You have to know before I begin this post that We’ve had a lot of sickness in our house. We’ve been down and out for weeks. I knew adoption would be hard but there are some things I didn’t know about adoption. Like how high stress is really bad for bonding. I never knew the difficulty I’d have and the way I’d question my calling as an adoptive mom. This is a hard season but I want you to know it’s worth it. I see my kids in this time and my biggest desire is that they see the importance walking out a calling and learn to do hard things.
Good things and Hard things
That’s why I wanted to write this post. It’s not to whine and cry on someone’s shoulder. It’s not because I need people saying, “told you so, you were crazy to do such a thing. Look at how tired you are!”
We didn’t make a wrong decision but we chose to do a hard thing and follow God’s calling to adopt.
The reason for this post, though, is to collect all my thoughts for my future self and say what I need to say to my own kids. As much as this post is about adoption, it really isn’t. It’s about purpose, obedience, faith and calling. Also, it’s about learning what voice to listen to when things are scary and choosing to do hard things.
There it is folks. Good things can be hard. Beastly hard. Knock you to the floor and hold you down hard. But it’s worth it. Don’t forget that what you teach your kids about doing hard things when they’re young will be the same thing they need to learn the rest of their lives.
I love seeing the innocence in your little blue eyes as you play in the green grass. You are so lucky. You’re lucky that at this young age you don’t have to hear things like “don’t ruin your life.” or “is that gonna make you happy?”
At such a young age we value teaching children selflessness and love towards others. We want them to grow to honor God with their lives and to be obedient to the calling he places on them.
As it says in the Bible, …“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38This is the great and first commandment. 39And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:37-39
Funny how when you get older, at least in our culture, people put more value on making oneself happy.
Someday my children, you will have choices to make. Some of those choices will come by choosing whether to say yes to God or Yes to yourself.
That’s not the only choice though. There is also a choice to believe that God is working and will continue to work in your life OR to believe in discouragement that says “You’re the victim in this. You had no choice.”
The Results of Doing Hard Things
There may be an itching to do what “you want” but you will never be at peace until you follow the calling put on your life. It will burn in you and bug you. You’ll wonder what could’ve been.
Happiness is a friend of peace. You need both. We want to be happy but we need peace in order to have happiness.
Before Jim Elliot chose to go to the tribes of Ecuador to share the Love of Jesus with them, (And was killed a martyrs death) he wrote to his parents. He knew they didn’t want him to go to that dangerous land. But Jim loved the people and knew it was where God was calling him. Here’s what he wrote in a letter to his parents…
“Remember how the Psalmist described children? He said that they were as an heritage from the Lord, and that every man should be happy who had his quiver full of them. And what is a quiver full of but arrows? And what are arrows for but to shoot? So, with the strong arms of prayer, draw the bowstring back and let the arrows fly–all of them, straight at the Enemy’s hosts.“
Because of Jim’s obedience to do hard things, God worked in that tribe more than anyone could’ve imagined. Even the ones who had killed these missionaries changed their lives because of the love of Jesus and the missionary families who accepted them and forgave them.
Don’t be afraid to say yes my beautiful children. Don’t be afraid to do the hard things.
Say yes to your calling no matter the cost.
I hope and pray that I not protect you from the amazing things God wants to do in and through you because of wanting you to be safe and happy! Remind me of this letter if I ever try to stop you.
God Works When You Do HARD Things
I want you to see God’s love conquer all of the sadness and death and fear in this world.
Like how I get to celebrate the adoption of a girl who has no ability to walk She’s discovering her worth. The goodness of God is far above any evil of hurt and suffering in this world. It thought it had her as an orphan with no one to care for her and scarce food. It was wrong.
But this is my story.
Your story will be just as exciting and yes, just as hard. This is a hard life and I often covet other’s easier roads.
I’ve learned in my 30 plus years that no items or success is greater than the peace of just knowing in my heart God is over all and I have nothing to fear. I can’t have that faith without obedience. I can’t see him work without stepping out myself.
Fear will be with you in your big life choices. Choosing to follow God’s calling will grow your faith. Do hard things.
The biggest comfort to me when fear gets the best of me is to remember the God who calls me is faithful and working in it. It’s NOT done when I feel “done.”
What I Feel Doesn’t equal What Actually Is
Through my eyes though, things are hard. Even now I’m adapting so much slower than you are little ones. I want you to know this because someday you’ll need to know.
You’ll need to know that the sound of people saying things like “do what makes you happy.”
or “follow your dreams.” may not be as innocent as your little face is right now. But it is tempting.
You see, when we chose to adopt, we heard things like, “why would you do that to yourself?” and “Are you crazy?”
It went against the American dream. It’s doing a hard thing. We already had three young children.
Instead of moving on to more freedom as we left the baby years, we chose to stay longer and give way more time, attention and love to our kids than we’d ever done.
A Front Row seat to See God’s Power over the Darkness
Hard circumstances do not mean you are in the wrong place.
I will be honest. I’m in the middle of it right now and It’s not making me “happy.” It’s actually driving me insane. At the same time, I could NEVER go back without the burning to follow through with our calling.
The question will often come in life, “WHY?”
“Why did this happen? Why does it hurt so much?
Jesus was presented with this question concerning a man born blind. Did someone do something wrong that made him blind? they wondered. Here was Jesus’ reply.
“It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,” Jesus answered. “This happened so the power of God could be seen in him.” John 9:3
Remember that God wants to work in others lives and he wants to work through you.
Doing hard things may be celebrated by others when you’re young and have so much to accomplish. When you get older, it won’t be that way. The temptation will be to just “enjoy your life” because life is hard.
Don’t “enjoy your life” to the point that you miss out on the enjoyment of seeing God work in your life.
Trust him. He’s got so much for you to enjoy if you surrender to his guidance. It will matter.
Say yes to your calling no matter the cost.
That is something that should never change.
From the hilltop (no matter the Valley),