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This was the Dyula [joo-lah] word I heard more often than any other during the month I spent in Burkina-Faso, West Africa in 2011.

IMG_1901On the women’s service trip that I participated in, serving widows and teaching them a trade by which to provide for themselves and thereby avoid falling into prostitution, my biggest take away was the sincere thankfulness and contentment that these -by earthly standards- impoverished women exuded despite their dire circumstances.

You see, the word baraka means ‘thank you’. I am not exaggerating when I say that, over and over again, nearly every other word I heard coming from their mouths as they went about their day was one of praise to God.

Two years later, this lesson is still impacting me.

Last year I prayed with a dear Sister who was waiting to bring home her babies from the Democratic Republic of the Congo… her specific plea was that she would wait well. I prayed with her then, but I GET it now.

This adoption journey has already been a process of waiting, trusting, and embracing the unknown, and already has been stretching for Hubby and I: two Type-A, First-Born, Plan-Ahead personalities.

Everyone tells me that the waiting gets even more grievous upon receipt of your referral [child match], that once you have a Face, a Name, an Individual- the heartache of waiting multiplies exponentially.

Through my own hardships and life-lessons, God has repeatedly taught me to trust and praise Him- regardless of emotions, circumstances, or outcomes. I’m reminded of the old hymn It Is Well With My Soul. The following lyrics are timeless and resonate with me, prompting tears virtually every time I hear them: “Whatever my lot, thou has taught me to say, It is well, it is well with my soul.”

Here is the scripture I’m steeping in, presently:

“… be content with what you have, for God has said ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.'” -Hebrews 13:5

“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” -Philippians 4:12

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