how ever long it takes

We entered the church on Sunday and immediately were greeted with "We're praying for you today. After announcements." I knew that it was the plan and yet I was still shocked and still nervous. That moment reminded me of how big prayer is. How powerful and personal it is. How loved I felt to know our church was standing behind us and beside us and loving us in a million little ways.

The past few weeks have been boring in many ways. Nothing big has happened. I'm not suddenly running miles or sweating on the elliptical or enjoying an hour of spin class. I'm still slowly and quietly working through physical therapy and getting stronger - trying not to be constantly discouraged by the lack of progress I want to see.

There also haven't been any bolts of lightening. We've been praying through things. Seeking wisdom and stepping out of our comfort zones in hopes of God becoming bigger than we are and moving in a huge way. He's moved. I've felt that daily as He reveals things to me. But there are so many unanswered questions and prayers that He hasn't yet revealed. So I wait.

I'm overwhelmed by the prospect of foster care and adoption. It's a leap of faith. I know plenty about social work and the system. But to have a child in my own, a child I open my life up to and love in whatever ways I can? That's something else entirely. I know this is the right choice - that God has called us to the place. And I know He will provide for us along the way. But still I find myself overwhelmed.

So to have people come alongside us and love us and the love these kids means more than I can express. It's what my heart needs. It's allowing me to find rest in Him and to remind myself that He is at work and He will provide for all the needs we have. It also reminds me that while neither I nor my husband are enough to parent that He is.

So many people have said that we're amazing for taking on this challenge. I laugh and usually say "or just crazy." We get told how strong we are. And how there need to be more people like us in the world.  I always appreciate the sentiments but the truth is that we're all called to do things that seem a little crazy. We're all called to be different and live life in a way that makes people ask what it is about us.

For us, our calling is to the orphan. Our calling is to loving the children who need a safe place to live to for however long. It could be only 6 days or it could be 6 years. And while we are here to love those children and support them, I can guarantee that any child we have in our home will change us more than we could change them.

I've already learned so much, and they aren't even officially in our house. 

I've learned to have grace upon grace for people and for myself. I've learned that it's okay to ask for help and it's okay to be upset when people don't understand. I've learned that God has a bigger plan than I could imagine and that I simply need to rest and trust in Him during this time because none of it makes any sense to me on my own.

I'm opening myself up and sharing more of my faith with people. For so long, I felt ashamed and afraid to share. I didn't want to offend anyone. And now I know that it's important for me to talk about. My faith is a part of my life, and if people can not understand that, it's okay. What matters is that I stay true to myself and to the life I am called to live.

Also I'm learning to forgive. I'm forgiving myself and forgiving others. And I'm learning how to hold my tongue and watch my words. I want to speak life to people - not to tear them down. And I'm learning how beautiful forgiveness is. He's using that so much right now.

Forgiveness and grace. Those are the gifts He has given me so that I can be the mother I need to be for the children coming into our home. Because I know that I won't always be recognized as a true mother by the world's standards. These kids may never truly be ours. They may legally belong to someone else. But it doesn't matter. No matter what the world says, they will be loved, and I will have my Father to turn to on the hardest of days. And I know there will be days more difficult than anyone could imagine.

(title from "i love you this much" by jimmy wayne)

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