Someone finally said out loud what I assumed people might be thinking all along.
I was asked, “How are you?” Careful not to ever come across as complaining about this beautiful mess God has called me to, I simply answered, “Good.” I never want to appear to have it all together (which isn’t hard); however, I don’t want anyone to think I don’t value the job God has so graciously given to our family.
I was at the fourth appointment that week for one of my children. I had spent night after night with little sleep from attending to sick babes. I was drowning in laundry and housework and truly feeling empty. A feeling of loneliness was lurking as I had little time with my husband due to early morning and late night work appointments for him. I was spent.
But, I answered, “good”…..
I am certain exhaustion painted my face, so she knew what I was hiding. Then it spilled out of her mouth…
”Well, you asked for this.”
Not being known for witty comebacks until about three hours later, I looked up stunned and just agreed. “Yes, I did.” This scene, while foggy due to lack of sleep, replayed itself over and over again in my head. The more I thought about it, the more I approved of my response.
Yes, I did. I asked for this.
The summer before my freshman year of high school, deep in the woods at a summer camp, I committed my whole life to God and His work. I was ready for whatever He called me to and whatever it might look like… a mission field, a pastor’s wife, a school teacher, a mom to a gaggle of children, adoption… whatever He wanted of me, I was ready and willing.
So, yes, I asked for this.
I asked for God to be the Lord of my life.
I asked for God to use me.
I asked for God to empty me out, so that only He can refill me.
I asked for God to allow me to show His love to others.
I asked for this close-up view of God’s redemptive power in life.
I asked for Him to be my strength.
I asked for my life to honor Him.
I asked for my ways to be His ways.
I asked for a heart like His.
I asked for what I never knew would be one of the greatest gifts to my soul. I have finally truly experienced how deep and wide the Father’s love is for me. I have seen God redeem little lives and allow them to shine. I have seen myself give more, love deeper and trust stronger than I ever thought I could, all with God’s help. I have the opportunity daily to be the hands and feet of Jesus to the little ones in my home.
Life caring for children with special needs as well as trauma from orphanage life is hard. I won’t pretend it’s not. Sometimes the transparency of the struggle and trying to explain it to someone else is hard. There are days that my head hits the pillow and I’m not sure if I can do it all over again tomorrow.
In the middle of the chaos and exhaustion, God picks me up and fills me. He gently reminds me that He has equipped me and prepared me for such a time as this. I need to tap into His power that is so freely given to me. He refocuses my thoughts and helps me to celebrate the “wins” that might not be recognized by those around me.
He does this all so He can receive the glory for all the great things He has done. His grace covers my inadequacies. His mercy is new every morning. He lifts my chin up, so my eyes are fixed only on His eyes.
He fills me.
He renews me.
He is with me.
He is for me.
He loves me.
So when the stares in public are so sharp and directed that I can feel them cut through me, when the words that are spoken come from a place of ignorance and pierce deeply, or when I feel like I can’t make it another day on my own strength, God saves the day. He reminds me of the beauty I get to see everyday.
I beg God to fill me once again, so I can do His work.
And I thank Him that He granted me the desire of my heart to live for Him, because…
I asked for this.
– Christy is wife to a pastor and mom to six children ages 15, 10, 8, 5, 4, 4. Three of their children are biological and their youngest three are adopted and have Down Syndrome; read more on Christy’s Facebook page, Bringing DOWN the House.