Real talk today, ok?
If we were having coffee, and you convinced me to stop asking you questions and to instead answer yours (and I’d really fight you on that for a good ten minutes), I would tell you that the month of May was… hard. So hard. It was beautiful and heartbreaking, all at the same time. Christian and I were on quite the roller coaster ride in our adoption journey last month, a ride I feel I’m just now really recouping from. We are finding that within THE adoption journey, there are various roads that can be traveled… and we traveled a few new ones with all the love, hope, and faith that we had inside. It brought the two of us closer and more importantly, it brought us closer to Jesus, instilling a new understanding of trust with Him… the kind that you can’t establish unless you actually go through something that requires great trust. And I’m so grateful for that.
A sweet friend of mine shared something with me last month, written by the wonderful Lysa TerKeurst:
“God is teaching me so much about really trusting Him. Fully. Completely. Without suggestions or projections I just need to embrace the very next thing He shows me. And then the next. Though the long path is uncertain, He’s so faithful to shed just enough light to see the very next step. This isn’t Him being mysterious. This is a great demonstration of His mercy. Too much revelation and we’d pridefully run ahead of Him. Too little and we’d be paralyzed with fear. So I’m seeking slivers of His light just for today and filling the gaps of the unknown with trust.”
Not all endings are easy, especially when there’s no rhyme or apparent reason, but I’m remembering that with each ending brings a new beginning, and while sometimes I feel utterly exhausted – like the kind of exhaustion that goes deep to your soul – I also know that each day I can choose HOPE over doubt. Waiting, for anything, can be hard. Even when you know the truth of it all (it will all be worth it, one day you’ll be on the other side of this, God’s timing is perfect, etc. etc. etc.) – even when you KNOW that all of those things are true, that doesn’t mean the emotions from the journey don’t belong or aren’t justified. Sometimes you just have to feel it as you go through it, and get through it as you feel it all. Sometimes there just ISN’T “the right thing” to say or do or think or feel, you just have to experience it. That’s what The Journey is all about – experiencing, and I believe that means experiencing it to the fullest, in the truest form. You don’t start a journey and then just arrive at your destination – you must go through it and I am going through it and embracing each bump in the road, feeling it completely when my heart connects to it.
While last month brought a LOT of emotion, I’m also grateful for it all. To me, it means I’m alive. It means I am me. I love and hope and feel things with all that I am. As many times as I might mentally tell myself (or have someone else suggest it) to “remain guarded” when going through something I can’t see the ending to – the truth of the matter is, that’s not who I am. I don’t want to live a life in fear, or to hold onto doubt, or to approach each new situation with a tall wall around my heart. I want to connect to things, to feel them deeply and in a big way and while ten years ago I may have told you I disliked that about myself, today I can honestly say I know it’s how God made me… like, on purpose 😉
I wanted to share some additional thoughts today, but to make mention that the rest of this post is about life in general, and not just about our adoption journey. (**I also will not be answering any questions about the adoption chapters we went through last month – not to family or friends or on this blog – and I hope everyone can respect that. Perhaps one day I will share parts of that chapter but for now, they belong only between Christian and me.)
I have always preferred stories that have clear explanations – reasons to every part of the story – and yet sometimes that’s just not how it is. Because what about the chapters that can’t be wrapped in a pretty little bow? What about the ones that are bruised and haphazardly bandaged and splayed out with wounds both visible and not – the ones that can’t be explained, that never have a clear reason as to why they were a part of our overall story to begin with? Some endings to some stories do not, in fact, come full circle. While some of those hard chapters can be understood when looking back on them later, which is amazing and you know I love when that happens!, sometimes we just don’t ever get the answers… and so perhaps it’s important to not place such importance on that – for ourselves and for others. Sometimes life doesn’t make sense to us. Life just is. And while there have been many moments where I haven’t liked that fact (and, in all honesty, have cursed that fact) – the older I get the more I’m softening to the idea that I don’t have to know it all. And perhaps it’s not even fair for me to guess and try to know it all. I can take comfort in the fact that, should I have wounds from a bumpy ride, Jesus will bandage them up – He will heal them. (here). Jesus will comfort me (here), and He will never leave me (here). I’m learning to take my life’s journey one day at a time… to pray for and expect great joy in Him (here), but to also live in the moment – embracing the frustration when life feels frustrating, allowing myself to bawl my eyes out when life breaks the heart, and celebrating THE CRAP OUT OF LIFE when it’s time to celebrate – which, truly, should be and can be done more often.
We tend to (try to) put God in a box, would you agree? We try to guess His next move and make sense of things that have happened that our human brains and hearts don’t understand – we do this for ourselves and we do this for others (because yes, pinpointing a “reason” makes us feel better). But why must everything be explained in terms that we are always “in the know”? Can it be okay to just admit we actually don’t know it all? Can we trust God even when we’re not promised answers or explanations while on this earth? The Bible says that we can still trust Him (here) and I am learning the beautiful importance of doing just that – choosing to trust Him, whether I understand things happening in this world or not. God is not in a box – He is in everything. And in the good chapters and the hard chapters, I am choosing to acknowledge all of His goodness – instead of demanding the answers to things I don’t understand. (Because sometimes, guys, it’s just none of our business.)
As much as I’d love to wrap this recent hard chapter up with a pretty blog post of a bow and explanation, there is only one “bow” of truth I can wrap this chapter and every chapter with: My God is a BIG God. My God is a GOOD God. And my God loves me. (And He loves you too.) And at the beginning, middle, and end of every chapter, of every journey – that has to be enough. It can be enough. It is enough.
Amen? Amen, friends. Now, let’s celebrate.