Five Minute Friday: Change

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Joining Lisa-Jo Baker at A Gypsy Mama for Five Minute Friday

Today’s prompt: Change

GO

Change.

Or not.

Change anticipated. Then not materialized.

Woke up this morning realizing that the change we had dreamed of in our family was not going to happen. We would not be adding 2 extra plates at the table. We would not be strapping 2 extra car seats in to the van. We would not be making up 2 new beds. We would not be attending school open house or putting the rest of life on hold in order to bond.

Life continues the same.

We will do our regular amount of grocery shopping. We will continue in our regular fall routine of soccer games and church attendance and outings with other home school friends. On the outside our life will look unchanged.

But if you look deeper into our hearts, you will see a change.

STOP

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Waiting & Goodness

I am in shock right now. Completely at a loss of how to go on from this moment. A call from the kids foster mother this morning revealed that the situation with the kids is even more unsure than we had originally thought. I obviously cannot go in to details but the upshot is that the possibility of these kids being placed with us is slipping away and no one from DFCS has even had the decency to keep us informed.

I called a friend in tears. But feeling guilty for my tears because this placement wasn’t a guarantee in the first place. And yet, my heart had attached, and I had dreamed some dreams, and no matter how practical and rational you try to be, once love starts it doesn’t just stop. And once love starts there is usually some pain involved somewhere. And this pain is real.

And this is what we signed up for. But that doesn’t make it hurt any less.

Children are never our own in the first place. We have this feeling of control with our biological children that is really just an illusion. This process is showing me how little control I really have. It is also showing me how much love costs. Maybe the cost of my tentative love for these children is never really knowing where they end up or who they become. Maybe the cost is that I will pray for them the whole rest of my life and never see their faces again. Maybe the cost is that I will always feel this small ache in a part of my heart for two children who my arms and heart were wide open to welcome. That ache will drive me to my knees begging God’s protection and care for them.

And of course the cost is worth it.

Because my friend reminded me of the truth that I know but am struggling to grasp. God has mapped the road already. I can rest in the knowledge of God’s unending love for me and for these children. Right now for me the mirror is dim, I only know part, and the picture seems imperfect (1 Corinthians 13). But God promises that there will be a day when we see Him face to face, and the partial will pass away and the perfect will be revealed and everything will be fully known!

This morning I read:

I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living!

Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage;

wait for the Lord! -Psalm 27:13&14

So even as I fumble and question and cry, I trust God in His grace to give me grace to help me push away impatience and wait. I trust God in His grace to help me push away despair and give me courage. I trust God in His grace to show me His goodness.

Only through the Holy Spirit

This is how I know the Holy Spirit is working in me – Instead of obsessing this week over what will happen in court I have been (mostly) able to focus and take each moment for what it is. I have been able to be present with my 2 boys, doing school work, playing games, getting chores done. I am even (mostly) able to speak lovingly and respectfully. I know that all this is a result of the prayers of my friends and family and the work of the Holy Spirit in my heart. Every time I feel panic or despair rise I try to say out loud, “God, you are sovereign and you are good. Help my unbelief.” Sounds cheesy, but something about the spoken word chases away the doubt.

Obviously, the kids are in the back of my mind. The parallel universes continue and pop up at the strangest of times, like planning my grocery list or while I sit beside the soccer practice field. Aaron and I had a brief conversation last night about what the next few weeks might look like if in fact this all goes through and the kids are placed with us this month. It felt good to know that we are on the same page, again, visible reminders of the Holy Spirit at work.

On Monday one of the verses in my Bible reading was:

“When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul.”
-Psalm 94:19

I feel to thankful to see this being absolutely true in my life this week.

Waiting…

We are waiting for August 30th.

On that day our lives could change forever…or not at all.

On that day a judge will decide if 2 children we have met, and are beginning to love, will in fact be free to be adopted.

Have I mentioned that I don’t do well with a lack of control?! This is the ultimate in lack of control. There is absolutely nothing I can do except wait.

I try to plan, because I am a planner by  nature. But it is like planning for parallel universes; in one universe we have 4 kids come September, in the second we don’t and life continues as “normal.” It seems crazy to be planning for two completely different scenarios so I stop. It has taken this series of events to get me to a place where I am okay taking life just one day at a time. Or mostly okay, it still doesn’t come naturally to me.

My mantra continues: “God, you are sovereign AND you are good. Help my unbelief!”

Every night I pray for these two children. I don’t know what the future holds for them, or for me. But I continue to believe and trust and find rest in the fact that God knew about them before He created the world. He loves all of us fiercely. He has got this under control.

 

Five Minute Friday: Connect

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Joining Lisa-Jo Baker for Five Minute Friday

Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.

Today’s Prompt: Connect

GO

It feels strange. To feel connected to two children who do not yet (and may not ever) belong to me. We have visited 3 times. Their future is uncertain. And yet my heart is connected to them with some unseen tie, even though they have no idea that I could one day be their mother. The two extra seats in the van seem empty. I calculate how much food to make for two more. I hear the echoes of their chatter and laughter. I feel the phantom pressure of their little arms squeezing me tight. I pray for them every night before sleep over takes me. I feel the urge at least once a day to call their foster mother just to hear how they are doing.

I do not know their future. I feel them in my heart and know that regardless of whether they are “my” children or not I will always be connected to them. Praying for them, loving them whether they are in my house or not.
STOP

This was written early in July:

I’ve been on an emotional roller coaster the past week or so.  I received a call on Tuesday night that there were 2 children who needed some respite care for the weekend. Would we take them? They may be free for adoption soon and may be a match for our family. At first I was excited. Knowing next to nothing about the kids other than their ages and names I immediately started thinking about the “what if these are our children” scenario.

Wednesday I spent 2 hours on the phone with their foster mother.

And then promptly flipped out.

Reality and fear and doubt and selfishness all hit me like a freight train and for a few days I was completely paralyzed. My stomach was in knots. I cried at the drop of a hat. Friends and family called and offered listening ears and words of wisdom. What they spoke to me was right and good and true, but I couldn’t feel it past the fog in my head and the knot in my gut.

On Thursday night I sat in the shower as tears streamed. I felt completely broken open. Weak. Helpless. I cried out over and over, “I know You are sovereign and You are good.  Help my unbelief!”

Here’s the thing: I know that God shows up in our weakness. I know that when we are most unable is when we learn to truly rely on Christ. I know that only when we let go of our control can we learn to rely completely on the Holy Spirit.  But, it is scary. That moment of realization of my complete dependence on Him was down right terrifying. You know why? Because I still doubt His love.

There you have it.

I believe that God has called our family to adopt. I have seen Him orchestrate every step up until now. Yet I still doubt that the riches of His love are extravagant. I doubt that if He has called us then there will be great joy, even if there is also difficulty. I continue to want to define His goodness according to my standards.

On Sunday we sang about rising up as eagles through the power of His love. We sang of God’s jealous love for us, Oh How He Loves Us So! We read that we would be quieted by His love (Zephaniah3:17). The sermon passage showed the result of righteousness being quietness and trust (Isaiah 32:17).

I realized that even me believing in God’s love is a result of His love for me.