love without a safety net
For some reason I have a whole bunch of current and past situations, losses, dreams, passions, and heartaches swirling around in my heart the last couple days. Sometimes it's hard to stop the vortex long enough to stop and look for God, to seek direction, clarity, and peace.
I really have no idea what God's doing in me right now. I find myself fighting for control and asking for a safety net.
Christ's command for us to live our lives defined by love also came with a sacrificial, scandalous example to follow but our western Christian culture has created it's own ideals and models. I think too many Christians fall for the assumption that God's favor upon us generally includes comfort, health, respect and esteem by others, possessions, and financial security.
Maybe it's partly because of that notion that we love with limits.
We love when it's safe.
We love when we are shown love in return.
We love when it is in our best interest.
We love when we are feeling fulfilled and happy.
We love when it feels right.
What if loving means losing? What if loving means being hated in return?
What if God's hand upon our life includes not only blessing but tragedy, vulnerability, illness and loss? What if the story he is beautifully writing in our lives has whole chapters that we will never fully understand? What if choosing truth means that we will be despised, and misunderstood as we swim against a stream of deception? What if God is asking us to trust, risk and take a leap without a safety net?
I am a slow learner. I want so desperately to do things my way. In my timing.
God's greatest blessings are sometimes found in the places that we fear being taken the most,
or in the moments that are so easily overlooked.
I recently read Mary Beth Chapmans "Choosing to see". She shares the heartwrenching, inspiring, beautiful
story that God has written in her life all the way through from her childhood, to 3 adoption journey's and the loss of their five year old daughter. It impacted me over and over as it surfaced emotions, joy, dreams, and even grief that is rarely ever unleashed from it's vault. Could it be that we stuff all of our losses, fears, and heartaches into one place where they all kind of combine together ,stored away...until you read a book that describes so many of your own thoughts, fears, and past emotions. Then they all come trickling out mixed up together until one is indistinguishable from another.
The Chapman's heart for the world's parentless, abandoned, and neglected children inspired and challenged me. It reminded me again of the calling that God placed on my own life years ago.
These were lines in the book that jumped out at me when I read them.
"We felt called to do something about the care and needs of orphans and vulnerable children who might not be adoptable. We believe that even those children who may not survive for very long are still little treasures whom God has put in our world to reveal something about himself.
We committed to help , however we could, those who could be cared for medically and eventually become adoptable, those who would need long term care and not be adopted, and those who would simply need a place to be held and rocked until they peacefully entered heaven. "
Mary Beth Chapman
That is the calling that beats in my own heart. I can see how God has brought us through so many experiences to show us his faithfulness, our capacity to love, and that we can do hard when he asks us to.
"God is always working to make His children aware of a dream that remains alive beneath the rubble of every shattered dream, a new dream that when realized will release a new song, sung with tears, till God wipes them away and we sing with nothing but joy in our hearts. " Larry Crab
Speaking of loving even when it's hard, this guest blogger on one of my favorite foster mom blogs had some good things to say.
Letting go when a foster child leaves
Such a strange kind of loss. Too many people fear, and few understand.