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Saturday, November 20, 2010

.What I Could've Missed.


God has been working on me in a very specific area for over a year now. It is something that I have struggled with all of my life. Fear of man. Fear of what people think of me, how they see me, what they say about me. It started as a young girl, and it has followed me to adult hood. God has been gracious with me and allowed me to learn a few things lately in order to fight this temptation.

But the temptation to fear what other people would think/say, came crashing back into play in a very huge way, and I almost missed out on something special that God planned for us. Last night Jim and I were blessed with the opportunity to attend a Steven Curtis Chapman concert. The tickets were expensive, and we are saving for an adoption. I felt guilty to spend so much money, even if it was my birthday money, on something frivolous, when so many had sacrificed on our behalf. I struggled back and forth with whether or not it was right for us to go, and tried to tell very few people for fear of what they were saying and speculating behind our backs. Ultimately we decided God was prodding us to go. It didn't really make sense financially (and we have learned that God really likes to use things in our life that do not make financial sense!), but we bought the tickets and tentatively anticipated the night.

(to listen pause my playlist player on the right hand side)

And GOD showed up. My hurting heart was ministered to in such a huge way. I have no doubt that God brought us to that place last night and intended to fill our cup and give us hope to continue on in our journey. I have no words to communicate the blessing that was last night, to be surrounded by adoptive families and children and WORSHIP together. To know that God meets us in the darkest of places, to know that He is writing us all a beautiful story, to see the faith and the hope of a family that has walked one of the hardest roads I can imagine. God was in that place in such a huge way last night. Not only was Steven Curtis Chapman ministering (and minister he did - wow), but his sons Caleb and Will ministered along side him. Caleb opened for his dad (and can that boy sing! Jim looked over at me at one point and whispered He is going to be a superstar. A superstar with one of the tenderest, humblest hearts I have ever witnessed.) with Will playing drums, and then Caleb moved to lead guitarist when his dad took stage and Will stayed on the drums. Mary Beth was also there, and spoke for about 30 minutes.


My reason for sharing my story, for writing this blog was reaffirmed when Mary Beth talked about our responsibility to share our story - and to share the hard, lonely parts. This was the very thing that God has been convicting me of lately, and the enemy tried to destroy just hours before the concert with a situation that happened. There is a tendency in Christianity to only share the good parts, but God expects us to be authentic with everything. Because the Chapman's have shared some of their most private pain and Mary Beth made herself vulnerable in the telling of their story in her book Choosing to See, lives have been changed. God has given us our emotions - emotions are a very attribute of God reflected in us, and I truly believe to hide our emotions and not be transparent is wrong.

I walked away from that concert with a much lighter heart than when I walked in. My passion for orphans was ignited even more, my thirst for God was multiplied, and my love for my children was intensified. In it all Jesus was honored, glorified, and exalted. There is no doubt in my mind that God had orchestrated it so that we would be there. I am not ashamed of the money we spent. To have experienced such authentic worship and such transparent hearts was worth every penny. The night will stick with me for a very, very long time. It was my first experience of being in a place with hundreds of other people passionate about orphan care. It's a place I wish I could stay forever, but I know that is not God's plan. He desires for us to be where we are and to boldly share our story - even the hard to write, hard to read, makes people uncomfortable with the vulnerability details, parts of our story. He has called us to bear each others burdens, and in order to do that we have to be willing to share. He has not called us to an easy Christian life - it is a battle, a war, a race, and it is to be lived out, shared, and proclaimed. Because in our messy, hard stories, Jesus Christ is glorified.


So I will continue to write, and I will continue to give over my fear of man to God, and pray that it does not entrap me and paralyze me into staying silent. Because this story, this life is not mine - it's all YOURS. It's all yours, God, yours God - everything is yours. May I steward what YOU have given me well and boldly.

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