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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

.In the Pursuit.

I first published this post over a year ago, and after some events yesterday - a really, really hard day, I came here defeated, discouraged, and battle-worn. The Spirit led me to this post, and reminded me of just how relentlessly I am being pursued. I realized that we are still very much right here in the pursuit with our oldest. I needed to read these words again. Perhaps you do as well. HE is pursuing YOU.

In the middle of these vivid, beautiful autumn days, it is hard to write. Not because there is nothing to write, or because time is stretched paper thin; for both of those are true. It's just raw here. I wrestle with the words that should go down on the screen and the ones that should stay tightly locked inside my Mommy's heart. Some of this seems so sacred, too sacred to expose.

I have known twice now what it is to fight for a child. I have known the pain and fear that can consume nights as my mind would wonder over the safety of children - children that my heart birthed the moment my eyes met theirs. My fingers have signed hundreds of papers and filled out checks that totalled more than my husband makes in an entire year. I have conquered fears and stepped on an airplane to fly over the ocean {shiver} not once, but six times for these children. I have this passion that burns and smolders inside of me because of this fight. A passion that at times causes more trouble, in my human mind, than it is worth; for the first time in my life I am trying to learn when to hold my tongue and when to speak. Because I feel like for the first time in my life, I actually have something to say. I have battled red tape and cried rivers of wet, searing tears through road blocks, begging God to break down the chains that kept my children from a family. I have watched God peel layers off of my heart, my eyes, and my life. I have painfully endured broken friendships because of choices God led us to make for these children. At the same time I have been blessed with new friendships that could have only grown out of this fight for my children. I have prayed in a way that I have never prayed before, and I have stood in the middle of a move of God. I do not recognize the girl in the mirror anymore, because after three years of battling for the lives of these children, I look less like a girl and more like the battle-worn woman that I now am. And while it is worth it - a million times over worth it, I am still learning how to fit inside this new skin.

And the battle is not over.

After all of the battling to get these boys into our home, I am now fighting for their hearts. In the middle of this vivid, beautiful autumn, I am specifically fighting for the heart of my big boy. Perhaps I was naive, and didn't realize that the real battle was not in getting my boy here, but it was actually in battling for him to know down deep in those broken, hurt pieces of his heart that he is ours. Forever. There is nothing easy about loving a child who has known no love. There is nothing easy about sharing the value and worth that Jesus places on all of us with a child who has been told he was worthless his entire life. There is nothing easy in dieing to my  feelings everyday in order to teach a child how to accept being loved and cherished inside of a family. It is scary and messy and the outcome is unknown.

It is humbling and knocks my pride flat on its face, because by all human standards, I am under-equipped to love him in this way that his heart so desperately needs. There can be no off days here - there is never time to hit the snooze button in this battle - it is a relentless, desperate, all-in, vicious pursuit of his heart. A pursuit that I am just too weak for. I am powerless. Except I am not because of the cross and Jesus. God uses the weak, the powerless, the imperfect, the fearful, the worthless and inadequate - He uses me - and as He indwells me His love through me becomes perfectly equipped to be the exact love that my big boy needs.

Every morning as I drag my exhausted body out of bed, long before the sun ever lights the sky, and tie on my proverbial running shoes, I begin another day of chasing - chasing this boy and his heart. It's uphill and hard, and I am sweaty and tired. It's consuming and messy. The chase is anything but choreographed and rhythmic. It is a limb-flailing, red-faced, panting, spitting, all-out energy zapping, sweat soaking kind of chasing. But something strange is happening in this chasing, I am getting a tiny window view of the chase that is happening for my own heart. I see the relentless pursuit of Jesus to win my heart - my whole heart - even those ugly, broken parts.

As I chase and flail after this boy born of my heart, and as my hot breath reaches his neck and my arms squeeze around his pounding, fearful chest, I, too, feel the hot breath of my Savior on my neck, I feel His arms wrap around all of my fears.

 I feel His pursuit every time I pursue.

My big boy and I  - we are both being pursued. And the pursuit is hot, hard, and beautiful. In this pursuit I am learning to love and to be loved. There is something beautiful in this chase - in being pursued and in pursuing. It's not a beauty that is neat and tidy and easy and comfortable. It is a beauty that is being unwrapped little by little, a beauty that is painfully awakened in the faithful, excruciating pursuit. A pursuit that may take years - a marathon of tearing down those lies, the hurt, the abandonment, the ugly deceit and bitterness that is walled around his heart, and the chase is made possible only from His perfect love inside of me as He chases me down.

The best Love in the world was given through the shedding of blood. The best Love took a toll on the body. The best Love gave up its life.

The best Love pursues and pursues, and pursues, and because Someone is chasing me every moment of everyday in order to win the battle over my heart, I, too, battle on and chase the heart of my big boy. Someday I believe his heart will succumb to the pursuit, and so will mine.


*Photo courtesy of Red Ballooon Photography.


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