Deeper Longing

Author: Josh Hawes

It is that time of the year again. We all know it’s coming. It’s the season where everyone thinks I’m a grinch. That’s right. I am the guy who doesn’t want to hear Christmas music before Thanksgiving. The guy who likes to question traditions, much to the discomfort of many in my family. I have even risked asking, “but why do we have a tree? Could we not celebrate the birth of Christ without having to rearrange our furniture this year?” Much to the dismay of my wife and daughter.

Josh Hawes Christmas longingRelax, we have a tree up and decorated. All that to say that I do, in fact, love Christmas. I love family time spent together, and I love the deeper look into the coming, and inference of the anticipation, of the second coming of Christ.

Yet, this year is a little bit different. I say that because my wife and I are at a new place in regards to growing our family. We have just started the process of adopting an infant. And I do mean just starting, in that it could be two years before we meet the baby that God has in mind for us. This means the child may not even be conceived yet.

As most adoptive families will be able to tell you, most adoptions begin at a place of great pain and struggle for both the parents and the childours is no different. Years of negative pregnancy tests, a miscarriage, and two adoptions, while in our hearts forever, did not come to be. Not a month goes by that I don’t think “maybe this is the month” almost 7 years into my wife and I trying.

There is a deep longing for my wife and I, and an ever increasing anticipation that has been created by these trials. We wait for the moment when we will be able to hold in our arms that which we have dreamed about for years.

Christmas longing Josh HawesThis longing has become something of which I am keenly aware. It makes me reflect on what it must have been like for those in Israel before God’s promise became flesh in the form of a baby who would deliver them from their hopelessness. Within my soul I can feel that deep longing, the ache,  they must have felt, not just for their families, but for their nation, and ultimately, the world! They held to the promise:



“For to us a child is born,

   to us a son is given;

and the government shall be upon his shoulder,

   and his name shall be called

Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,

   Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” -Isaiah 9:6

I too can have that longing messily entwined with hope. Not for Jesus coming to save us, for he has done that to completion, but for His Second Coming. Where it says “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” A place where the sorrow, and effects of sin on this world, such as our struggle with infertility, will be no more. That longing is my deepest longing. That is the hope this season heralds—God is with us and He will make all things right.

“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!

   Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem!

Behold, your king is coming to you;

   righteous and having salvation is he,” -Zechariah 9:9

476f7-dsc_5558Josh Hawes is a hard worker, husband, and father who is trying to faithfully walk through life as he is made more like Christ.


Hope Even if “When” Never Comes

Author: Holly Hawes

Years of negative pregnancy tests.

‘Nuff said.

No matter how quickly we tell others that “God loves us and has a good plan for life,” some seasons of waiting, we would never choose. “Waiting upon the Lord” is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. The soul spaces in which we wait might not be as innocuous as the physical waiting rooms decorated in muted shades, but they torture the nervous patron just as severely. These waiting spaces are built with our hopes and dreams, and those walls too, can feel like they are closing in.

Nosy questions, and unfulfilled desires left me raw and unable to really talk to anyone. Not even to God, about my deepest hopes. I felt bad for the people who happened upon my ugly cry episodes or bumped into my raw emotions. My every decision was resting on possibilities that hadn’t happened. I couldn’t look for a new job because I’d probably get pregnant and need to leave. I didn’t buy myself clothes for years because I wouldn’t be able to wear them “when”.

“When” didn’t come.

We had a plan— it didn’t happen. No one is prepared for that. It was a devastating season of waiting.

Who we want to become; those we love the most; those we hope to love in the future. When these things come, or do not come, our view of God is shaped. It is easy to see him as holding back and holding out. Why won’t he just give you that one desire? Hope is born as He draws near. He comforts as you put your desires into his loving hands, again and again, even as your heart breaks.

We often can see what God was doing—afterward. We began to subtly hear God whisper and direct us towards adoption. It was something in our plans, but after biological kids. We felt there were too many obstacles: We weren’t old enough for most adoption programs. We hadn’t been married long enough to even apply. We didn’t have the money, the energy, and is anyone’s marriage ever in a place to not need a little work?

Then, we heard of a dessert night taking place at a local church where several families would share about their adoptions. That night we uncharacteristically knelt on the floor and prayed out loud for God to move. We stood up with new direction. While we could always wait for life to reach a better place, children were waiting. They needed a family NOW. The season had come for action in response to God’s activity. We weren’t just waiting now; we needed to act.

These verses remind me of that time:

“Farmers who wait for perfect weather never plant. If they watch every cloud, they never harvest.

Just as you cannot understand the path of the wind or the mystery of a tiny baby growing in its mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the activity of God, who does all things.

Plant your seed in the morning and keep busy all afternoon, for you don’t know if profit will come from one activity or another—or maybe both”.~ Ecc 11:4-6 (NLT)

The new steps we were taking, didn’t fix the hardship we had gone through, but helped us see beyond our struggle into the possibilities of God. Not only were we waiting for children, our daughter was waiting for us. Had we waited for the perfect time, until we felt completely ready, we would have missed out on the work of the God of the universe. It wasn’t what we expected; she was 12 years older than what I imagined when holding my first child.

God has brought me back to that waiting and action. Now, we are waiting for the next member of our family to join us. Instead of a pregnancy test we’re waiting on a committee of people who have the power to say whether or not I get to be his forever mom. It breaks my heart, because many of the kids who need to find their forever families have been waiting longer than I have.

They are waiting now.

I don’t know what season of waiting you may be in. But whatever it is, when God directs you, don’t wait. Act.

Want to see what children might be waiting for adoption in your state? Check out some pictures of the waiting children in your state.

Readers: We know waiting is hard. Tell us how we can pray for you in the comments, and may this verse uplift your heart.

“Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.” Psalm 126:5-6

Holly is a wife, mother of one, and foster mother to many. She seeks to glorify God in all she does, for all her life. She studied Intercultural Studies at Corban University and loves to build bridges between cultures and people. She welcomes people into her life, into her heart, and into her home with hopes of offering encouragement. You can find more from Holly here at Anchored Voices or at her blog Called to Restore.