Waiting for Isaac

I want to start this post by thanking everyone who has supported Terence and I over the past two weeks. We have felt so loved and uplifted by our family and friends and it has been like a balm for our weary hearts. I am so grateful to be a part of such a fantastic Christian community.

It has taken me a while to sit down and write this post, but I believe the hesitation is linked to a very important lesson God wanted to teach me today.

I have been wrestling with my feelings and wrestling with God. There are so many ‘unknowns’ to this story and I have struggled to trust God with the answers. I’ve asked Him repeatedly why He allowed J-bug to fit so perfectly into our family and then have her taken away from us? Why something ‘felt’ different about this precious child and yet that ‘feeling’ led to empty arms? Why He gave me a ‘mother’s heart’ and yet I feel unable to use it? I cannot adequately describe the pain I felt watching my social worker drive away with Little J. The heaviness of my heart clashed against the emptiness of my arms. The quiet that night was deafening. The little world I had created dissolved before my eyes.

We never set out to adopt this baby. I know that. She was supposed to stay with us for a short time only. We allowed ourselves to dream and fall in love and I allowed myself to play ‘mommy’ in my mind. We foolishly ‘created’ a family of three when that was never the plan. How I wish that was the plan, but evidently, despite trying everything, our princess had to move on, as she was always meant to do.

Even though I know all of this to be true, I have struggled to find any peace about the situation. When my other three babies left, I felt incredibly sad and yet I knew they were meant for other families and so my heart was at rest. This time, my heart was at war with logic and it did a real number on my emotions.

Do I believe Terence and I would have been fantastic parents to little J?

Yes.

Have I been allowing myself to dream that maybe my social worker would phone us and bring J back, or J’s birth mother would somehow find out about us and want her daughter to come and live with us?

Yes.

Do I realise that by holding on to these futile dreams, I am harming myself, upsetting my husband and trying to manipulate God?

Ashamedly, yes!

On Sunday night, Terence and I had a heart-to-heart. It was good and it was hard. I needed to hear my husband’s wise words. I realise that by fighting the process I am robbing myself of the time to properly heal and feel sad about missing J. I am allowed to be sad. I am allowed to miss her. I am allowed to cry. I am not allowed to torture myself and undermine God’s plan in this situation by refusing to acknowledge His sovereignty. I refuse to undo the wonderful thing that happened in our home, where a little girl was loved and cherished and given a good start to life, and where we were blessed abundantly by having her with us. I refuse to allow the hurt to mar this process  and prevent us from caring for other children in need. I will not let what we did be in vain.

This brings me to today’s lesson. God is showing me His grace in many ways, dear friends. The Monday after J left I started another part-time job. My boss is a Christian who has a passion for the vulnerable and the lost. God has used him to help me understand His nature better over these past few weeks and I have been very blessed by our conversations. Today I admitted to my boss that I just didn’t understand why I couldn’t be J’s mother and why, despite my gifts in this area, I am not a mother at all.

And then he said something very profound.

“Julie, you need to ask God to give you an Isaac and you need to be willing to wait for him. You cannot create a family your way. It has to be God’s way.”

boom, light bulb on.

Sarah and Abraham were desperate for a child. They doubted they would ever have a son and yet God gave them Isaac in His perfect time, despite their doubts and yet acknowledging their desire to be parents.

I realised that I tried to create a family with J in it, based on what I want and not what God wants. I have refused to trust God and have allowed myself to forget that He is good to His people. I diminish the blessings God gives me by comparing myself to others. I have been wearing clothes of entitlement, believing that I deserve a child because I’d be such a good mother (I’m embarrassed to have to type that last sentence). And I have been unfairly angry at God for not giving me the desire of my heart on my schedule.

pfft…lesson learnt, God. You are clearly a better organiser and life-planner than I am 🙂

And so I am going to pray for my ‘Isaac’.

That the Lord will bless us with a child/ children through adoption or the old fashioned way when He desires. His timeline, not mine.

That I will trust in His goodness.

That I will be patient (Julie weakness alert!)

And in the mean time, that He will draw our hearts nearer to His.

That He will allow me to expand my definition of ‘mother’ to include a role so much bigger than our nuclear family.

And expand my capacity to love people.

To be used for His glory.

And to be content.

Precious baby feet

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A Letter To Girls I Know (on Modesty)

 

I stumbled across this post on modesty on annawood’s blog and thought I’d like to share it with you and hear your thoughts. Sheesh, it’s only her second post and already she’s going all deep and serious on us! I hear you, I hear you, hence I am going to cleverly share the words spoken by someone much wiser than I.

This post was written by a man who has requested that his identity be kept anonymous. As a Christian woman, the topic of modesty is often on my mind. Like most women, I like to dress ‘fashionably’ (read – try to dress fashionably) and comfortably, but I also like to ensure that everything is ‘in its place’ (if you know what I mean…). When Mr Mentor and I go to the mall we are often flabbergasted by the outfits the tweenies are sporting; shorts clearly made for toddlers and tight tops to match. I can’t help but stare and so I can only imagine what goes through the minds of those poor pubescent boys! And while I wish it was a stage that girls grow out of, I often come across older women and when talking to them, have to resist the urge to tell them to put their ‘girls’ away. Do I believe that women control the thoughts of mindless men by dressing inappropriately? Heck no! But I think women proclaiming to be Christians need to take some responsibility for the way they present themselves to the world and the kind of attention they draw to themselves.

Have a read and let me know what you think. Below is the first part of this letter.

A Letter to the Girls I Know:
Dear Girls, 

There are two kinds of men: Godly men, and worldly men. What kind of man do you want? I’m betting most of you said “a Godly man.” Someday, you want to marry a man who loves God with every fiber of his being because he will be an excellent husband and father. He will honor and be true only to you. Most women want a Godly man or at least think they do. Well, I think I have found a way to tell you exactly what kind of guy you will get. I don’t even have to know you! All I have to do is look at you. The kind of guy you want or will get is advertised by the clothing you wear. I know what men want. Trust me, I am a guy. I know more guys than you do and I know them better. I know what we think, what we talk about, what we want, and what we look for, and it is different for each one of us depending on our relationship with God. I’m sure you already know this, but men were created differently than you. We have different desires and priorities. Our eyes and minds react very differently to some things than yours do. It isn’t disgusting, perverted, or wrong; it is wonderful and good! It is how God made us. It’s how we handle these differences that separate a Godly man from a worldly man.

A worldly man doesn’t control himself, rather, he looks at anything that attracts his attention or gets him excited. A worldly guy has no problem when girls wear clothes that show off skin, like boxers, high or low-cut shirts, low-rise jeans, and “cute” little swim-suits. He’s a fan of tight-fitting shirts and pants that show off your form, he thinks they’re fine! Worldly guy watches a lot of TV and R-rated movies, isn’t really offended by sexual content or nudity and secretly dabbles in pornography. He’s a “Christian” and makes up a significant portion of your church and youth group. He’s a really nice guy and sees you mainly for your body. If you were to marry worldly guy, he’d bring lots of baggage into the relationship, have intimacy problems, entertain thoughts of other women, and possibly cheat on you.

A Godly man is in control of his drives and desires. He constantly seeks God and reads his Bible. He “walks in the Spirit” and isn’t set off by everything he sees. When immodestly-dressed girls, magazine covers, or risqué advertisements come into view, Godly guy quickly “bounces his eyes” away from the image. He’s constantly guarding his thoughts and what he allows into his mind. He hates being around girls that disrespect him and his struggles by wearing inappropriate attire. Godly guy doesn’t watch much TV and is selective about the movies he sees. He views you as a person, knows you and respects you. He has your best interests in mind and guards against inappropriate thoughts of you. If you were to marry Godly guy, he would give you the emotional attention you need, he would ignore other women and remain faithful to you no matter what.

To read the rest of this article, please go here, then come back and tell me what it means to be ‘modest’ in 2012.