If you have been with me for a while, you know that SO much of this adoption journey has been fraught with pain, tears and despair. There have been countless hard days and so many nights filled with tears. And I even told you in a post the other week that the month of September had gotten off to a particularly difficult start.
But for the last week, I have felt something different.
How do I explain this in a way that makes sense?
I have felt…
It's weird. Mainly because there are a LOT of reasons to feel sad. But I don't.
I find myself walking around, in the midst of a whole heap of tough stuff, feeling happy.
So I have to ask myself:
What is this place? Where am I? How did I get here? Do I have to leave? Like…ever?
And I think I know the answers.
This place is God's peace with where He has us. Quite honestly, it is a place I have been searching for for some time now. I have been longing for it, craving it. But it has eluded me. Not because God was keeping it from me. NOT AT ALL.
I was refusing contentment. I have been running SO hard after something I want SO much, only comparing myself to the people around me, thinking that I must have been somehow missing the point because everyone else has what I want. And in all of that racing and comparing, I missed God. I missed being grateful for where He has me, for all of this time with my husband, time to take care of student loans before little Ethiopians arrive, time to love on my precious puppy, time to invest in my friends and my students, time to have time.
And time to learn how to humbly surrender my life to Christ in whatever way He asks.
So much of this journey has been learning how to die to myself in a VERY real way. The idea of dying to oneself is something we hear in church all the time. But what does it even really mean? And what in the world does it look like?
For me, it has looked like learning how to set my wants, my desires aside in favor of what God has for me. And please believe me when I say that it has not been easy. Rather, it has been one of the most difficult things I have ever done. By NO means am I perfect at it. I am actually sure that there are a lot of times when my Heavenly Father must shake His head and smile at my refusal to let go.
But now He has brought me to this place where I feel like I have been able to let go, to die to myself and not have it hurt so much. At least a little. You see, dying to yourself can be an INCREDIBLY painful thing. It involves turning away from what your very nature wants and trusting God instead. I have struggled with this. Struggled on a deep, deep level. Way down in the depths of my soul. I have fought against it, and to God's everlasting credit and glory, He did not just give up on me and walk away. He stuck it out with me, and together, we have arrived at this new place. I am finding myself feeling God's peace and walking around with this sense of "I know He will do what is right and what is best."
I hope I stay here in this place. Surrounded and filled by God's peace. I know I will struggle again. It's my nature. But now I know that this place is real. I know, I know, I know, I know that God's peace can break through the toughest and most formidable of exteriors. I know that His persistent and unwavering love can crash though the walls we build around ourselves. I have always said that these things are true, but now I have seen them become reality in my own life and my own heart. I have felt the effects of God's pursuit. I trust Him with whatever comes my way. And I hope in what His plans are for my future.
I hope and pray that you find your way here, too. That you can find it in your heart to trust God with the very life He gave you. If you can, if we can, then God will use us to do great and awesome things. I know how hard it is. I do. I'm right there with you, my friend. And so is He. Lean on Him. There is no shame in that. We were built to need Him. And we can always trust Him.