Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Have you ever had that kick-in-the-stomach realization that you're not who you want to be? Not that you just not there yet, but that you may never be? That maybe God didn't ever intend for you to be that person?

I've always been a bit of a "Just do it" person. For years my attitude about living the Christian life included no room for Spirit infused power but was a matter-of-fact, "Read the Book; do what it says." I believed that all anyone needed was a good dose of willpower to live a godly life, and if that didn't produce the desired outcome a heaping spoonful of guilt would do the trick.

But recently God's been bringing issues and situations into my life that have shown me how wrong my assertions were. He's shown me how much I need His Spirit's work in my life; I can't do it on my own. Yet until now He'd never put me in a place of complete failure, a pit that I could not muster enough chutzpah to claw myself out of.

I've been struggling a lot with God's commands to minister healing and bring comfort to the weary, the very reason we chose to bring children of families in crisis into our home. God loves me so I love others. Simple, right? I had that sting of compassion in my heart for children who needed a home away from their own. And yet the reality of having them in ours is terribly difficult. It's not that the kids are outrageously unruly and difficult. But for some reason when they're here I feel an almost painful yearning toward my own brood and find myself tense to the point of clenching my teeth at night. We've got the extra bed and extra chair at the table. We've got the means to feed one more mouth, but do we have what it takes to baby-sit another woman's child 24 hours a day for an undetermined amount of time? And does wanting to be able to have what it takes make it so?

I'm coming to the conclusion that wanting to be a compassionate, cool-with-it, easy going foster mom will not make me one anymore than wanting to be nine inches taller and blue eyed will make me Liv Tyler. It just ain't gonna happen. There's just more to it than want to.


eureka said...

Please don't be too hard on yourself... Personally, I could not handle being a foster mother to a house plant.

I think there's such a thing in life as giving something "a good college try" and then coming to the realization that it's just not your gift or calling, but the experience matters because it helps clarify what you *are* naturally and inherently fabulous at.

For example, there's probably some nice Chrstian social worker out there who is struggling to make herself the coordinator for the church food pantry, but despite her best intentions and efforts she just can't be sufficiently organized and thrifty to really be a good steward of the task and maximize the effectiveness of the donated food and funds. Lo and behold, if you two could only switch tasks and the overall amount of service that is being accomplished is that much greater.

There's some pro bono work I thrive on and other stuff that I will not touch anymore because it makes me (and my husband) miserable while I am enduring it.

Monica said...

I hear your pain here. I often admire what others "do" and think that I could and should emulate them only to realize that they do what they do so well because of who they are. I can never be anyone but me doing what God has called me to do.

But God is the Redeemer and especially so in the midst of our inadequacies. You've given this child weeks of Love and Care that he would have never known. And God is using this experience to mold you and prepare you for whatever may be next. Hang in there.

Rebecca said...

Just wanted you to know that I am reading. I wish I had some spectacular words of wisdom or the perfect Christian cliche to give, but alas, I do not. I can sympathize with "wanting something badly enough does not make it so". I'm a chutzpah girl myself. "If somebody doesn't just do something about this, then I WILL!" At least you're listening to His voice & desire to do His will, which is doing much more than many others.