We truly are a family redefined. We are husband, wife, son, daughter, step children, biological and adopted children and most importantly, Children of God.

A friend pointed out that I needed to update my blog header. After our adoption from Ethiopia, I had updated it stating how the adoption of Sara Joy completed our family. Well... the journey continues. After much prayer, we have decided to follow what we feel is God's calling for us...we went to Ghana with the intention of adopting a four year old girl, Isabella Hope. Little did we know that she would be the catalyst to bringing home not only her, but her half brother and sister. We will now be adding not only Isabella Hope to our family, but also Mary Grace (9) and Gilbert (6) who we will transition to the name Nathaniel Timothy. The shock is wearing off and the JOY and EXCITEMENT are overwhelming. Now truly, our family is complete. The great part of journeying with God, is that it's always an adventure. He knows where we are going, and for us it is all a marvelous surprise. Looking forward to sharing our family adventures as we walk daily through life and as we venture off to Ghana to bring home Mary, Nate and Isabella! It's always an adventure redefining our family!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

ABC's of My Heart: E = Envy

1 Peter 2:1 - Therefore, rid yourselves of all malace and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind.

A feeling of discontented or resentful longing aroused by someone else's possessions, qualities, or luck.
Desire to have a quality, possession, or other attribute belonging to (someone else): "he envied tall people"; "I envy Jane her happiness".

Have you ever lived with envy in your heart?  I have.  I lived it for a long time.  It's difficult.  It's all-consuming.

There have been many times in my life when I felt envy.  It creeps up all the time.  In most every aspect of your life you can find ways to envy.  It's not something conscious; no one wakes up and says "I think I will envy someone or something today".  It just happens.  It comes out of discontentment in your heart.  Discontentment for what God has so richly blessed you with.

I'm going to be honest here and tell a story of myself.  I'm going to preface it with, I KNOW my feelings are envious and I battle them daily.  I fight envy with God's Word... but just because I fight the battle, does not mean I have won the war.  The war will only be won, when I'm taken to my eternal home.  But, know that I do fight it.  Know that I know it's wrong.  And also know that I don't let it get the better of me.  I recognize my sinful thoughts and I force myself to change.

It's so easy to envy.  There are so many things, so many possibilities for envy to creep in.  Circumstances, money, home, children, grades, job, promotion, car, lifestyle, hair color, eye color, health, body build, relationship status... the list goes on and on.  The list is different for everyone.

Tim and I are in the middle of a very stressful adoption right now.  It's getting better, but for awhile there, I found myself in tears quite a bit.  Things were just not going our way.  We were matched with our kiddos in February and went to court for them in March of this year.  Court happened without a hitch (many don't have that same blessing).  Then our troubles started.  We waited on our court decree.  You have to have the official, signed court decree before pretty much anything else can happen.  It was the bottle-neck in our adoption at this point in time.

As we waited, I saw people who went to court the same time we did, get their documents and move on.  I saw people who had met their children AFTER we did, get their court decrees and move on.  I saw people who went to court AFTER we did, get their documents and move on.  It felt as though everyone was moving on but us.

There were times when I felt very bitter.  Very resentful.  It took a look into God's Word to really set my mind straight.  God commands us to rid ourselves of envy.  Here I was sitting right in the middle of it.  I was surrounded by it.  My heart was full of it.

I forced myself to stop and think about what I was envious of.  I was envious of the situation that other families were in.  Now mind you, many families were in much worse situations than we were in, and I didn't find myself envious of them.  I was envious of what I desired God to work out for my family, but wasn't.  I wanted God to intercede and He was not.  I was angry with families who were moving forward while my children, and our case was left sitting behind - going nowhere.  Completely unfair.

Here's the thing though, I don't get to determine what is fair. God does.  Not only that, begrudging someone because of the blessing bestowed upon their case, in no way, shape or form changes my case.  Not only that, it doesn't change their case.  The only thing ENVY does, is eat away at the heart of the person who is carrying it around.  It also, in my mind, demonstrates the level of trust you have for God in your life, being sovereign and working things out for your good.

I forced myself repeatedly to put my envy aside.  I struggled with it, but God battled with me, and we won.  What I really needed to look at - instead of the situation I WANTED for my life (that others had), was the situation that God gave me, and how I could use it for His glory.  It was a weekly, if not daily, if not hourly at times, struggle for me.  But God always stepped in and fought the battle with me.  I learned that I could be happy for others while in the middle of a difficult situation.  In the end, all that mattered was that children were moving forward in their adoption process.  Families were being united.  Kids were coming HOME!  It's the passion of my heart to see these things happen.  I was able to let go and let GOD!

God left us in that waiting place for three months.  It was a LONG three months, but it could have been longer.  It could have been worse.  As time passes, I see circumstances that are happening that could not have happened if our case would have moved through the system quickly.  God-orchestrated things that I might not have experienced had I been given the opportunity to move things through the system quicker.  While it was difficult, I am beginning to see that God was working a timeline that I was not aware of.  That's the difficult part I guess - and it's where faith comes in.  Trusting in something you can not see.  If only God could have e-mailed me His timeline, His reasoning... but that's not God.  God is about faith.  And in the end, the true blessing is having faith come to fruition.  It's where I am now.

My timeline had our kids home in June.  It's now almost August so obviously my timeline didn't happen.  But God's timeline is unfolding and I'm in awe of what is happening.

The point is, envy is a slap in the face of God.  It's saying "I don't like what you've given me and I want more or I want different".  To overcome envy I truly believe you have to fight the battle with God's Word and then learn to appreciate all of the blessings God has given you and learn to celebrate with others the blessing God has given them.

In Christ,

1 comment:

Tara Norman said...

Great post! God's timing is always perfect! I often find He likes waiting to final hour... Just to show He is in control and we need to wait and lean on Him.