I was presented with something this week that got me thinking about when a calling from God interrupts those around us making them not want to be around us because of what God has called us to. Have you ever experienced that moment when you are certain that those around you (whether family or friends) have a churning in their guts because they don’t want to have to “deal” with what your reality is in what God has called you to?
What happens when we, as Christians, lose sight of the fact that God has called families to this crazy ride of adoptive parenting children from hard places? It can be easy to be annoyed, frustrated or irritated because THEIR choice interrupted our lives. Maybe that Birthday party would be so much more enjoyable if that certain child didn’t have to be present. Or maybe thanksgiving isn’t as much fun as it used to be, or Christmas is a dread … because of that child. I would challenge you with the holidays approaching to remember that most likely the family you know parenting these kids from hard places also wishes they didn’t have to deal with what that Christmas gathering will bring. They likely wish they could have a ‘normal’ back that involved nice, peaceful events without lying, anxiety and sensory issues that make a kid push around another kid without knowing how rough he is being. Quite possibly, even more than you wish you didn’t have to be present with them at this upcoming gathering, they wish they could return to easier days. Days when they didn’t have to think about who will be dysregulated and what house are we going to be at with the potential of things getting broken.
My heart goes out to families parenting hard kids. These kids who had first families that weren’t equipped to parent them; families who intentionally or unintentionally caused them great harm which now impacts them forever. We MUST remember in each of these scenarios that this child is a precious child of God and also, God has called this family to parent this hard child. I would challenge you to remember as we are nearing November and making our Christmas plans – you typically only have to deal with the hard behaviors a few times each year while this family has to forge into each day working to bring healing to this precious child. Our time on earth is so short and it can be really easy to lose sight of why God has us here. Maybe think this holiday season how you can BLESS a family that is hard to be around. What can you do to encourage them this holiday season? It is hard, I have been challenged often with this very thing, but if you seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance you can be that encouragement that is so needed with these hard kids!
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. ~ 1 Corinthians 13