We got word this morning that we are cleared for an embassy appointment. We are currently waiting on the exact date but it will be either the 10th, 11th, or the 16th. After that I will travel back here with 4 of the most beautiful kids I've ever seen. Jessica and I just got to Skype with them to tell them that I would be there in the next week to get them and bring them home. I wish I knew what they were feeling. They smiled and said they were happy. They seemed giddy. But certainly there has to be some fear. Some sadness. Some anxiety over the unknown. I pray our love will cover those feelings. I pray God will give them His peace abundantly and everlasting.
Over the last few weeks leading up to this I have had much of those fears and anxieties. My joy and assurance has in no way been squelched, but those wretched "what-ifs" are a pesky breed. Jessica and I have prepared in every way we know how for every possible scenario. After we've read, researched, and talked to others we push back that particular possible dilemma, knowing we'll deal with it if/when it arises. All of those have bubbled back up in me and caused me to wonder if we prepared enough and for the correct things. It took several friends' wise words and several days to sink in: families aren't perfect.
I have an idol. One I am currently trying to demolish. One that I think most of us have. One I think goes virtually unnoticed and unattended to. An idol that is given to us slowly like an IV drip through pop culture and mass media outlets. It's the perfect family, or at least one that looks that way. All of my anxieties and fears were based on others perception of us.
I want people to think we have it together. But we don't. None of us do. We're a mess and yet God loved us where/how we were. He is the One to right the wrongs, fix the shortcomings, and repair our nature.
I want people to think we're not crazy. But we are crazy. What we're doing is not complimentary to the American dream. It's counter-cultural. It values children over homes, cars, jobs, money, success, etc. It measures happiness on a different scale. Our Father was crazy to sovereignly adopt us into His family as His children. That's nuts! It's a messy family. Ours will be too.
I want my kids to be smart, funny, happy, successful, etc. But they may not be. At least not according to the world's standard. God values our holiness above our happiness; I want our values for our kids to align with His values for His kids.
I don't want to elevate comfort and niceties over Christlikeness and Kingdom treasure. Actually it's my nature to do so. I want to. I want a better everything. I choose to fight that desire for the sake of the gospel. To show Christ's all-suffieciency I will try to fight my nature while the culture feeds it.
To my fears, people have offered that God is always with us, never leaves us, works all things for good, etc. I don't doubt any of this. I believe it. But where my belief ends and my unbelief begins is a thin line that says "He's there, but He's not enough." Truth mixed with lies, just like in the garden. "God, You're all I need plus my salary." "God, all I need is you plus _____." What would you fill in the blank with? Money, health, kids, friends, happiness...the list of things we need lengthens.
I want to believe He is all I need. So I war. War with me. Give yourself away for the sake of others. Give away your stuff for the sake of the gospel. At the end I believe we will find God. And that He is all we need.
Thanks for reading.