…of the rest of your life.
Ever feel like that?
I remember when we had our first child. I remember looking at him…knowing that life would NEVER be the same. I forgot what life was like before him. Richard and I would go on date night and ask ourselves, “WHAT DID WE TALK ABOUT BEFORE HIM?? WHAT DID WE DO??”
Our lives were now changed. We were in love with one another of course–but we now shared something in common that before children we didn’t understand…a love of a child–a powerful love that is God-given that comes naturally that overwhelms your heart with every new expression and milestone. We wouldn’t remember what life was like before our sweet miracle because the transition was so amazing our minds couldn’t even get back over that wall of what life was like before…it was near to impossible–it was life-changing.
Here I sit–this morning–with my four little precious miracles. Isaac stuffing his face with his favorite Gorilla munch cereal. Frank with his crazy blond morning bed head. Parker and Laney–my Irish twins–cuddled up on the couch together still waking up. I can’t imagine what my life would be like without them. I can’t forget everything the Lord did for us to bring them each to us. And I can’t remember what life was like before them.
I sit here–wanting to embrace this morning. Because I have a feeling–this is something I might forget. In just a few hours, we’re all loading up to pick up Tetiyana from the airport. For the next 5 weeks this precious 15 year old girl from the Ukraine will live in our home and be a part of our family. We will overcome language barriers–some days with frustration and others with lots of laughter. I’ll be challenged to serve a teenager as I’m used to toddlers. Some days I’ll wonder why we didn’t do this earlier and others I’m sure I’ll want to hide in my closet and breath. But there are 2 things my heart is most certain of this morning…
1. My life is not my own.
I can’t live my life waking up each day saying, “What do *I* want to do today?!” That is not what I was made for. My life isn’t about planning grand adventures for ME. It’s not about ME being comfortable. It’s not about ME getting what I always wanted. Sure it could be about those things–but somethings within my soul won’t allow that question to be asked. I’m not righteous. I’m actual sinful. And I struggle daily with dying to that question. Every day–I WANT to ask that question. But in the morning, I lay there–and give that question back to the Lord. And before my feet hit the floor it is replaced in my heart. Some times with joy–some times with wrestling. “WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO THROUGH ME TODAY? WHAT CAN I DO FOR THE GLORY OF GOD?”
This summer is NOT about me. It’s not about doing what I want to do. It’s not about my kids. It’s not about anything we want. My prayer is that this summer we will learn in a deeper way about what it means to love. What it means to fall in love with someone who God loves. What it means to take risks together. What it means to be challenged to love. And while I haven’t a clue what we will do at the end of the 5 weeks–I have no doubt we will all be changed–and we won’t be okay with just blowing kisses good-bye and saying we will be pen pals. Loving orphans in their distress is about more than that–and I have a feeling we are going to fall in love with our sweet girl–and life for us…will never be the same. I won’t remember what life was like without her–whether we support her in the Ukraine or find a way to do more with bringing her here. I have no idea what the Lord will do or what He wants to do. My hands are open–thy will be done–because you know…it’s NOT about me. But about Him…about His glory…about others knowing Him…about living for the kingdom of God. Every single day–running the race hard and fast…because life is short–many are hurting and we were not made to stick our toes in the sand and just relax here. We were made for so much more than that.
And the second thing my heart is certain of this morning…
2. God’s plans for my life are so much better than my own.
…So much so…not only will you not wish for what it was before–you won’t even be able to remember what it was life before His wonderful adventure came into play.
As I sit here, I have a feeling I won’t remember what life was like before this afternoon. I know T will always be a part of our hearts and lives to some capacity. We are open to whatever the Lord wills. And while we sit back and think our lives are crazy, full, maxed out–His plans are always, always, always grandeur than we can imagine or plan for ourselves.
I won’t remember what it was like to just have 4 in my heart…to wake up and pray for these 4 precious ones and think about just them. I have a feeling that from now on my heart and mind will now be distracted by 5. And if the Lord leads this precious one to go back to live across the world–part of my heart will always be there and I will live my life differently fighting for her to make sure she is okay, protected and not falling into the awful, terrible things that most orphans aging out fall into. I’m not okay with it for any orphan–but this is about to upset this momma’s heart in a whole new way. I’m not okay with my heart being broken into pieces–and this morning I’m scared to death about what the Lord might do in our family and in the life of this precious one that we are about to meet. I lay down my fears and say, “Thy will be done!” and I will run hard and fast remembering that IT IS NOT ABOUT ME…my life is not my own.
If you think about it in the next 5 weeks–will you pray for our sweet girl and our family–and His will to be done. Pray the Lord shows us exactly what He wants us to do from here–but that we wouldn’t be consumed about the “after this” but also live in the now loving with His power and strength to the utmost.
I really believe the Lord is calling believers to step up and do more in the lives of orphans all over the world. He is asking us all to really grasp “It’s not about me” and “Thy will be done” in a new, real way—to kick the sand off our toes radically get involved in the lives of orphans. Trust me–there IS a time to sink your feet in the sand and relax…because as you run hard and fast for Jesus you will need to stop and rest and be restored. We just have to be cautious as believers to not get caught using the sand for the wrong reason. Because in some way–we are all called to run fast and hard and well. Some of us will grow our own families. Some of us will move across the world with our families. Some of us will help families financially that have these callings. Some of us will take the risk of giving our hearts away in foster care…over and over and over.
Jesus said in Matthew 18:5 “And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me.” I want to live my life welcoming more of Jesus over and over and over…whatever that means. Because this life is not about anything else. And if I live for anything else–I’m not only missing the meaning of life—I’m missing the most grand, most amazing, most fulfilling, most exciting adventure any one could ever live. Jesus also said in Matthew 10:39 “If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it.”
Following Christ will often look and feel foolish. Some things will have to be given up–but what you gain…oh my what you gain…is beyond words WORTH IT. “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose” (Jim Elliot). How thankful I am for other believers who have challenged me–who have run this race that appears crazy following Jesus–and who wake up daily wrestling with “it’s not about me”. For those of you running…do not give up. It will be worth it. I promise. For those of you scared to death to run…Your Savior loves you with an everlasting love. He has an amazing, amazing, amazing adventure set aside just for you–for you to run well for His glory. It’s never to late to run…and it will be worth it. You don’t have to save the world…you just have to open your hands, take a deep breath and say, “I don’t want this to be about me. Use me for your glory. Let YOUR will be done in my life!”
Praying for you as you run…and excited to celebrate all that He will do!