Secret Identity

Have I mentioned this adoption thing is hard? Other than living with the terminal cancer diagnosis, this is the hardest season of our lives. There are a lot of great things about it, and Teddy is amazing, but that doesn’t make it easier.

Every morning I am aware of my need for new mercies and strength. By the time I drop the girls off at school and race toward whatever obligation awaits, I’ve forgotten my own weaknesses and blamed everyone but myself for the plethora of hardships that have mounted.

Before we started the process of adoption I was imperfect, but there was so much less evidence of it! Other than last weekend when I slept nonstop so wasn’t around people, there hasn’t been one conversation where I don’t regret at least one thing I said…or at least thought.

I hate being a sinner! I hate the reality that no matter how hard I try, I don’t get any better! I hate that I backslide into a deeper mudput than the one I finally got out of, and I hate the hopelessness of recognizing how deep I’m in it! Most of all, I hate that true Love introduced us to the most precious little boy to complete our family, and I’m spending time being frustrated about his whining rather than understanding what he’s asking for.

But with all this reality, this isn’t a bad news kind of day. This is a new morning! I’ve read two books on identity lately, and they were great but still left me missing it. Today’s devotional in “Morning and Evening” by Spurgeon (revised by Begg) explained it all:

”Yes, we are indeed the conquered captives of His omnipotent love. As those chosen, who have been purchased and subdued, we know that the rights of our divine possessor are inalienable: we rejoice that we can never be our own; and we desire, day by day, to do his will and to declare His glory.”

We do? WE DO! That’s me! That is my heart’s desire, I just am not living it out. I’m living like a cast off, trying to scramble to the inner circle. But I’m already in! Deuteronomy 32:9 assures is, “But the Lord’s portion is His people”. I’m not the gum on the bottom of His shoe, I’m His portion. And if you choose to follow Him, so are you! Let’s live in that dignity.

On this new morning instead of asking for just forgiveness and strength, I praise the Lord for making me important to Him. He made me royalty and invited me to raise others with the same birth rights, so that is the reality I’ll pass on to them today. I’ll still be a sinner saved by grace, but maybe the gratitude from that will consume me more than my flesh today.


All the Hard Things

This adoption thing is SO hard. We know the Lord called us to it, we know Teddy is a perfect addition to our family, and we love him dearly. We know the Lord chose to adopt us and make us part of His perfect family forever, and because we are a family of sinners bringing in a sinner, our adopting Teddy requires much less sacrifice than the Lord bringing us sinners into His sinless presence.

That much we know. And it doesn’t make it any easier. It’s so hard. Even though our family is in it together, and our church family is really supportive, I haven’t felt this lonely since my terminal cancer diagnosis. But the Lord reminded me this morning that “no creature is hidden from His sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of Him to whom we must have account” (Hebrews 4:13). It doesn’t matter if I feel alone, I am not. And neither are you. The Comforter is always aware and available.

From the first day we had Teddy, we felt like we wandered into a war zone. In less than a month each of us have been sick once, and for Naomi and I it’s been twice (I literally got strep throat TWICE). We have had tons of interpersonal stress and disagreements, and so much confusion about how to love Teddy properly. On top of that, Yaacov had to take three business trips, my mom came down with shingles AND diverticulitis, we had a major hurricane, 4 different groups came out for home visits in one week, had three trips to Jacksonville, one trip to the ER and one minor surgery. Oh, and THREE doorknobs in our home broke. Three over the course of a few days. Sometimes small things like broken door knobs can put me over the edge.

We have prayerfully isolated ourselves recently, to focus on learning to love this little guy. That means we dropped important things off our schedules to do the more important thing. It’s an honor to raise him, and to have the chance to be faithful with little. But for my part there has been some mourning. One day while struggling with it, a song I once posted about, Oceans (Where Feet May Fall), came on. I was helping Teddy eat some breakfast and feeling sad that I’d had to pass up the offer to spiritually mentor a new believer, when the reality of those words struck me. I caught it on video. 

The lyrics of that song are things we have prayed through the years:

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

Click here to hear the whole song and get pumped up, like I did. When I’ve prayed for things like this in the past, I wasn’t asking to raise another child, I expected something more glamorous. But the Lord knew better. He will use this to teach us to trust, to grow much deeper in faith, and to know and recognize our savior better. Hallelujah!