MY MOST RECENT REVELATION.
Three years ago, our family decided as a unit to start the fost-adopt process through our county. 15 years earlier, even before we had our own two boys, my husband and I had a very clear conversation about how adoption was something we wanted to do in the future. (We had no idea what we were asking for).
We had four girls come through our house (ages 1-7) over the past three years. I love every one of them. My husband's favorite was the first little girl, who looked and acted very much like me. My favorite was the last little girl, full of smiles and love of music. Our heart breaks every time we think about them. Our home is still filled with all of their little expressions and cuteness.
What we thought would lead to adoption ended up in a journey of self-discovery. We learned about our inability to prioritize our lives with what matters Most. We learned about how the extent to which we endure hardship (brought on by self-reliance) can ruin our health and our relationships.
There was more drama than I can even describe. from teaching a 6-year old the alphabet because she had never been to school, to dealing with an older sibling who continued to hurt her sister, to a child who ran upstairs every time a male figure walked through the door, to looking into the eyes of a girl who was in every way your daughter but who you could not adopt - the journey has been devastating.
At one point, my bio kids gave me a very puzzled look when I told them that a mom left her girls in the car of fast food parking lot because she knew that if she came back , she would be arrested for drugs. And that another child was left alone with a dangerous man in a hotel room, knocked out from drugs. And that another child threw up and had digestive issues for the entirety of her first year of life because she was being weaned off of drug dependency.
When I was a little girl, I lived in a world of hurt and fear but what I went through was nothing compared to the utter injustice these four girls went through. What I did in the middle of it all was to try and do everything to fix their lives myself. To make matters worse, my husband traveled 75% of the time (a bad idea now that we have hindsight) and I was trying to work a full-time job while taking care of my own kids and foster kids at the same time (also very dumb). I tried to fix all of the injustice of these girls' lives with every fiber of my own being, without crying out to God for help.
So, what is the good that came out of this?
I have no idea.
Did we end up adopting?
Did we end up making some kind of difference?
Here's the revelation I talked about at the start of this blog.
If ever I realized the stark chasm between my love and God's, it is now.
I can't get this passage out of my head (Italics added by me):
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels (or sing lots of great songs with great lyrics)
But do not have love
I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal (basically, very annoying).
If I have the gift of prophecy
and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge
And have a faith that can move mountains (basically, if I am a "super christian")
But do not have love
I am nothing. (I am nothing!)
If I give all I possess to the poor (which I was doing through foster care)
and surrender my body to hardship that I may boast (interesting that they talk about boasting - which I was totally doing as I was begging for sympathy for my hardships)
But do not have love
I gain nothing. (Nothing!)
So, after all of it, my realization is that I am nothing.
I can do nothing. And nothing I do is of any value if I do not have love.
And what is love? It is complete giving of self without calculation and without expectation. It is giving for the utter benefit of the other.
It is what only God is.
I'm not saying I didn't have little sparkles of selflessness throughout this process but when things got hard, I relied on myself and tried to give what I did not have. I TRIED TO PRODUCE LOVE, TO GENERATE LOVE, ON MY OWN! That sounds so ridiculous but I was really doing it.The only way to have this kind of genuine love is for it to be given first. Much like learning, you can't give what you don't have.
I was not being filled with God's love and presence. I was just running on empty, utterly exhausted and jaded. I was trying to solve the world's problems on my own, shouldering everything and everyone in the home. Yes, this was me.
So after this realization, what am I doing? Completing a song that is a truth hard-learned.
Completing a song that I started when girl # 3 came to our home (even though every fiber of my being told me that it was not a good idea to take her in because of my stress levels, it was hard to say no when the call came stating that there was a girl in the office who had been removed that day).
WHO AM I
Who am I if not for love
Who am I if not for your love?...
I am excited to finish this song for our third album. There is a great deal of humility and and overwhelming awe of knowing that in comparison with my limited love, God's love is unachievable - which is what makes Him so marvelous.