We have spent the last week doing things around the house. Crafts were done and lots of art was painted. Games were played and books were read and things were fairly quiet. Normally words flow with ease, but it took me three days to write a one paragraph bio on Vika. The program wanted to show her bio to prospective adoptive parents. I struggled hard to find words when what I really wanted to write was instructions followed by a questionnaire. What I really wanted to write was:
Do you promise to teach her about Jesus?
Do you promise to love her unconditionally?
Do you promise to show grace when she fails?
Do you promise to give lots of hugs?
Do you promise to advocate for her education?
But in the end, with much prayer it ended up being a bio and not a questionnaire. And I asked the Lord a million times if He was sure. Was He sure that He had this under control? Was He sure that we are doing the right thing? Was He sure that it was going to be ok? Was He sure He didn’t need my help? Didn’t need me to intervene and save the day? Surely He allowed me to have a part so I could take over and fix this mess. Right?
I confessed to Brian that I wish I was the person people think I am. I wish I was stronger. I wish that I never had doubts. I wish my identity was always rock solid in Christ and I never doubted what He says to or about me. But, it would be such a mistake for anyone to think that I "have it all together". My Bible is not a road map to my life. Its often a life vest that keeps me from drowning. Verses are underlined because I forget what God reveals 5 minutes after He teaches me. And Psalms is covered in tear stains because that is where I run when it gets hard. I run there when I need to read how even people like David struggled because I always seem to forget that no one has EVER had it all together. NOT.ONE.EVER. No one but Jesus, of course. (This is me giving us all permission to stop trying).
I slip to the backyard to lay out for a few minutes while the little ones nap. I tell the girls I need some time in the sun, but it would be more accurate to say I need some time with the Son. And sunglasses hide tears that can’t be held back. And a lawn chair forces me to be still and look up. Praise music reminds me for the millionth time about those verses I already underlined but forget to cling to. I look at the clouds and I have to confess to Him that I see them but I have no clue how He forms them. I feel the warmth from the sun but I have no idea how He holds it there in place, causing it to rise and set at just the right time. I cry and I confess I have turned to the idol of “self reliance” (ummm....again) and I repent. I remember that I am small, and honestly it’s a huge relief.
I lay down the weight that I carried on my shoulders. I lay down responsibility for her future. I lay down the expectations of others. I lay down the desire to control and choose instead to obey.
I was never meant to be anybody’s savior. I needed a Savior myself.
And He whispers softly.
And because I remember I am free. Free to spend my nights doing what I know best. I tell her what I do know. I know what it feels like to hurt. I know that God can redeem anything. I know that God loves her. She is known. She is NOT forgotten. There has never been a moment that He left her side. And as the tears stream down her face and mine, I tell her on and on. And sometimes I hold her and I run my hands through her hair as I tell her about how He knows her and He loves her. And I don’t know how God will redeem this mess. I know He will, though.
No, really…. I KNOW.
And the beauty of it is that Love would go that far. Love would fly her across the world just to tell her she is not invisible. She is known and she is loved. And I feel sure there’s more. But for now I can rest in that because I am not called to be the savior. I am not called to see the big picture or to make the plans. I’m called to walk. I’m called to love. So I will walk, and I will love.
And honestly, tomorrow I will probably forget. I will get overwhelmed and might even let my own thoughts beat me to death until I finally run back to that Bible. And when I turn there I will go straight for the pages with the most tear stains.
And He will remind me of what I know best.
Futures are always best held in nail-scarred hands.