Ugh, this post. It's one that I write out of obedience to the Lord, but it's not pretty, y'all. I so want to be seen as beautiful and put-together, like we look in this photo:
But the reality is that our family is a mess, in a lot of different ways. And I'm going to lay a bit of that out for you today.
I went to the IF:Gathering conference this past weekend. So good. Go if you can, or join a local group next year, or watch from your bed at home by yourself. God is in this thing.
Right at the beginning of the two day conference, we had a time of confession. All 2,000 of us. At a women's conference. Who does that? Leaders who love Jesus, that's who.
As we had a few minutes to pray and think, I thought back through recent hours and days, only coming up with vague "I could do betters" because I'm bad at confessing. But God laid it right out for me.
You have been worshipping your disappointment in your adoption while believing that I am not good to you for five years.
Ouch. Yep. We moved along through the confession time, but I knew God wasn't done with that revelation yet.
Fast forward through two days of incredible speakers and life-giving time away from the daily grind. At the conference drew to a close, Jennie Allen was talking about what comes next, when we go back to our homes and our people and our responsibilities. She asked us to take some time to pray about what one step God would have us to take and write it on the back of a domino.
He spoke so clearly to me. I have let myself be consumed with disappointment over all that is and all that will never be. I have worked so incredibly hard every single day to undo what God has done.
When we brought our kids home five years ago, we were not expecting a fairy tale, but we were not expecting our lives to be shattered in a thousand different ways by the brokenness in ourselves and in our kids and in the foster system. And every single day as we've traveled through this mess, I've been terribly disappointed with the reality of our life.
And I have grown to believe that God has not been good to us.
Oh so mercifully, He showed me this weekend what wicked idol worship I have been participating in by nurturing disappointment and trusting in my paltry efforts to overcome what He has done, as if He has done wrong. He showed me that He is good. He taught me that if nothing else, our adoption is going to be used to wrench sin out of my heart and make me more like my King. He wants me to know that I am not to be defined by the circumstances of my home, however broken and ugly they may be. He is calling me to face what is ahead without acting like He messed up. Whatever the situation, He is there and He is good and to believe anything else is to believe a lie.
I really have no idea what this looks like practically. It's going to be a journey as I face the big and small difficulties that life with our kids brings while undoing the half-decade old habits of practicing disappointment. I know it does not involve ignoring real problems or pasting on a happy face. Y'all, it's not a happy thing that last night we had to involve the campus police officer in our son's choices. The generational sins and the messed up brain chemistry and the myriad of ways sin plays out in kids with broken hearts isn't happy, and I don't have to be excited that we're facing these things. But I can rejoice in the fact that while I am a great sinner, Christ is a great savior. I can rejoice in the fact that He works all things for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28). I can know that He is a good, good father while I stare down the crazy in front of me.
Will y'all pray for us in this journey? We're facing tough stuff with the kids, and we're going to continue to do so. Pray that we dwell not on what could be or should be but on what is: we are loved by God, and His love never fails.