Planted in Pearland

What's going on in the life of Covenant Community Church

Craziness March 6, 2010

Filed under: Adoption,Hospitality,Learning — Sarah @ 4:20 pm

Like Maggie, I can give a list of excuses for the delay in blog posts: travelling, a crashed computer that took all my blog outlines and rough drafts with it, our first public service launch (!!!!), illness (we each took a turn: Tim, Eliza, me), the list goes on, blah, blah, blah. I do want to do a post on the launch and services since – it has been awesome – but I have something on my heart I need to share.

Truthfully, I wrote this blog post a couple weeks ago, but I didn’t post it because I was afraid of what other people would think. The Bible has a name for this. It’s called fear of man, and it is sin. As believers, we are called to fear God and not man. And because, as Maggie mentioned, I am no longer a slave to sin but to righteousness because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, I have the ability to put this sin to death. So here it goes.

A couple weeks ago, a lady named Heather, whose blog I read, posted a notice about an opportunity for Texas families to sponsor (kind of like fostering) Haitian orphans who need to come to the US for medical attention. The post stopped me in my tracks.

This was one of the most clear “orphan in distress” (James 1:27) cases I had ever seen – and here was an opportunity to care for these orphans, dropped right into my lap. I just couldn’t ignore it. I showed the post to Tim when he got home, and he agreed we should ask for more information.

The information we got was not exactly “ideal.” There is no timeframe for when the kids will arrive in the US. Most of the kids brought to the US would be school age or close to it. They will be mostly amputees in need of many medical interventions of all kinds. They will not be wards of the state and therefore not eligible for Medicaid. It is unclear when or if they will ever be eligible for adoption. They, obviously, will have gone through a horrible ordeal and will be in need of massive amounts of love and patience as they adjust physically, mentally, emotionally.

I have to admit, my first reaction was, “No way.” We always talked about adopting a child close to the age of our biological children. We always talked about adopting a “young child” (translation: not old enough to be too screwed up from trauma). We had never talked about (translation: never even considered the possibility of) adopting a physically disabled child before. We always talked about adopting “after this” or “when this happens” – and now was certainly not the right time.

As we were talking about all this, God was doing a work in my heart. He came to help me realize that every time I said “we want to adopt” what I meant was “we want to adopt the right child, who’s the right age, at the right time, when it’s most convenient, suits our family best, etc.” I didn’t really mean “we want to care for orphans in distress through adoption.” I wanted to adopt – but in a safe, comfortable way that I could predict and control.

Safety, security, predictability, comfort, control – these are idols that God has been working on ripping out of my heart for years.

  • Moving to Louisville, a zillion miles from anyone and anything I had ever known – rip!
  •  Trusting God to decide when a child should be added to our family, in the middle of seminary, with no money – rip!
  • Deciding to church plant, the most insecure and unpredictable job you can possibly choose after seminary (with the exception of foreign missions) – rip!

Obviously, God has placed me in circumstances time and time again (these are just a few examples) that require me to let go of my idols of security and comfort and trust Him. Yet I still often find myself holding on to these idols with all my might.

I don’t want to be this person. I don’t want to be the person who always chooses the safe, predictable, secure, comfortable, “wise” path- and who kicks and screams when I’m asked to get off that path. To be clear, that is indeed who I am – I just don’t want to be. I want to be the person who fearlessly follows after Jesus no matter how uncomfortable it makes me.

So here I am yet again. My idol of a comfortable, secure and predictable life is being threatened again – this time with a call to extend hospitality to and provide care, love and a family for a Haitian “orphan in distress.”

Pray for us. We are still wrestling, talking, walking down this road as far as it will take us. We’ve got a lot of work to do.

**Update: We pursued this opportunity as far as we could. Eventually, we found out that we were not a good candidate family. Ultimately, the final word we got on this was that they were not able to gain permission for these kids to leave the country and therefore the kids were not able to come.**

 

It’s Been Awhile… March 4, 2010

Filed under: Learning — Maggie @ 6:00 pm

One month to be exact. Forgive us for the lapse in posts. I know that for me this has been a season of learning my limitations – and they are many! Being the wife of a bi-vocational pastor of a church plant and the mom of a very active 10 month-old has forced me (in the best sense of the word) to come to terms with just how limited I am. My priorities are first to my husband and my son, and this has not always been an easy lesson for me to learn.  I am often tempted to throw myself a pity party – and quite often, I give in to this temptation. I pity myself when my husband meets with men in the church in the evening after he worked all day to provide for his family. I pity myself for having to give my son his bath again while my husband studies to prepare a lesson or the liturgy for the church. I pity myself when my son only takes an hour and a half nap instead of a two-hour nap (he takes two of these naps during the day, I might add). I even pity myself when I intend to write a blog post and other “life stuff” gets in the way.

Ugh. Just putting those things into words is painful and reveals the ugliness in my heart. But, praise be to God that he dealt with that ugliness and sin when Christ paid for it on the cross. I am no longer enslaved to sin but to righteousness instead! I do not have to give into the temptation to pity myself; rather, I am free to chose to respond in faithfulness and not self-pity. That is truly freeing! At the same time, it is also freeing to know that I am indeed limited in my time and abilities and that is okay. Rather than rage against my circumstances and always wish for more time, I want to use the time I have been given faithfully, seeking to be a faithful wife and mother first and not giving in to the poison of self-pity. My first job is to help my husband and do him good and in this season of life that often means freeing him to do the work of the ministry in Covenant Community Church and not making him feel guilty for it!

As I have struggled with these things over the past few months, I have been encouraged by the words of the apostle Paul in Acts 20:24: “But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.”  I want this verse to be ever-present in the forefront of my mind, so that when self-pity rears it’s ugly head, I will choose to say no to self-pity and to accounting my life as precious to myself and seek to finish the ministry I’ve been called to. And, I’m pretty sure that joyfully giving my son a bath so that my husband can serve the church is one way for me to do this!