Sorry. [Insert sundry excuses here.]
It's definitely been awhile since I've written, and many exciting events transpired in the last 8 months. I celebrated a whole year with my handsome hunk of a husband, God called me to a new job, I was blessed to play the Audrey Hepburn role in a play, and I applied for grad school! However, the best event actually occurred in August.
My parents adopted two sweet girls! I have two new sisters!
Words simply cannot express my joy. (Perhaps, my feelings of inadequacy in this area contributed to my procrastination?) Throughout the two years we fostered them, we had naturally come to love them like our own. Several times it looked like CPS might take them away, and we cried out to God in anguish. "These are our girls! No one else will love them like we do." And we doubted God. If He were to send the girls elsewhere, how could that be the best thing for them? For us? Then finally, God gave them to us permanently.
Throughout the entire adoption process I was struck by the biblical parallels.
But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!" - Galatians 4:4-6
If you grew up in the church like me, you are probably readily familiar with these verses. "Jesus died for our sins, and we're children of God now, yeah, yeah, I know," you might say. But do you? In the last 2 years, I have really come to doubt my understanding of being adopted by God. To realize the full implications requires more knowledge than I think I will ever possess, but my family's experiences in the earthly adoption process have brought me closer to understanding.
I literally could think of nothing else but this concept of adoption. We wanted it so badly, but it seemed so unattainable. And so when my turn came to do devos in Doctrines class, I decided to discourse on adoption.
Probably a bad idea. At the time, we were in one of those periods when we struggled to keep the girls. I was barely into my devo before I started weeping. Not just tearing up or crying, but weeping. It sounds cliche, but I possess first hand knowledge that "heartbreak" isn't called that because it's an analogy. I thought I felt my heart being ripped in half. My thoughts were definitely not coherent, but I do remember saying something like this:
"We love these girls just as much as our own family members, and the thought of losing them is just as painful. We want to adopt them so badly, it feels like we would do anything. God did anything. He sent his own SON to die for you. As much as we love the girls, I'm not sure we could do that. But God wanted you in His Family so much that He did. I cannot imagine the conflict He must have felt, and the pain. Don't you ever doubt God's love for you!"
Sometimes, I interact with people who are candid enough to admit they don't think they could love adopted children as much as their own. And sometimes, they even go so far as to hint that it's not possible. Deep down inside, all parents with adopted children must love their biological children more. Whether that's ever true or always wrong, I leave to you to decide. But I can assure you that in God's Family, adopted children are loved so much that the biological child was sacrificed in order to adopt them in the first place.
Whether Jesus volunteered for the mission or was voluntold, I cannot imagine that decision being an easy one to make and endure. And I wonder in the final hours of Jesus' life, if His heart really did tear in half - just like the curtain in the tabernacle. Giving you and me access to Him and a place in His family cost Him more than we can ever understand. How can I ever doubt His love or treat it casually?