A few weeks back I had a sweet Christian friend ask me in what ways I had seen God’s hand since saying yes to our fabulous five. (For those of you just joining in since I opened back up to private- we are in process of adopting a sibling group of five through the foster system). I’m embarrassed to admit that her question sort of woke me up and for that I am so thankful. You see, in the beginning I felt nothing but ‘overwhelmed’- or perhaps I should just say I was 'in a fog'. The decision was obviously huge and while we had prayed about it, talked about every possible scenario (at least that we could come up with) the fact is- there is just no way to predict the future. I honestly have no idea how to parent 12 children. No clue. I don’t know exactly what will work and what won’t work. Each child’s needs are so different, each child’s personality is unique. Yet down deep no matter what- all of us long to belong somewhere and all of us long to be loved and accepted the way we are. That I can do. :0)
So thankfully when my friend asked me about how God has been working in our lives I decided that it was time to open my eyes and really pay attention… and once again I am overwhelmed- but no longer in a fog. Overwhelmed that the King of Kings, Lord of Lords cares enough about me to supply all of our needs. Overwhelmed that God Himself listens to our desires and wants us to be happy. Overwhelmed that our Savior can use me- my past mistakes, my lack of faith, and my inexperience. From dressers to car seats, from pillows to clothes, from swing sets to baby showers -God’s people have reached out and been His hands and feet. I am overwhelmed with gratefulness… Yet through that gratefulness there was a war going on inside of me- a battle of my pride.
I used to think that pride was a good thing. You know- we’ve all heard it "be proud- be strong.” Proud of our accomplishments, proud of your name, proud of who you are, proud of what you are. Strong. Independent. Self sufficient. We have been taught these things since we were knee high… and yet our God tells us something completely different. He tells us to rely on Him, to look to Him and only Him for the answers, that when we are weak- He are strong…
The flesh in me wanted to be able to do this in my own strength. To be good enough, strong enough, be ‘enough’ to provide for and parents these new children. I wanted to take these new kids, give them everything they needed, dress them in cute clothes and have their hair in just the right style. I wanted them to be happy, well adjusted and for everything to just fall into place. Or maybe what I really wanted was for everyone to stand back and say “Wow, she's got it all together-how does she do it?”
When I first saw the Virtual baby shower on my sweet friend Angel’s blog, I have to admit that after bursting into tears and being very humbled that these awesome ladies would care enough to do this… my pride started to ‘take over’ and my flesh began to kick in. I didn’t want people to think I couldn’t do this on my own. That I wasn’t good enough to handle it all or that we couldn’t provide for these kids on our own. But then I remembered… just the night before I had been on my knees before the Lord and telling Him of our needs. I had complained to Him that the need was so huge- overwhelming. I had confessed to Him (as if He didn’t already know) that I had no idea how we would pull it all together or how we would have enough tiem. And to be honest I don’t know if I really even believed He was listening or if I was just praying through the motions- working out my own plans in my head.
Yet I remember after praying I let myself be still before the Lord and I heard Him say “will you let me?”
Will you let me?
At the time I didn’t know what He meant...probably because I was still so busy making those plans… but now I do. There has been so many times in the past where my pride has literally stopped God from being able to work in my life. Times where I was too proud to say I was sorry- because that would mean I made a mistake. Times where I was too proud to let a friend see my real hurt- because that would mean I had flaws, and times where I was too proud to let someone help out- because that would mean I was weak. It would mean that I had faults, that I was a sinner… that I needed- a savior.
Wait- isn’t that what being a Christian is all about? Doesn’t being a Christian mean that I admit I cannot do it alone?
Will you let me?
His words kept coming back to my mind… I had prayed and asked Him to meet our needs and yet how did I expect Him to answer my prayers if it wasn’t through other people? I know I myself wrote a blog post on that- about God’s work getting done through us. About us being God’s hands and feet… and yet here I was- so full of myself, so full of pride that I actually thought I could do it on my own?
In his pride the wicked does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God. Psalms 10:4 NIV
Dear heavenly father- please forgive me. Forgive me for playing god. Forgive me for the times I have hindered your work because I thought I was good enough to do it my way. I praise you for the amazing people you have brought in my life, for their example, their hearts, their faith in you. I thank you for loving me regardless of the mistakes I make and I thank you for teaching me more about you each and every day. I thank you for not only meeting our needs but blessing us beyond anything I could have ever imagined. I thank you for these precious new children you allowed to come into our lives and I praise you for those individuals who don’t even know us but were willing to be your hands and feet and reach out in love. I thank you for the precious ladies who put together our virtual baby shower- for the blessing of their friendship and that they could see through my pretence and pride and know our needs regardless. They are true example of your love.