“I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love”- Mother Teresa
From the beginning of our adoption process, I was so fearful of the idea of having to “share” my child, that an open adoption -of any sort- terrified me. Whether it was having the first family nearby or in a different state, thoughts of first family members showing up on my doorstep years later, wanting to reunite, kept me up at night.
In fact, if I am totally honest, this fear had me running to another continent.
The idea that I would somehow be competing for my child’s affections both sickened and terrified me. To pour all of myself out, yet risk not being “chosen” in the end. To love with all I have and to have the child I raise as my own belong to someone else, simply because of biology. I couldn’t seem to muster up the strength, courage or faith to trust God with my heart in such a way.
“Perfect love casts out fear”- 1 John 4:18
Recently my little one was sick and was waking up so often during the night that I just let her sleep in our bed. As she lay curled up between my husband and I, holding onto my finger and softly snoring, I was overwhelmed with a realization. Here was a child that was born across continents, to another mother, clinging to me with a heart full of trust and love. The honor that she would choose to cling to me during her time of need was more then I deserved.
The goodness of my heavenly Father became tangibly visible to me in that moment: He chooses me out of so many to mother her.
It was an instant that got branded upon my heart. For it is impossible for me to forget the humble beginnings we had of her screaming and crying to get away from me. She didn’t trust me and didn’t want to. I so desperately wanted to love her, and she so desperately wanted to be loved, and for both of us, it was a painful process before we found a way to each other’s hearts.
Yet despite this redemptive, love filled moment, I found myself under a heavy blanket of sadness. As much as I love her, and even though she encompasses every crevice of my heart, I couldn’t stop myself from thinking about her first mother.
I found myself wishing she was here holding her instead.
Not because I didn’t want to be, but because if she were, my little one’s heart would have never been broken in such a painful way. She wouldn’t have experienced so much pain and loss so early on in life.
The realization that in that moment I would have let another woman be there for a child I love more than life itself, took me by surprise.
Plunging into the freezing Pacific Ocean kind of surprise.
I realized that with Jesus you don’t have to come stumbling, or drag your bleeding, broken self onto some special altar for healing. He will come and find you in your place of infirmity, the place that has you frozen in fear, pain, hurt, anger or insecurity.
“Now there is in Jerusalem by the sheep gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a multitude of them that were sick, blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel of the Lord went down at certain seasons into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. And a certain man was there which had an infirmity thirty and eight years.” John 5:1-6 KJV
This unnamed man is sitting in one of the 5 porches; There he was sitting away all his life, waiting for the water to be stirred. Waiting on that miracle that was always a few steps out of reach. Relying on works and law to save him.
I see my reflection in this man.
I’ve spent years with the same pattern of thinking; the same crippling beliefs and limitations in what God can do in and through my heart.
Waiting for some water to be stirred year after year, waiting for somebody to come help, at the back wall of a courtyard of sick people. Not reaching out or crying out to the Lord for healing but just making my home by that poolside. Having laid down my mat and claiming that I’ve tried my best with my crippled limitations.
All the while wishing and hoping that some modern-day wisdom mixed with my own strength or some ‘magical stirring’ could free me from my emotional bondage.
Jesus looks in the leaking cracks of my heart, filled with insecurities, foolish, broken ways of thinking, and reaches out and asks, “Would you like to be made whole”?
At first like the lame man, I found myself answering with the logistics of my location, my inabilities and the lack of help I have to get me to the place of healing. I see Jesus smiling, I feel His warmth as He reminds me, “You don’t need all those things, all you need is Me and I’m standing right in front of you”. There isn’t a ten-step program, seminar to attend or a person needed to get us to that poolside.
Jesus comes in and takes us out of the first come first serve rat race completely. All we need is to look upon His face and listen when He says, “Rise, take up your bed and walk” John 5:8.
Turns out the miracle of a lame man walking, happens when you do the seemingly impossible; taking the first step not when you are cured, but to be cured.
Job a man of faith, devotion and righteousness endured many trials in life. Yet before his life was restored to him, he came to the realization that you cannot see God when all you see is your pain, pity and frustration. Remaining in that place we can only hear of God, but not experience Him.
“I had heard of You [only] by hearing of the ear, but now my [spiritual] eye sees you. Therefore I retract [my words and hate myself] And I repent in dust and ashes” Job 42:5,6 AMP
Once we see God, once we truly hear His voice, the wounds and fears of what is and what is to come seem irrelevant.
For in His goodness, in His presence, is ALWAYS a love that cannot abide with fear.