Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Only Way Back Home.

Forget object lesson books.  I have three kids who continually offer me illustrative evidence of the Love of God and the workings of His Spirit all around me.  These real-life teachable moments happen practically as often as I breathe.  So much for me instructing them with moments of great wisdom and foresight!  Instead, their simplicity of heart and belief inspires, challenges, convicts.  for better or for worse, daily I happen to see a mirror of my walk with Jesus as I clasp their little hands tight in mine.  

Lest you get some idyllic picture, one of the children attached to those sweet, dimply, chubby hands is usually screaming.

But anyway. 

Tabbitha and I were driving back to Bicknell from some errands in Odon yesterday.  If any of my local readers have been to Odon lately, they know that I69 construction is pretty epic near the high school.  As we passed it, the mounds of dirt and the cranes and such looked so overshadowing to me that it was hard to imagine how dramatic the construction appeared through the eyes of my almost-five-year-old.  From the rearview, I could see her eyes widen as we headed toward home much in the same way that they had as we passed it the first time.  This time, she spoke up quietly as she noticed the car in front of us had turned onto another road, a quaint country road that lacked the huge cranes and the orange vests and the general muddle that awaited us.  

"Why can't we take that road, Mom?"

Sounds like such a simple question, doesn't it?  In fact, it's a question that has come up a lot over the years in my conversations with my Parent too.

Why couldn't we take a calmer road, one with less construction and chaos?  

 I am not ashamed to admit that in my weakest moments, I have asked for a different road.  I would bet the farm that many of my dear readers have also asked. Desired. Begged. Pleaded for a different road, only to find the most confusing, half-built, wearying route with no exit signs and no other way out.  

The prayers for healing and freedom that seem to go unanswered.
The young life lost to tragedy.
The marriage at the end of the rope with no energy left to knot it and hold on.
 The longsuffering prodigal parent spending each moment that she can spare gazing out the window, just to see nothing.

We have all had a road or two we'd preferred not to have traveled.

In fact, as God's Word reveals, that even puts us in quality company:

Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will...."
He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.” 

There have been a few roads I didn't want to travel.  

Like that one that took me to the valley of the shadow of death, where I watched my mom die of cancer.

Some days, I still ask Him about that one.

Before Tabbi and I ran our errands, we had a meeting with some people about how to help our children transition onto the road of adoption - a road that in a perfect world, they never would have to have traveled.  

It was so clear yesterday that this is not a perfect world.  

In my struggles to parent these three babies with some amount of grace (and a little gusto, because who doesn't need a little gusto...I mean, it's like the bow tie of life, right?), I have even questioned why God beckoned me so sweetly down this one road that has challenged me more than any other: the road of foster parenting.  Little did Tabbitha know that when she asked me that innocent question, I was asking the Father the same one.  

I want to make it clear to you that we NEVER regret our decision - all it takes is one look in the eyes of our children to know that this particular road was ordained by God long before the world began.  But I am using my blog as an outlet in the hopes that we would all have the courage to be honest.  That being said, I want to tell you a secret.  

Sometimes I wonder what that little country road would hold. After all, it sure looks smooth from here, and a little less chaotic.  But then again, I've always heard that if the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, it's probably time to water the lawn.  

In all my wanderings and attempts to take that sweet little country road, the Holy Spirit consistently reminds me that without that chaotic, construction zone nightmare with all the stop signs and the slow signs and the orange vests and the hard hats and the mounds of dirt and the winding curves, I would not know and trust the Lord as I do.   

Without these roads that make me clumsily reach for Him because they hurt and pinch and make me cry out and seem pointless at times and bring out what I fear is the worst in me, I would not love Him so much.  

These roads are tools in the hands of a Potter who is ever-molding His clay.  These roads are the fires that reveal impurities and cause us to bring forth a better offering.

When Tabbi asked me that simple question, I took the cue from Papa God when I answered her. 

"Tabbitha, this is the only way back Home for us," I said as a tear made its own route down my cheek. 

This road that has tested and tried is the same road where we find evidence that God Himself has come into such a volatile construction zone of His own: the hearts of fallen men.  If He can leave His glory behind to travel on a road full of messes that He didn't make and ultimately travel the Via Dolorosa - the road to the cross, surely I can take this road that leads to holiness. 
This road that leads to victory.  
photo credit

This road is the one that leads to Jesus and to my real home, where the most precious commodity here is used for road pavement there.  It's narrow and awkward and full of bumps, but it's the ONLY road.

So let's embrace the road that leads us to more reliance on Christ.  Let's take the road that He Himself embraced, and find in it the joy of knowing Him more.  

After all, we won't know He is Peace until we walk the road of chaos and find Him able to calm our hearts.   We will have a hard time claiming Him as Mighty if we never step down onto a road where we knew the only way through it was to get, for lack of a better term, a supernatural piggyback ride from the Lord.  We won't know Him as our Healer until we step on the trails of brokenness.  He knows the way we we can cultivate gratefulness for the only road that leads us back Home.

Dear friends,  
Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

Here's a little ditty that says everything I wanted to say in this blog but did it better using less words.  It's got gusto, and it might just add a bow tie to your day.


Guatmama said...

beautiful post girl!

Mandy said...

Good to see you last night... Thanks for sharing your heart and your love for God.