If we are being honest, there are days when I question what in the world God is doing? And, I wish I could say that most of the time, I am asking Him, with a half smile on my face in a mischievous, "God what are up to" kind of way - but I'm not.
Most of the time I am asking through tears, with my hands on the steering wheel, when I am driving. You see I have 3 little people and 1 big person that often times want to talk to me and need my attention in some way, and I am so grateful that they do. But, often this dynamic does not force me to be still, be quiet, and just be alone with God and the thoughts in my head. But that all changes during the 25 minutes it takes to get from the place where I drop off kid #3 to the church and, then again when I go from the church back to retrieve kid #3. That when I get almost an hour of silence, with my thoughts. I know to some of you this may sound like heaven, and sometimes it is, but lately not so much.
In July 2013 Chad and I decided that we were done . Done with status quo. Done with the "American Dream." And done with only serving others when it was convenient, made sense, or dare I say when it produced the most warm and fuzzy feelings inside of us. Since that day, we have not looked back. That does not mean that we have not messed up (so many of those mess ups is what led to this blog) - it just means we have not looked back. I can say with complete sincerity, there has never been a 6 month period in which I have learned more about who Jesus is, sought more fervently after the Holy Spirit, and consumed more words of the Bible - like someone starving to death. And it has been beautiful.
But at the same time I have never experienced more sadness, uncertainty, and overall frustration in my life. Nor have I ever asked God, "What are you doing?" more times as I have in the last 6 months.
In August 2013, my mom was diagnosed with lung cancer. I am the 3rd child in my family (by 9 years) and the only girl. So to say that my mom and I are close is an understatement. And, to say that this diagnosis was devastating would also be an understatement. We found ourselves in survival mode. Taking it 1 day at a time because that is all we could do, WE COULD NOT think past that moment in that day. That was the time when those 25 minutes in the car became deafening. Many days the 25 minutes was taken up with me asking God, through tears, "What are you doing?"
And then in the thick of chemo, radiation, explaining cancer to a 2, 5 and 7 year old, I had a vision. Now before you start to get wigged out or get nervous that I may be going down the path to crazy town, I can assure you no one is more uncomfortable with those that seem a little too "odd for God" than I am. So just stay with me.
Remember 2 paragraphs up when Chad and I decided we were done? Well, one of the beautiful things God did in that time was open our eyes to the plight of orphans and what our role should be in helping them, which led to our decision to adopt. So we said YES to God about adoption, as long as we could wait at least a year to start the process. We had a lot going on, but truth be told we never even asked God what His time table was, after all wasn't saying YES good enough? Anyway…back to the vision…
It was late and I had just gotten into bed and just fallen asleep, when my 2 year woke up crying. I got out of bed, climbed the stairs to his room ( while having a very impassioned inner dialogue about the fact that my husband was sound asleep in bed and that my 2 year old didn't seem to know I had to wake up for work in just a few hours). When I got to my son's room, he was sitting up in his bed crying, I immediately went over to the side of his bed, got him to lay down and started singing his favorite song, "wheels on the bus" (I know we are really deep with our bed time songs - don't be jealous). As I sat there stroking this hair as he fell back asleep, tears started streaming down my face. It took all I had to choke out "all through the town" because at that moment all I saw was a little girl in an orphanage, waking up crying in the middle of the night with no one to sing her "wheels on the bus" or come stroke her hair until she feel back asleep, and IT UNRAVELED ME! I To the point that I was crying so uncontrollably that I had to leave the room so I wouldn't reawaken him. I came back downstairs, sat down on the couch and the Holy Spirit immediately laid it on my heart to pray for our future daughter, for her safety, health, development, and security because she is a live and she needs us now! So I did, I spent the rest of the night praying - you don't go back to sleep after something like that! The next day when I told Chad what had happened, he responded, "Then we will start the process today."
So we did and as my mom sat in a chair getting chemo pumped into her body, I told her about her next grandchild. That was in November 2013.
Fast forward to January, Chad and I are about to complete part 2 of our adoption application (which consists of no less than a complete ream of paper - I wish I was exaggerating), when Chad begins to face the biggest obstacle of his entire life up until this point. *Side note: Yes, his is going to be ok. And no I am not going to share the details of it, that is his story to tell, not mine.* But I will say this, watching him wrestle through this has made me again question, "God what are you doing?" And the other day while I was driving in the silence, He answered me with this:
Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. Psalm 34:8
Listen, I grew up in a good Southern Baptist church, I have heard about a million times "taste and see that the Lord is good." But it always stopped, as if the verse ends there, but it doesn't. Thank you Jesus, it doesn't! It ends with, "blessed is the one who takes refuge in him." It is by no accident that right after we taste and see that the Lord is good, we take refuge. Because not everyone is excited about you and me tasting and seeing how good the Lord is. Remember what it says in John 10:10:
The thief comes only to kill and steal and destroy...
So, my challenge to you is to live with such purpose that you taste and see the Lord in all His goodness. Then, don't back down - know that He doesn't want you to, that is why He blesses you with the provision of refuge.