On Friday afternoon, I loaded into a van with six other adoptive mamas and headed to the Created for Care adoption conference. You need to understand something about (many) adoptive mamas. They feel deeply burdened for the needs that they see. They feel responsible to be the answer. I’m not bragging, as you’ll see in the post to follow. ACTION does not always equal obedience. WE are never the answer; Christ alone is.
As we shoved luggage into the trunk, some joked that our husbands might groan at us all coming home determined to adopt more, advocate more, fundraise more, help more, do more…
|with Aunt Rebe/Aunt Sister!|
So as we headed towards the conference, the heavy gray cloud that had been looming over my head for months… that big, “WHAT NEXT, LORD” question-cloud seemed to lower itself heavily onto my already tired shoulders.
I prepared myself mentally for a barrage of statistics and stories about the vastness of the orphan crisis. Adoptive mamas often focus on how great the need is. Tremendous need. We want to shock ourselves and the world awake to those problems that we so selfishly ignore. I felt sure that during the conference, I would hear of needs that would pierce my heart and make God’s direction clear about who/when/how we would next adopt, and what special needs we should take on. I expected answers from God, but failed to notice the fear with which I braced myself to receive His direction.
You can be sure that when “God’s will” feels like a fearful burden, you are forgetting grace and living by your own strength.
This adoption conference was not what I expected.
Praise God, instead of focusing on the greatness of the need, we focused on the greatness of our God.
And the burden began to lift. It was almost as if I could hear Jesus whisper, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light.” I never realized how legalistic I had become in my quest to live outside of the box.
I listened to at least a dozen godly women recount how God had called them into radical lives of obedience. I sat with pen in hand, ready to jot down how they heard God and how they pursued each “next big thing.” I never got an answer. They all seemed to shrug in wonder at the greatness of a God who orchestrates unexplainable circumstances and beauty into their lives in ways that they never imagined or planned. None of them set out for “radical lives.” They simply set out to know the love of their God. Their lives were a work of the Lord, not of themselves.
I went on a different retreat nearly a year ago and spent the weekend begging God for direction. God clearly whispered to my heart then that I needed to know less about upcoming steps and more about Him, His Word.
For the second time now, God is making it clear: I need to worry less about seeking radical action and instead seek radical relationship to the Savior who is willing to come near. I need to be transformed by the love He offers when I sit constantly in His presence. I JUST. NEED. HIM.
And as my heart unites to His, His plans for my life will unfold perfectly.
Stop worrying about nonconformity. Just love God. That’s weird enough. The rest will fall into place.
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33