Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Yesterday I began a 4-part series of blogs sharing my top lessons learned/themes of 2010. I gotta warn ya...yesterday's post on God's Provision for our family was much more encouraging then this one will be... We could sum it up as God is good, and I'm pretty rotten.
I have a tendency of thinking of myself as way more noble than I actually am. I can think of a million hypothetical "trials" that I may encounter in my life and how I would hypothetically respond to them. For some reason (probably because my heart is full of pride) I always imagine myself walking through that trial just as Jesus would-- humbly, gracefully, joyfully, and with self-control.
Well, in 2010 God saw fit to rock my boat a little and let me catch a peek through the window of my own soul...Not nearly as pretty, neat, and tidy as I imagined in my hypothetical world.
I have shared some on this blog about how difficult the first 3 months home with Sammy were. Sleepless nights, inconsolable screaming fits, his refusal of affection yet need of being held. We had gone through training, read books, and talked with other adoptive families. We knew in our minds that it might be tough, and we also knew that the transition period would not last forever. What I was not prepared for was my own emotional response to this trial.
I have been astonished, dumbfounded, and repulsed by some of my responses during this difficult transition period with Sammy. This is a child who I love deeply, have prayed for earnestly, and for whom I would gladly lay down my own life. How in the world could I (someone who's been seeking to be more like Jesus for over 20 years now) get so angry, impatient, and frustrated by him (a child made in the image of God who has been through tremendous loss and exceedingly difficult circumstances in his short 2 years)?
Have you ever had one of those, "Where did that come from?!" moments when you say, think, or do something so terrible and out-of-character that you think demons must have momentarily taken over your body? Well, unfortunately, I've had more moments like that than I'd like to admit. And the truth is, it wasn't the devil who made me do it. It came from within. From deep down in my heart.
Proverbs 4:23 says "Above all else, guard your heart for it is the well spring of life" and Matthew 12:34 says, "Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks." The fault lies not with Sammy or adoption or trials in general. The fault lies in the sin found in my own heart.
By God's grace, I believe we've made it through the most difficult part of this transition process. I cannot even begin to describe how much richer our family is because Sammy is here. He brings joy and laughter to the mundane and we see a real tenderness in his heart. But one of the most wonderful (yet painful) gifts Sammy has given to me is a mirror to see my own heart and need for the mercy of God.
2010 has been a reminder to me that I have not arrived. My character is still under constructions. And my heart is in constant need of cleansing through the blood of Christ.