Have you ever felt like God is using everything and everyone to speak a message to you? That’s what I feel like right now. Like everywhere I turn He’s saying, “Get ready. I’m going to ask you to do something that seems crazy.” And I’m equal parts scared to death and giddy with excitement. (Okay, maybe slightly more scared to death.) It’s songs and books and blogs and words from friends that all seem to carry this same anticipation, like the music is building up and the plot of this story is about to get real interesting.
I could be wrong. That’s a very real possibility. And I have no clue what God has in store. I know that my heart has been heavy thinking about our African child. I’ve been taking a lot of scalding hot baths while reading big stacks of parenting books for our big girls, and I’ve been learning about imprinting and early childhood development. And then about the time the water gets cold, I realize that I’m going to miss those first few years–that crucial imprinting time–in our Ethiopian child’s life. And I start to panic and freak out and wonder how we will cope. Then, I remember that Jesus is my child’s Savior, not me. And I remember He can redeem the years the locusts have eaten (Joel 2:25) and my heart rate slows down–a little.
Last Friday, I went to lunch by myself and started this study my friend Heather told me I had to do. It’s Restless by Jennie Allen, and already by Chapter 1 I was sitting in my booth at Newk’s with tears in my eyes. Allen tells the story of answering hard questions and having hard conversations with her youngest child Cooper who was adopted from Rwanda.
“Cooper, you were made to show the world God. Everything that God gives you, your Africa, your America, your dark skin and your strong legs, your hurts, your words, your blessings, your smart mind . . . everything you have is to use for God while you are here.”
I’m getting started on the ugly cry and trying to keep my composure so the people eating their lovely sandwiches don’t stare at me, but I write the words, “For EEOO” in the margin, and I immediately text Heather and tell her it was a God thing that she told me to do this study when she did. She didn’t know the thoughts and fears I’ve been wrestling with.
Today, I’m sitting out in the sun while the big girls run around, and I notice in my book beside those words is a little mark. It almost looks like a fingerprint from a child-sized finger. When I first read it last Friday in Newk’s, I thought it was some sort of a marker in the margin denoting something of special importance. But looking through my book this afternoon, I realized it’s the only one. I texted Heather to see if the mark was in her book too. She said no.
And I smile to myself and think, “Yes, His fingerprints are all over our story. All over me. All over my husband. All over our daughters. All over our brown-eyed child.”
Sometimes even literally.
Is it okay to be scared of the story God’s writing? I think it is. I think Abraham had to have been terrified to make the climb with Isaac. I think Esther must have been shaking as she went before the king. I think Mary must have wondered what in the world she was doing. But with trembling feet, they still stepped forward. With a quivering chin, they said yes. With a heart that could never have anticipated the volumes to come, they obeyed.
This is my story. This is my song.