"It is a safe thing to trust Him to fulfill the desires which he creates." ~Amy Carmichael

Sunday, May 28, 2017

All These Things

But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

I feel responsible for so much these days. I feel the weight of responsibility to teach and train and clothe and feed and de-escalate and diagnose and connect and grieve with and piece together histories and hold and love and attach…and carry in every way the children who have been entrusted to me. And it is heavy. So heavy. The weight of it all is crushing when held on shoulders not created to bear it.

When I finally asked God what in the world I am supposed to do with all of it, this was his answer. Seek first his kingdom and all these things shall be added. All these things?

The dirty floors and the paperwork and the diagnoses waiting to happen? The piles of dishes and laundry and the vanishing food that I can’t keep up with? The research and therapy and handwriting that needs to be corrected? The tantrums and tears and the weeks when everyone is coming apart at the seams for days on end? The balancing sensory loads and energy outlets and reading practice? The heaviness of the diagnoses and evaluations as they come in? The weight of the case files and disclosures and decisions that will effect your child for years to come? The process of attachment and exhaustion and being desperately needed when you have absolutely nothing left to give? The grieving and anxiety and long nights and hard memories? The navigating minefields you don’t even know exist? All these things?

But rather seek the kingdom of God.

Adoption has broken me as I have tried to carry the weight of a load he never asked me to bear. He asked me to seek His kingdom and to love his children with the love that he gives through me. He asked me to trust him with their every need, as he loves them more than I ever will. He offers mercies, new every day. He promises all sufficient grace. All these things will be added.

Attaching to near strangers who take everything you have plus some (and then some more after that) is hard. Making big decisions on a regular basis is hard. Normally small daily decisions becoming big ones as you maneuver fragile emotions is hard. People around you not understanding that is hard. Handling meltdowns out of nowhere and disruptive tantrums and frequent tears (and more tears, and a few more tears) every. single. day is hard. Feeling pressure to respond perfectly to it all is hard. Undoing years of trauma, literally rewiring brain connections, and catching up on missed developmental areas is hard. Nothing about life being normal (neither your own normal or the standard normal) is hard. Going to great lengths to create felt safety, and scrutinizing the smallest changes and every event or outing through that filter is hard. This life is hard.

But seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you as well. All these things.
I don't want to continue to strive for the impossible. I do, however, want to live an impossible life within his hand, by his strength and filled with his grace. Not my own. This is what I desire more than anything else.

“And you will seek me and find me, when you search for me with all your heart.”

 Jeremiah 29:13

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
Matthew 11:28-30

“Then Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

‘Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.’”

Luke 12:22-31

Sunday, May 21, 2017

If not us, then who?

I had a conversation today standing beside the vinegar in a Walmart aisle, while trying to prevent my three year old from blocking every passing cart as he sorted the macaroni on the shelf. An acquaintance who does not know the Lord and who is aware of our adoption was simply baffled by our family makeup. The conversation went something like this...

Lady: "I just don't know how you do it."

Me: "By the grace of God and taking one day at a time. When it's your life you just do it I guess."

[Sometimes one minute at a time, to be perfectly honest.]

Lady: "I mean, you did choose it though."

Me: "Sort of. When God tells you to do something, you kind of just say okay and go with it. He was pretty clear about this one."

[Ignoring God seems ill advised. Ask Jonah.]

Lady: "But adding THREE children at once? Why would you do it?"

Me: "Well. If not us, then who? Who else is going to offer these children stability and a home? After all, why not us?"

This. This is the honest why behind what we do. If not us, then who? If not you and I, the church of God, then who else? Who else will welcome his beautiful children with open arms and an open door? Why not us? Because we are exhausted and don't have great health and already have kids and don't have experience and aren't wealthy and we have dreams (good dreams!) which include a normally functioning family and...and...and...yeah. We tried those reasons. We did. His response was always the same. If not you, then who? Who else is going to love them no matter what? Who else is going to let them fight and scream and cry and rage and still be there when they're done? Who else is going to laugh with them every day and notice that sparkle in their eyes? Who else is going to stick around long enough to find out who these precious people really are inside? If not you, you for whom the Father has looked beyond your fighting and raging and defiance and has sacrificed his own Son in order to welcome you into His own family by adoption...if not you, then who? 

The how is Him. The how is always Him. The who, though...that is us.