Monday, October 20, 2008

Lesson on Pride

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.

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.

8 comments:

Wendy said...

Hi Amy,

I am a friend of Angel's and an adoptive Mom. I think what you are doing is fabulous! I know that Angel mentioned transportation was going to be an issue with the Fab 5, so I thought I would offer the help of a good friend of mine. He works for Fred Haas Toyota and he said he could have his national buyer keep an eye out for a good used 15 passenger van. He will also give you my company discount on it. If you are interested, let me know and I will hook you up with him. (Angel knows how to get a hold of me)

God Bless all of you!

Holly said...

I so identify with the pride issue.
It is a constant struggle to be HUMBLE.
I want Him to supply my needs but in MY way. Yes, I am a work in progress. I have a feeling these new children are going to teach you so very much.
God's ways are amazing!
It's a privilege to be a tiny part of your journey!

Melinda said...

I am with you sister! I think if we are all honest with ourselves, we all struggle with it, some like myself, more than others. I always think I can fix it before God get's a chance. Just posting this shows me that God is working through you and will continue to as long as you are earnestly seeking Him, which you most certainly are. Your heart just shines through here and I love it! Praying you are doing good and hanging in there as you try to get all the details worked out.
love,
Melinda

The Engelhardt 4 said...

thank you...i can't even begin to put into words where I am struggling right now, i just know that I am...i feel lonely and overwhelmed, and lots of times i don't know how to sit still, be quiet, and listen. I am even finding Seth Barnes Book difficult to get through (The Act of Listening Prayer)....This is just very humbling and eye opening...thank you for it.

Amy said...

Selfishly I am glad that your blog isn't private anymore - so I can read it. Love your once a month menu idea!

Congratulations on your almost 5 new children. What a blessing!

kim p said...

Amy, Thank you for sharing your heart and way God is truly working in you. He is at work around you, providing for your needs through the body of Christ...and He is at work IN you, molding you and making you more like Him. I praise Him for His work in your life! Thank you for being honest about this and for the encouragement to all of us to live in God's strength and not our own. That is definitely the best place we could be...it's the place God wants us to be, because that's where He can really use us and be glorified in our lives. It not about us and all the good we're doing for Him. It's about Him, His power in us, and our lives bringing glory to His name! I praise Him for His mercy, grace, faithfulness, provision, and love. I pray you will come to know God more and more intimately as you trust in Him.
Love and hugs, Kim

" I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." Ephesians 3:16-21

Laurel said...

Thanks for commenting on my blog.

I LOVE reading about your family. Way to go on saying YES to so many needy children.

Just keep reading my blog to discover the joys and how-to's of raising a dozen children.

Woo-Hoo ... excited for YOU!

Laurel :)

Sarah said...

Amy, Thank you for sharing how the Lord is moving in your life. It is always so encouraging to hear you talk about the ways He is working in and through you. I appreciate you!