Tuesday, June 4, 2013

A New Chapter

Well, its been 18 months since I lasted updated this blog! Wow, how time flies!!! Over the last few weeks I have had so many people tell me that I need to write down all that is happening in our lives, that I thought I would start blogging again.  I guess I need to start by catching everyone up on our last 18 months first.

Starting with last summer...it was our second summer as a family of 7.  All the "firsts" were done: first Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter; July 4th; first birthdays, first vacations and now reality really started to set in.  So did grieving.  Every adoption begins with a tragedy.  Because of this, there is much grieving that goes on, especially when older children are involved.  Last summer we were all grieving and trying to adapt and adjust and it was HARD! We were trying to develop new, healthy relating patterns and let go of some unhealthy ones that had developed during the first 18 months.  With all that said, this mamma needed a break from it all.  I was really struggling physically (with my health), emotionally and spiritually.

Brent and I planned a trip away to Florida for just the two of us for our 16th anniversary (we had to skip over our 15th because things were still too new to leave).  The first night we were there we had a "discussion." It didn't end well.  I left the restaurant in tears and we drove back to the hotel in silence.  As we drove a scripture came to my mind "Then your healing will quickly appear...".  However, this was the only part that I could remember of the scripture that I had memorized years before.  I knew I needed healing in many areas and couldn't wait to get back to the hotel and look up the remainder of the verse to find out what the "if" part was.  What did I have to do to have my healing quickly appear?

As soon as we got back I searched on my You Version app, and found that the passage was from Isaiah 58.  This passage was a message to the Israelites from God through the prophet Isaiah during a time when things seemed to be good.  Temple attendance was up, everyone was "doing" all the right things.  From the outside all seemed to be great.  However, God is not concerned with what is on the outside, God looks at the heart (1Samuel 16:7).  God tells the Israelites through Isaiah that He is not looking for people who are going through the motions.  He doesn't want someone who is "performing" rituals and deeds that look good to everyone else.  What He is after is someone whose heart is after Himself.  Someone who obeys His commands out of a love for Him.  Someone who desires to follow Him at ALL costs.  What does a love like that look like?

Isaiah 58:6-7: "Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?  Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter-when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?"

As we dissected this passage what we began to see is that we were just hypocrites going through the motions.  We went to church, check; we tithed, check; we taught Sunday School, check; we gave to the poor sometimes, check; we adopted from Africa, check! We did all these things that looked good from the outside looking in, but raised our fists at God, and like the Israelites, said, "Why have we fasted, and you have not seen it? Why have we humbled ourselves, and you have not noticed?" What God taught us through is this: we were serving ourselves, not Him.  If we really wanted true, lasting and whole healing it was only going to come when we started serving HIM. Pouring ourselves out and spending ourselves for HIM.

That night we hit our knees and renewed our committment to follow the Lord in whatever journey He had for us.  We confessed our hypocrisy and selfishness.  Some friends had already asked us to go with them to Haiti for spring break.  It wasn't where I wanted to go, where I envisioned I would serve, but it was an opportunity presented to us and it was something that we could afford to do with the whole family.  We decided that night that all 7 of us, even little Whitney, would go and serve "the least of these" together.  It  was only the beginning of a journey that will likely last a lifetime!

Yes, we all wore matching Mickey shirts! I know your husbands are jealous!!!

The Beach 2012

No comments:

Post a Comment