Wednesday, September 29, 2010
A Million Miles: Chapters 17-19
Okay, so this is starting to sound like a refrain with me: I'm sorry I'm late. Yuck. I'm sick of saying it. And you're probably sick of hearing it. Let's just leave things like this... I'm busy, you're busy. Sometimes I just won't get my posts up on time and sometimes you won't have a chance to read and respond. Grace, grace, all around grace. Thanks for your patience.
So my tardiness has nothing to do with my desire to discuss these chapters with you. I've felt like the last pages of the book have been a bit repetitive, but I think we break new ground in our reading for today. I'm going to go in a bit of a different direction, though, and solicit your stories instead of dissecting Miller's words. In How to Make Yourself Write a Better Story he says:
Here's the truth about telling stories with your life. It's going to sound like a great idea, and you are going to get excited about it, and then when it comes time to do the work, you're not going to want to do it. It's like that with writing books, and it's like that with life. People love to have lived a great story, but few people like the work it takes to make it happen. But joy costs pain.
Ouch. So hard to hear and yet so true. I think he's totally right, and I think most of us can relate. I know I can... My life is littered with times that I haven't had the courage to step out and sacrifice a little. And, thankfully, there are a handful of instances when I actually manned up and did something totally beyond myself. I won't bore you with the long list of failures, but I'd love to share one small miracle in my own life.
When Aaron and I were trying to decide whether or not the Lord was calling us to adopt, I was a wreck of emotions. I had always felt called to adoption, and I desperately wanted a baby, but I also wanted my motives to be pure and God's will for our lives to be evident. I went in circles trying to tease God into writing it out in a contract for me. Yes, I want you to adopt. Yes, I will make the funds available. Yes, I will bless your family... But, of course, nothing is quite that clear cut. One afternoon as I was wading through information packets from five different adoption agencies, I spread the papers out on the floor and laid on top of them, face down. I know, I'm dramatic. But my heart was broken and I was confused, and it felt like God was being very distant and uncaring. So I prostrated myself and cried like a baby until everything seemed distilled down to one all-important issue. "God," I said, sitting up. "If you want us to adopt you need to show me that you will provide for us financially. You know full well that we don't have $20,000." And though I can't claim to have heard the voice of God, he spoke so clearly to my soul my heart stopped beating. His reply? "If you want to walk on water, you better get out of the boat."
And we did. It wasn't easy. In fact, it was a huge, terrifying, life-altering step of faith that was filled with complications, second-guessing, and strife. But we got out of the boat, and God did provide in a hundred unexpected, wonderful, and downright miraculous ways. Oh, how he has blessed us. Our son is pure joy. (And yes, that's him in the photo above. Beautiful child...)
Your turn: Would you share a time when you learned that joy costs pain? Or, is there a time that you didn't dare to take the plunge that you deeply regret? I think we can learn so much from each other... Our stories, like Millers, are our testimonies--our chances to encourage, sustain, and uplift. Thanks for reading.