Friday, August 19, 2011

the last post on katie's blog- inspired me to write about some of the thoughts that have been churning in my head the last few weeks.

here i go.....
i want to start with neiko.
the older he gets and the more he becomes a part of our family the more frustration i feel over not having been there for ALL of his life.
that i never got to kiss his sweet soft newborn skin or gaze into big chocolate brown eyes as he nursed. that i wasn't there to hold, comfort, and bond with baby nikau.
i'm sad for what he missed and for the stability that he didn't have. i'm sad that he wasn't rocked to sleep in secure, loving arms because EVERY baby deserves nothing less. and i'm sad that i wasn't there to teach him with much laughter and encouragement how to sit or pull up or crawl.

i'm sure that EVERY adoptive parent goes through these same emotions, and i'm sure i would've been more prepared for them had i taken classes or studied up more on adoption. and i'm sure some of you who have adopted older children laugh at my missing a mere 8 1/2 months....

but 8 1/2 months is long enough. long enough to forever mold and shape a tiny baby trying to make all the right connections out of life and love.

there are things about his personality that drive me crazy but i NEVER blame HIM for them. these are the things that stem from being born into a broken world and into a broken family. these things are the result of his being without unconditional love for a good part of his babyhood.

it hurts me to see how long it takes him to learn to trust me. to trust that i will always be there for him. and to learn that it is WORTH IT to listen to me and to obey me. that his little life just goes so much better for him when he does. that the benefits of obedience faaaar outweigh his desire to be independent. that when i speak it MATTERS, and when i say "no" it is for a good reason.

and then.....
i realize why God has a heart for adoption. that we ALL spend part of our lives living without Him and that we are all affected by that time. that it takes us YEARS and YEARS to learn to trust Him and His plan for us. and then we have to learn all over again to trust Him when our spouses and our children and our grandchildren come along, and in and through every circumstance.
and it has taken me a ridiculously long time to learn that it is just better to obey. that my whole life goes better when i do.
obedience comes at a huge cost sometimes but the benefits faaaar outweigh my desire for independence.

"In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world.
But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.
And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!"
So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God."
Galations 4:3-7

adoption means family
family means love
love means acceptance
acceptance means freedom

and freedom is what God has been teaching me about. the freedom that is in Christ.
this word freedom would maybe sound a little scary if taken out of context, so the key is freedom in Christ.
and for me, "freedom in Christ" means freedom to enjoy the dynamics of being a part of His family. no more striving to be what or who i am not, but to be me through Him.
freedom means no more reason for anxiousness, because He is in control. and it means less turning inward and criticizing and more turning outward and loving and serving.

i grew up believing that Christianity was about following a list of rules. that it was all about ME and how well i was able to follow those rules. i struggled. i tried very hard to do everything right- and the few times i was able to get a few things right, well, then i could actually look my Savior in the face. but most of the time there was no relationship with Him because i couldn't even see Him through the cloud of shame hanging over me.
and slowly over the years God has shown me that my relationship with Him is waaaay more about who HE is than it is about who I am.
it is so much more about HIS work than it is about mine.
and that when He speaks it MATTERS. it matters above ALL ELSE.
and that our relationship is enriched when i follow those rules but it is not defined by it.
which strangely enough has me wanting to do MORE and MORE for Him.
more of Him and less of me.
He has removed that self-imposed cloud of shame and has left me better able to see Him and hear His voice and follow where He leads me.

and that is the freedom.

and my inability to obey perfectly keeps me dependent on Him. it shows me over and over my great need for a Savior.
and since i can't do much good apart from Him, and my desire is for only Him, then i'm doubly dependent.

dependent and thankful.
oh, so thankful for the grace, adoption, family, love, acceptance, and freedom that my Father freely gives.

and thankful that He continues to teach a very slow learner, and that He continues to love and use His very imperfect children.

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