I serve a big God.
He came in a really small package.
He challenges me to do really big things.
Even though I'm a really small, unworthy, scrap of a human being. I have to remind myself all the time to keep persevering.
Today Troy was on the phone with our lawyer and I had my head pressed up to the outside of it so that I could hear. He said a lot of words. Hundreds probably and most were related to our case. Then he said a sentence that wasn't. "I'll be up at court next week. I've got several clients who want their adoptions finalized by Christmas." My stomach dropped. We were in the living room, on the couch, and when he said it I was staring at the tree--at Matthew's first Christmas ornament, to be exact. It was like someone turned on the tap. Tears were silently rolling down my face. I want my son's adoption finalized by Christmas. You can't always get what you want.
God spoke to me, sometime in mid March, when I learned that Matthew's birth father did intend to fight for custody. It wasn't audible but it was God. I had just finished a sobbing, flailing, gut wrenching tirade about how we needed to give the baby back because we just couldn't afford to do this--emotionally, physically, and for heaven's sake, financially--and lose. I couldn't lose him a month, six months, a year down the road. It would break me. It would break us all. I fell fitfully into bed. God gently asked me what I would be willing to spend--emotionally, physically, and for heaven's sake, financially, if I found out that Garrett was deathly ill.
Well, of course, I glared at heaven, everything. Of course I would spend everything to save my son.
God asked if I would regret spending all that energy and money to save Garrett if he ultimately died anyway.
Well, of course not! My glare softened because I sensed where we were headed. Of course I wouldn't regret spending it all to save Garrett's life. His life is worth everything to me. He is my son!
Pressing upon my heart and very soul was the feeling that God was saying, "Right. Exactly. And I've called you to be Matthew's mom. I've placed him in your home. Maybe you'll win and maybe you won't and only time will reveal my plan. But I've made you his mother. What are you willing to spend to fight for your son?"
I bit my lip and whispered, Everything.
And if you lose him, will you regret the time, energy and money you spent trying to save him?
As tears welled in my eyes I knew that I would give everything for this child. I knew that I would fight for him with all I had--and a whole lot that I didn't. I thought we were finished. God had made his point. But he didn't stop there.
"What did I give to save you?"
I let the word hang on the precipice of silence, Everything.
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16
He gave his one and only. He gave the very thing that I would give everything for--my son. He sent him down here and he was born in a stable. It was smelly and dirty and then he was placed in a feeding trough because there was no room at the inn. The cattle were lowing. The earthly father, undoubtedly feeling overwhelmed by such a small Savior--and the responsibility of raising him. The mother in pain, in fatigue...in awe. The shepherds came, filthy, unworthy, carrying, perhaps, a tiny lamb--too small to be left with the flock just yet. Too tiny to know what a Lamb is supposed to do. The baby, a small package, slept peacefully until he was startled and begged for his mother. The manger, a far cry from the throne. The first Christmas.
I find myself hoping that Matthew's adoption is finalized at all. It certainly won't be by this Christmas. We won't know on Christmas morning that he will be ours forever but we will know that Christ is on his throne. And we will tell our sons--both of them--about the baby in the manger. We'll remember the trough but look ahead to the cross and then to the empty tomb. It is the God of that empty tomb who has called us to fight. He's asked us to persevere through the frustration, through the pain, through the financial devastation, through whatever overgrown path less traveled. He's told us to stay the course because we can wait just a little longer. We can give just a little more. Because he gave it all. He gave his son who, in turn, gave his life.
He gave everything.