I find it no coincidence that almost three years ago today, I wrote a post for our adoption blog that began with precisely the same six words I wanted to open today’s post with…

“The truth is…this ain’t easy.”

This week three years ago, we found ourselves a few days away from hearing whether or not an Ethiopian judge would grant us legal guardianship of Selah and, “I honestly could not sleep under the weight of it all.” 

I remember not being able to breathe very well that week. We were so blessed, so hopeful, so close to the mountaintop, and yet so spent from the climb. We were grinding it out. We were breathless. And you can bet we were scared.

My only air supply was Romans 5:2, which I must have repeated to myself a hundred times a day for a week.

“Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of highest privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.”


It’s three years later, and we’re gasping for air again. We are so blessed, so hopeful, so close to another mountaintop, and yet so spent from the climb. In less than two weeks, Advance Church will finally have its grand opening, and we are grinding it out again…scared and breathless. The fatigue is real. The fear is familiar. The uncertainty is maddening. I don’t bring it up to complain, but instead to look you in the eyes and say from experience:

 “Obedience isn’t a lack of fear. It’s just doing it scared.”

Jen Hatmaker, 7

It doesn’t matter whether you are planting a church or trying to be consistent in attending one; waiting for a baby or cleaning up after one; preparing for marriage or working to save one; overcoming an addiction or helping a friend through one; putting down roots or digging them up…

Obedience isn’t a lack of fear. It’s doing what God says, scared.

May we be people who advance confidently and joyfully toward the places God is calling us, breathlessly obeying our way through our fear…

 “The goal of life isn’t to make it to a point where we can breathe easy. It’s to get to heaven breathless. Tired because we’ve been faithfully and passionately following God – through valleys and mountains…It’s always hard, but our reward in the future makes it worth it. We’ll rest then. And we’ll push on now.”

~Steven Furtick