Obedient Decisions | by Lesley

Since adopting our son from the foster care system, I often have people tell me how amazing we are, or how they could never do what we did.  And honestly, before making the decision I thought the same thing when I saw families with adopted children.  Or foster children.  Or lots of children.  Or one child.  Or young children.  Or older children.  Or no children.  You get the picture.  I was always amazed at what other people did do; I still am.

 

Now when people say that to me I view it differently.  I sometimes think, “Are you kidding?  You know ME, right?”  Because here’s the deal … hold your hats … I am not that amazing.  I do a few cool things here and there … sometimes I teach my children new important lessons patiently, sometimes I cook a healthy meal that everyone eats.  But most days, I’m not very amazing.  I lose my patience with my kids, I serve cereal for dinner, and my floors are pretty regularly sticky.  I even cry hard once in a while because I am grieving what I thought my life would look like at 45.  You know, lunching with friends, shopping, volunteering gracefully at church and school events.  My life is NOT that.

But the difference in my life…is that I made a DECISION. 
But the difference in my life before adopting our son and now, is that my husband and I made a DECISION.  God gave us some clear direction (without us asking mind you), He allowed our hearts to hear over and over how great the need is for children to have a FOREVER family.  And we were having a hard time ignoring the need.  I wanted to.  I wanted really bad to continue my life of safety and familiarity.  Not too messy, predictable, NO CHAOS.  The perfectionist in me fought it at ever turn.  But our hearts could not let it go.  And so we made one seemingly small (and fateful) decision to find out more.  Then another decision to attend an informational meeting about fostering to adopt.  Then another decision to receive some training.  And then another decision, and another, and another.  Each one with doubts and fears, but each one affirmed by God once we stepped forward in reluctant faith.

All those small decisions led us to adding a 4th child to our family.  I heard a comedian once say, “having a 4th child is like you are drowning … and someone hands you a baby.”  I agree.  No kidding!  But we now have this brown eyed, smiley, adventurous (help me Jesus), adorable boy.  And oh my, the lessons I’ve learned and am learning.  Lesson #1 – We all have such untapped potential – our own fears and hesitations keep us from experiencing God’s best for us.  What if we said no initially?  No one would have blamed us.  Everyone would have understood.  We had 3 awesome young children, our lives were full.  It would have been fine and happy and blessed.  But I wouldn’t have been stretched beyond my limits (well beyond) to experience dependency on God like never before. Not to mention our youngest son would not be part of our family.  He brings us laughter daily.  Lesson #2 – It’s not easy, but things that bring joy are rarely easy.  I crave easy.  But not as much as I crave joy.  Joy is found in obedience, and in the learnings and blessings that flow from that obedience.  Lesson #3 – perfectionism can keep you from the best for your life.  If you are a perfectionist like me, accept the good gifts that come with that – maybe organization, planning.  But dive into chaos.  Your gut will resist but do it anyway.  Probably the most challenging lesson for me, and I am still working on this daily.  But it is so much more fun and rewarding on the chaos side.

Our fears keep us from experiencing God’s best for us

There are many more lessons to come, and I am so grateful for the small decisions that lead to big changes and growth.

1 John 1:6

And this is love: that we walk in obedience to His commands.  As you have heard from the beginning, His command is that you walk in love.

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