One of my favorite sermons that a certain super awesome pastor once preached, was about finding joy in spite of. In spite of whatever is happening, are we choosing to find joy, to find God, in the mess, or are we choosing to reflect only on our sorrows and woes. I often think of this sermon whenever things are going, well, to say the least, less then desirable.
Life is hard. Life flat out sucks sometimes. People tend to revert to our fallen and sinful ways. They aren't as nice as they should be, aren't as supportive as they should be, aren't as gracious as they should be, aren't as sensitive as they should be, aren't as quiet and holding their tongue as they should be. But, it's not all the times. Sure, sometimes it feels that way... sometimes you are sure that the whole world has come against you, and walking out your door to face it sounds far to overwhelming and scary of a thing to do. But when that friend gives you a hug, and they hold just a little tighter and a little longer then normal because they can see, somehow, that deep within your soul, you need it. When that stranger passes by with a smile, and holds the door open for you, your soul lifts just a little bit. When, out of no where, a friend sends you a text message, or calls you, just to see how you are doing, or maybe to say thanks, just for something small you have done, or brings you a cup of coffee after a long day at work, you know that there is joy to be found.
God often reveals joy in spite of, through my children. Baby snuggles, smiles and joy in their eyes of the small and simple discoveries this world has to offer, their tiny small bodies trying to be big, trying to do what Mommy and Daddy do. I love when their creativity comes to life, and even though my world becomes all the more messy (quite literally) as their creativity grows, their is joy in watching them be who God made them to be.
See, and I'm sorry if I'm jumping all over this morning, but our adoption journey is just beginning. I have no idea what this process is going to hold, and what we will have to go through. I know it's not going to be easy, and I know it will be messy. I've already had people question our desire to adopt, or think we are crazy, or tell us that they don't think 'we're ready' to adopt. That's fine, they are entitled to their opinion, and quite honestly, I agree with them.
I do think we are crazy. Well, crazier then before, at least... never been one to be that normal in the first place... ahem. Anyway. It IS crazy to be a young couple, and have 3 young boys, and open our hearts and homes to children from across the world, to call them our own and love them. Those people aren't wrong who say it's crazy, it IS crazy! God has never been one to call people to logical things... or at least, my idea of logical. God didn't tell the Israelites to make boats, or plop a big ship in their path when they fled Egypt. Nope, He was like 'hey, no, that is far too boring of a story, and really? A ship? No, let's literally open up the waters and let them cross, that is much more fun.' And he didn't say 'here, take these logs and bulldozers and knock down the walls of Jericho...' instead he said, 'walk around the city, and although you may look like you are bonkers and no one will have no idea why I'm asking you to do what I'm asking, and do this for seven days, and then I'll let the walls of Jericho fall.'
I mean, really, Gods form of 'logic' is far from my form of 'logic' and, yes, he calls us to do the most 'illogical' things possible at times. But how else would we experience his wonder, his awesomeness, and find such joy in his ways, if things always went 'according to plan?'
As for those who say, 'I don't think you're really ready to adopt,' I must say, I agree. After all, who is ever really 'ready' to adopt. If every couple, or person waited until they were 'ready' to adopt, no child would ever find a forever home. God does not call the well rested. And we are by no means, well rested (hence the reason for coffee on this bright fine morning ;) ). And, I don't believe that orphans were ever 'ready' to be orphaned, to be abandoned, to be alone. So although I wholeheartedly agree that we may never be 'ready' for this crazy journey, I also wholeheartedly know that there are children who are never MORE ready for a family.
My life, yes, is a shaken snow globe that appears messy, with no direct path on where the snow will fall, and which way the wind will take us. But I know that it has been stirred, and shaken with love. For in spite of the mess, in spite of the chaos, there is beauty in the wind. There is beauty in watching our world spin around us, in an array of sparkling flurries, and finding joy and wonder in the places where they land. We know not where things will fall, no more then those who are watching from the outside, and we may not be ready for all of it... but that is what makes it beautiful. We are choosing to look for the joys in spite of. There is joy in the every day, in spite of the hard, in spite of the pain, in spite of whatever is going on, there is joy. May God open our eyes and hearts to forever and always find the joy in the small things he has laid before us.
My morning coffee...