God has had us on an incredible journey...well forever, really....but specifically in these last several months. I spoke with a friend the other day & she described remembering one of the best times in her life as a time that was also the hardest. I don't think that is always the case. I think the willingness to grow through it is what allows for that. Not always....but that's what I think.
I remember the story of the little girl watching a butterfly struggling to get out of a coccoon & to help she got some scissors & "helped" him out. But the butterfly is made so that when it pushes its way through the coccoon the process is what allows his wings to spread so that he can actually fly. The little girl cutting the coccoon actually prevented the butterfly from flying at all.
I used to work in a children's hospital - my dad used to always say, "i don't understand how you can do that every day." He's a softy. :) Full of compassion & the idea of watching people suffer day in & day out was more than he could bear. I loved it. Not the watching of people suffer part. That part was hard. I have come to learn that suffering, pain & death are a part of life. But to be present with people in those moments.....that's a gift. I learned so much during those days. I fear those circumstances coming into my happy little world, but I also know that by never encountering them I would stay a caterpillar forever....or stay in the coccoon forever...and we are meant to fly.
We have been practicing a Bible verse with the kids...Jeremiah 29:11 - For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to help you & not to harm you plans to give you hope & a good future. I don't pretend to understand it - there's so much suffering in the world that I choose not to speak for God. But I believe Him. I believe Him because when I start to doubt Him I realize it is because I am defining his goodness with my comfort or another's comfort...down here on earth....rather than from the perspective that we are supposed to keep. The one where we believe in eternity. And like being present with those families - it's like they learned a secret because of those really really hard times. And they have a message to share. The Bible is the same way. There are people who desperately want to tell us something for our best interest. They know something that we don't, and often we turn away. Choose to think that it's too imposing, too inconvenient, too .... irrelevant.
I listen to songs - well, some songs - knowing that the words were often times inspired by something that is very important to them. I try to hear the passion they want to share with me.
I believe that He has a plan.
I believe that He sees where I can be. Where my kids can be. Our very best.
That we are being prepared for something we don't know. Like a coach pushes a football player that he sees great potential in.
I think we all have great potential.
And the gift of free-will means we can reach that potential...or not. But it never means that there's not a plan.
And I think there is more than one way to get from point A to point B.
I don't think it is necessarily that I live in a particular city or that I work a particular job or live in a particular neighborhood.
I think the process of the heart is bigger than that. And I believe that is where God's kingdom reigns. In our hearts. So when I find myself in those hard situations that I wish would just go away. Confrontation. Being misunderstood. Sickness. I think I am supposed to lean in.
Not so that the circumstances will go away. But so that He can gently work on my heart. He can show me that impatience or that anger....or right now....that need for surrender. He can show me that that impatience or that anger are actually expressions of the fact that I have put a whole lot of trust in the things of this world. The opinions of others. The need to be approved of. When all along the words He has told me are that He is all I need.
He's got me in a fire. He's refining me.
He's asked us to step out in faith.....and we are. And with each step I am shown my weaknesses...and in that I find His great strength.
And if we count the cost of this world......well, what's the point?
You may have been following the Levy's adoption story - their story is amazing. Their lives scream love. Sacrificial, selfless, merciful, abandoned love. And as I have followed their journey, I have learned of other's journeys...like this one....this is the Coors family.
This family has a story to tell.....everyone has a story to tell....some are better than others....this one is pretty great.