Monday, June 30, 2014

Living Sacrifice



Well the day has arrived, actually the week has arrived.  Today we have court for what we had hoped would be to be able to intervene and begin moving toward adoption on all 4 of our blessings.  Then on Wednesday, we will begin the proceedings for 2 of them toward termination.  However, with great frustration we were told that our petition to intervene and for full custody has been continued...oh how I hate that word, "continued."

Instead, there has been a petition entered to remove all three boys from our home and now, that is what court is in regards to today.  I have been anxious for days about this.  I have whined to the Lord that this battle has been raging for 6 long years.  I reminded him that I am tired and that enough is enough.  I pointed to their sweet faces and pointed out that they needed permanency and we all had hoped to be able to enjoy our summer without all this drama.  I kicked, I screamed...and God did what any good parent would do.  He reminded me in His gentle way that He was in charge and not me.

He has been speaking to me through verses and various words of encouragement from friends, but then in church yesterday He was finally able to shake me from my tantrum.  It happened during praise and worship.  We were singing Matt Redman's song, "Lay Me Down."  Some of the lyrics read,

I lay me down I'm not on my own
I belong to You alone
Lay me down, lay me down
Hand on my heart, this much is true
There's no life apart from You
Lay me down, lay me down
Lay me down, lay me down

Letting go of my pride
Giving up all my rights
Take this life and let it shine
Take this life and let it shine

It will be my joy to say
Your will, Your way
It will be my joy to say
Your will, Your way
It will be my joy to say
Your will, Your way
Always

As I was singing the lyrics I began to wrestle with whether or not it was my joy to say, "Your will, Your way."  I realized what I truly had been saying is, "My will, my way."  It reminded me of the Scripture from Romans 12:1-2, "Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will."

Years ago, I was in a Bible study where we were discussing this very passage and an older gentleman remarked, "The problem with a living sacrifice is that it keeps crawling off the altar."   Certainly that seems to be the case for me here.  Six years ago when we began this journey, I committed our path to the Lord.  I promised to love each of these babies and told God we would walk this path with Him, wherever it lead. I committed to being a living sacrifice.  

Did I know then how hard this would be?  No.  

Did I know then how long the battle would rage on?  No.

Does it matter?  No

Is God good?  Yes!

Does He love me?  Yes!

Does He love these babies?  Yes!

So this morning, as we prepare for court, I am going to (try to) get back up on that altar and be the living sacrifice I committed to being long ago.  Here's hoping I don't crawl back off the altar!

Prayers?  Questions?  Please feel free to contact me!   

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Faith Dance

 
So my last post was a bit heavy hearted.  Ok, ok, a lot heavy-hearted!  I admit that we are still walking through some dark and troubling days. And, I still feel very much like we are waiting to hear the final diagnosis.  However, we do not wait without hope.  

As a young girl, I took some dance lessons. I was not really born to be a dancer, but I wanted to be! So after dance class, I would run through all of the moves we had learned to whatever dance we were working on. I would play them over and over again in my head. I often didn’t have the actually music to the song we were performing so I would try to “hear” it in my head. (It was before the days of internet and youtube!) It was also before, "Dancing with the Stars" or I would have added that to my dream!

As I was pondering our situation and anticipating some upcoming court dates, it stuck me that that those dance days are somewhat like our life right now. Though I cannot “hear” God working...I am able to move forward knowing that I have walked through these moves before. That I have already rehearsed with music times when I could see God moving and “hear” what He was saying. So now, without the music, I must have the faith to run through the dance.  The truth is, the music is still playing (God is still here and working), but for this season, I must move forward without hearing it.   Hebrews 11:1 reminds us that, "Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see," so though I am sometimes troubled by all that may lie ahead, I will lace up my dancing shoes and begin moving through the steps I have rehearsed so many times before.  My dance partner is amazing and He knows all the steps...in fact He even created the music!