I had lunch with a friend recently. The purpose of our meeting was to discuss some heavy stuff: our calling, God’s plan for our lives, service. Big stuff. However, we are a couple of girls so the conversation began with less weighty matters. We talked about clothes. And hair. And about how it isn’t fair that it seems for every decade older we get, we pack on another 10 pounds or so. She said that she thinks it’s all about picking the right clothes for the body you’ve got. I agreed…I’ve not mastered it, but it’s true. Accentuate what you like, camouflage what you don’t.
The conversation quickly took a more serious turn. My friend and I have both adopted. We’ve grafted precious littles into our families. We talked about our unique adoption processes, because just like birth experiences that usually end with the same outcome, the journey there is different for everyone. We celebrated our special families and talked about some of the unique challenges. Adoption is hard, no doubt about it. But adoption is beautiful.
When you’re on the adoption journey, there are SO many unknowns. Your whole world feels fragile, like it could come crumbling down at any minute. You spend most of your days nervous, anxious, worried. But, like a veil hanging over it all, there is such JOY!!! And peace. It is almost unbelievable that you can harbor both worry and peace inside the same person, but I promise you can. You worry in the minutes but you have peace about the plan. When you’re on that difficult, scary, hard journey you KNOW that you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing. Deep in your bones you just know that God is pleased and you lean on that so hard that you know without God you’d just crash.
On both of our unique journeys, the ending was beautiful. We snuggled our sweet boys into our families and breathed a sigh of relief that the legal process was over and we could get on with the business of living our lives. The days melt into weeks and then months pass and we’ve both felt sort of an uneasiness. A restlessness. What on earth?? We’d just held God’s hand through a really difficult leg of the race and he helped us to the finish line and there we sit feeling…..weird. What happened?
It’s hard to go from a place of complete dependence on God, where you know that without Him you’d be a mess, to a place where you’re able to stand on your own again. Don’t get me wrong, I know I always NEED God, but sometimes I know it intellectually and sometimes I feel it, viscerally. I want to feel it that way all the time. I get hooked on the feeling but I struggle with how to find it. I want to know that I’m doing His plan in my everyday life with the same confidence that I knew I was doing His will on our adoption journey. How?
I’ve pondered this quite a bit in the last couple of weeks, since my lunch date with my friend. We opened our hearts that day and laid a lot on the table. We wrestled, figuratively, with the logistics of living God’s plan in our everyday lives. But at the end of our time I think we both walked away with more questions than answers.
I think the answer to our dilemma about God’s calling might have something to do with the conversation we had about fashion. Seems strange, but hear me out. We aren’t always exactly where we want to be. Our heart might be in missions but our children might just need the stability of being here. Our desire might be to fund a shelter for battered women but our bank account doesn’t reflect that. Our yearning might be to spend our days volunteering with needy children but our career path hasn’t led us there. I think the secret might be in picking the service for the life you’ve got right now. Today. Where are you right now and what can you be doing to share the love of Jesus? Ask yourself that question and then do it, with confidence.
It’ll look different for all of us. Some might answer it in big ways, making a huge life change. Most will answer it in small ways, little moments of kindness throughout the day. It really doesn’t matter how big or small it is because God doesn’t measure it that way. We can’t get caught up in the next big thing or we will be chasing air. I have done big things and I want to do more of them because they’re big and important and feel good. But those small kindnesses? They are just as big and important to God. I forget that often. If we’re running from big to bigger to biggest, we’ll end up exhausted.
It’s easy to find God when I need Him in that visceral way. But if I can’t slow down and quiet myself to find Him when life is calm and almost boring, that’s on me. He is always there. The challenge is sometimes in the mundane. I get discouraged, which is ridiculous because there are so many ways to serve. It’s like I’m standing in front of my closet full of clothes complaining that I have nothing to wear. The opportunities are there, they might not be flashy or trendy or glamorous but they might be just exactly right for me.
If you’re being called to something big then by all means, attack that big thing with tenacity and ambition. Own that big thing! If you’re being called to be kind to the lady in the check out line, OWN THAT TOO!! Be confident in where God has put you RIGHT NOW. It is no accident.