Monday, September 15, 2014

When You're Standing on the Edge of Yikes

We are standing on the edge of yikes. Truth be told we’ve been standing here for the past year as we’ve sought what God has in mind for our family and what He wants our family to look like. Our first step out onto the ledge began when we committed to hosting a 12-year-old orphaned Eastern Europe girl into our home for a month last Christmas. Though my husband and I were both certain that hosting was, indeed, what God was inviting us to do, I found myself scared. I was scared to open my heart. I was scared to open my home. I was scared to open my family, especially our young boys, up to a unknown child who carried hurts. I was scared to let someone into the very intimate places of our family. And I was scared that we would never be able to gather all of the money necessary for hosting. Even though I knew God was inviting us onto this journey of orphan care and advocacy, fear inched its way from my stomach to my throat and it tempted me to question everything I felt the Spirit prompting inside my heart and everything the Spirit had been saying to us through the Word. Fear has a way of standing up real tall in front of us, like shadows climbing tall walls, threatening to wash over us with darkness. Fear says, “What if we get in over our heads?” or “What if we fail?” or, worst of all, “What if we hurt someone we love in the process?” Fear is a large, lurking giant, whispering lies and doubts and uncertainty — it is a darkness that threatens to paralyze us, freeze us dead in our tracks. Fear is a liar that says that God isn’t just and sovereign and fully over all the things that keep us trembling in the shadows. But God hasn’t given us a spirit of fear. Rather, He’s given us a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. (2 Timothy 1:7) God’s graciously given us the ability to choose faith, to choose to allow the Spirit to well inside of us; He’s given us the ability to choose faith in face of all the giants of life, faith in midst of all the shadows in life. And do you know what faith does when we choose it? Faith tells fear to sit down and take its place where it belongs — on the floor alongside the lies and uncertainties that tempt us. Faith says that we claim confidence in what we hope for and rest in assurance about what we do not see. (Hebrews 11:1) And faith — faith says we are free to live and move because there is a God who is bigger and covers all of our fears, all of our doubts, all of our uncertainties, all of our failures and all of the darkness. Faith says we are free to love and love well. Our edge of yikes right now again looks like hosting another preteen girl from Eastern Europe this Christmas. And it may look like adopting her into our family along with her toddler sister, a child we’ve yet to meet. All of this, too, in the aftermath of our first host daughter denying our adoption requests, leaving us puzzled yet trusting in God’s handiwork. While some of my fears were realized in this journey, I found God towering over them, still triumphant. And I don’t regret walking the path we’ve been invited to walk. We still can’t see what’s over our edge of yikes; we still can’t see where the path will lead. The old, familiar fears are still lurking, yes, climbing like shadows when we allow our minds to wander, but we’re asking God daily, sometimes moment by moment, to help us choose faith in the face of fear, in the face of darkness. We’re asking God daily to help us turn our eyes toward the Light and let the Light within us shine so that the darkness becomes less and less and less. We’re asking God daily to paralyze the fears that paralyze us and move us with His great love so that we can dare to love greatly.

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