Last week I talked about having a ridiculously hard time with being gracious with unexpected change, with trusting that something would be ok that was a little bit scary to do and how strong the idols of security and approval were on my heart.
After that post published, I didn’t really feel any better but I went through with what I had committed too, even though it was scary and super risky and opened my eyes and heart to a whole host of other issues. But there was forward progress and grace and love and memories that would not have happened otherwise. I had been dwelling on Isaiah 30:12:
“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it’”
This is the way. Walk in It.
Oh, friends. How I wish that was it.
Today I was reminded (yet) again of those idols. We had a well baby visit for our little bit and I scheduled it knowing that we were squeezing it in but also that the county required it of us ASAP. I don’t know if you’ve ever cried before the doctor came, but yeah. One of those days. Two of the kids were fighting over a 1/2 inch tall shopkins toy. One was totally checked out listening to a book on tape and the baby wouldn’t sit still long enough to get measured by the clearly overwhelmed RN. Add to that one kid trying to escape out the window (one old enough to know better) and another one throwing the paper roll all over the office and it was just time to be done. In all of that, I had the cutest little all smiles 9 month old and gave him a nice little shot in the leg to top it off.
Any chance I had of impressing the office of what a nice little foster family looked like was gone. Not only did I lose control of what felt like everything, I lost respect (status/approval) too.
On the way home my daughter asked a question that jabbed right at my heart- “when can we see A and L again?”
The last time we were in that office altogether, in that room with that provider, was in fact with the girls. The wound of losing two sisters opened up for that little one way more than she could handle. It wasn’t about me or about my parenting style or what I did wrong or could’ve done better. She was wounded and it was showing.
Which reminded me I was wounded too.
Tired and worn out and wishing God would just stop working on my heart. Feeling vastly unqualified to do this job. Unqualified to parent other people’s kids. Unqualified to parent my own in the midst of pain. Unqualified to teach Sunday School on Easter Sunday. Completely unqualified to run a ministry. Unqualified to run a household or create anything that resembles a welcoming atmosphere. Unqualified to be any sort of wife let alone a praying supportive loving one.
I was listening to a podcast today with Sally Lloyd Jones where she talks of planting a seed in our children’s heart. How the very nature of planting seeds means that we have no business with what happens to it after the fact.
This was fresh in my mind while my kids were fighting in the back seat (again).
“Can you please turn off your audio book for your sister”
No. It’s not fair.
“I know it’s not fair. I’m not asking for fairness. I’m just asking that you serve your sister by turning it off and be just a little bit like Jesus for the next 10 minutes until we get home.”
What if that is exactly the point? It’s not fair. Our wounds aren’t fair. It’s not fair that my kids have experienced what they have. It’s not fair that the kids we love have experienced it either. It’s not fair that going to the park with people we care about results in strangers leaving the park out of safety concerns. It’s not fair that they get stared at or whispered about. It’s not fair that my job is one of the most undervalued in the country. It’s not fair that no matter how hard I try, I can’t make my kids willingly serve anyone.
If I’m honest, I would really love for Easter to be over. I’m over the panicked phone calls my husband gets about technology at all hours because of “Jesus.” I’m over the easter egg hunts and the bunnies that have nothing to do with the Cross. I’m over that image of the cross and a sunrise and something about the hope of Jesus that crops up EVERYWHERE. I’m looking at you, churches of the U.S. of A. You know what image I’m talking about.
He was wounded for us and this is how we react to it. Panicked that we’re not reaching the community, mixing messages of crosses and eggs and roosters and bunnies. Making sure we fill all the seats so that our friends can hear about the hope of Jesus on April 16th.
I get it. It’s one of two times a year people are willing to walk through those terrifying doors.
But, today, worn out and tired, while my kids are tearing apart the couch, swinging off my curtains and dumping veggies straws on the floor that I just swept; today I want to ask, why are we so drastically limiting God?
What about last Thursday when people we loved desperately needed to know that they were loved- that we would risk our comfort and security for them to know it?
What about all the millions of seeds we plant in our children by pointing them back to Jesus every possible chance we can get? And what seeds are they then planting that we will never ever see?
What about the example of doing something well, as vastly unqualified as we are because we have Hope?
Saying yes because he is right behind us.
This is one of the great messages of the Bible: God chooses the weak things of the world to shame the strong, the foolish and despised things to shame the wise, even the things that are not, to bring to nothing the things that are. That’s how God does it. -Timothy Keller, Counterfeit Gods.
That’s just how he does it.