I can do all things through Christ

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Just when I think we have it together,

Just when I think I don’t need help,

Just when I start skipping and singing,

Just when I lose sight of the big picture,

I am reminded.

It is humbling and yet so, so good.

I pray that they Lord never allows me to become complacent in my earthly walk.

I pray He never allows the journey to become so easy that I don’t need to call on Him daily for help.

I pray that He puts just enough weight on my shoulders to keep me falling to my knees.

I pray that when the walk gets easy He will continue to remind me who it is that cleared that path,

that took away the obstacles, that strengthened my legs.

And when the journey is hard…Oh, so hard

I pray that He will remind me to look up and take note of who is carrying me.

Things have been blessedly easy for the last six months.

It has been wonderful to wake without wondering what test or trial awaits me on the other side of the bedroom door.

The last six months have been a time of rest and renewal as we have been able to enjoy a season of peace.

But I have noticed the absence of that dependent relationship on the Lord that only comes through the hard times.

As tiring, and hard, and scary as the tough times are, I would never wish them away, because it is during those darkest moments that the light of God shines most brightly and illuminates my life. It shines on the important and the less important fades into the shadows. Hard times are clarifying and helps me remember why I am here and what has eternal value.

Our season of ease has been interrupted with a hiccup of testing. The easy walk has become hard and I have been left with a son whose favorite statement for the last two weeks has been,

“I Hate You!”

So many of the behaviors that we thought were over are back with a vengeance. The behaviors we saw early on in our adoption journey are rearing their ugly heads again, leaving me shaking my head and wondering,

“What has changed?”

I have spent the last few nights, after riding out some epic temper tantrums, laying in bed trying to figure out the trigger,

then it came to me.

About 6 weeks ago we were contacted by our adoption agency. Ozzie and I were asked it we would speak at their annual black tie fundraising dinner. We were asked to speak about our adoption journey in the foster to adopt program. They asked us to talk about God’s hand in our journey, how we knew Ozzie was our son, the blessings and struggles of adding a new member to a family, and what adoption looks like after adoption day.

When I approached Ozzie about whether he would like to accept the invitation to speak, he eagerly said “yes!”

For those that don’t know Ozzie, he has no fear of speaking in front of crowds and he loves a good audience.

It wasn’t until we began working on what we would talk about that I saw the internal struggle, as well as the external testing connected with the emotions he was feeling. I see him struggling with feelings of anxiety and guilt that I suspect are a result of him feeling like he is betraying his birth family by talking about the blessings of joining our family. I can see the battle raging within even though he can’t adequately express the emotions he is feeling.

I, being his safe person, the person he knows won’t flee, won’t run, won’t leave…

am the person he is taking it out on.

Fun stuff.

I know it isn’t about me.  I know he is lashing out at me because he can’t hurt the ones he really wants to hurt. I know I am his emotional punching bag because I won’t punch back (literally or figuratively.)

The result: two very hard weeks.

I know Satan is working overtime to discourage us, plant seeds of doubt about our adoption story’s validity. It is hard to stand as an example and speak of the great blessings and great love that comes from adoption when your adopted child is yelling, “I hate you! I wish you never adopted me!”

How do I tell potential adoptive parents that this is a good life choice

in the midst of  raging temper tantrum after raging temper tantrum..

This has been my struggle all week.

In the middle of the night the answer came to me,

as God whispered,

“You are not the example. It is not about you or Ozzie or your story. It is not about your successes or your failures…It is about me.”

The message is about following the call that God places on our hearts. It is about saying “yes” when the world tells you to say “no.” It is about showing up every day and committing every day, not because it is fun or feels good, but because God asks you to. It is about dependence on Him rather than dependence on ourselves. It is about healing and growing and loving through the messy stuff and not giving up on each other.

That is what I had lost sight of.

That is what I needed reminded of.

Through this journey God is refining me.

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In the end this is our message…the words Ozzie and I would like to share that night:

Is it hard…yes.

Is it scary…yes.

Is it messy and complicated…yes.

But is God calling you to it?

Then do it.

Yes, it is worth it! So worth it!!

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” -Phil 4:13

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