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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

.Judgement in Christianity Sucks.

I have been working up the ambition and courage for too long to write the next chapter of my book. (I am still waiting to hear from the publisher, but honestly I need to write this book for me alone if for nobody else.) The next chapter is about the reaction of telling our families and friends that we were adopting (the first time around), and honestly I wish I could just skip that chapter. I don't want to write it. I don't want to relive it. I don't want to tell the truth. It wasn't all bad, but the bad still definitely sticks out the most. The words and actions still sting.

Africa?! Why would you choose Africa? Why not China? Then the baby would look a little bit more like you.

Why would you ever choose to adopt when you can make such beautiful children?

We will be your biggest cheerleaders! {crickets for most of the next year}

How will you ever pay for that? Don't you realize how risky this is? It is cheaper and safer to have your own.

What is the hurry in bringing your baby home? It's not the same thing as having Cadi or Scotty stuck over in Africa.

There was so much judgement, and all of this came from people we dearly love and who are our brothers and sisters in Jesus. (And the second time around, with Habi, was the same but worse, because now we were looking at bringing home a {gasp} teenager with "tons of baggage" who might be a dangerous threat to our family - the risks were unthinkable.) Thinking about it brings up a lot of emotions and hurt; hurt that I thought I had gotten past. However, it is part of our story - it is now threaded into our life. And even if I have to change names, I will write it. I will write it for me and for my healing.

I was naive and excited and probably overly-passionate - I was a lot like an expectant mother. Only the reaction was not quite the same. I still grieve over silly things - like the lack of celebratory showers. And it wasn't the shower or gifts or recognition that I wanted, but the memory and the celebration of this life that was being gifted to us. So many things have been stolen from my two brown-eyed children. I will never be able to pull out a baby book that starts with my expectant belly and chronicles their birth, their first bath, their first teeth, first smile, first giggle. There are so many holes in their histories that I will never be able to fill in, and that I can only pray that God will stand in and soothe. At the beginning I was truly hoping and praying that those around us would come around us and celebrate, so that in the future years, I could pull out some tangible evidence and say See? See all of these beautiful family members and friends celebrating you? See how cherished and treasured and wanted you were? But God had other plans and did it in other ways, and I think I do have tangible evidence to pull out for them, it just looks different than I expected. And honestly what in this journey doesn't look different than I expected?

I guess where I am going in any of this, is that I am just plain tired of the judgement that happens in Christianity. I get that we have taken a different road than some. I get that we are uber-passionate about this road, and that makes us unrelatable at times. I know that I have been misunderstood (and judged) regarding orphan care and adoption. I know there are people that think we think every Christian should adopt, and it does not matter how many different ways we say that is not the case, they will always believe it. What I do not understand is the judgement. Just because God has not called us all to the same journey, does that really give us the right to judge others? Hasn't God called us to love people? Isn't that the second greatest command? LOVE.

I'm just tired of the ugliness. I wish I could say the judgment stopped after we brought our boys home. However, now we are being judged on how many children we have, how we parent these children - all four, which child gets highlighted the most, which children are not getting the attention they need, decisions we make regarding school and sports, I have been judged for being "too perfect" or for our life being "too crazy", judged for decisions we make regarding Jamesy's special needs care, how we spread out our time, how we can afford gas to drive Habi to and from school (I don't know, but please stop judging us!) etc. I feel like I am constantly turning around and defending every. single. decision. It's exhausting. And what I would really love is a hug, a smile, and a there there, Jesus is near, and I am here for you. I am really here for you.

I am writing to me. I am just as guilty of judging others, but I want it to stop. It grieves me. I do not want to be critical of others and point out their imperfections. That is really not the intent of this post. I have way too many imperfections of my own to dwell on others. I am not trying to write a judgmental post on judging. I just really want it all to stop. I desire so much for Christians to really act like the body and LOVE. How we treat others should not be based on how we hope for them to treat us in return. Love is active. Love is the gospel in action. Love nurtures and protects and cherishes. What if we all just walked the journey that God has carved for us and cheered on others who are walking their own journeys?

What if the followers of Jesus were actually known by their love?

What if we brought the love of Jesus to this world and to our brothers and sisters?

I don't have a way to wrap this post up in a neat bow. I was kind of directionless in writing it. I'm just bearing my heart this morning, looking to give and receive a little more love and a lot less judgment.

Because judgement in Christianity sucks.

And to lighten the mood, here is a peak into our {crazy} home. I feel so blessed by these dear  ones. There is a lot of noise, a lot of chaos, and inside these four walls, rather than judgement, there is a whole lot of LOVE.


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