I don’t blog much anymore. Once we were on the waiting list, I didn’t really know what to blog about. I decided I wasn’t really into sharing our everyday life details, as they are no more exciting or important than the next person’s life. I also knew we would just be waiting forever, and I was kind of mad about it. That first day or so we were finished with the paperwork, I felt relieved. About a week into our wait (pathetic, I know), I was completely overwhelmed. I was bitter. I was anxious. There wasn’t a whole lot to do anymore. Nothing to check off a list. I became obsessed with checking the Facebook page for families in our agency’s Ethiopia program. People kept asking about our adoption, and I had nothing to tell them (still don’t, by the way). I read about other adoption stories and became envious of the mommas who were bringing home their little ones. There have been zero referrals from our agency in well over a month. Every time I do the math, we could be waiting well over 2 years. Yadda yadda… on and on.
Our adoption and all news in the adoption world quickly became an idol in my life. When something didn’t go exactly as planned with our paperwork, I would burst out in tears. When I would receive a reply from our case worker, my day would get better! We have had a pretty smooth process thus far, and yet I find something new to complain about every single day. I was basing my happiness and fulfillment in a completely wavering adoption process. And then I would somehow try to “add Jesus” to the adoption. That’s not how it works. But, still, somehow I had taken a beautiful display of the Gospel and made it a god in my life instead.
In the small group we began attending, different points of application of the sermon are discussed at the end of group time. The first one is always, “preach the Gospel to yourself every day”. That hit home for me. As I have spent the first few moments of my day pleading with Jesus to be enough and reminding myself of what He has done, this idol of mine quickly sprung forth. I knew it was there all along, I just wouldn’t admit I could place something so Gospel oriented above the one who makes the Gospel possible.
I was reading the Bible yesterday, and this verse pounced on me..
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
Right before this verse is when Paul writes that we are saved through grace, not by our own doing. But what struck me about verse 10 was the fact that I have been created IN Jesus for works that God already has prepared. Basically, I need to stop controlling everything and know that God already has everything prepared (how exactly I thought compulsively stalking Facebook groups/blogs/etc was helping control our adoption is besides the point). He is sovereign.
Enter Tullian Tchividjian’s book, “Jesus + Nothing = Everything”. Great book. Read it.
I have written and deleted about a hundred words in this section as I try to explain in a concise manner what I have learned from this book so far. Basically, He is enough. The Gospel is enough. I am already redeemed. I am already like Jesus, because He lives in me. I need to stop doing things to become more like Jesus, and work to understand what He has already done for me at a deeper level. This is how I will mature as a follower, not by adopting 10 children.
Anyway, don’t think I’m saying, “stop doing good things and just sit there and read and pray all day”. I know that’s not what the Bible commands either. But I do know that I have got to stop complaining and grumbling to God about what He hasn’t done for me despite all the good things I’ve done for Him, and be reminded of what He has done for me. I have got to stop trying to allow lesser things to fulfill me and remind myself I already have the only One able to fulfill.
” By daily preaching this gospel to ourselves, we can more readily see and confront all the idols in our lives-including those we may not be quite as aware of. We will be able to recognize that every temptation to sin is a temptation to not believe the gospel-the temptation to secure for ourselves something we think we need in order to be happy, something we don’t yet have: meaning, liberty, validation, and so on. When we succumb to temptation, we are failing to believe in that moment that everything we need, in Christ we already have. Real freedom happens when the rich resources of the gospel smash any sense of need to secure for ourselves anything beyond what Christ has already secured for us.”