Let me be clear. This post is about me, not any of my children. That being said, I don’t think I could find a more accurate expression of my experience as an adoptive mother than the verse above.
Loving people through their challenges sometimes brings out our worst. Seeing the fractures in our character can be more than disconcerting, it can be devastating. For almost two years now I’ve tried hard to improve, to somehow make myself a better, more Christ-like lover. I mistakenly held myself to a higher standard believing that with enough elbow grease I might attain my goals.
I started out strong and began a good work. Then, I grew soul-weary, and plunged the darkest depths of conditional love, proving that my best is far worse than most people’s bad. After gathering up every last ounce of strength, I limped back to join the fight. I attempted to fake it ’til I made it and gave some more. Nothing made a dent. So I turned to bitterness and resentment. Naturally, things became worse. Some days I made a little headway and took steps on the right path. Others, I slipped back down, or flat-out ran fast in the wrong direction just because I felt like it.
I’ve been goaded and pricked in every vulnerable place. I’ve taken the bait more times than I can count. I’ve lost dignity and loathed the depths of my depravity, and what I’ve realized is this:
There’s no higher standard, no loftier goal you can attain. Sure, no one has died at your hands … yet. But you know you day-dream of strangling some people from time to time. You fail the test. You’re a sinner, among the worst of them.
Yes, Jen, this truly is as good as you get.
However, I still believe in sufficient Grace and perfect power. And on days when my faith waivers I’m glad to know God doesn’t need my belief to generate His ability.
Mercy, grace, forgiveness, power, love — I need them all. I’m standing with my hands humbly opened, waiting in faith to receive. In the place where I’m standing, I’m not the point anymore. God is.
I may not be able to perform, but I can believe.
I will believe. I do believe.
2 Corinthians 12:9a (NIV) But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, my power is made perfect in weakness.”
Nobody knows what it takes for me to believe (and keep on believing). Nobody.