• Katelyn Dodge • June 23, 2020
Sometimes when we meet someone, our favorite thing about them ends up being the thing that also drives us crazy about them. My husband, Ryan, is hilarious and is always making up songs and jokes, but some days I’m just looking for a quiet place and his humor isn’t as funny as it was days (or hours or minutes) before. I think this can also apply to my relationship with the Lord. I absolutely love that God has promised us so many things, but it can also drive me crazy when I feel like those promises aren’t coming my way when they’re supposed to. God is so faithful and we can always count on Him, but there are times when you wait so long and you start to lose hope. You know He’s faithful, but you feel like maybe His clock is running a little slow or He lost your address because that thing you’ve been waiting on isn’t here yet. The waiting can be so hard, but His faithfulness ensures that our promises are on the horizon.
“Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens and your faithfulness to the skies” – Psalm 36:5 (NIV)
One of the hardest times in my life was my struggle with infertility. We went through four and a half years of prayers and doctors’ appointments and medications. We so clearly knew that we wanted to be parents and felt like we were being called to raise a child, and each failed treatment was more heartbreaking than the last. The disappointment crept in, and disappointment turned to grief and confusion. I felt like my cries were not being heard and the desire of my heart would go unanswered. We began to explore options outside of the medical world and turned our attention to adoption and foster care. We met with a few adoption agencies, but the high cost of adoption seemed like an insurmountable hurtle for 2 social workers living on a budget. We started and stopped the process of becoming foster parents several times. There are so many unknowns that come with fostering, and we just weren’t sure if we were ready or if that’s what we were called to do. It took about a year and a half to complete our foster license (God is as persistent as He is faithful, and He made sure that foster care was never far from our minds).
Foster care became the unlikely (to us) answer to our prayers. We were so nervous as the calls started rolling in regarding potential placements. There were a few kids that we turned down as their needs seemed too great for us to handle as first-time parents, but there were also multiple kids that we said yes to. These kids that we said yes to never worked out for one reason or another. One day Ryan called me and said that we were being approached about a little boy named Antonio. This call immediately felt different from the others. It was reported to us that his behaviors could be pretty extreme, but something stood out about him and we said yes. This started a chain reaction, and 17 months later Antonio officially became a Dodge and is part of our forever family. If you have met my husband and my son, you have probably noticed how similar they are. It’s honestly kind of creepy sometimes. Their mannerisms, the way they dress, their sense of humor, even their DANCE MOVES are identical! If we had not pursued foster care, we might have missed out on our perfect son. God is so faithful. He had a plan for us as a couple and a plan for Antonio, and he continued to redirect us over and over to fulfill our hearts’ desire. Every time I reflect on our journey to parenthood, I’m overwhelmed by God’s timing and goodness. Our son was born December 2011, 10 months before my husband and I even started dating. Through all the years of medical appointments and frustration, our perfect child had already been born and was growing up in the next county over. We had no idea our miracle had already happened and would continue to unfold before us.
“We live by faith and not by sight” – 2 Corinthians 5:7 (NIV)
The above verse is easy to read and feel warm and fuzzy about, but when you really think about it, it’s a bit convicting. Do I really live each day by faith? Parts of my walk felt so impossible because I did not see what God was doing and that felt really discouraging. Infertility is a heartbreaking experience. There were so many nights I cried myself to sleep because it felt like everyone else in the world was getting pregnant. I was so angry with God and really questioned His plans for my life. I had such a hard time not relying only on my sight and trying to see how God was working. I am endlessly thankful for my community who continued to pray for me and love on me and point me towards Him during those long, hard years. Your big struggle may not be infertility, but there’s probably something in your life that has made you question God’s plans for your life. Be sure that you are drawing near to Him so you don’t lose sight of His faithfulness, as He is for you and is working in your life whether or not you can see it.
God’s faithfulness to us is a beautiful gift. He has provided us with so many promises to cling to and take comfort in. God’s faithfulness builds our own faith, as we are able to find refuge in knowing that He is steadfast. We have to be careful to remind ourselves that His timing is not our own. We so desperately want instant gratification, but that is not the way of the Lord. When we are able to recognize God’s faithfulness in our lives, it bolsters our own faith and helps us trust Him even more deeply. We have to push past our frustrations of not knowing what His next move will be and try to find comfort in knowing that whatever He is doing, it is good.