“I, Peter, am an apostle on assignment by Jesus, the Messiah…”
(I Peter 1:1)
Sometimes I feel like the newspaper that lines the bottom of a bird cage; I’m tired of the s*!&# that keeps landing on me.
I thought about throwing myself a party. The invitation, shaped like Eyore, would read something like this:
You Are Invited
To the world’s biggest pity party
(Bring Your Own Enabling Comments)
Until I read Peter’s words to the exiled believers. “I, Peter, am an apostle on assignment by Jesus, the Messiah”. I feel ashamed, yet strangely encouraged.
I, Paula, a Christ follower, am on assignment by Jesus, the Messiah.
The tension gripping my shoulders subsides; my load lightens. Today God offers hope and encouragement through a whispered invitation:
You Are Invited
To join me as I join you
Choose My perspective and
(Change your Attitude)
Bad things aren’t happening to me; I’m not a victim. I’m on assignment - for a purpose. His purpose.
Father, my head gets it. Please reach my heart…
I’m on assignment!
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you”
(I Peter 5:7)
“How-to’s” are not my thing. I’m the one urging us to throw away the programs; pray and listen; trust our instincts; be gracious to ourselves and others; and run, as fast and as far as we can from the “shoulds” that seek to devour us. Why? Because there are no easy how-to-steps for our journey. But there is hope – and a God who cares and will never leave us.
Several years ago my family endured a season filled with drama and chaos; I lived in a war zone with my address. Maybe you do too. It’s scary but temporary. And we can fight back. Emotional healing is a choice; learning to let things go helps us experience it. I offer the following lessons I’ve learned the hard way as food for thought on your journey.
RESIST COMPARING: Adoptive parenthood is different than biological parenthood. Accepting this truth allows us to embrace the layered richness of adoption – grief, loss, redemption, love and grace. We’re all dealing with heavy issues, regardless of how we dress them up and present them to the public. But we can choose grace and to accept our children and ourselves where we are, without comparison to others or the latest parenting trends.
REFUSE TO COMPETE: Don’t even try - let it go; we’ll never win this one because we’re our own worst critic. We’re on the same team, each of us striving to raise a Godly heritage. It’s okay to take different routes. Bow out of the competition, take a deep breath, and allow God to lead you on this leg of the journey. Our goal is to help our children develop at their pace. Love and nurture them. Learn to quiet your soul, regardless of the pace at which others choose to live.
RELINQUISH CONTROL: Ouch! I like control. I’m the ultra-nerd who follows rules and plays nicely in the sand box. Just like water can’t help but flow to the lowest place to puddle, I’m hard wired to seek order and organization. But clinging to control tied me up in knots and fed a critical spirit. Especially when I tried to control the things I couldn’t.
…like the emotionally wrenching betrayal, in-the-pits challenge God recently allowed me to endure. Although the process strengthened my faith in spite of myself, it didn’t happen overnight. And it’s still not easy. But gradually, by God’s grace, I began to strip away the tentacles of fear that gripped my heart and surrendered; “not my will, but yours be done”. I had to let it go for my emotional and spiritual well-being.
We cannot change the compromised beginnings our children suffered, the wounds we endured, or the challenges we face. But we can refuse to compare, compete or control. We can let it go.
From One Grateful Mom
Life isn’t fair! And Father I’m so thankful for that. Your blessings exceed anything I deserve or could ever earn. Thank you for another Mother’s Day - for my mom, and my daughters and daughters-in-law who are growing into such wonderful mothers. This “middle season” is good. I know it won’t last. But thank you.
I love our comfortable traditions…”digging in the dirt” to plant the first spring flowers, the pot-luck- cookout and rumbling laughter around the dinner table.
But this past week, in quiet slivers of time, I thought a lot about three incredible women I have never met but for whom I am eternally grateful - my daughter’s birth mothers. I envy adoptive moms with open adoptions. What I’d give to have pictures and answers for my girls. I’d love a chance to hug each of them and thank them; to let them know they made a good choice; and to tell them how sorry I am for their loss.
So Father, wherever they are please hold them close; comfort them. And assure them that their children are safe and well loved. Bless them, Father, for choosing life. And help their souls find peace. If they don’t know you, show them the way; grant them a believing heart and a hope that one day they will meet the beautiful daughters they surrendered. Until then, would you fill the hole in their heart with you?
Help me to honor them. Respect them. Pray for them. And remember that their heartbeat was the first thing my child heard; their arms were the first to cradle them; their lips the first to kiss them; and that their loss became my treasure.
And help my daughters find peace, healing and strength in the knowledge of both their mother’s love.