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Friday, October 15, 2010

.My Words Won't Come.

I am sure that most of my friends read Ann Voskamp. She is one of my favorites. Most of her posts find their way right into the depth of my heart. Recently Ann went on a trip for Compassion International. I have devoured her posts since then. I just want to know what it is like to experience another country and poverty and then come back to....this excess. I am trying to prepare my heart for our trip to Ethiopia. I already do not fit in here anymore. I truly feel like a square peg in a round hole. Jim and I used to whisper into our pillows and each others ears about our plans to remodel our home to make it bigger and better. What kind of vacation we would save up for next, and what new gadget we needed to purchase. Now we fall asleep whispering to each other about how many more orphans our home can hold or dreaming about selling everything and moving to Africa with other families whose heart beats in the same rhythm as ours.

Yesterday I read Ann's post, and I cannot get this out of my head and heart.

The world, your community.. even your family — they are going to try to push you back to the middle. North America feels pretty comfortable in the middle. Balance, everyone says. I don’t know what Jesus is going to say to you.. How He might direct your life now… just don’t assume He wants you to live in the middle. Be open to the possibility …. Of something radically different.” (This was said to her Compassion group as they were leaving by Shaun Groves.)

I feel a lot more waiting to spill out, but for now my words will not come. Please go to Ann's site and read this beautiful post.

(And I would love to discuss with any of you that have gone before me and are living this new reality. I will respond to comments here today.)

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20 comments:

Melissa, Multi-Tasking Mama said...

I understand how you feel as God is working on my hubby and I in similar ways..I am thankful for the blogging community because not too many people in our IRL circle "get it".

Tiffany said...

Melissa~ The blogging community has been amazing for this journey. We have been so blessed to have found a handful of families that are right in step with what God is showing us, and they have now become real friends. One of those friends we were actually able to meet last weekend. It was the biggest blessing! I hope that someday some of our IRL friends will "get it". We pray to that end. Did you read Mary Beth Chapman's book? In one section when God laid it on their heart to adopt their second child from China. Mary Beth took it upon herself to apply FOR their best friends to adopt and fill out all of the beginning paperwork. She did all this before telling their friends. And when they found out they were overjoyed and the families went on to adopt together. Can you imagine?? Sign me up for that kind of friendship!!
I do think a revival is slowly starting to happen with all this though. Praying for it...

Lara said...

I read Ann's post yesterday and felt the same way you do. I really needed to read it because I was starting to grow numb to things like poverty and the orphan crisis. Hard to believe since we are adopting, but after a while it's just not as fresh in your mind.

Kel said...

Oh I love that quote! Those words are similar to why my husband and I moved to China and did ministry there for 5 years. Tired of "living in the middle". I actually don't like being back in the middle. We moved home 2 years ago and I miss it SOOO much. It's so easy to get into the hum drum of life here in the states...even when I try to buck the system, I am right back in the "middle". You are where God puts you......I guess...how can you argue with that? :)

great post

Jeff Seevers said...

God's spirit is moving in His people...you're not alone.

Jim Darling said...

Baby, I really don't have the right words to say... I honestly don't know where we go from here... but I am so with you on this. PS, it's really awkward having tears running down your cheeks and someone pokes their head in your office to talk fantasy football.

Tiffany said...

Lara~ It is amazing how quickly one grows numb. I don't want that to happen. I want to wake up every morning with the eyes of Jesus and my heart breaking for what is constantly breaking His. I just keep thinking about how our life here is so short, and I have all of eternity to be comfortable, so why not get a little uncomfortable now in order to fill eternity with a few more people??

Tiffany said...

Kel~ I have never even been beyond my back yard so to speak, and it is already hard. I cannot even imagine. You are right about "You are where God puts you", but I think it comes down to what am I DOING where God put me? I don't want to be stagnant.

Tiffany said...

Jeff~ Thank you. What a sweet reminder!

Tiffany said...

Jim~ I don't know where we go from here either. I do know that we cannot stand still, and that we will be holding hands the whole way....

Kylee said...

I absolutely love where your heart is. I wish you knew how much of an encouragment you are to me, Tiffany.

I experienced a small glimpse of this when I was in Peru for 10 days this summer. I remember walking into orphanage after orphanage, and seeing children craving love. They were trapped inside of those walls day in and day out. I saw babies in their cribs that were there day after day, not knowing anything different. As our bus drove around Lima, I saw make-shift houses and hundreds of people out on the street, trying to earn enough money to eat for the day.

Then, I came home. The hardest part is not the greedy strangers I encounter on a daily basis. The hardest part is seeing my friends, and people in my church that buy new cars every six months, buy a $5 cut of coffee every morning, buy $300 homecoming dresses, and still complain about not having enough. And this is all normal. Our nation has scooped so low that even the Christian community is accepting this lifestyle as acceptable. It makes me sick.

I sometimes just want to move far, far away. I wish I could change...I wish I could give up more of my luxerious. Sometimes I feel like I'm not strong enough to give up my wants. But then, I think back to those children in Peru, with tear-stained faces that know nothing except abandonment and rejection. I think back to that, and suddenly skipping out on my cup of coffee doesn't seem so huge anymore.

Sorry this is a novel, my heart has been so heavy for the past few weeks. None of my peers understand...and I feel so, so alone.

Tiffany said...

Kylee~
Oh, my heart feels for you. I know what that loneliness feels like. But I am guessing it is not quite as debilitating for me as an adult as it is for you.It is so hard to be the odd man out, especially when your heart so desires just to be obeying God. It is hard to be surrounded by people who don't feel the same. Let me encourage you, though. You have been given an incredible gift!! God has opened your eyes and softened your heart to these precious lives so early!! What I would give to have your heart at your age, but that wasn't God's plan for my life. Embrace it Kylee, live boldly, and know that your reward will be in heaven. Day to day is still hard though, and I am praying for you.

Heather said...

That quote by Shawn Groves is so true and an eye opener!

Dustin & Megan said...

i also feel like i don't fit in, it's something i have been struggling with for a couple months now. the big question is "what now?" prayers to you and all the others who are struggling with this.

Susan said...

Hello. We are doing the same thing. Just today my husband and I were discussing how we don't have anyone in our lives that "get" this. It is so easy to be pushed back to the "middle" where everyone else is and where it feels comfortable. I just don't want to be there anymore. I can't be there anymore. We were discussing how much we could give, and how much we could do without. I struggle with buying toilet paper, should I spend a lot on toilet paper when I could help someone who is in need that doesn't even have toilet paper? We were discussing how "Far" to go with it...and we came up with the answer, 'Go as far as we can without begrudging God, and then pray that you can go further and that He will soften your heart." then keep going until there is nothing left.
"By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth." (I John 16-18)
I think we are to give up the "world's goods" and love people more than our stuff. This is hard, and I am not good at this, but it is what God has commanded us to do.
Thanks for the post.

Jen said...

tif, I recently discovered Ann's blog and devour it! it truly is a holy work. You would fit in right at home in our church. I did a quick count of adoptions in our church of about 300, and we have 22 adoptions, 2 in process and 1 foster child. Most of these in the past 3 years and most are not infants. My in-laws are trying to be full time missionaries to an orphanage in Mexico (where my MIL made most of these adoptions in our church happen). it is an amazing process to see these kids become part of our church and see God provide. a few months ago, we got to see a sibling group of 4 come home after almost 5 years of waiting. You are doing God's good work, and I praise Him for what I see him doing in your heart and Jim's.

La Dolce Vita: The Sweet Life said...

We too are fighting the middle. My hubs and I spent time in Africa this year, and just returned from an adoption trip to China.

We have two groups of friends. Those who get us and sharpen us like iron, and those who are still buddies due to history, but who are so different from us now.

We just no longer care about things of this world...or shall I say, we care less and less.

We are reading Radical, The Hole in the Gospel and Crazy Love. Have you heard the song Albertine by Brooke Frashier? That is exactly how we feel. Now that we have seen we are responsible.

We now ache to go back on mission trips (beyond our upcoming Ethiopia adoption trip).

Thank God that He is turnig your heart to the things that are closest to His. May God bless your journey!

Simplegirl said...

I understand that feeling. Everyday I feel so out of place in my new home. It's bigger than our previous, but my heart is not into making it wonderful, because I think about all those others who have no beds, who get wet b/c they have no roof tops. I wish my surrounding community and friends were more aware, but people don't get it unless they have been there themselves. I pray every day for hearts to be soften to charity & love. It is so easy to get distracted here & not think about it. I think that's part of the reason people are asleep to the rest of the world. I've lost friends because they are not interested in the truth, but only in their comforts. I can only do my part and pray for others to feel that love and compassion. God bless you and yours always.

sue said...

tiffany....

i love that heather has "hooked us up." :) i have been there and your heart will break when you go. it really is overwhelming when you are there. from the sights to the smells to the kids on the street. the people are so amazing. they truly are beautiful people who are happy and healthy. i will be praying for you as you prepare your heart for your journey.

a former student of mine is a photographer for compassion. here is her web site. http://www.keelymariescott.com/ she captures with pictures what can not be said with words.

i will be praying for you!

sue said...

here is another web site of compassion photographers. http://www.flickr.com/photos/compassionbloggers

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