Last night, thanks to the kindness of my sister-in-law, my husband and I snuck away for a quick little date night. We’ve had a 7-month-old baby in our home for about a week now. Mr. R is placed with us through Safe Families. (Oh, how I would love for you to read about this organization and investigate whether or not they exist in your community!)
Honestly, we’re kind of exhausted. Who knew some 7-month-old babies still wake up every three hours? Ha! Our tiredness on the way back home prompted a conversation about doing things that are hard.
We didn’t set out to do things that aren’t easy. We are not ultra-faithful. We aren’t extra wise. Please don’t hear that.
We drag our feet. We jump into things before we’re fully-equipped to handle what may come our way. There are times along the way we really doubt it. So many conversations about whether or not this particular African country was right for our adoption. Whether or not we really have the skills to parent a child we just met with some challenging behaviors. Whether or not Indianapolis was a better choice over St. Louis or Minneapolis or Grand Rapids.
Admittedly, many of the hard choices we’ve made — adopting, moving, Safe Families — were not fully and solely made out of a desire to follow God but also a desire to stretch ourselves. We are firm believers in the fact that there will never be a perfect time for things. Never a perfect time to get engaged or married or have children or make a big move or invest in challenging people. Never a perfect time to take a crying baby into your home after getting used to sleeping in until (yes!) 10:30 a.m.
By doing things that aren’t easy before we’ve been fully ready, we’ve fought and cried and doubted. But God has been so gracious. He’s given us just as much as we needed for the day. He made our path easy early on to build up our energy for harder things to come. He’s provided a solid foundation that allows us to continue to make increasingly difficult commitments. He’s matured our little 1.5-year marriage to a level I’m not sure we would have seen so early on otherwise.
I would love to encourage you to not push away those little feelings you have about doing something hard together.
Hosting a community group in your home? Becoming leaders in your church? Training as foster parents? Setting aside a bigger chunk of your budget for philanthropy? Volunteering at the rehab facility? Donating to your friends’ adoption? Having that hurting friend over for dinner?
Whether motivated out of faith or simply a desire to do good, I truly believe you’ll see benefits beyond what you think you might see. And it really will not always be fun. But after the chaos has come and gone, you’ll be able to see it was worth it. Or so I’m telling myself.
What have done recently that wasn’t easy? What is keeping you from doing it more?