Thursday, December 27, 2018

Good Morning

It's been one of those nights/mornings where I can't turn off my mind.

My husband and I are currently trekking our way across Texas, working our way up to Missouri -- spending time with our families for the holidays. We generally like to start these 13-hour jaunts in the wee hours of the morning. And when we wake up early, it means deep sleep is usually impossible for me.

Rather than sleep, my mind soars through a seemingly endless list of things.
Costa Rica.
Foster Care.
Living more radically.

I've written somewhat recently about some of the happenings in the Beal family, but what you don't know yet is that in the two months since that blog post, a few things have happened.

  • I wrapped up the fall semester of grad school and my mind is still reeling from all the information and how to practically apply it in my life. 
  • We filled out and submitted our application for Foster Care and attended our first RAFT training (Relative Adoptive Foster parent Training). 
  • We booked tickets to Costa Rica for 4 weeks to see if the Lord might be leading us to a permanent move there. 
  • We found renters for our second rental home! 
Wait wait wait, back up... 
How does Foster Care coincide with Costa Rica? 
We aren't sure yet. 
But we're taking steps forward because, regardless of where we land, we know we have to do more. We know we want to do better. 

And as my mind spins in the dark hours of the morning, I'm still pondering Christmas in the midst of all of this. Jesus came

I don't know if I fully grasp the significance of this yet, but I think I learn it more and more, the older I get and more I learn about God's character. These are the truths that zoom me out of my limited, earthly perspective and remind me that God is faithful. That God comes to us. It's actually quite unbelievable...when you really think about it. 

And despite my list of worries and wonderings, there's a steadiness attached to the unknowns. It's an assuredness that it'll all work out. Whether we stay or go, whether we have kids or never do, when we mess up and when we fail. 

I'm scared of failing. 
Probably more than I've ever admitted. 
But somewhere, in these wee hours of the morning, there are the reminders that even when I fail people, or mess up at work, or can't have kids, or say the wrong thing at the wrong time or in the wrong tone... that God has me. And, because of that, there's a call on my life to reflect His image more fully. 

God comes to be with His people. 
Jesus came as a baby, and dwelt with His people. 
The Holy Spirit lives in us. 

So despite my best efforts to distance myself from people, I keep getting slapped in the face with the need to come back. If I am to be like Jesus.... if I am to be the image-bearer of God that Genesis declares that I am... I need to go to people. 

All people. 
The ones who have hurt me. 
The ones who are hurting. 
The ones who I have hurt. 
The ones who are lonely. 
The ones who are in need. 
The ones who are not like me. 
The ones who have lost their husbands. 
The ones who have lost their family. 
The ones who are broken. 
The ones who have no voice. 
The ones who are defenseless. 
The ones who have sinned "greatly". 

This is what I mean by doing more. 
Because the more I learn about the Lord...the more I learn that He is a God who cares deeply for all people. 

We aren't sure what "more" needs to look like for us yet. 
But we're praying that our hearts would be willing, ready, obedient to whatever the call my be. Even if it means moving away from our comforts and our community. Even it means inviting children to come to live with us for a day, a month, or forever. Even if it means becoming more involved, more aware, more vocal, more uncomfortable exactly where we are. 

We have to do more. 
We have to love more. 
The self-sacrificing type of love. 

I sat with Kel's grandmother this past week a few different times. She lost her husband a few years ago. Sitting with her wasn't exhilarating. But as I listened to her stories and asked her questions, I thought to myself: this is what love can look like

Just showing up. Listening. Asking. Paying attention to the needs of those around us. 

I want to hear more. 
And I want to respond.
I want to do more. 
I want to love more...even if it means being inconvienced. 
Because of what God has done. 

We can have no other response. 

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