The Paradigm Shift

According to the controversial scientific author, Thomas Kuhn, a paradigm shift represents something that alters our rooted assumptions...the beliefs we've allowed to shape our core.

Photo Credit: Living a Principled Life
When people begin to understand... really grasp... the ways we are committed to doing foster care, it doesn't always settle well.

Not too long ago, someone took my hand, smiled and simply said, I know you think I should be proud of you. But really, this life you're doing; it's a wasted life. Those people are never going to change. They're a waste of your time, your resources, your family. In the end, you'll have so many regrets.

Before you jump, these words were deeply threaded with love, trying to bridle fears for Jamie and me, for our boys...bottled longings to secure the safety of our hearts and our sons' futures.

That desire for us is beautiful...

But it's not the thing for which we were made.

We were weaved together for messy, mucky love.

For beauty that blooms from the deepest aches in our souls...

From the seeds of costly, sacrificial love.

I came across this John Piper quote yesterday:

~ If our single, all-embracing passion is to make much of Christ in life and death, 
and if the life that magnifies Him most in life is COSTLY LOVE, then life is risk, and risk is right. 
To run from it is to waste your life. ~

People often remark to us that they would love to walk with birthfamilies like we do, but it's just not reality...it's too hard for their hearts.

I hear you... Please, know my heart... I do.

My throat swallows my heart every. single. time. a kiddo leaves for a visit.

Jamie has to take our past kids home after their visits...because I'm quietly weeping in the bathroom.

There's a bizarre surge in me that can feel utter love for a mama and complete jealousy for her in the exact same breath.

And those things are natural. They are okay to feel...because this mess is unnatural. 

It was never suppose to be this way.

But if I allow those feelings to define my journey, I've built a wall for the Gospel. I'm essentially saying, God's mercy can penetrate every area of this kiddo's life...but it can't go there...I can't handle it.

Tearing down that wall doesn't change that I gasp for air when I pack up our kids. It doesn't change that I countdown the hours, the moments, the breaths I have left with them.

It doesn't change the doubts and lies that fiercely wage war to take over my soul...my hope...my fight.

But, it's not about me.

And so, when her father calls and asks me to rejoice with him in the strides he's made to bringing his daughter home, my soul sheds tears while my heart sours.

And my surrender on the altar is sometimes, just sometimes, halted with the ram in the bush as her father replies, I want you to be in her life. I want her to always look to you as a role model.

And I gasp the air of one who has been brought back from the dead.

And when their mama tells me they're different ~ she feels different ~ since we've been in her life, and she utters the words, Would you walk with me? I don't know what this will look like, but walk with us.

I fight my urge to leap from my position as a living sacrifice and feel the knife brush my mother's heart.

And when her mama calls and says, She's been crying for you all morning. She needs to talk to you to know things are okay. You need to know that I love that she loves you. I love that we both have you.

In that moment, a woman who fought the world's whispers that she would never change, never grow...that woman is the one who gives me confidence to climb the altar once again.

So next week, when our tribe gathers from all around the state, and our messiness is exposed and the mothers swap stories of drug tests and parenting classes...and the kids remind one another that this middle moment is only for a little while...

I'll hold my family...my gory, broken, longing, aching....glorious family that reflects the scars of the deep caverns I quietly carry within...each face, each smile, each picture will chisel in my memory the journey of our paradigm shift...

And the reality that perhaps those shifts don't always happen suddenly, but ever so slowly as the chinks in our false armors are hammered away, and we daily, every moment...with each breath, climb the steps to be living sacrifices once again...

all by His grace.

Clinging to Our Savior ~

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