Fun fact about these Reads: All of our birthdays fall within a span of two and half weeks. And today marks the halfway point through this year’s Read household birthday season. However, rather than exude an extra dose of happy, this mama has been rather irritable. Emotional and grumpy. All words I hate to describe myself with and yet I couldn’t seem to escape their entanglement. Along with sickness, I’ve had doubt and fear spiraling through my thought life like cotton candy being wound on a stick. Thoughts like:
Why on earth do I think I can balance another child? I can’t handle the two we have.
I must be crazy to even consider adding to our family – especially through adoption.
What am I thinking?!
I can’t do this.
I’m not patient enough.
I am not strong enough.
I am not enough…
See, when my baby girl was born a week early, making her birthday perfectly fall one week to the day after mine with her brother’s already exactly a week after Rob’s, I was amazed at God’s timing. Yet, I’ve held this tiny little fear quietly tucked away:
Will the child we adopt feel less a part of our family if their birthday is not neatly aligned along with the rest of ours?
And so, being the problem-solver I am, I had more or less inadvertently held this belief: That God would hold up our perfectly designed birthday plan and give us a child whose birthday fell in step with ours. And this was the year it was all supposed to happen. Not just this year, but now. Right now. As in, this month or even last. Amid this year’s birthday season – which would make our kids all perfectly planned at three years apart.
Instead I got puke. That’s right, puke. As in my children discovered they have a talent for dislodging the food they deem doesn’t please their palate from their mouths onto my kitchen floor. Yeah… Only, the ironic thing is that I too was spewing, thankfully not food remnants, but with certainty, my prayers.
Even as the timing continued to look more and more impossible from a legality standpoint, I still unknowingly held onto the belief that my God would do the impossible to set my plan in motion. And in truth, He could. He is the God of miracles. He could change time and space and circumstances to align with MY ideal.
And when He didn’t, I got grumpy. Real grumpy. And I spewed out my frustration without taking the time to listen.
See, the problem isn’t that He can’t put my plan into action; it’s that it wouldn’t be HIS best to do so. And not only is it for that I’ve asked, it’s also what He promises when we align our heart with His.
I’ve learned: When you pray dangerous prayers, God tends to answer them. Often, those answers come in a gentle push outside of the box of comfort we’ve designed to stay within. Because outside the realm of the seeming ease we think we desire, is the abundance of life of which we’ve actually been longing. It’s all a part of surrendering me to receive Jesus. It’s giving up my ideal to get His; His ideal which sees beyond time, space and circumstances and works ALL things for my good.
The truth of the matter is, I’d determined taking this step of adoption was faith enough. Now, He should bend to my will. But this journey isn’t about compromise. It’s about abundance. Abundance that doesn’t come from dipping my toe in the water; but rather by jumping into the current. I won’t find the life Jesus longs to fill me with on the shore. This journey of adoption is just one more way He’s working overtime to get to me – and to get to my child.
So, instead of erupting with complaints I deem appropriate because His plan didn’t jive with my time table, I’m going to wade deeper. I’m gonna trust bigger. I’m going to continue to allow His answers to my dangerous prayers lead me to a life of abundant dwelling in streams of Living Water. Knowing Jamie is not enough for this journey.
Only He is.
The most foolish part of this whole scenario is so simple it’s laughable: I didn’t plan our birthdays. This birthday season we all happened to have landed within was not my doing. I didn’t choose when any of us would be born. God did. And He alone knows our child. As hard as it is to let go of what I thought was best, leaving it all behind in pursuit of the design fashioned by the same hands that crafted the world is a pretty okay place to rest.
And so fight to rest I will.
For the Lord God is our sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory. The Lord will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right.
Oh Little One, mama’s heart is under construction for you. These doubts and fears are the enemy’s way of trying to keep me from you. But we won’t let him win, will we? Not now; not ever. God is moving mountains to bring us together. You are already so loved. My heart and arms ache for your arrival. The story God is writing here is going to be one of sincere beauty. And we’ll walk it together, you and I, in streams of abundance.