Smallness and Living Generously

 

Smallness & Living Generously

If I’m honest, I don’t like feeling small.  I don’t like feeling insignificant.  I want to be noticed.  To be treasured, to be understood, to be heard.

White finger starfish and seashells

Where is he who put in the midst of them his Holy Spirit, who caused his glorious arm to go at the right hand of Moses, who divided the waters before them to make for himself an everlasting name, who led them through the depths?

Like a horse in the desert, they did not stumble.

Like livestock that go down into the valley, the Spirit of the Lord gave them rest.

So you led your people, to make for yourself a glorious name.  ~Isaiah 63:11-14

Feeling small and being part of making God’s name glorious feel like they should be diametrically opposed.  How on earth do we make a glorious name for Christ in the midst of our smallness?  Is there a difference between feeling small because of lies of the enemy and feeling small because we realize our proper place in God’s kingdom?  I’m beginning to think there must be a world of difference, and that difference might be tied up in one little three-letter-word…’led.’

Lately I’ve been feeling very small in light of this adoption process that we’ve been walking through.

One email.  And just like that I am questioning whether or not this THING, this family, that we desire with all of our hearts is actually going to be a reality for us or not.  I’m wondering if we’ve spent the past eight months on this emotional, mental and financial roller coaster only to have the rug pulled out from under our feet now.  In my heart, I know God is not like that. They say they are tired of waiting.  Hello?  What do they think we’ve been doing for the past THREE AND A HALF YEARS??  I don’t want to minimize their situation at all.  But it feels like our hands are tied.  And yet, we keep hearing, “Hurry up.  You need to have this finished and turned in yesterday.”  Jesus, help.  My heart can feel so twisted into a tight dishrag of hopes and dreams.

Right there in Isaiah 63:14 it says God leads us in order to make a glorious name for Himself.  I do want – no, I NEED – Him to lead in making a glorious name for Himself in our lives and in our family.  I truly believe in depths of my heart that the story is bigger than we can see.  And yet, I need help in keeping my eyes fixed on that perspective, especially when I feel ready to melt into a puddle of anxiety.  Because when I lead my own heart, things can get pretty messy.  I NEED to be led by Him, with a leash around my heart if He must.

river and a boat scene during Fall season

This is what I wrote in my journal back in September when we started this whole process, and it has continued to feel true at different dips in the roller coaster of this journey, thinking about all the ‘what if’s’:

Honestly, I’m scared spitless right now.  My insides literally feel like they’re twisting up inside of me…And yet, I think if it’s God, it’s probably gonna be something I don’t feel like I can do on my own.  And strangely, J seems to be more ‘at peace’ – if that’s even the right term to use – than I am.  My brain is shorting just thinking of the implications – how would we pay for food, clothes?  What about homeschooling?  And in all these questions, I have to stop (or I’ll make myself crazy).  We did say that we wanted our family to be an opportunity for God to move on our behalf.  Shoot, the mountain He’d need to move in order to complete this adoption?  Colossal.  Huge.  The mountain for a ‘normal’ adoption would still be big, but (ha!) I feel like I could help with the excavation of that one a little.  This terrifies me.  And then…I hear His whisper…”What about them?  What about ME?”  I gotta say, if this is His plan, it’s completely not what I expected.  None of this is what I expected.

cliffs

I did pray the dangerous prayer of asking for more of God, to be in over my head exploring the depths of Who He is.  Well…prayer answered.  Be careful what you pray for.  And maybe that’s the point – that God doesn’t, and never did, need any help in the Mountain Excavation Department of our lives.  Because when we think that we somehow bring something to the table to ‘help Him out,’ we usually end up getting in the way.  And so He kindly, gently leads us in over our heads so He can whisper, “Hey.  I’ve got this.”

Bring health to the sick.  Raise the dead.  Touch the untouchables.  Kick out the demons.  You have been treated generously, so live generously.  ~Matthew  10:8

Living generously in over my head takes guts, courage that I’m not even sure I have most of the time.  And yet, I remind myself of all that I have already been given, so generously…

Hallelujah!

Blessed man, blessed woman, who fear God, who cherish and relish his commandments, their children robust on the earth, and the homes of the upright – how blessed!

Their houses brim with wealth and a generosity that never runs dry.

Sunrise breaks through the darkness for good people – God’s grace and mercy and justice!

The good person is generous and lends lavishly; no shuffling or stumbling around for this one, but a sterling and solid and lasting reputation.

Unfazed by rumor and gossip, heart ready, trusting in God, spirit firm, unperturbed, ever blessed, relaxed among enemies, they lavish gifts on the poor – a generosity that goes on, and on, and on.

An honored life!  A beautiful life!

~Psalm 112 (the Message)

Spirit firm and unperturbed?  Oh, let it be true of me.  A heart unsure-but-ready, trusting in the God of Deeper, the God of Excavations, full of courage and ready to live generously….because I have been treated oh so generously.  And God’s children living generously bring glory to His name.

 

 

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8 thoughts on “Smallness and Living Generously

  1. Oh Lauren. I love your raw honesty. I believe the process is as important as the end result, but its hard and knowing that doesn’t make it any easier. He’s given you these desires, you can trust Him! We love you guys and are rooting for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s so true, Aunt Di…”the process is as important as the end result.” I so need to remind myself of that again and again – it’s about the journey, not just the destination. We love you guys!

      Like

  2. Lauren, thank you for sharing your heart on this part of your adoption journey – the “so not picture-perfect-full of uncertainty part”. Your vulnerability makes you so approachable, and invites us to see God’s hand in the uncertainty in our own lives. Thank you for writing this truth – my heart needed this today!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lauren, praying for you in this grueling process. I remember the waiting and the mounds of paperwork, the deadlines, the doubts! The scriptures you shared are a beautiful reminder of His goodness. And His leading.

    Liked by 1 person

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