Like Forrest Gump says, “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you are going to get.”
That statement especially rings true in adoption. In 2008, my husband and I were in the process of adoption from foster care. All summer long we looked at pictures of kids and looked at a little bit of information about them.
One day our social worker called and said, “I think we might have found your boy.”
As we looked at his paperwork, it was just that: paper.
It didn’t really tell us who this boy was. We had no idea what his future was going to look like. We took comfort in the fact that we have no idea what any of our futures look like.
The biggest thing that God required from us when we adopted was a huge leap of faith and a huge dose of trust. We had to trust that God knew before time began that this boy was meant to be our son.
Little did I know that my willingness to trust God didn’t stop with just saying yes to adoption.
Sometimes if I’m not trusting that God has it all under control, I can get really anxiety-ridden.
“Who will be his teacher next year?”
“Will she understand him?”
“What if she doesn’t like him? What if she doesn’t get him? What if kids start to bully him more? Oh my gosh, what is middle school going to be like for him? Will all sorts of mental illness come crashing in and meet what we already have going on? Oh my gosh, what if he gets someone pregnant?” and on and on and on. STOP.
I think God was writing straight to me when he said in Matthew 6:33-34, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Before I adopted, I considered myself a mature Christian. I knew the Bible pretty well, I read it and studied it regularly, I spent time in prayer, and I spent time helping others.
Now through adoption, I have the daily opportunity to REALLY live out my faith. I spend less time in prayer, less time studying and reading the Bible, and less time helping others outside of my family.
It would seem that I would be growing away from God.
But instead, I have a bigger, bolder faith and trust in God.
Now I have to live what I’ve learned.
I have to trust for my very breath in some situations.
I have to trust God that he is enough for me. I have to trust what God is doing in my life. I have to trust Him with the circumstances. I have to trust him with my children. I have to trust that he will bring beauty from ashes. I have to trust that where I fall short, God will fill in the gaps.
I have to trust that He is doing a good work.
I came across this short story this week and it really encouraged me. I hope it encourages you as well.
Wishing to encourage her young son’s progress on the piano, a mother took her boy to a Paderewski concert. After they were seated, the mother spotted a friend in the audience and walked down the aisle to greet her. Seizing the opportunity to explore the wonders of the concert hall, the little boy rose and eventually explored his way through a door marked “NO ADMITTANCE.
When the houselights dimmed and the concert was about to begin, the mother returned to her seat and discovered that the child was missing. Suddenly, the curtains parted and spotlights focused on the impressive Steinway on stage. In horror, the mother saw her little boy sitting at the keyboard, innocently picking out “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.” At that moment, the great piano master made his entrance, quickly moved to the piano, and whispered in the boy’s ear, “Don’t quit. Keep playing.”
Then leaning over, Paderewski reached down with his left hand and began filling in a bass part. Soon his right arm reached around to the other side of the child and he added a running obligatio. Together, the old master and the young novice transformed a frightening situation into a wonderfully creative experience. And the audience was mesmerized.
Whatever our situation in life and history–however outrageous, however desperate, whatever dry spell of the spirit, whatever dark night of the soul– God is whispering deep within our beings, “Don’t quit. Keep playing. You are not alone, Together we will transform the broken patterns into a masterwork of my creative art. Together, we will mesmerize the world with our song of peace.
© E. Elliot 1997