It's been nearly a year since we've moved across this great expanse of a country and settled into a new life in the south. In fact, we've experienced a lot of newness in these last eleven months--with a new house, new school, new friends, and a new church family. But we aren't the only ones experiencing something new. Those around get to experience US for the first time -- a real, live, in-the-flesh, adoptive family.
Sometimes I forget just how different we are...
Until I hear comments like the one I got the other day.
Our church secretary is an amazing lady--sweet, kind, extremely capable, uber-talented, and intelligent. I've never seen her make a mistake. She's also very quiet and observant. And she has no children.
So when she said to me, "I've been noticing something about your children for a while...," my stomach immediately tightened and, inadvertently, I leaped into defense mode. "Whatever it is, I can explain!" I thought to myself.
Ours is not a perfect family. We have shortcomings. We have faults. We have problems we deal with on a weekly, if not daily (or hourly), basis. I am painfully aware of what we are NOT. And sometimes that also makes me painfully insecure. Especially at times like these...
Our secretary continued...
"It seems that no matter how rough the background your children come from, they all seem to end up so secure and confident. I am amazed at your parenting and I just wanted you to know that."
That was her comment. All of it. Nothing negative at all. No foibles mentioned. No critiques offered. No questions asked. Suddenly I realized I had been holding my breath. I exhaled slowly and a relieved smile spread across my face, as I responded with the truth.
"It's not us," I explained. "It's God! Only He can change these kids." The multitude of frantic, frustrated prayers I have sent heavenward flashed before my mind. Raising kids, adopting kids, fostering kids -- it's not easy. Only God can turn a shattered life around. Only God can heal life-long wounds. In fact, only God can use an imperfect set of parents to raise damaged children and have any sort of positive thing come out of it.
Only God can show an honest, outside observer, what we, an imperfect family, are trying our best to do -- honor Him through obedience to His will for our lives.
I need to remember that ...
and throw my insecurities
to the wind.
"In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:16.