Thursday, May 17, 2012

Reflections on Adoption, Ministry and the Heart

We just celebrated two VERY important days in the Patrick house.  April brought our first birthday celebration with JP in his 3 years of life and May brought our first annual "Gotcha Day".  I wanted to write my special birthday post to JP but decided to wait until May to include our first "Gotcha Day" but luck has it that our hard drive has crashed and now I can't retrieve any of the pictures on this laptop right now:( 
So for now I'll just reflect.
Wow, deep breath, Tia...
Looking back on the last 12 months literally exhaust me.  Just to think about. I can't believe I'm actually standing here in this moment.  The thoughts just make me weary and leave me in complete AWE of my God.  The amazing thing is that if you would have asked me how I was doing last year it would have looked something like this:
You:  "Tia, How are you doing with everything?  You have a lot going on right now with JP coming home, you moving to a new place and taking care of a 4,2, and 1 yr old!"
Me;   "I'm doing good.  JP is adjusting well and picking up on English quickly.  Surprisingly, It's been a pretty easy transition so far."

And that would have been the honest truth coming straight from my heart.  You probably did ask me this and I probably told you this exact thing plus some (you know I always have plus some).   God's grace is so sufficient.  This year those words are a testimony of God's grace and His daily sufficiency in my life.  Now has life been perfect?  No yelling at children?  No losing of the temper?  No smart mouth to my husband?  Of course not!  God's grace in my life has not been about ridding my sin but about draping me in strength, comfort, and JOY despite that sin.

Joey and I were talking recently and realized we are the happiest we have ever been.  The fear that almost kept us from moving to Memphis has turned into blessing and fulfillment our minds and hearts had no way of imagining for our family.  Day to day we are exhausted once we lay the little ones down and then we may hear a knock at the door and in pours anywhere from 1-5 neighborhood kids that need some love and encouragement.  Boundaries are always key but  we are choosing to obey the Spirit rather than the worlds leading on the subject. 
In our weariness we realized that the Lord was doing exactly what we had prayed for.  Had we not asked the Lord to use us in our community? to open doors when there seemed no way in? to use our ministry to change and mold the hearts of OUR family to reflect a living, real and active Faith?  God is answering. But not on our terms.  He brings broken hearts to our door in His time on His terms.  He expects us, the hands and feet, to act when He acts.  So, we've found that in our weariness (after a long day with 3 kids) God is opening the doors of hearts and He is allowing us to open the doors of our home to accomplish His Kingdom purpose. 
This move, this adjustment, this ministry and this weariness have mounted into a beautiful life here in inner-city Memphis. In my weakness He is made strong.
By the world's standards, and the city's general opinion, we are crazy for moving our family here.  But we are the happiest we've ever been. After all, the safest place to be is in the center of God's Will.

"The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7