In the past two years, we've come a long way, but we have so far to go. Lately, I've found myself being discouraged and exhausted. Our special little guy sometimes just sucks the life right out of me. I was feeling like I had given him all that I could, but still he demanded more. A dear friend sent me an encouraging devotional-style piece, they were words I needed to hear. The message was about dying to self, my agenda and my time frame.
It has been two full years, you would think we could relax a bit now but we still have a very wounded and complex child. You would think, I would think…but, that's my time table. I sometimes catch myself looking around at others, noticing how adjusted their child is and how "normal" their lives are. I long for what I think "normal" might look like…but that's my agenda.
I love my son. He has taught me more about myself and the character of God than anyone else. That doesn't mean parenting him is easy. I have come to the conclusion that I must die, each and every day to my notion of where we should be and how it should be. What I have deemed as normal may be to my own ruin. The very ways that my son challenges me are most likely, the very areas that God has been hammering at for all these forty-plus years. God knows what I need. He didn't ask me because I would say, "Make my child one of those easy-peasy one's, OK?" The agenda that I have set for myself and especially my son must absolutely be put to death. Every last one of my hopes and desires for him, beyond one, must die. Beyond hoping my son walks in an intimate relationship with Christ as an adult, it all must fall to the ground. What does God have for this boy? How will God use him? That's for God to know and reveal. My part in this is to love, to nurture, to continue to do all that I can for him without an agenda or timetable.
There are certain cups that God gives us to drink from that we'd rather leave on the table. We don't want to pick them up – it's too hard, it lasts too long and we know that the pain we will endure will hurt and hurt deep. Having been an advocate for international adoption for decades, I knew the cup I was picking up. My husband and I knew that the sacrificial drink that we would partake in with our boy would test us greatly. We underestimated that cup. It has been deeper and more difficult than I could have ever imagined. And God has been there all along… holding our hands as our grasp of that cup became so very weary and weak. He never asked our opinions on our expectations of this journey or what direction we'd like to see this go…no, he says to us, "Every bit of any agenda, goal, plan or time frame must die."
All this means I am free to love my son. I choose to mentally and emotionally erase my inner dry-erase board list of all the hope-for's, what-if's and how can we's. I choose to die today. My agenda no longer exists. My time frame can no longer be marked by my hand. I will continue to drink from this blessed cup that the Lord has so graciously bestowed upon my family. I will drink deep and marvel at the work that God continues to do in my heart and in my son's heart. Will it be easy? No. I am certain there will be times when I'm tempted to look around at the easy-peasy adoptions or think we should be further down the road by now…but God will gently and lovingly remind me of the precious cup He has placed in our hands and it is for His purpose, His glory, in His time.