The Only Way Was To Give It Away
A few months before we had any idea we were going to begin our adoption journey, I was at the kitchen sink and became overwhelmed with joy and gratitude for the noises around me. Off in the distance I could hear my oldest son playing guitar and singing with his two younger sisters, in the living room two other children were playing trains on the floor, laughter from yet two others came from off in the distance, and the noises of my husband working on a job outside traveling in through the opened window. As my ears tuned in to the different circumstances around me: laughter, music, playful talk, imagination, productivity and developing relationships, I began to well up with tears.
As my ears tuned in to the different circumstances
around me...I began to well up with tears.
I was overcome with the realization this was a pleasant place to be! I had had this thought before, but it had never hit me in the way it did at that moment. I soaked in the positive feelings and sensations the noises around me inspired.
I knew where we had come from and what it was like to not always hear these lovely sounds and have these beautiful feelings. We've had times of discord, heartache, broken relationships and plenty of difficult ugly days, just like everyone else, and they still happen; but, redemption had come to our home. That was what I heard. We know hard, but without it, I wouldn't have known the contrast of the joy and gratitude I was feeling.
In a split instant, my tears turned to sadness and my heart began to break as I suddenly pictured children whose ears were being filled with the sounds of violence, bitterness, hatred, destruction, anger, abandonment, rejection, constant blaring noise or deafening silence. How could we ignore them and selfishly indulge and hoard up all this pleasantness to ourselves? Others need to know that redemption and healing can be found. Hoarding is ugly. Indulgence is unhealthy.
"In all things, I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'" Acts 20:35
Could we possibly open our home and invite the messy and difficult situations of others' broken hearts and homes? How would it change us? What were we ready to give? We have a lot of people to consider in our family when contemplating what kind of effect inviting into our home an unknown situation would have on each one. The prevailing thought in my head was that we had been richly blessed. We have a happy home. There are so many children who want that, who need that, but all they know is brokenness.
In giving we receive. In dying we live. It is an understatement to say it is risky to lose, give, or die to self. But it is equally risky, if not more so, to try to save our lives by indulging in and hoarding to ourselves our blessings. If we concentrate on the character of God, that he is for us and not against us, we can surrender. He has shown me over and over, I can trust Him.
Could it be hard? Yes! But, without dark we wouldn't know light. Too many children are dying in the dark while we live in the light. We know what it’s like for morning to come after the longs nights, and others had shared so generously with us to get us where we are. It was our turn and privilege to be the givers.
At that moment at the kitchen sink, I knew we had to share. I wanted to share. I wanted to give. I wanted to give the opportunity for hurting children to experience and be enveloped in the love and joy and hope that redemption brings. I began to see our large family as an extra special blessing. We had LOTS of love to share.
I was resolved that the only way was to give it away.