My husband and I have seen more of the world than the average person. Some of that is in the literal sense, as we’ve traveled to different countries, mainly chasing after the latest crazy pursuit God has laid on our hearts. Some of it is in the emotional and spiritual sense as we’ve watched marriages be destroyed, loved ones lost, parents grieve children, friends in a warring country, brought a child from a trauma background into our home, and walked through an orphanage with 600 children that have no home or family.
We’ve lived a lot of life in our years.
I think because a lot of what we’ve seen, there’s a sense of heaviness that seems to more often than not, accompany me through my day.
Because you can’t unsee.
Becoming an adoptive parent in the way we did has given me an even more acute awareness of this. This week some friends of ours will watch their daughter go limp in their arms, and then be wheeled off to have her chest open wide, and heart stopped for a time while they try to fix it. Last week we had friends experience the same. This week I’m praying for friends that have court appointments, and new children to love who don’t know how to be loved. I’m praying for more than one family who is continuing to navigate the road of grief in the wake of the loss of a child. Daily, I pray for the first mother of my daughter who probably daily thinks of her daughter. I pray for kids that don’t know love or a family. There’s so many reminders of pain and grief in this world, that is constantly right before my eyes. Often, looking back into mine.
I’ve had a lot of harsh, hard, and untrue things spoked over me in the last week. It has been a struggle not to let those things”stick”. One of them was that I was constantly blasting social media with how hard this journey had been, and that was annoying.
This road has been hard for a myriad of reasons, many of which are well documented, and others I’m happy to share over a cup of coffee. I wanted to be sure not to sugar coat this process, or show a “gotcha” moment that made everything seem happy and easy. It wasn’t, and it’s not, and I think it’s incredibly important people (considering adoption) go in educated and prepared. I wanted to be sure to show that side. I also wanted to be real with what we are walking through, so as to get real prayers that helped. And so many have been so gracious to come alongside us and join us in prayer.
I think sometimes we get annoyed by hearing hard things, because we don’t want to.
We don’t want to see the world outside of our American suburban bubble. We don’t want to know the grief and heartache dwelling everywhere, even likely next door. We don’t want to feel conviction, or feel overwhelmed at the need and/or helpless to help.
But love can do so much.
While this process has been hard, we’ve also had a front row seat at how much love can do. Not just in our daughters life (which I’ll share more about this week), but in our own.
We’ve been prayed over, and fed. We’ve had friends step in and help hold us up when it felt like the ground was falling out from underneath us. We’ve had calls and texts and emails (lots of which have gone unanswered) of encouragement and prayer that literally breathed life into us. We were able to actually go get our girl because of the financial assistance so many gave. Jesus poured into others, who gave to us, so that we could give to our daughter. It’s the most beautiful waterfall effect that has left us praising Him over and over for His goodness and provision in the midst of the storm, often at the hand of His people.
We have watched what LOVE can do in other families as well. We’ve watched it literally make a family, and give a home for kids that have never had one and where the one they are in may be temporary. We’ve watched parents be able to pour everything they have into kids that are so hard to love because of the love that’s been poured into them. We’ve watched gaping wounds be healed faster (both physical and emotional ones), we’ve watched marriages heal together, or individuals heal apart. We’ve seen simple acts of kindness bring light into a dark grief in the midst of loss. We’ve seen love give hope to the hopeless that have been in desperate places. We’ve gotten to see so much of what LOVE does.
Being aware of the pain and hurt in this world can get annoying, and burdensome. But LOVE can do so much. May I never turn away, or shield my eyes. May I always enter in, in whatever way I can…even if it’s a simple prayer. Because LOVE changes things. It changes people, and families, and marriages, and loss, and grief, and sorrow, and loneliness, and hurt. It brings hope, and healing, restoration, and redemption. It brings protection, and meets needs, it changes people and circumstances, and brings LIGHT.
So this week, as the weight of so much walks with me day to day, I’m making sure LOVE is right there holding it’s hand. Not looking away, but entering in. So thankful for a Savior that always entered in and never turned His back. That I can love, because He first loved us.