This week while reading in the bathroom- yes, we do that at our house!- I came across this in a little book by Watchman Nee:
“God never asks us to do anything we can do. He asks us to live a life which we can never live and to do a work which we can never do. Yet, by his grace, we are living it and we are doing it.” (Watchman Nee in Sit, Walk, Stand, Tyndale House, 1982)
Wow. That thought has stuck with me for several days, and brought to mind the many, many times I have heard this after telling people we have six kids, two bio and four children adopted through the foster care system;
“Good for you! What a blessing you are to your children! I could never do that!”
You know, what? You’re right- you could never do that. I could never do that too, even though I told Rob that I wanted six kids before we were married! You see, I was a bit OCD in my younger years, and worked really hard to maintain a neat and orderly life. I was a perfectionist, and struggled with anxiety that often kept me awake at night while my husband snoozed away beside me… I was a giver and a helper and a good person, but always on my terms, when I was willing to bear the cost, when it was something I could afford…
I could never do that- until God called me to do just that! Until a friend opened my eyes to a young woman in need of a family, until a social worker reminded me that “babies don’t need much room!…” (She was wrong, BTW. Babies take a huge amount of room in a house- and in a heart!)
Really, I could never do that! And I still can’t- on my own. I am the mother of six, and most days? I am still in this waaay over my head! Self-doubt creeps in, tears fall, and my heart breaks. I love my kids, no doubt, but some days being a mom is Just. Hard. And btw, bio kids? They’re really not any easier most days! My oldest son? Whew, has he pushed my buttons over the years! My youngest daughter?- well, as I always say, she came into this world butt first, and she has done things her way ever since!
Throw in the daughter who entered our lives at 15, and the three baby boys, all in diapers at ages 1, 2, and 3. (Rob, what in the world were you thinking?!!! You said yes- to that???) But we did it, we survived, and we still are…
Because we couldn’t do it. But we had faith that we had a God on our side, leading us on, lifting us up, carrying us through. How could we say no, when the Jesus in us was saying, “Look, there they are! They belong with you!…”
How could we say no?