Wednesday, May 16, 2012

I Surrender All {That Time My Teenager Flew to Another Continent to Love the Orphan and Changed My Life Forever.}

My boy has his passport!! Bolivia here he comes!! #missions #proudmom

I can't remember a time in my life when I did not know of God.
My grandparents taught me at an early age that God was good and that Jesus loved me.
I knew all the Bible stories and sang all the songs.

"But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners."

At 15 I would fumble my way to an altar and profess Jesus as my Savior.
I needed one that is for sure.
I desperately wanted what He had to offer me.
But I still did not get it.
In fact the only thing that changed I think was the guilty feeling that accompanied my actions.
I was His.
But dysfunction and rebellion ran deep.

"But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness."

At 22 I would be face down on the floor of my bedroom.
Drowning in tears, snot, and hurt.
Crying out to the same Savior I had stiff-armed for 7 years.
Facing divorce.
Unable to breathe.
He would meet me there...right my lowest point...snot and all.
He would steal my heart.
I would be His.
Or so I thought.

 “If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders.  When he arrives, he will call together his friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep. '

At 30 I would attend a Steven Curtis Chapman concert. {don't do it people!}
He would walk on stage with his only days home from China adopted daughter Maria.
My eyes would be opened to the staggering statistics of the orphan.
My heart would be pricked.
A seed would be planted.

"Once our eyes are opened, we can't pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows what we know, and holds us responsible to act."

At 33 an earthquake would ravish a small island.
My husband would go there.
The orphan would become personal.
The orphan would be held by my husband.
Like my very own children.
I would ache to hold them.
I would see my children in their faces.
The American Dream would become less and less glamorous.
Things would change in our home.
There would be a new normal.
I would begin to share my heart and passion with my children.
Making them aware.
Giving together.
Seeking out those in need.
Praying together.
Going out of our way to show love.
Hurting together.

"So also faith, if it does not have works (deeds and actions of obedience to back it up), by itself is destitute of power (inoperative, dead)." -James 2:17

At 36 I would watch my sixteen year old son respond to God's call on his life.
It would be radical.
It would be beautiful.
It would suck the very breath from my chest.
Tears would flood my face in the ugliest of ways.
I would hear my Jesus whisper into my soul, "You have to be willing to let him go."
Tyler wasn't the only one about to go on a journey.

"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, 
and to the ends of the earth.”

Fear would grip my entire being.
Leaving me breathless under the weight of "what ifs".
The unknown.
Sweaty hands would grip tighter and tighter for control.
"Don't ask this of me God. It's more than my momma heart can bear."
I would begin to think of a million reasons why it would not be a good idea.
Excuse after excuse.
I would see myself for what I really am.
What I've been all along.
A fraud.

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

Professing and singing of a God that is Holy and Sovereign.
Mighty to save.
Living my life like He is less than worthy of my allegiance to Him.
Not to be trusted.

All these years I've been running on faithless faith.
Under the influence of a false sense of control.
Talking a talk.
Not walking the walk.
Serving the Creator of the Universe on my terms.
Believing in God.
Too afraid to believe Him.
His promises.
Had He not proven Himself over and over in my life?
Had He not been there all along?
Unable to trust Him with the very things He Himself had entrusted me with.
My children.
His all along.
Just borrowed.
Never mine to keep.

"I know you inside and out, and find little to my liking. You're not cold, you're not hot—far better to be either cold or hot! You're stale. You're stagnant. You make me want to vomit."

At 36 my faith is being more than stretched.
More than tested.
It is being redefined.
He wants all of me.
Not just the neat tidy package labeled "Christian" or "Believer."
The dirty,rotten, smelly garbage bag that is me.
Labeled "Full of fear" and "I don't really trust God."

He wants His grace to be sufficient.
His power to be seen in my weakness.
Hearts broken for the poor.
The orphan.
The widow.
The unborn.
The lost.
He wants yes Lord!
Here I am.
Send me.
My children.
I trust my every single next moment to You alone.

"For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord.

Today my firstborn {and my husband} will walk away.
Towards a gate.
Towards God's plans for his life.
Passport in hand.
And I will watch him go.
He is ready.
And willing.

“But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence."

Today I will walk away too.
From fear that cripples.
Paralyzes.Renders ineffective.
Towards raw, authentic faith.
Faith that trusts.
Faith that moves.

At 36 I get it.
And He gets all of me.
The whole ugly thing.
I surrender all.

Thank you Tyler.
You saved me from myself at 19 and today your very own personal faith in Christ has challenged me and blessed me to the innermost part of my soul.
Saving me from myself once again.
Revealing to me a truth that has been there all along.
Never once changed.
He is so worthy of my trust.
Worthy of hands letting go.
Worthy of feet stepping out.
I am in awe of the man of God you are becoming.
You are strong.
You have a heart to please God.
You are willing.
You are chosen.
#YOLO :-)

"And a child shall lead them."

My boy has his passport!! Bolivia here he comes!! #missions #proudmom

"I look up to the mountains—does my help come from there? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth! He will not let you stumble; the one who watches over you will not slumber. Indeed, he who watches over Israel never slumbers or sleeps. The LORD himself watches over you! The LORD stands beside you as your protective shade. The sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon at night. The LORD keeps you from all harm and watches over your life.The LORD keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever."


Here is a video of a trip our church took in 2010.
Tyler and Adam will be experiencing all of this.
The Bolivian Hope Center was founded by Rich and Sandee Farthing after discovering that in Bolivia, children must live in prison with their mother.
Sleep on concrete floors.
Eat maybe 2-3 meals a week.
Now these children have a home and a hope.
So honored that my family gets to play a small part in that.

Prayers for safe travels and a parasite free journey would be much appreciated. :-)

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