In the last year or so, I have been decidedly restless. We’re often pretty busy around here, so it wasn’t actually boredom. But it felt like boredom. It wasn't from a lack of activity or living. Actually, this year has been a year of amazing joy. There were days the kids would crack up because I was exploding with giddiness and goofy thankfulness for life. But I was still restless. The kind of restlessness that has you paging through Pottery Barn magazine for yet another something to fill something that won’t ever be filled with somethings.
We’ve only lived in our house for two years. Since I love decorating, I’ve had a lot of fun looking for deals, sales, keeping my eye on things I want to ask for at Christmastime or my birthday (yes, that’s unromantic, but that’s how we do it. He might want a new snowboard, but what I really really want is barstools for the kitchen)
However, it doesn’t take very long to realize, “There will always be something more I want.” Did God really give me a beautiful home so I can make it look like something out of a catalog? Or did he give me a home so I can fill it with love and laughter and messes and healing and hope? Do we get children so we can quickly sign them up for as many activities, sports, classes to fill their days and wear them out or does God give us kids because he wants us to teach them how to truly be content, how to serve, how to fill their hearts with the only thing that fills…Jesus. With every activity, I think, “Is this good thing good for our kid?” Is this nurturing a gift, nurturing our relationship or it just another THING, for goodness sake, a good thing, but another thing I have to find a place for.
Our adoption is pushing us into a very sweet place of surrender. I think God was preparing me for it all year. Our thoughts of the normal day-to-day now share space with Ethiopia. Even though in the past we’ve helped to support missionaries in other countries, or organizations like Samaritan’s Purse, World Vision, or Compassion, this is the first time my heart is broken and pouring out for orphans. (That came from God by the way, not me. There were so many times I guiltily tossed out the magazines about orphans and poverty and disease. The needs are so great that I felt so small and useless. And I couldn’t even muster up emotion enough to care. Any dollar we gave was simply obedience, but not really love.)
I started saying to God, “Father, Break my heart for what breaks yours….show me how to love like you….” That line from the Hillsong song would be on my lips, in my mind for days, weeks. And God, in His mercy, took all the overwhelming hurt of a broken world and broke it down for me…140 million orphans worldwide….minus one. If we follow Him, He shows us why we are here. And who He will love through us. It might seem small, but if we all ask Him what He wants to do, I think that is the heart of it. If we determine to walk in the Spirit, led by the Spirit and transformed by the Spirit, our love doesn't grow cold and our hearts don't grow complacent.
"For if we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit." Galatians 5:25
He is such a good shepherd. I say, “Lord, here I am…Send me” and yet I secretly whisper “Just please, God, NOT THERE.” But He knows. He knows what I can handle. He knows what our marriage can handle. He knows what our family can handle. He knows where we are now. He knows about our money. He knows about grumpy days. He knows….. He doesn’t wait till we “grow up” to use us. He doesn’t wait till we have it all together. He just waits for little-kid arms reaching up to Daddy in complete trust and surrender. We are here for a purpose. I believe that purpose is full surrender.
And my God shall supply all of your needs, according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19