I wanted to take a moment, to send out an encouragement. Maybe you dove into adoption, just hosted a child, just brought an orphan home, got called to something big. Listen, you are amazing, but more than that, you know your journey. You.
You are doing a big, ultimate, real life, good thing. You are a life changer, a warrior for the good and change in the world. Most people sit back, and complain, but not you.
People won’t understand, but here is the truth in that– that is kind of awesome. People will question you, spout out anxiety ridden questions about costs, and your future life, but listen, it’s their anxiety, not yours. As the great writer Tina Fey wrote;
“Do your thing and don’t care if they like it.”
Do it. Do your thing. Keep going.
We got lots of crazy, crazy off the wall comments when we started adopting, we knew no one who had done it from our same situation–and you know, what? It was not just fine, but good. I would smile real big, no teeth, sometimes snake my arm around their necks, look at them and answer their anxiety ridden questions bluntly. Because you know what they were teaching me? That maybe it was actually right now, this moment, we were actually living life if it caused them this much grief about stuff. Messy and real life. And honestly, most of the best parts of my life, and my own person and character have come from those messiest times.
Jesus does not call me to be comfortable. He wants lots of things for me, like, abundant living, to act fearless while being gripped with it, to serve others and see them when everyone else in the whole dang world turns a blind eye to this precious person, but comfort from this world? No. And that’s ok. Because what I have learned is, is that all the stuff he talks about, he planned, is so much harder, so much better, so much more abundant and filled with real life, that comfort is a joke compared, a real joke. I can’t even… (And just between you and I, I think clutching onto our comfort and stuff out of fears produces much more anxieties than the peace God gives when you decide to just go for it, follow Him–that’s some big lesson I have learned.)
And so when one day, you are at the park, and your precious children are playing out in the sunshine, for the first time being filled up with love and laughter, stretching their bent legs and a woman, shocked, eye brows at the top of her head, alarm in her voice asks, “Why would you do such a thing!!?!” when she finds out about ‘adoption’–
You can smile at her, real easy, gaze into her petrified eyes, and tell her the truth, the truth for your life, but also the truth that will get her to leave you alone, and it’s just one word, “Jesus,” you smile at her, calmly into her face, as she feels sorry for you and walks away in a huff. Just right ending to that encounter.
When people don’t understand, embrace it, love it. It may be totally shocking to them. If someone asks you about ‘your own children,’ you can even kindly remind them that ‘your own children,’ live in the richest country in the richest time frame of human history, and less than I want their happiness I want their hearts to be compassionate with enough room for love, real love which is sacrifice, as they do about the color of plate they have in the morning. So they can open their lives to others just trying to survive, children just as precious, just as worthy. Perhaps, I mean, I don’t want to sound too crazy, but maybe it will be good for your little cherubs, it was for mine…. x100.
It’s ok to live life differently, in fact, to quote a man who has changed my life, in every single way, who has brought more abundance and healing and life into our lives than any other thing,
Jesus told this simple story, but they had no idea what he was talking about. So he tried again. “I’ll be explicit, then. I am the Gate for the sheep. All those others are up to no good—sheep stealers, every one of them. But the sheep didn’t listen to them. I am the Gate. Anyone who goes through me will be cared for—will freely go in and out, and find pasture. A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of. John 10: 6-10
Listen, this guy is it. He knows. There has never been one time that we have jumped into a situation where he was clearly leading that He didn’t have us, and everything else, and then better. Life Abundant.
The best/worst news of all? That his big plan to help those hurting and those in need? It’s us.
You. And me. And anyone willing to take those words literally. You aren’t on your own, it’s all Him with us just showing up.
Don’t be discouraged. Vacations will fade, the new furniture won’t keep its sheen. Dinner parties are soon forgotten, paint your walls bold, then cover it stark white when trends change, new clothes will end up in the thrift store shorty. Don’t miss out on this. The thing is God, and His thing is people. And it’s service, and it’s humility and it’s going forward despite fear. The fear part is ok, but keep going. I’d say, “You’ve got this,” but you don’t. He does, which is all that matters, now and later.
I’m not saying don’t be terrified–in these times joy and fear are real. But it’s the moments with the hurt and the broken, seeking and loving them despite all that, that we find Him.
“Don’t be afraid,” he says, because it’s him on the other side of that fear. There he is, waiting for you.
“Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you.
I’ve called your name. You’re mine.
When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you.
When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down.
When you’re between a rock and a hard place,
it won’t be a dead end—
Because I am God, your personal God,
The Holy of Israel, your Savior.
I paid a huge price for you:
all of Egypt, with rich Cush and Seba thrown in!
That’s how much you mean to me!
That’s how much I love you!
I’d sell off the whole world to get you back,
trade the creation just for you.
“So don’t be afraid: I’m with you.
I’ll round up all your scattered children,
pull them in from east and west.
I’ll send orders north and south:
‘Send them back.
Return my sons from distant lands,
my daughters from faraway places.
I want them back, every last one who bears my name,
every man, woman, and child
Whom I created for my glory,
yes, personally formed and made each one.’”
Isaiah 43: 2-7 Read it, again
And so my friend, my prayer for you, wherever you are, whatever God has placed before you, whatever feels scary–don’t cope with busyness or things of less worth in the scope of time, but go, in obedience to Him. You are His, and he is with you. Go to the ends of the earth, you can trust in him. He is good, in more than we can even see or experience here and now. “When you are in over your head, I’ll be there with you.” It’s perfect.
And if people give you a hard time, it’s not your job to convince them otherwise. Maybe one day they’ll see what God had on the other side of that and marvel, “Oh my goodness, the world is big, and people are important!” And maybe they won’t. Who cares, that end of it doesn’t matter.
Lots of things don’t matter.
And some things do. Even if they don’t even know it.
And He is with you when you find it. Don’t be afraid.
“Whatever the problem, be part of the solution. Don’t just sit around raising questions and pointing out obstacles.”
These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.
2 Corinthians 4:18
What were your feelings like while you obeyed God? Were people encouraging or no, how did you feel about that?
This brought me to tears. THANK YOU.
And again, you bless my socks off. This is just the encouragement the hubby and I needed. I’m gonna share this with him as soon as he gets home from work. I feel like a majority of the people we are around are all about comfort. This is a lesson that I wish we had learned and lived earlier in our lives and our marriage but there’s no time for looking back. We need to press forward!
Our biggest step of obedience was when God called me to quit teaching and stay at home after having our first daughter. Our salary was cut more than half, it seemed crazy and people questioned us but we knew what God was calling us to and He has provided every single day. We have never missed a bill and we have never gone hungry.
This next step for us is a pretty big one as well and already we have taken some “smaller” steps of faith and had some skeptical questioning come our way. It bums me out but I’m thankful for the questions and the opportunity to share my heart and God’s calling. I know that much of God’s work cannot be rationalized and so we press on knowing that God has called us.
Thank you again for your wisdom and your encouragement. I wish I could give you giant hug. 🙂
That was truly one of the BEST, most ENCOURAGING, most INSIGHTFUL, and INSPIRING posts I have ever read! Thank you SO much!!! I NEEDED to read this, and I am almost positive the Lord lead me to this post tonight. BLESS you!!!
Thank you so much – your timing was great and I really needed to read this,, after some very negative responses from some acquaintances to my inquiry about possible donations of gently used clothing (which I would send, at my own cost) for a small Ukrainian ministry which assists over 1,000 orphans and orphanage graduates. My patience has been sorely tried, and I badly needed encouragement to withhold judgment of some of the very rude and clueless responses, while continuing my own support of this outstanding ministry.
So I have bookmarked this blog entry, and am sure I will be rereading it often, to keep help me on track with what I know to be right, good, and effective, while treating those who don’t get it gently and compassionately and educating those who allow themselves to be educated. It hasn’t been easy to do that in these last few days, but your clear insight and articulate advocacy are spot-on. Thank you again, so very much.
Susan, Because we share a similar name, I notice your posts on other blogs/ministry sites. I hope you come back here to read messages because I WANT TO ENCOURAGE YOU to continue because I AM ALWAYS ENCOURAGED when I see your posts. I know the ministry you speak of (I love them too) and I always smile when I see you name and am so proud of how generous and tireless you are in helping orphans. Bless you! Amy- I also loved this post – such encouragement for all of us who are trying to support the orphans in many different ways!
I have never been humbled by such a sweet attitude, genuine love & obedience. Love you, my little girl.
Thank you….I am in China now adopting two….I AM CRAZY!!! When people call me crazy I take it as a compliment because I know we are right where God wants us to be…..JESUS! AMEN!!
So well said, thanks!
Thank you, thank you! We’ve already started to get some negativity towards our pursuing becoming foster parents. It’s the scariest thing, but we also couldn’t be more excited about how God will use us, and how these kids will change us.