Now we’re starting to live biblically! Truth is, God often times gives us more than we can handle, contrary to the popular saying that Goes around, “God won’t give you more than you can handle”. Paul mentioned being shipwrecked many times over, Jesus literally was beaten to an unrecognizable man, Joseph spent many years in prison after being falsely accused of things, Mary was chosen as a virgin to give birth to Jesus, despite their culture of utter shame and sometimes even death for sexual immorality which had to have weighed super heavily on her and her professed husband to be, and many many times over throughout the Bible, we read of situations that are way outside the ability of coping for the individuals God is using.
If the first 24 hours of having Emre home is any indication of how the next several months are going to look, rest assured, we are not something special and we are not super heroes. We are insane. We are in over our head. We are just as confused as the rest of you. We are finding ourselves in a situation where our circumstances from our perspective is not physically or emotionally comprehensible or manageable, sustainable, or healthy, or like the next coolest hipster thing to do. It’s looking overwhelming, and at times non-doable, and tiring, and crazy, and chaotic! Filled with challenges, logistical roadblocks, and emotionally draining scenarios just to name a few!
You know how sometimes little events or scenarios can trigger bigger realizations that give way to a bigger glimpse of the reality of the larger picture?
For me, I guess things started getting real when we decided to try loading everyone up in the car this afternoon to do an afternoon activity together. It was already an emotionally draining morning. After rounding up our small herd of kids for over an hour, I carried two kids simultaneously down the front flight of steps to the van. By the time I reached the bottom of the stairs and approached the van, Little J was slung by my wrist from his torso flying super man status, about to find out what gravity is all about. Coen, sensing my tighter than normal grip, must have felt like he was stuck between a rock and a hard place, as I’m trying to compensate not dropping his brother by squeezing him even tighter and using his body for leverage. Upon getting to the van and Bryn grabbing the little guy essentially off the ground at this point, i open the door, and confusingly asked Bryn, “where’s Coen’s car seat?” To which she calmly looked over at me and said, “The back?”. That’s when everything came together. Oh man, in about a 6 month window, we’ve officially outgrown the conveniences of a mini van. We literally have to put a kid that doesn’t walk in a car seat in the very back of the van, and the two car seats in the front means there’s no where to access the back seat from the front of the mini van. How is that even possible? ITS A FREAKIN VAN!!! That’s why we bought this tub on wheels!!!!
Panic flashes a quick synopsis to any simple task such as snatching up formula or diapers from the grocery store; yah good luck loading up three kids in car seats, strapping them all in, and getting to the grocery store before one of them needs to eat or needs a diaper change again, or is loosing it because their nap schedule is whack. Once at the store, how do you carry three car seats, or carry three kids with you, plus keep an eye on Jamison? and how do you load them into the car while not leaving the other ones in a cart in the middle of the parking lot while you’re crawling through the van to ratchet the other ones in?
Have you tried dealing with a kid who is about to fall off the counter, while the other one is doing high-school level wrestling moves mid-way through a poopy diaper challenge, while your other one is across the room licking a toilet brush? These may or may not have all been scenarios we have experienced in the past week.
Logistically speaking, things are going to be nuts and I don’t know how they are going to work! I put all of those above thoughts into a one adult scenario, as that is going to be Bryn’s reality. And it’s not a reality. Its impossible, which means doctor appointments. and therapy sessions for Coen, and grocery shopping and normal everyday errands are insurmountable mountains! Mountains that will require me to adjust my already full schedule to help for two hours here, or an afternoon there, or meet up over there, because Bryn can’t physically manage like a million kids with an agenda of actually needing to get something done. Not a big deal, unless it’s your busy season in a very seasonal job!
It’s pretty clear folks, we have no idea how this is going to work. And it can be a bit daunting at times.
So why am I penning all this stuff out? To complain? to be a victim? to help draw attention and emotional drama to all the chaos we have going on over here? WHY HECK YES MY FRIEND!!!-haha.
Actually, no. More than anything, I hope this post encourages you through our story of how God's relentless provisions, love, and grace supersedes anything we could ever face or stand to imagine, while simultaneously building our faith as we watch how God meets our needs and provides in our situation.
A few weeks back, our pastor shared a message about being victorious. I feel like the message was fairly simple yet super profound, and has connected with me more and more over the past couple of weeks. The message had been on repeat for me for the last several weeks as there was a lot of applicable info in there and is proving to be more and more applicable in my life on the daily. Pastor Terrance spoke of his family’s story, and some of the very raw and trying times they experienced in their first pregnancy. After spending nearly the entire pregnancy in the hospital on doctor ordered bed rest and extremely careful monitoring, his wife gave birth to twins. Several weeks after giving birth, one of the two girls became very ill and was fighting everyday for her life. He talked about their little daughter being placed in a medically induced coma trying everything to preserve her life, literally being told his daughter died, twice, and yet the fight and perseverance God put in that little girls body, and being able to walk through that as a family.
During that time in the hospital, Terrance talked about them forming their mantra or family motto for who they were as a couple and a family, and the 3 main takeaways they drafted were. 1. Choose Joy. 2. Assume victory. 3. I forget what he said, but I’m sure it was good. Funny because I’ve listened to the message several times, and still can’t recollect it-haha. Guess you’ll have to listen to the link for yourself ;)
These are similar to what Bryn and I have decided to carry out in our household, and we try to live them out as best we can. Even in this time, we choose joy, because it’s important to be grateful and joy allows us to experience good even in tough times. It also gives perspective and allows you to experience things you would otherwise miss out on. We also assume victory, knowing that God’s got us covered, and we know he is faithful to the things he’s called us to and entrusted us with. The Bible is littered with stories of God being faithful, and even in our own life, we have a good track record with God always providing above and beyond for our journey.
Pastor Terrance further went on in his message, and brought up the story of when Jesus met the disciples on the water, and Peter asked, “Lord if it is you. Tell me to come to you”. So Jesus said, “Come.” Sometimes, the thing God calls us to do is crazy, and insane, and in all honesty, doesn’t make a ton of sense. Getting out of a boat to walk on water in the middle of the night is absolutely absurd. Yet in following through, Peter got to partake in one of the coolest experiences ever known to man.
Bryn and I feel that exact same way with all the things Gods called us to and we’ve gotten to experience as a result of hopping out of our boat for. The places we’ve lived, the things we’ve gotten to do, and the family he’s woven together have all blown our expectations out of the water relative to the best things we could have ever come up with. Never had we dreamed of the love we’d develop for our two little adopted boys, or the wholeness that God has brought through that. Never did I expect to have a job that fits my character traits so well, integrating my desire to run my own company, and be profitable, and get to work with so many people all at the same time. It’s literally the best of all my previous jobs, minus the things I didn’t enjoy about them. Never did we think we’d get to experience Bryn not needing to work to cover our expenses, but yet here we are living in the nicest house we’ve ever loved in, while Bryn isn’t having to work. God's provided everything and more. It’s been totally nuts, and we’ve gotten to do some crazy awesome life experiences become of it! People have said we’re crazy, and not thinking clearly or rationally, or we should re-consider. And yet here we are, living a God sized dream, feeling like we have the most blessed life we never could have dreamed of!!! And Jesus is calling us to “walk on the water” yet again, and do the things that aren’t humanly possible.
It’s a great place to be. We know that it’s not us who sustains us, or who provides for our needs, or has everything all together, so it’s easy to recognize God's provision in these times. And as opposed to our own strength, it’s actually the contrary. We are humbled on the daily, and ask God for wisdom and perseverance, and grace to get through another day. And God has given us everything and more, and we are experiencing “better than we deserve” because of who he is, not anything we have done or can take credit for.
We are blessed and cared for, and hope to hear of ways you are blessed as you face difficulties and challenges and relay on God to rise to the occasion on your behalf in your life as you say yes to him in the crazy things he is asking of you. To sustain you, and to provide. He is doing incredible things, and I hope as Pastor Terrance also pointed out in that message, you don’t miss it. Be on the lookout as you find yourself in over your head, and are overwhelmed in your insurmountable situations, because that’s when everything points to the author and perfecter of our faith.
Be encouraged, and be victorious choosing Joy and Assuming God's victory in your life as you lean on and trust him in all things! We’re right along side of you experiencing the same!