Monday, August 29, 2011

Ministry x 2

I felt an inkling in my spirit the first time Adam wheeled me into the cardiac family waiting room at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. I saw the other parents with eyes that mirrored my own: full of uncertainty and rimmed in tears. We watched and listened to the hushed conversations brimming with fear. And I knew. I told Adam that I just knew that this was an opportunity to minister. A chance to show people Jesus.

But I didn't want it. This wasn't the ministry we had signed up for. We already had a ministry. A house in the ghetto that we closed on literally the day before Caden was born. Our ministry was to our neighborhood, to the kids next door who needed Jesus desperately, to the pregnant teenager who had been staying in our spare bedroom . . . Hadn't we already given up so much? Didn't we give up our cushy salaries to live on support? Hadn't we left our comfortable house in the suburbs to follow Jesus into the broken places of our city?

Sitting in the ICU waiting room, I felt my heart playing tug-of-war with God. I reminded Him of everything we had done for Him, everything we were doing for Him, everything we gave up for Him.

And I felt him whisper to my spirit: it's not enough.

It's not enough for me to give up parts of myself, to give up the things I'm willing to sacrifice in order to serve Him. He wants every single part of me. Every part of my life. Including our son. For His glory.

Despite what I might think is best, or what I might believe He is calling me to, it is ultimately His will that prevails, for my good. And I have seen God move more powerfully through everything with Caden than I could have ever imagined.

Do I wish it could have been accomplished differently? Probably.

Would I want to take away the hurt and pain that Caden has been through? For sure.

But one thing I know is that God has been glorified time and again by Caden's story, despite our reluctance to accept the ministry He had chosen for us. And our marriage, and our faith, have been strengthened and refined immeasurably in the past three weeks.


We have also watched our two ministries collide, evidence of God's perfect plan even in what doesn't make sense to us. Our capacity for loving others, for extending grace, has been deepened. And not only that, but we have already seen God using our story to reach some of our neighbors.

Not to mention that many of the kiddos we work with (and their sweet mommas) have been calling to check on us, to love us well and encourage us through our darkest moments. It is humbling to realize that our hearts might not have been in the right places. To recognize that we thought we had all the answers, that we somehow believed (albeit subconsciously) that we were going to "fix" our neighborhood, transform the kids we mentor. When the truth is that God is using them just as powerfully to transform us.

One of the boys we mentor sent me this text message a few days ago: "i jus want to say i love you and your family i am still praying for little caden and i hope he is ok." I was brought to my knees to realize that God works in mysterious ways. And that He sometimes uses those we think we are helping to help us. To love us in ways we didn't even know we needed.

I am still figuring it out. Still trying to decipher what our new ministries look like, what life should look like now. But one of our kiddos showed up on our doorstep tonight, and we showed her Caden's scars, and shared his story . . . and trusted that God is using Caden's heart to change hearts in inner-city Atlanta, and we are beyond honored to be a part of it.

Psalm 86:4-6, "Happy are those who are strong in the Lord... When they walk through the Valley of Weeping, it will become a place of refreshing springs, where pools of blessing collect after the rains."

9 comments:

  1. May our Lord continue to give you guys wisdom and peace that enables you to continue to live by faith in future grace..He has it all figured out, continue to do the next best thing which is simply the best you can when you can.
    praying for your family
    Nicole

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  2. So beautifully said.
    Praying and praying.
    With love, Becky

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  3. You are so right. God wants "all" of us! I tell people all the time that HE is using Logan to teach me patience, obedience and faith. To remember it is all for HIS glory.

    Praying for you all!

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  4. Becca don't you love how God works...by your loving you are teaching others to care and love.

    the story God is writing with our lives never seems to follow the story line we think it will...there are so many twists and turns along the way that we would never have imagined or expected, or planned for that matter. but there is a reason for each and every one of them.

    thank you for your heart, your honesty, your faithfulness.

    much love to you all.

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  5. Sometimes the love and support you give out is even more beautiful when it comes back to you in hard times.
    He will teach you which way to go.
    Love,
    Suki

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  6. Becca-

    Bless you for writing this! I'm praying for you all... and so blessed, challenged, and encouraged to follow along with your journey.

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  7. Continued prayers for your family and everything He holds next.
    Kris

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  8. So blessed by your blog and your heart for the Lord! Praying for your fam!

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