I think it’s so amazing when I go to church hoping to learn from a pastor or speaker or worship song, and God just decides to skip all the in-between and tell me something Himself. I guess I shouldn’t think it’s amazing since it’s easy for Him to do that, but He usually uses people or the Bible or even a worship song to teach me. I was in the middle of listening to a good speaker this morning when out of nowhere, not in connection to anything the speaker said, God just showed me something that I hadn’t noticed before, something that meant a great deal to me. Even better, He did it in answer to my prayer.
About a week ago in the car, I was listening to a speaker on the radio who pointed out that God created us out of the overflowing abundance of His love. He loved, He is love, so He created. At that moment, God showed me that this is the same thing that a husband and wife do when they have children. I thought that was beautiful, and I wanted to remember it, but three minutes later, it was gone from my head. Mr. C and Little E in the back seat said something cute and funny, and I thought I should remember what they said, too, but by the time we were home, and I had gotten everybody out of the car and settled in the house, I had forgotten both things. What a mess my brain is with three young children! I thought and thought, trying to bring it back to my mind to no avail, so I began to pray that God would remind me, reteach me.
So He did, sweet Father that He is, this morning at church, appropos of nothing. This time, He took it to a deeper level. You see, I’ve been wanting to adopt since I can remember, and as I’ve gotten older, the wanting has turned into a longing. Our third is deeply loved by us and planned by God, but my plan was to adopt our third (and hopefully fourth). At first my desire to adopt stemmed from all the books about orphans I read growing up: Anne of Green Gables and almost every other book written by L.M. Montgomery, a book I read over and over about a girl who lost her mother to cancer, 101 Dalmations and all those lost and orphaned puppies, Annie (the musical, not the book), Les Miserables with Cosette, and a host of others. It seemed that every book I loved had an orphan in it.
As I grew to know God deeper, I longed to adopt in order to take part in who God is, the Father who adopted me into His family, giving me love and a present and future home. I find such fulfillment and joy when I am able to imitate God’s character in some way, whether it’s through teaching children, authoring a work, fixing something that is broken, or creating beautiful crafts. Adoption would be an ultimate fulfillment, loving the orphan as He loved me (the orphan), huge on my Father’s heart. I want to be like my Daddy, and I want Him to use me more than I can say. But so far, He has put a hold on that dream, and I’m not sure if He will ever allow me to take part in His nature in that way. I am learning that even though it seems like God would love for me to take in and love an orphan, that it’s not necessarily what He wants for me. That’s really hard, but I’m learning to open my hand a bit and surrender this dream. If I’m honest, I have to admit that I still haven’t surrendered it completely, but I’m asking for God’s help.
I’ve always wondered why people need to have children of their own anymore. There are so many orphans in this world needing a family–how could we dare to use our resources on beings who didn’t even exist until we participated in forming them? I, of course, love my children dearly, but I questioned whether we should have had them, especially after I realized that I might not get to adopt after having them. But this morning, He reminded me what He showed me a week ago, that just as He created out of His love, a husband and wife “create” out of their love. What He showed me on a deeper level was that I have imitated my Daddy after all–I have taken part in a huge part of His nature by doing this. My deepest longing, one of the deepest reasons I want to adopt: to be like God, has been fulfilled in the birthing of my three beautiful children.