This week I met with a younger friend to catch up and pray. I guess I am her “mentor” because that is what she asked me to be, but for me, she is just my friend. We meet regularly and talk and I offer advice on how to grown in wisdom because this is one of her goals. I encourage her in her dreams. I care for her. She knows the Lord intimately, and it is so much fun to talk about being women of God, wives, moms and worshippers.
After we discussed what is going on in her life, she asked “what about you?” and so I took the time to be vulnerable, raw, honest. I shared with her as I have with my husband, that every time I am in the Presence of God I feel a powerful ache for the fatherless children of the world….for foster care, adoption, orphan sponsorship. I am never with the Lord and not aching for children who are not in homes with mamas and daddies. It is such a heavy burden. I am almost to age 50, have 5 children, financial burden and exhaustion. I don’t know if we can adopt more children. I am worried that God may be planning for us to always be financially strapped and tired. I wonder if we will be raising children long into our older years……the oldest parents on the bleachers, etc. Sometimes I do the math to figure out how old I will be when our youngest is grown up and leaves the nest, and wonder if we will then get new carpet to replace the stained, old stuff. I wonder if we will then remodel the kitchen to make it just the way I want it. I wonder if we will replace the ripped wallpaper in the entry way that was ripped by this youngest child and looks horrible every time I come home……..I wonder if God will call me again and again to parent children and never enter those golden years of retirement and more leisure…..I almost think He will do just that. But we will see.
My young mentoree smiled after I had vented all of these concerns, fears, hopes and lamentations. This is what she said: She said that if I never see new carpet and a remodeled home in this life, that God is preparing a place for me in Heaven with all of the finest things. Fresh, clean, unstained carpets. Spacious rooms. Wonderful things…..as a reward for all that I sacrificed here on Earth to do His Will. I had never thought of that before….that God knows and understands what we deny ourselves when we say “yes” to His plan, and defer our own desires. He keeps track of what we may have wanted and didn’t get and He can make all that happen in our Eternal Home with him.
It may seem silly to long for a carpet without stains and walls without marker scribbles. It may seem shallow to wish I had finer things. We do not have them because we are choosing a different path. If you are reading this, than so are you. Trust that the Lord God knows our wishes and wants and that even if we do not see them this side of Heaven, we will get our blessing for obedience one day.
Raising precious children is such a gift……but it is also a costly thing. There are many children who need families…..and the bible tells us to care for them….and so we will, won’t we? We will encourage and support and help and work for the work of setting the lonely in families and bringing parents to the orphan. We will. We will help each other do that very thing…..and when we are feeling weak and tired we will remind each other that the Father is preparing a place for us in Heaven….a mansion with many, many rooms……