’t just for baby Maria. God set into motion a call to bless the family who will have Maria in their life, the baby who will now have a sense of permanency, and this call blesses me- a girl sitting in the front row watching God’s promises be fulfilled. He doesn’t move dependent on our faith, even a mustard seed moves the mountain.
I don’t know if Maria will get my version of a “happy ending” or not, but I have seen how God’s hand has moved in her story. So I wait and believe His promises will be fulfilled, even if I can’t see yet how or when or where. I will live by faith and trust Abraham, Maria, and I have a God who sees.