Friday, September 25, 2015

Upside down

I won't ever get sick of telling it. Of how God interrupted our lives that day in September seven years ago. "I want you to adopt." Of how I feared we'd be losing - losing our picture perfect American family, losing our close relationships with our biological kids, losing opportunities of what we could give our 'own' kids if we were taking care of someone else's. And what if this adopted child hurt us? Hurt our kids? Was mean and had issues and ruined our family? Every thought I had about this coming adoption was that of loss. Loss, loss, loss. But I didn't yet know it - the upside down way of God's kingdom. "For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for Me will find it (Matthew 16:25)." I didn't yet know that when you lose for His sake, you actually gain so much more. It doesn't make sense.

It doesn't make sense that this adoption that I thought would mess up our biological kids has instead shaped them in ways that we want them to be shaped. That they've learned to lay down their lives and give until it hurts because that is what Jesus did for us. And they won't just read it in their Bible. They will know it because they've lived and breathed the surrender and the sacrifice every day in our home. Through Justice's adoption we've gained the uncovering of our calling, our spiritual gifts and how they are to be used for His kingdom. And when you are fulfilling your calling and operating in your God-given gifts, you feel ALIVE. We've come alive. We've gained a wild testimony of God's justice, His sovereignty, His grace. Who picks out an orange-haired African to match the same exact orange-haired children in a white family in Huxley, Iowa? God does. And through it He whispers to us all that He sees, He is not a distant God, He is closer than we ever dared to have thought. And more than all this, through Justice's adoption, we have gained an intimacy - a closeness with God, that we never would have experienced had we continued on living the comfortable, status quo path of a life we were headed down. You grow closer to God when you need Him. And oh how we have needed Him. It is worth our very lives if all we do this side of heaven is gain that.

So yeah when you look at it all on paper, it doesn't make sense. But I never really liked Math anyways. I thought we were adopting to help change the life of a needy child, but through it the Lord ended up changing us so much more. Today we praise God for this interruption, and celebrate 5 years of Justice being home and in our family. And today we know it better: He means to bless us. It just comes in unexpected, upside down ways.

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