Monday, August 7, 2017

The Glitch Not Heard but Felt

 I lost my words. 

 Somewhere in the midst of busyness, the words left. My mind is weary and my heart is heavy and the words went away from the chaos. 

 Not much exists when you enter survival mode. It is a place that is not necessary especially as a believer. Survival mode is where you go when you set faith aside and try to eke out an existence on your own. 

 There...I said it. The plain, ugly truth. 

 One day that I cannot pinpoint, the glitch happened and there I have been wandering day after day without an ounce of trust in God. Many days I told myself the right words and listened to right teaching but it bounced off the borders of Survival Mode. Here I am now heartbroken and more weary than ever wondering how it happened. 

 Could it be my worry for my two grown children? Could it be my sadness for my husband's struggles? Could it be the pain mixed with joy for my adopted son? 

 Yes. Just yes. But, even more so, it is my forgetfulness of God's holiness. 

 A lot of days I think about adopting our son. It is hard not to. The process evokes in many people a sense of awe for adoptive parents, which most would shake off like a wool coat on a summer day. No badge of honor is necessary for adding to my family the sweetest little soul made in God's image. Besides, in the reality of adoption is a quiet secret. Adoption is sadness and joy coexisting always for the child and the adoptive parents, even if they do not acknowledge it. Joy is abundant and love, too, but there is the persistent knowing that the child came from someone else and the loss is real on both sides. Jellybean is my child in every sense except that he was birthed by someone else. He has history in his genes that tell of another family and to try and deny or cover it up would be dishonoring and wrong. We are his real family. We are just not his biological family. But, as his family, we will walk with him through that struggle when he is ready.

 If it sounds like I went on a random tangent, let me tie up the loose ends. God adopts us through the work of Jesus. It is a perfect adoption but not without a sense of loss. You see, the separation between God and man is real and felt by us all. We were once with God and then came sin. We love our sin and although there is the innate sense of having a Creator, we also have a strong bond to our depraved flesh. When we are redeemed, we still battle with the desire to stay attached to that old bond. God willingly gave His Son to redeem us and that loss is much greater than we know, hence, the reason rejecting Jesus brings such great condemnation. 

 Choosing Survival Mode when I have such a great and loving Father is spitting in the face of Jesus' work. Yet, God walks me through the struggle to bring me back in love and there are no words for that. 

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Feeding Pump - A Tool for Sanctification and Evangelism

  Lately, I have had moments. The moments come and go fairly quick but they have surfaced too often. I would like to say that they are loving or kind or God-honoring moments. I would really like to say that but I cannot. 

 Shamelessly, I would love to blame it on sleep deprivation or stress or the feeding pump that I hate with a thousand hates. I would totally love to pass the buck onto something else but, shamefully, it is nothing more than the ugly depravity that was neatly hidden in my heart under good deeds and kind words and my awkward smile. The sleep deprivation did not put it there, it only exposed it. Kind of like when I am scurrying to clean the floor before the physical therapist comes early in the morning and I have forgotten. 

 Quickly, sweeping everything under the couch does not really clean the floor but it gives the appearance of "clean." Shhh...don't tell the therapist. Seriously, I think she knows because when you are on the floor, you can see under the couch but at least she can feel relieved that she is not sitting in it. 

 One of my moments was flaring up on a very rare outing to Wal-Mart. About halfway through my list, Jellybean was getting sleepy and he had just about enough of the sensory overload that is Wal-Mart. He was just gearing up with some intermittent flailing and yelling when the feeding pump decided to beep with a clog alert but it wasn't really clogged. This a new thing the pump has decided to do so that when Jellybean does decide to actually sleep, the pump makes sure I stay awake. Visions of crushing it in creative ways dance through my head all day and night. 

 So, here I am squatting in a claustrophobic aisle with tubing everywhere and a toddler who looks like he is experiencing whiplash over and over and the moment rises up as if someone has turned on a burner inside me. Everything starts to make me angry. The woman who has decided to linger in front of our basket. The man who is on his cell phone  and supposed to be shopping with his son but instead is trying to covertly watch the crazy mom show. My mind is screaming, "I just want to shop at Wal-Mart like everyone else!" 

 Oh yes, yes, I was having a silent tantrum in my mind and stomping my mental feet and shaking my spirit fists at God like a spoiled brat not able to have her way. Even more daring than that, I was mad at God. 

 Now, I know that some dear, sweet Christian brothers and sisters have told me that this is okay because God can take it but this is not an area where I need kind encouragement. Being angry at God is sinful even though He can handle it. It is accusing God of unrighteousness, injustice, and attacking His holy character. Thankfully, this time the Holy Spirit called me out hastily when I had this moment. As soon as I felt it, I confessed that I did not want to feel those sinful feelings and asked God to forgive me and do a mighty work in my heart. 

 The Wal-Mart visit was so small in light of eternity. The temptation to never get out in the world is great when you have a child who has medical accessories and sensory issues but I am trying hard to resist having everything delivered to me by Amazon. 

 We have to be about the business of glorifying God out in the world sometimes. Jellybean has to learn what it means to love our neighbors and our enemies. Okay...and I need to be practicing those things, too. 

 Actually, if people will stop a moment in their busy schedule to stare then I have a door to share God, right? As much as I hate being out in front on display, we just naturally draw curious stares as people try to put the pieces together especially when we have to use the feeding pump, which is every 3 hours. Try as I might to be discreet, the obnoxious beeping always draws attention. My mind knows God is not punishing us with the feeding pump and that He can use it in many ways besides feeding, if I can just get over myself. Truthfully, a lot can be accomplished if I am obedient to put the flesh to death every day, ever hour, every moment. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

And There was No Return

 Driving along the interstate, we reached the area where the traffic compresses into a tight ball weaving through concrete barriers and cones. A large digital sign read, "Exit 20 No Return." Seems ominous and, trust me, it is if you take this exit after being in the car for almost an hour with a grumpy toddler. Too bad I didn't see it.

 Not realizing the construction crew had closed the ramp to get back on the interstate, I used exit 20. I was just going to pop off, get some food then pop back on the interstate and go home. 

 Jellybean was kicking the backseat and had been "uh-uh-ing" at me the last 25 minutes of the drive. This is a sound that he has perfected to a finely tuned weapon. It slices straight to your nervous system in 0 to 10 seconds with great precision. It is also a warning system to let you know that a full-on tantrum will ensue if you do not heed the warning. He was being slow to tantrum that day. Bless him because we had unknowingly entered the point of no return and would have to take the looooong way home. It was not pretty folks.

 That sign is a blaring reminder to be mindful of the choice I make when going home. No one wants to find out that they blindly reached a place of no return. 

 Many of our decisions in life have consequences that bring us to the point of no return.  A decision is made, good or bad, and there is no going back from that choice. In court on adoption day, the judge was very thorough in telling us that adopting Jellybean means we agree to raise him as our own for his entire life and there is no backing out of it if we agree. A joyful decision still today. 

 Marriage is supposed to be like this, too, but the world has tried to make it a disposable choice with many exit points. Rest assured, it is not so to God. 

 That soapbox aside...the sign reminded me to think that living in this world as Christians, we have an obligation in love to let people know about Jesus and what He has done. People can choose to keep rushing down the interstate of life but once they draw that last breath, that is their point of no return. They have taken the exit with no return ramp. There will be no route to escape God's judgment and the punishment is worse than being stuck in a car with a toddler with a bad attitude and a stinky diaper. Rightfully so, when He spared nothing to provide a way to restore mankind. 

 On the flip side, when you belong to Jesus, there is no chance that you will drift away. Belonging to Jesus is a wonderful, comforting point of no return. It is a powerful Truth that I am thankful for especially during this season.