Tag Archives: trusting God

Let Go of Tidy Faith 

I am not a neat freak. At least when it comes to our home, my bedroom, and my hairstyle.tidy faith large

Unfortunately, I can be a perfectionist of presentation when it comes to my faith.

When life presents difficult moments, moments when I doubt God’s provision, I cling to this concept of tidy faith. When exhaustion, discouragement, and loneliness settle in for a siege on my soul, I cling to truth of Scripture as my life-line. I busy myself with life-giving tasks that remind me I am not defeated. I pray, hard. This is absolutely the appropriate response in difficult times… save for one missing piece: acknowledging the distress.

Recovering perfectionists like myself would never say out loud that we have it all together, but we try to present such confidence in our faith.

Tidy Faith skips the relational step of crying out to God: this hurts! It jumps straight to the part where we preach truth to ourselves (which, of course, is crucial). However, we should not pursue the strength to move on without acknowledging the need for an intimate outpouring of our hearts to God. (Psalm 62:8)

tidy faith

Messy Faith provides this avenue for intimacy with God. He is inviting us to just be real with Him for a change.

Tidy Faith is a breeding ground for false humility. False humility is, in fact,  pride. Often, I think so lowly of my struggles that I assume God does not care about these little battles. Because I am still thinking of myself, albeit negatively, my pride is still on full display. I rewrite first Peter 5:7 to say “cast all your cares on yourself, Becky, because they are too insignificant for God to be concerned.”

Messy Faith gets me thinking about God’s greatness, His kindness… His closeness to invite me, with all my own small problems, into His embrace. With eyes on Him, I can experience the true humility required to let go of presentable faith. Engaging in messy faith gives me permission to be real and honest with my emotions and discouragement. God says that He cares(!), so we should be humble, messy enough to cast all our cares on Him!

messy faith

Tidy Faith upholds a sense of respect and honor towards God. It drives us to worship Him instead of complaining about our distress. While this perspective is necessary and admirable, I believe God wants more than respect and honor. Many of the Psalms exemplify the reality of messy faith. To cry out in anguish, question the Almighty, and lay all burdens of woe at His feet, and still proclaim His faithful lovingkindness. God desires intimate relationship in the untidy moments of despair.

Messy Faith gives us that intimacy.

I should note that we cannot remove faith from the equation. It is tempting to simply allow ourselves to be messy, but we must not let our emotions run rampant, trampling down truth so it can’t heal our hearts. Trust is a choice that should not be confused with emotion.

Can we let go of Tidy Faith.

Can we embrace a messy faith which acknowledges pain, uncertainty, and discouragement?

Could we welcome a wild-haired faith, which brings all the real feelings of a fractured heart to the feet of our Savior?

Dare we champion a disorderly faith which, before moving on to strength-getting and onward-marching, relishes those uncomfortable moments where Jesus meets us, right where we are?

Campfire Check In:

How do you let go of Tidy Faith?

Join me in #40fasts with author Alicia Britt Chole’s book 40 Days of Decrease. Day 5 challenges readers to fast from Tidy Faith, the inspiration for this post.

 

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How We Decided What To Name Our Son

How We Decided What To Name Our Sonhow we decided what to name our son

Choosing a name for a human being is an overwhelming task. The amount of power involved in this decision seems too much for two people to hold. The recipient of said name must bear it for life. The name will define them. Before ever meeting an individual, people tend to make assumptions and definitions of that person based on their name. It is often the first word a child learns to write. It’s how they will label every exam in school, every letter or email, every official document.

Because my husband and I felt such gravity in this naming business, we decided to take it very seriously.

We started talking about what we would name our children when we began the adoption process. I’ve had names in my head since I was little girl, but none of those seem to fit the new child that was growing in our hearts. When I found out I was pregnant, we had already picked out a couple names. However, we both agreed to reserve those names for our adopted child when he or she would enter into our family, even if that would be years down the road now that we were pregnant. So we started dreaming up new names.

We prayed for a long time about the kind of people God had in mind as he was designing our son (and twin sister) in my womb. The word “intercessor” kept coming to mind with our son. An intercessor is “one who stands in the gap.”

This sermon, by Eric Ludy, was highly influential in our understanding of the role of an intercessor.

In our prayers and daily interaction with the world around us, we began to understand the great need of someone who could be a bridge between God and humanity. We understand that all people are, by nature, not perfect. We choose to do things our way, not God’s way. This imperfection, also called sin, leads to a brokenness. This brokenness means we cannot have relationship with God, not now and not after death. There is no heaven for individuals who are unholy… the only thing we deserve is death and separation from God. Only by becoming perfect can we relate to God as our Father and Lord. Since we can’t be perfect, even if we try, we need an intercessor.

Isaiah 59:16 says about Jesus: “He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no one to intercede; then his own arm brought him salvation, and his righteousness upheld him.”

Jesus, God’s Son, was the only perfect human being. He became our intercessor when he offered an exchange for us: our sin-nature for his perfect one. For all who receive this gift, their sin nature is put on Jesus on the cross. In his death, the punishment we deserve for our rebellion against God, was served. In it’s place, we receive a new nature: holiness, perfection, and therefore relationship with God!

When humanity could not help itself, Jesus stepped in, sacrificed himself, and bridged the gap. In his great power as God’s son, Jesus raised himself from death (our deserved punishment, not his). He claimed holiness yet again and now stands before God, constantly pleading, or interceding, on our behalf.

This is a monumental truth. Its implications for a broken humanity are beyond liberating. The fact that we have an intercessor should change the way we think, love, act, feel, and speak.

It is so epic in fact, it even affects the names we choose for our children.

 

May I introduce Titus Zachariah Rosty.

b5

The name Titus means defender, a meaning similar to intercessor. Titus was also a Greek missionary and disciple of the apostle Paul.

We chose the middle name Zachariah to honor a dear friend who passed away last year. This man left behind a genuine Christ-centered legacy. His zeal for God and compassion for others deeply impacted his community and family. The name Zachariah means “remembered by the Lord.”

We see in Scripture that God did remember to send an intercessor. He did not forget his creation, but made a way for all of humanity to choose restoration through Jesus.

“God showed how much he loved us by sending his only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him.” 1 John 4:9

Our son’s name is our reminder of that. We pray daily that our son’s heart and mind recognize the gravity of Jesus’ gift of salvation. We hope he will share this truth in his daily life. And because we also want to prioritize this truth in our own lives, we chose an applicable name to constantly remind our own souls.

God has already designed the steps Titus will take as a boy, young fella, and eventually (hopefully) a strong man-of-God. What glimpse the Holy Spirit allowed us of that destiny was that Titus might:

  • Share his faith with friends on the playground…
  • Boldly stand up for truth in his college classes…
  • Forge awareness for the orphaned and abandoned…
  • Champion the cause of the hurting and the lost…
  • Be a defender of the weak (all of us), and a reminder that God did remember to send an intercessor.

“Defend the weak and the fatherless;
uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.” Psalm 82:3

Whether he is a banker, or a street-sweeper, or a linebacker for the Green Bay Packers, (after all, his name does mean “defender”), we pray his life will be a giant arrow pointing to Christ, our Savior.

Titus 2:11-15 (NIV)

11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. 15 These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.”

Check in soon for a post on how we chose our daughter’s name!

What did you name your kids? I’d love to hear any special meaning or reason behind your decision to name them!

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Baby Blues and Breastfeeding (a lesson on trusting God)

baby bluesMy daughter is one week old today (so is her brother, turns out). Our family grew from 2 to 4 in a couple heartbeats, and it’s been crazy ever since. This month has been perhaps the most sanctifying season of my life.

The babies and I have entered a crash-course on learning to breastfeed. Evi in particular is not a fan of “school.” When I bring her to my chest, she becomes inconsolable, gasping for air, punching at me, shaking her head. Finding the right spot to suck is a great stresser in this little one’s life.

Sometimes, her fit stresses me out too. But one thing I’ve found absolutely adorable about it is her “crazy legs.” She kicks and stretches in perfect rhythm during her melt down. Shane and I have dubbed her “Crazy Legs Magee” when this happens (during diaper changes too).

I think of Crazy Legs Magee every time the “baby blues” hit me out of no where. I start to question whether or not I can do this. My mind races with identity-management mode: I am a mother now. In many ways, this enhances all other roles, including wife, mentor, and daughter of the King of kings. In other ways, the demands of my new role has trumped the activities that define the others.

  • I am still a wife, but I am sleep deprived and feel too mentally consumed to provide good conversation or companionship for Shane.
  • I am still a mentor and ministry director, but I need to keep my babies healthy during these precious first weeks of life, which limits my involvement with student activities and long-anticipated summer trips.
  • I am still a friend, but I have about 17 un-answered texts, Facebook messages, and “can I drop by” requests.
  • I am still an extrovert, but strangers are so low on my priority list right now, I am so not a nice person when they try to engage me with “are they identical” for the umpteenth time.

The most prominent identity shift has come with my husband starting a new ministry position within a month of our babies’ birth. Ministry has always been a hard-and-fast team effort between the two of us. But this season requires us both to fly a little bit solo—me in the mama role, and he furthering his ministry occupation.

In my head, I know the loneliness I feel to be a greater part of Shane’s new journey is unfounded. This is a beautiful, messy, exhausting season, but it is still just a season. Still, my heart needs convincing.

The emotions flow. I whimper a little; the tears threaten my eyes and I find myself sucking in air like a fussy baby. Crazy Legs Magee and I are not so different.

When I feed Evi, she acts like she will never get that honey-sweet milk she craves and needs. Of course, I know I have enough to provide for her… more than enough. Breastfeeding twins and pumping every 3 hours has given me an abundant supply to meet both my babies needs and more! (To the glory of God and my great relief).

(P.S. Perhaps the most pathetic thing EVER to a new mom is a 5 oz bag of breastmilk slipping through your fingers and soaking the kitchen floor. So much hard work just waisted. Ok, rant over.)

Philippians 4:19 says “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”

My Heavenly Father looks at me with the same perspective that I have with Evi:

“My darling, I have more than enough to meet your needs. My riches are beyond abundant. I promise you will be satisfied through what I am going to give you. Relax against Me. Lean into Me. Find the source of joy, contentment, and honey-sweet assurance that you are longing for… but first you must trust.”

God knows me better than I know myself. He knows what will bring me the most satisfaction and joy: Him! Not being more involved in youth-activities, not having an easy time breastfeeding, not giving birth in the way I pictured it. All these things are good, but ultimately, the riches God plans to meet my needs with are not these things.

The song “Satisfied in You,” by The Sing Team, sums it up well for me:

Let my sighs give way to songs that sing about your faithfulness
Let my pain reveal your glory as my only real rest
Let my losses show me all I truly have is you

As a deer pants for water, so my soul thirsts for you
And when I survey Your splendor, You so faithfully renew
Like a bed of rest for my fainting flesh

Baby blues and breastfeeding… Crazy Legs Magee and I will make it through. Because God has promised to provide.

In what ways have you been “Crazy-Legs Magee” with God? How did he provide in the end? Feel free to share so we can celebrate His faithfulness together!

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Fear Factor Friday: Have the Day You Have

Every so often, Hollywood offers a golden perspective on life. I think The Odd Life of Timothy Green is one such nugget.

The Greens receive a gift from their garden: the child they couldn’t conceive. The child, Timothy, teaches them about love, selflessness, and trust, which eventually enables them to let go of their expectations but still cling to hope. My favorite scene in the film is this:

“Have a great day” is apparently too much pressure. And I tend to agree.

Our culture calls this, “not getting our hopes up.” Stop caring. Become callused. Without hope, there might not be any disappointment. We all know disappointment is the enemy of hope… its crushes optimism, cloning all of humanity to being “realists”.

But Love tells us to hope. Love also tells us to endure.

1 Corinthians 13 says…

“love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things and endures all things.” (1 Corinthians 13:7)

Sounds a bit contradictory to me. When I am hopeful, I usually channel my hope toward positive things that will most likely happen. If the forecast says rain, I don’t hope for sunshine. I know I will end up disappointed by reality.

When I knowingly walk into a circumstance in which I know I will have to endure, I check hope at the door and brace myself for the coming opposition. I “have the day I have.”

Jon Acuff, author and speaker, writes, “In these moments, fear will try to hand you an apathy shield… What fear doesn’t tell you is that apathy forms a wall, but that same wall blocks you from joy, too.” *

In Christ, the pressure that Cindy Green speaks of, is off!

Do we trust that God is faithful? Do we believe He really has the best in mind for us? That “the day we have” is whatever He planned ahead for us to experience (barring any of our own sin getting in the way)?

The pain, the confusion, the waiting, the excitement, the joy, the changes—each are an agent of God’s will to bring us closer to Him, which will bring us the greatest satisfaction anyway! “Having the day you have” doesn’t just mean grit your teeth and bear it; it also requires hope and trust that “the day you have” is also the “great day” your Dad wished you before school.

When we operate from a heart of love, we can do both. We can say “have a great day” and “have the day you have” at the same time. Love enables us to hope and endure at the same time.

I am about to give birth for the first time. I have no idea what to expect. A huge part of me wants to carry an “apathy shield” to guard against disappointment in my birth experience. But my God has wooed me, convincing me to operate from a place of love, not fear. And so, I am hoping like I’ve never hoped before! But I also know that I will “have the birth that I have.” It will be everything God designed for me to experience; and I have confidence He knows what is best for me. So, in the end, it will be everything I hoped for, because my hope is in Christ, not my circumstances.

“For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.” Romans 8:24-25

I’d like to hear from you? Where have you raised your “apathy shield” to guard against hope? How do you plan to drop that shield to both hope and endure all things?

*from the article "Dreaming God-Sized Dreams, 3 Lies fear always tells you about your goals," in the January 2013 issue of Homelife (produced by Lifeway).
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Audacious Obedience

audacious obedience

Ever feel like God has called you to do something that doesn’t make sense?

  • Purity in your romantic relationships
  • Going on a missions trip
  • Staying in-state for college to avoid debt
  • Waiting (enough said)
  • Spending time with Jesus with a busy schedule
  • Respecting your parents
  • Refusing to date a man or woman who doesn’t follow Christ
  • Tithing

The Israelites had a problem with a few of these. Here is what God said of them: ” ‘It’s too hard to serve the Lord,’ and you turn up your noses at my commands,” says the Lord. Malachi 1:13

However, God still spoke amazing words of promise to these people through the prophet Malachi. In fact, Malachi’s prophecy was the last bit of instruction God’s people could depend on for 400 years till Jesus came.

If you feel you God has brought you into an unfair or illogical situation, I suggest you read the book of Malachi. It is very short, and simply put.

God says, “Listen to me and make up your minds to honor my name,” (Mal 2:1). The next 3 chapters describe how God’s people must honor him: in their money, relationships, marriages, treatment of others, and their worship. He calls them to obedience in these areas then says:

“If you do,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test! Your crops will be abundant, for I will guard them from insects and disease. Your grapes will not fall from the vine before they are ripe,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. “Then all nations will call you blessed, for your land will be such a delight,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. Malachi 3:10-12

Whatever you are facing, God challenges you to TEST HIM. Obey in that area, and see if He will not bless your

  • Pure relationships
  • Christ-first time management
  • God-honoring financial choices
  • Devoted pursuit of Jesus

Make no mistake, this is not a prosperity-Gospel. We are not attempting to manipulate God to give us stuff or make us rich. This is about honoring God for HIS honor and glory, and trusting that He knows what’s best for us… even when it doesn’t feel good or make sense to people around us.

Make the choice to live in audacious trust and obedience to our faithful God. And please let me know how you are doing it! (Comment below.)

*Thanks to my lovely friend Kristen for the inspiring picture.

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A Christmas Prayer for Adoption

Friends and Family, will you join us in prayer for our adoption? We have a significant meeting regarding our adoption today at 1:30pm MST, for which we are asking for wisdom, strength, and a holy perspective of the coming months.

adoption ornament

This Sunday, our pastor preached on the day Mary received the news of her baby, the Savior of the world. She did not question the power of God. She did not question the promise of a Son. But she did question the process… “how can this be, since…”

I can relate to Mary today. Our life is a big jumble of God power and promise, without a hint of HOW the process will work out.

However confused, unsure, or afraid Mary was, her final statement defines her: “I am the bonds lave of the Lord. May it be done to me, according to your word.” (Luke 1:38)

My prayer today is that I, like Mary, would be submissive to the God who is so much bigger than I. That my final word would be “I trust you.” After all, He can see the end of this road, and how all things will work together for His glory and our good (Romans 8).

If I were to sit outside of myself, this is how I would pray for the woman in my shoes:

Lord, You are good. Remind Becky of that truth. Thank you for each blessing you rain down on the Rostys.

Help Becky to submit to your call on her life, even when it doesn’t feel logical. Give her foresight to see how you are making everything beautiful in your perfect timing. Provide strength–physically, mentally, and emotionally–to stand firm on your truth, unwavering at the slightest hint of anxiety or negative thinking. Like Elizabeth’s words to Mary, I praise you Lord, for “blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her by the Lord.”

Even as I write, my thoughts are drifting to our world-traveler today. I don’t know when we will get to meet him or her; but for today, I choose to rest and be still. My God has the whole world, including our child, in His hands.

Thank you for your prayers!

 

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God’s Word: Piercing to the Heart

isaiah 55

Do you ever experience a divine intervention? You know, when you hear a sermon or a Bible study explained, and the Holy Spirit just hits you straight in the heart with the truth He has for you?

Sometimes, the message wasn’t even heading in the direction for which it pierces our soul. The passage could be on tithing, to which we become overwhelmed by the love of God to walk with us so intimately. (This is actually how a friend of mine accepted Christ as Savior!)

A similar thing happened to me just the other day (read about it here).

Friends, let’s meditate on this today: How incredible is God’s Word! To speak so directly and personally and intimately to our hearts; to transform and shape our minds; to encourage and discipline our motives… this is the Word of God!

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not My ways.” This is the  Lord ’s declaration. “For as heaven is higher than earth,  so My ways are higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts. For just as rain and snow fall from heaven and do not return there without saturating the earth and making it germinate and sprout, and providing seed to sow and food to eat,  so My word that comes from My mouth will not return to Me empty, but it will accomplish what I please and will prosper in what I send it to do.”  You will indeed go out with joy and be peacefully guided; the mountains and the hills will break into singing before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. (Isaiah 55:8-12 HCSB)

How has God spoken to you this week? Feel free to share your story by commenting below!

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Pictures of Selfless Love for a (future) Mama, Part 2: Pregnancy

pregnancy

This week, God has led me to explore the pictures of God’s love through parenthood. Many of my friends will be celebrating Mother’s Day in a few weeks, which lends to me thinking more and more about the idea. I am not a parent yet, but the Holy Spirit is definitely rearranging my perspective of having children.

In the last post, I explained my view of adoption as the most beautiful picture of God’s unconditional love. Recently, the Holy Spirit has opened my eyes to another, equally beautiful, reflection of God’s perfect relationship offered to us: pregnancy.

So here it is…. Pictures of Selfless Love for a (future) Mama, Part 2: Pregnancy 

As usual, the transformation of my mind came through God’s Word. In bed with a sore throat, I spent some time with my podcast app in effort to engage my spirit and mind, though my body was out of commission (it was an epic sore throat, ok). I listened to this sermon on Philippians 2, from Timothy Keller, pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church:

If then there is any encouragement in Christ, if any consolation of love,   if any fellowship with the Spirit,   if any affection and mercy,     fulfill my joy by thinking the same way,   having the same love,   sharing the same feelings, focusing on one goal.  Do nothing out of rivalry   or conceit,   but in humility   consider others as more important   than yourselves.  Everyone should look out not only for his own interests,  but also for the interests of others.  Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus, who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God  as something to be used for His own advantage.  Instead He emptied Himself  by assuming the form of a slave,  taking on the likeness of men.  And when He had come as a man in His external form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death — even to death on a cross.  For this reason God highly exalted Him  and gave Him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow   — of those who are in heaven   and on earth and under the earth   — and every tongue   should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,  to the glory   of God the Father. (Philippians 2:1-11 HCSB)

Keller explained that many of us do not actually love or serve others out of selfless motives. He theorized that most of us love others as a means to meet our own needs: the need for love in return, the need for relationship, the need to be needed. As Keller puts it, God is calling us to love from a place of having already been satisfied, as Christ did.

God–Father, Son and Spirit–did not create man out of a need for relationship. As a complete trinity, the Three had already experienced perfect satisfaction in their friendship… before the beginning of time! Thus, God’s willingness to create was an overflow of His love and relationship from within.

His satisfaction inspired creation! God created that He might share that perfection of love and friendship with more beings: angels, humanity, etc. His love is not just displayed in redemption of creation (adoption) but the creation of humanity for relationship in the first place (conception).

Keller’s point, of course, was that we should be so completely satisfied in our relationship with the Lord (as Jesus was), that our “considering others greater than ourselves” is an outpour from satisfaction, not a pursuit to fill a need.

But God works in funny ways. What Keller meant for general Christian charity, the Holy Spirit meant for a dramatic shaping of my perspective of pregnancy and childbirth. The Holy Spirit used this message to show how creation of another human being is not always rooted in selfish motives (as was my fear). How incredible is God’s Word!

I am now grasping the depth of these pictures of God’s love for us. His first act of love was creation in the first place! He conceived humanity as the fruit of perfect connection and relationship within the trinity. God was so pregnant with love, so expectant to sharing that relationship with others, that He created! What a picture of love. What a picture of God and relationship.

His second act of love was redemption. The overwhelming longing to bring in the lost and broken children of the world, He sacrificed everything to adopt us.

Both creation and redemption are equally beautiful and both equally necessary for relationship.

Both conception and adoption are equally beautiful pictures of that relationship we have with Christ.

So, I guess what I am trying to say is, I am starting to get this whole “having a baby” thing. All my misgivings, doubts, and frustration with the idea vanish in light of the sweet selflessness of God to both create and redeem me.

Again, this is not a pregnancy announcement (I’ll be way more creative when that time comes). This is just me, being transparent with what God is doing in my life, in hopes to encourage you.

By God’s grace and undeserved blessings, we will get to experience both pictures of unconditional love as parents: through the overflow of love that inspires creation of a new being, and the overflow of love that inspires adoption and redemption of a lost one.

I’ll keep you posted on the journey till then.

What do you think about pregnancy and adoption? Have a different perspective? Please share!

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Pictures of Selfless Love for a (future) Mama: My journey to celebrating both pregnancy and adoption.

adoption

 

I think I might be finally getting this whole “home-made” kid thing. “Home-made” meaning, having a baby (vs. adoption).

It has been a long journey of confusion, fear, selfishness, doubt, excitement, and waiting… of course the waiting. And no-this is not a pregnancy announcement. I simply wish to be transparent with how God is shaping my heart and mind for His glory. (Sorry if I got your hopes up; not just yet.)

So here it is: Pictures of Selfless Love for a (future) Mama, Part 1: Adoption.

God has blessed me with a heavy heart for the orphan. I have longed to be a part of adoption for a very long time. I still look forward to the day God leads Shane and I to step in that direction.

I have always seen adoption as an exceptional picture of God’s unconditional love for humanity. The Bible refers to adoption several times as an example of how God invites us into His family (Galatians 4, Ephesians 1, Romans 8).

I am overwhelmed with the thought: that God would take in this dirty, homeless child and make me His daughter. Washing me clean of all the stains of broken relationship, He made me His own; giving me full inheritance to His kingdom, He invited me to take part in the family business. Complete and whole, I have been given a new name in Christ, declared worthy and accepted.

I can’t wait to offer that to a child someday! I pray that the day Shane and I adopt a child will be celebrated as a divine picture of God’s love.

But…. there is another picture of love that I have been ignoring. Love is not just displayed in adoption, but also in creation.

I will admit something here: I have been turned off to pregnancy and having a “baby of my own” for a long time. My disposition to this miraculous process has various roots:

First, my own sinful rebellion. Always wanting to “take the path less traveled,” I saw having a “home-made baby” as following the crowd. It sounds ridiculous (it is), and I know that this reason is not God-honoring. I confess my inclination to deviate from the “norm” (even a God-honoring norm) is sinful and fleshly.

I also experience a plethora of fears in this area. God has used many wonderful mothers (who make a lot of graceful mistakes) to help me trust God instead of give in to fear. This blog post, from Women Living Well, was particularly helpful.

After repenting from my prideful attitude and my fear, I realized I still felt hung up on the idea. Almost every argument in the favor of having a baby still sounded so selfish to me:

“Don’t you want to have kids that look like you?”

“Don’t you want to feel what its like to be pregnant?”

“Don’t you want to raise kids with your traits and talents?”

“Having your own children is better than adoption, because you have control from the beginning how they are raised.”

Again, God has blessed me with an overwhelmed heart for adoption. I see the need of a thousand children all over the world who aren’t privileged with parents who believed (or could fulfill) the above comments.

In the face of such a need, each question sounded very self-serving. All about me: what I see, feel, experience, or have an easier time with. After repenting from my original prideful reason for preferring adoption over pregnancy, I wanted to steer far away from the idea of pregnancy again, just to avoid a new motive of pride and selfishness.

I came “to terms” with the idea of having a baby, knowing it would be glorifying to how God made my body, and honoring to my husband, who wouldn’t mind have babies with me (what an amazing guy!).

But I was still wrestling with the perspective of all those precious babies already waiting for a home. Sure, God says that children are a blessing; but that includes HIS babies, orphaned out there somewhere, waiting for someone to be the tangible display of our Father’s selfless love.

My intentions are not to belittle anyone’s desire to have a baby. I love my friends and family (and my parents) for having that desire! I am simply trying to be brave by communicating my journey in this area. It has been a difficult road to be open about my misgivings and doubts about pregnancy vs. adoption, without sensing negative criticism from others.

Also, I do not mean to lessen the importance of womanhood or “be fruitful and multiply.” For whatever reason, my perspective has just been in favor of adoption.

Till now…

…Stay tuned for my conclusion on having a “home-made” baby…

*Does anyone else LOVE the photograph above? Head over to the blog, Adding a Burden,  to read about her beautiful story of adoption.

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Overcoming fear and “Going on an Adventure”

I am feeling a tad apprehensive about this journey of becoming a writer. For the last few months I’ve been feeling a bit intimidated to say the least. I finished writing a book, but now I have to edit it…. And I should probably let other people review it also.

Also, God brought an amazing connection to a college ministry magazine… all I have to do is send in a few articles and see where God takes it.

I could start writing published material. Or I could be royally rejected and have to try again. Both possibilities intimidate the dickens out of me.

I’ve spent the day cleaning and writing silly little blog posts like this one to help get over my fear and anxiety, and the consequential writer’s block. In the quiet and mundane, the Holy Spirit encourages me:

“You have nothing to prove, and nothing to lose. You are found in Me, secure in My approval of you, and equipped by all my power to take this leap of faith. My lovingkindness is new every morning, as will be the horizon when you face rejection. Trust me and move forward. Be strong, and let your heart take courage, …you who wait for the Lord!

So what if I taste defeat? I’ll brush my teeth and jump back into the day (thanks to Reliant K for these lyrics).

Every time  pray about this, God brings the picture from “The Hobbit” of Bilbo becoming completely undignified for the journey ahead.

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So there you have it, friends…. “I’m going on an adventure!!!”

How about you? What journey is God leading you on? Have any tips on overcoming your fears and taking that leap of faith? Share by commenting below!

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