It feels like it has been a long time. But really this month it will have been a year. A year ago I felt the desire stirring to begin the adoption process. I remember holding Kyler when she was only a few weeks old and longing for my other babies. I started praying that day for the ones who would join our family through adoption or through foster-care. The journey has not been simple. A year has passed, and I feel like I have no concrete evidence to show that we are any closer. Doug and I have been going back and forth–me pushing to move ahead quickly, him checking to make sure that we as a family can handle the added chaos of another little body.
Kyler has started taking steps. Today she took two together a couple times. You can see her delight in herself at her bravery and her progress. She knows she is loved. She knows she is safe. I look at these two of mine and hurt for mine who aren’t loved, who aren’t safe. Yet I am no closer to bringing them here. And at last, I felt God speak. He didn’t hurry Doug up as I would have liked. Rather, He had me take a step back–back to the beginning. Back to my beginning as His beloved daughter. Adoption is something very dear to the heart of Father God. He adopts us as sons. He makes us heirs together with Christ, through Christ. I felt Him leading me back to my adoption. Before I can move forward, I need to know where I came from, so that I can walk out this adoption process in light of the gospel.
My mom was adopted. But not for the sake of the gospel. She’s writing a book about it. People do good things for the wrong reasons all the time. And God doesn’t care about my actions as much as He cares about my heart. So He is giving me His heart for adoption, and then I will act out of that. But not before.
So while Kyler walks forward, I pause.
I love this techie world. Amy lives in Uganda and I got to talk to her today. 100 years ago that would not have been possible. Waiting in long lines isn’t such a chore, even without an iphone. I just text someone and complain about the people in front of me, the person behind the desk or impart random updates about my life. Traveling with a cell phone kept me from getting lost numerous times, finding my sister in Old Navy and being able to let people know when I’m five minutes out. Twitter and facebook enable me to “stalk” my friends and see what’s going on in their lives. Recently I was able to pray and mourn with a friend who lost her fiance via these social mediums. I was able to rejoice with another as she brought home her kids from Haiti.
But then there’s this whole other side. The dark side. Via blogs, status updates and online entertainment I lose much of my time. Even as I write this Matthew is sitting on the chair behind me pulling on me, rocking me back and forth and talking to me. I stay logged into twitter and facebook all day so as not to miss any trivial detail that someone might say. As I look at people’s blogs and read their updates sometimes I’m jealous. See, I live my life like it’s a race. I want to get their first. I want the recognition and the glory. I want people to know me. When I first started blogging I used to see who referenced me on their blog. It was a big deal when people found me! I’m mostly over that now. But there is still this longing to be noticed, a desire to be recognized. So when people get things that I want it sends part of me–the old man Paul references in Romans–into a spiral of jealousy. The beauty is that I am a new creation, so I don’t react as strongly as I would apart from Christ. But I’m tired of living in a world of comparison, of striving for title and attention. And so I’m tackling this head on.
For forty days I’m taking a break from facebook, twitter, and blogging*. It’s extreme and I might fail. But I know that if I can follow my Jesus into this He will be faithful to redeem these social mediums, and I can use them as He intends and for His glory. I expect to come out of this able to rejoice with those who are rejoicing without selfish ambition or petty jealousy. I have seen firsthand how twitter can help orphans in Haiti and minister to the St. John’s neighborhood. Because of facebook I got to see Amos Ivey welcomed to Austin, Texas and I went to a funeral and wept with Jenn. On the flipside, via twitter I experienced jealousy that people got to take a mutual friend out for lunch, a friend I haven’t seen in months. I am jealous that people have already done the adoption thing and now I’m just a copycat. See how petty this is? God is rescuing orphans and I’m focused on the fact that I’m going to get less attention. So, for now beautiful degenerate techie world, I will see you on the other side.
*If there is something you need me to see or know about, please email me. I can’t cut out all tech stuff because that’s the world we live in. And I apologize in advance to my beautiful friends who will be making announcements over the next month via these mediums–I’ll just have to celebrate with you in person!
Yesterday was a bad day. The kids were all messed up. I couldn’t figure out napping, when they were hungry or find things to entertain them (except TV) for any length of time. I felt slightly depressed, frustrated and a little mad. And I couldn’t seem to break me or them out of our funky momentum, that increasingly got worse as the hours passed. Usually when we have a bad morning some, if not all of us, recover during nap time. It’s kinda of our restoration time and very important to me and to them to reset moods so we can finish out the day well. But that didn’t seem to cure any ills yesterday. Everyone seemed no different–and slightly worse–after nap time.
At about 5pm I turned on a movie for Matthew, put an unhappy Kyler in her crib and went and laid face down on my bed. I figured if I didn’t somehow reset I would come apart at the seams. So I stole a few minutes to pray, and basically told God if He wanted me to love my kids well, He better intervene because I was blowing it up. I got up, not feeling much better, but resolved to finish this day without any further deterioration. I used the few extra minutes of Matthew’s Veggie Tales to check facebook–intending to possibly vent my bad day to the world–and was floored.
The first status update I read was about a friend concerned for Haiti and her son who is still over there. Millions of people are suffering and dying and trapped. Children are orphaned. People needing medical attention have no access to it. The destruction will impoverish this already impoverished nation for years to come. This will be no quick recovery, and in a few weeks, most of the world will have forgotten this and moved on, while the people there seek to rebuild their lives with little assistance from a few who remain faithful.
I know my Jesus loves me. But His heart broke yesterday for the people who are suffering and dying. Where was mine? I claim to be a part of Him. But I couldn’t break outside of my bubble long enough to weep for what makes Him weep. He was with a hurting and dying people. Once again, my shallow heart didn’t plummet to the depths with Him. I remained aloof, caught up in my own cares, concerns and petty vanity.
Today I weep. Today I pray and cry out to God for Haiti, for Amos Ivey, and for a little boy in Uganda. Kyler’s running a fever. Matthew is throwing crayons. Today is like yesterday. Except God grabbed hold of my heart and invited me to share with Him in the suffering of His people.
I went to church today. I felt full of purpose. I heard the different ways God is moving in this church, and how that is going to ripple out into Austin. I heard about what God is doing in Haiti, work that started with ONE family. People in this church care about the widow and the orphan. They care about injustice. They will lift high the name of Christ and because they are where HE is, this city will be changed.
I realized that today.
I am hearing truth. I am being renewed in my mind, stirred in my heart and led to serve others. Where does this happen? If not for this church, Doug and I would still be arguing over where our allegiance should lie–Catholocism or Methodism–oblivious that lives are lived for the glory of Christ, not “religion.”
And I’m jealous because we’ve been at this church for FIVE years and have yet to be discipled. I’m frustrated because I feel like I don’t fit in and can’t find an area I want to serve. I’m bored…well, because obviously I know everything and want something new and exciting.
How do I say this? Because this church is not perfect, Doug and I have fallen through the cracks and been burned in some ways. But in it’s imperfection, the heartbeat of this church is to glorify God and make His name great…And I’m focussed on me. I learned this today–God is going to use the Austin Stone to impact this city. And I can sit around and grump because I feel left out, or I can get over myself and rejoice at the mighty things God is doing and will do.