Thursday, December 8, 2011
Taking a U-turn
Here is a short list of what has been turning in the last 2 months:
Georgia turned one and started walking and turned her babble into words.
I turned to prayer for healing and have a new heart for my kids.
Caton can turn a somersault.
Max turns a mean round-off and is excelling in gymnastics.
What to do about their terrible school is turning into a daily conversation.
Ridgley has turned her habit of lying into a realization that truth really is easier.
The babies are learning to take turns and it's precious to watch them wait patiently.
Caton is turning in her pull-ups for big girl panties.
Jesus is turning Ridgley's tired old heart in for a shiny new one.
And we are all waiting for our turn to make the adoption of Max and Ridgley final.
The year will turn from 2011 to 2012 before that happens.
The word "turn" makes me think of the best description I have heard so far for what it means to repent. A u-turn. To turn and go in the other direction at the realization that what you're doing is in opposition to God's character.
I haven't considered a venture into foster care and state adoption as repenting until now, but isn't that what I did? I turned from a completely self serving life in which I nodded to God occasionally to a path of obedience (at least in this one area). I was traveling down the easy road where children are naturally loved and I turned around. Leaving behind everything safe and known. Now I am on an adventurous road with God. Scary and dark. Where He is the light unto my path and without Him I cannot see 2 inches in front of me and so I sometimes stub my toe and scream bloody curse words. Then I turn on the God-light and I can see, but only enough to feel safe about the very next step. The majority of the path ahead is completely unknown.
Is this what I was called to? I honestly don't know if I was 'called' to this by God or if I just talked myself into it for self serving reasons. But it was a u-turn. My old path was fine. Nobody would call it a sinful path necessarily, but indeed it was in opposition to God's character because it only served me and ignored the command to care for widows and orphans. The new path is toward God's character. There are still so many more turns in the road. New ways of obedience I have not yet considered much less adopted into my life and character.
And the truly jaw-dropping realization lately has been that God has not asked me to pursue orphans because I'm gifted at it. He hasn't even asked me to be good at it. And I'm not. His command is to care for widows and orphans in their distress. As a matter of fact, I think on days when they are not particularly distressed, I hardly provide care for them at all. Half kidding here.
He hasn't asked me to love them exactly the same as I do my biological kids but just to care for them. We are commanded also to love one another. But I have never pressured myself to love my neighbor the way I have pressured myself to love these kids. I have beat myself up over not feeling a more equal love for them. But if He is the source of love, then shouldn't I simply be giving HIM to my neighbors, my kids, my friends and family? Is the love he is asking us to have for one another the deep overwhelming feeling kind of love? Or is it to love them as I do myself? And if so...how do I love myself? Not with a gushy-mushy-stare-at-myself-till-I'm-blue kind of baby-love? Not at all. The way I love myself is by protecting my interest, growing myself, learning to be more Holy, feeding my body and preserving my heart. I can do this for my neighbors and orphans and widows and even people I dislike by encouraging them, putting the needs of others ahead of my own, giving sacrificially and proclaiming the gospel. And if I'm walking in the Spirit, I can maybe do even better than this!
The love I am going to give my kids isn't going to be enough anyway. It isn't going to save their souls. My love isn't enough for Caton and Georgia either. All it will ultimately do is show how perfect a parent God is when they finally realize I am an imperfect-human-mommy-sinner who loves a perfect Father. The purpose of my faulty love is to show His Perfect Glory.
I hereby free myself of the pressure to gush every time "they" walk in the room. But I will embrace them, encourage them and teach Jesus by living sacrificially. I will fail at all of this from time to time and then I will teach them how failure shows us a need for God.
And lately I have found myself leaping for them. Little heart-jumps that remind me God can do ANYTHING...even with my hard heart. I just have to be willing. Not an expert. Not even really capable. Just willing to turn.
Posted by Hatch 5 at 9:16 AM