For the past week or so I've been thinking about a conversation I had with a friend (after reading this she'll know who she is, and will probably be sick of me saying the same thing again, but it really affected me...in a good way). My friend and I have had completely different circumstances and life stories. I'm not going to share any of her life story details, but I will share some about mine. As I've mentioned along the way here, I am a waiting adoptive mother. What that means is my husband and I have been approved as an adoptive family and we are waiting to be selected by a birth-family to parent their child. Last week we passed our one year anniversary of being approved. In the beginning we told a lot of people about each new "situation" that came up for us to be considered. Each time we then had to tell a lot of people that we were not chosen. I think we did this about 4 or 5 times before we came to realize that it was just too painful to continue telling everyone every time. So, we've been keeping each new situation quiet and will tell everyone when we are selected.
So, here's the thing, this journey has been hard. We've sort of made it seem like we're just waiting around and that there's "no news," as we like to say. But that's not the case. There have been multiple children that have found their forever home and it was not ours. Being "not chosen" feels like being rejected - even though in reality that's not what is happening. When this occurred time after time after time I started to question God's goodness, I questioned whether he really knows what he's doing, I questioned whether he had my best at heart. I would read the Psalms and when it talked about "enemies taunting" I understood it to be the thoughts in my head saying, "Where is this God of yours?" I would wonder what purpose God had for this experience in my life.
It is at this point that our two stories converge. You see my friend was asking the same questions and she had not experienced the same journey that I had, not at all. And yet, here we were with an almost word-for-word identical struggle. My heart ached for her when she was talking because I knew the pain that comes with those questions. And all of a sudden I realized a shocking (to me) truth: what I've learned on my completely different journey would be helpful to her. NOT because I'm so clever, but because what I learned, what I have clung to and leaned on and depend on is God's truth in his Word, the Bible. God has spoken to my heart through various passages that I was able to share with my friend.
In kind of a mash of thoughts it became clear to me that this is how we are supposed to minister to each other. I'm not supposed to just sit and wait until someone with my exact life experience happens to appear in my life and ask me for help. Rather, I'm called to speak and minister to those in my life because God's truth applies to every situation, every journey, every struggle and God can use any path to bring us to himself.
Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching.