As I sat in the crowded waiting area of the courthouse, I watched as others paced the floor with fear and anxiety. I saw the worry deepen with each step they took. And every time the bailiff would come out to call the next case, everyone would stop…but then quietly resume if it wasn’t their turn.
As I watched them, I slowly felt myself change. My heart began skipping beats. My stomach started twisting in knots. My palms became sweaty as my body temperature increased. And the peace I had worked so hard to obtain in the days leading up to this court date was gone. And the calmness I once felt as I walked up the courthouse stairs had vanished. And in its place settled anxiety and fear.
I found myself playing different scenarios in my head. Scenarios of what might happen when it was our turn to go and listen to the decisions others would make for our foster child. Scenarios of how I might feel and what my home might sound like if she is placed with someone else. And once those scenarios played like a movie reel in my mind, panic set in. The worrying intensified. And I began to pace the floor with the others. I begged God to come quickly so that He may whisper words of wisdom in the ears of the judge. And also into the ears of the lawyers, as well as her parents.
I even silently begged Him to protect her.
But as I begged, and then doubted if my begging was good enough, or if my prayers were being heard over the others, I remembered Psalm 112:7, which says, “He will have no fear of bad news; for his heart is steadfast trusting in the Lord.”
And as I nervously walked around in circles, I repeated it. He will have no fear of bad news, for his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. And again. He will have no fear of bad news, for his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. And again. He will have no fear…And again. He will have no fear…
And in the midst of my mantra, her name was called.
It was finally our turn.
As we made our way into the courtroom, my legs felt like wet spaghetti noodles. My hands were shaking as I tried to hold open the door. And my breathing? I couldn’t. But in the 23 minutes in which I sat there, shaking like a leaf and listening to everyone discuss the child’s best interest, God showed His character and His faithfulness. He proved that He could be trusted. And He proved His love once again for this little girl.
As the court adjourned and we were on our way home, I wondered why I was worried if I believed in His word. What did I have to fear if my trust was Him? Why did I feel the need to beg? Or keep begging? Or doubt? Or better yet, I wonder if my prayers were only reaching the beautiful ceiling of the courtroom?
Because He was there, he was already with us. And He had already gone before us and made a way. His words had already been whispered. His hand was already protecting. He was in control. And so there was nothing to fear—no reason to pace the floor. Or walk in circles. Or stop breathing.
Looking back, the only scenarios I needed to play in my mind while waiting for our turn were the ones I had already been playing before I allowed fear to set in and panic to take over. They were the ones in which I would be coming home and cooking her a warm meal. And the ones in which I would be snuggling with her while watching Bambi before giving her a bubble bath. And the ones where I would be reading her a Bible story and kissing her forehead before tucking her safely into bed. And my friend, those were the exact scenarios that played out in my home tonight. And I owe it all to Him.
Now, if I can only remember His faithfulness (and to breathe) at our next court date…
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