Sometimes God allows me to use passions I already possess to encourage others. This could be a passion for art, or for sports, or whatever. These passions are natural and familiar. They're comfortable.
I am learning.
That sometimes, He births new passions in me. I do not always invite these passions. In fact, at times, I resist them. You could almost imagine me as a little kid with my eyes squeezed tightly shut saying, "please God, don't ask me to go down THAT road." But He does. He often asks me to walk through things that I would rather avoid completely.
And in the end.
He is always right. He is always faithful. My heart is always more full at the end of those journeys than I could have ever imagined.
And I look back saying, "I would do it all over again!"
One example of this is absolutely adoption and a passion for orphans. It wasn't natural. It wasn't comfortable. And in the beginning, I battled the desire to "make it go away" because I was scared. But even now, even before Malachi is home, I am so very thankful the Lord moved in my heart and opened my eyes.
Another journey the Lord asked me to walk through, although seemingly mild in comparison to the orphan crisis, was the journey with Miller's helmet. Ewww did I fight it at first! I did NOT want to have to walk down that path. In the beginning, all I could do was hope for the end. I hoped that it would go by quickly, and we could just sort of "forget" it ever even happened.
God is always up to bigger things. He uses trials as an invitation to Himself. He drew me near to Him. He comforted me during those first few weeks. He encouraged me.
He changed my heart. I fell IN LOVE with my little boy's little blue helmet. Not because it was "cute."
I fell in love with it because it was part of him. My son.
I had never experienced the rawness of emotions that comes with loving someone so much that you would do ANYTHING for their good. No matter the cost, physical and emotional. Placing myself and Lee at the center of social awkwardness, extensive questioning, and emotional expense. All the while, not regretting or resenting any of it because of the love we have for Miller.
No matter what. He is our son!
We love him.
I am in no way trying to "toot our own horn." I am simply praising the Lord for doing a work in my heart and teaching me more than I would ever attempt to put into a blog post.
I often thought that at the end of this, we would close the door, brush off our hands and feet, and walk away. Never really looking back. However, I was wrong. I feel like the Lord is calling us to leave our hearts open to be used to encourage others.
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, SO THAT we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God."
2 Corinthians 1:3-4
God comforted us so that we could comfort others walking along the same journey. This was confirmed in a text message I received from a friend a few weeks ago.
Here is the text:
"Met a family n Chick-Fil-A in Seveirville, TN today. They seemed a little grumpy and I almost didnt stop and talk. The lil girl had a pink helmet. I shared millers story and showed pictures of him with and without helmet. They were encouraged, as they had never met anyone with a helmet or knew anyone else with a helmet. Miller's story made them smile and brought encouragement to their family. Way to go miller!!! Already making a difference in this big world."
My heart leaped. I longed for encouragement during our season with the helmet. We knew NO ONE else. We didn't have the opportunity to chat with other parents about their journey. To be able to offer someone else even a tiny piece of what I so longed for.... Well... There is no greater honor.