Making a Decision
Almost two weeks ago I wrote a post I never wanted to know let alone write out and share.
This verse has been with me since mid-November when things began to come to light. It has been a dose of medicine along with the difficult horse pill that is retrospect.
Look here, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.” How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.” Otherwise you are boasting about your own pretentious plans, and all such boasting is evil. Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it. James 4:13-17
Is this a damning prospect? Over a year ago I would have thought this particular verse to be just that. But now I read it, over and over, feeling a weight lifted and a freedom to breathe given. Our lives are so small, fractured, and quick. We are like sand running through the fingers of time.
I am a master at making plans. I enjoy my own ideas about how things should go. This entire year behind us was an exercise in losing control. A heartbreaking, devastating road to realization. I think things could have gone any number of ways. I could spend the rest of my lifetime trying to figure out how things could have gone differently. I’ve all ready spent days on my measures and guesses on how to reverse our circumstances. We pushed against mountains with all our might but they stood still.
The whole way a deep resonance of love was felt. God shook us from our common comforts and we found comfort in Him. He has reminded us perpetually that He loves more and better and bigger and greater than we could ever plan to love.
4am conversations between Joseph and I were seeming to happen more often. We discussed all of our options. We talked about what all of this could mean. Why go through all of these steps only to get (what felt like) a heavy no in the end? The truth is that we don’t have answers. We may never have answers.
James 4:13-17 is our answer. Yet it popped up so many other questions. What do we do now?
Advocate? Foster? Fundraise? Take a break for ourselves? Share our story? Use what we know to help others? Move?
Right now our only answer has been to do a simple thing: “ask”.
When we stopped guessing and started asking so many answers came to us. We asked others to pray for us. We asked them to pray for our decisions and wisdom. That’s a LOT to ask because we need a LOT of extra in that area. After a year of making what we thought were the right decisions being washed away we wondered why.
But the no we got. The heavy no. It does not point to our decisions and our ideas and say “that was wrong”. It simply says “that is the path you choose and this is where it ends”. Because if in any small way the past was changed we may not have been led to and through each of these moments. Our eyes would not have been opened. Our hearts might still be closed. I’ll never understand why each minute passed as it did. I do know that now more than ever we see. We have vision in a way we never had before.
Our original plan? To advocate and fundraise for this child and others until they found an adoptive family.
The decision after seeing her file and praying and talking and being prayed for? To be that adoptive family.
That God willing, we will keep ours hearts and eyes and home wide open. There is room. We’re so fallible and young and nervous. But we can say yes. We said yes twice. We will say yes again. The fear can shut up and sit down. The doubts can be smothered out of their smoldering pit. The guilt can be turned into hope.
Because adoption is not a fairytale. It’s nonfiction. It’s real. This is our story but God is the one writing it. He’s taking our messy human decisions and painting us into the beautiful picture of humanity. This is the right thing right now. We will know in time what exactly God is making with our mess.