I am a work in progress.
I have always known this, but I have felt it more than ever over the last 8 months. Getting married right out of college and having our first child 2 years later, and another one 18 months later, were not in my plans. But they were God’s. I never saw myself as the stay at home mom (however, I wouldn’t want it any other way…most days:).
I had a hard time those first few years finding fulfillment and purpose in changing diapers and refereeing arguments. I kept asking the Lord, is this all you have for me, am I missing something? Living a life without intention or purpose was wearing down on me. Now don’t get me wrong, there is no greater call in life as that as a mom. I take my job very seriously first and foremost as a wife. Next, I am so grateful God entrusts me these two little lives to steer and guide towards Him. But is working on having a great marriage and doing my best at parenting, all the Lord had for me? I felt extremely unsettled. As we prayed for direction in our family we started to pray these three prayers.
1. Are we done having kids? I sure hoped so, having 2 kids was becoming easy for me (finally, after 2 years of challenge) and I couldn’t see myself having enough emotional or physical capacity for any more. But still, the question stirred in my spirit and my responses were all extremely selfish.
2. How has God called us to uniquely serve in his kingdom? Lets pretend someone gave us 1 million dollars and it was to be used only for kingdom purposes. How would we steward this money? What were three areas that were central to the passions of our hearts and our unique talents that we could really make an impact in? Why are we not giving sacrificially already to these three areas?
3. What are the 5 core values for our family? What will be the values that will be the filter for all we do in our family? If we do not have clearly known and communicated values as a family, then my children will find their own stories to be a part of. We wanted something to come around as a family and put our heart and soul in. I didn’t want to miss the big story God had for our lives and settle in for the mundane of just doing day to day life.
As we prayed through these questions over the last year, God has shouted in my face, stripped me to the core of my ugly selfishness, and answered my prayers in the most beautiful of stories that I could have never written or dreamed for myself.
In May, we answered God’s call on our hearts to begin
the adoption process for two little treasures
currently residing in Congo, Africa.
Let me let you in on some of my ugly and selfish conversations/shouting matches/prayers with God that happened before I said Yes to God.
What God? Two orphans? You want me to take on 2 orphans? Yes.
What if they have diseases, special needs, psychological baggage? Just like you did when I adopted you into my family. There are no guarantees even in the children you have birthed. Now walk forward in obedience.
But I don’t have the capacity for raising 2 more kids, especially when they come to me with health issues, speaking a different language, and possible years of trauma.
I felt him say, if you could handle it then you wouldn’t need me. This is exactly the place I want you in, out of control and having to lean into me with desperate dependence.
People are going to give us the “you’re crazy” look wherever we go, there will be no “hiding” that these kids are adopted. And I was affirmed as he said the words of Matt 5:14-16
You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.
God spent 6 months opening my eyes to the orphan crisis. He had to shake me to the core to finally see it. God asks us all over the Bibles to care for the orphans. There are currently about 147 million of them. There are currently 2.1 billion people professing Christ. Look at the odds here, we could totally fulfill God’s heart to love and care for the orphan if less than 10% of us heeded these verses. I used to use the cop out of “well we are all called to different things, that just may not be something I am called to”. I have now learned that was Satan keeping me, personally, from answering the Lords call on all of us! I cannot pick and choose God’s commands. How selfish of me to look at a verse that says “I have come that they may have life, and have it abundantly” and in my heart say, Wow that verse is just for me!
And then turn around and look at another verse that says “Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you“, and to that verse, I would say, wow, that is not what I am called to do, but definitely some other families. God did not give me his living breathing word so I could pick and choose what fit best in my life. (*Not only to adopt the orphan, but more so just to care for them in some way- financial, physical, etc)
See James 1:27, Deuteronomy 24:17-21, Matthew 25: 34-46, Psalm 82:3-4, Psalm 68:5-6, Exodus 22:22-23, Psalm 10:14,17-18, Isaiah 1:17, Proverbs 31:8-9, Matthew 18:5, Matthew 25:40, Job 29:12, Psalm 146:9, John 14:15-21, Hosea 14:3, Malachi 3:5, Jeremiah 22:3, Jeremiah 7:6, Jeremiah 5:28, Isaiah 1:23, Psalm 94:6, Job 31:16-18, Job 24:9, Job 22:9, Deuteronomy 14:28-29, Isaiah 10:2, Ezekiel 16:49.
I was shocked at how many times the Lord commands it or says he despises when the orphans are oppressed or are under injustice. There are over 300 verses in the Bible about the fatherless, lonely, oppressed, poor and the least of these.
We are also called to love our neighbor as ourselves. This doesn’t mean our next-door neighbor. This means the children God created in his image. I love one way that I read about this, “God did not accidentally create too many children, too many orphans. We just have a calling that we are ignoring… “ Katie Davis
I think too often we see images and hear statistics and are numb to them. Just today, 26,000 children died of hunger. Satan wants us to be numb, for it not to affect us. He wants us to see that image of the malnourished orphan on TV or the Internet and not think of her as our own daughter. He doesn’t want us to feel for her as if it was our “neighbor”. Satan has won for far too long.
Lets all consider what the Lord has for the story He is writing us. This will not be adoption for all, this will not mean we all need to move to a country closed to the gospel. But for some it will. For some it may mean giving more sacrificially to a cause that is at the core of God’s heartbeat. Walking forward in obedience has given me more joy than I could have ever imagined.