When I was 10 years old I did a book report on child abuse. I can still see the cover of the Dale Evans Rogers book I found in my parents’ basement. Reading that book drew me into a reality of which I had no prior knowledge. I was disturbed by what I learned on those pages. But I can pinpoint that moment as the first time I felt love for the forgotten. As I grew older and discovered Isaiah 61:1, I knew God wanted me to be a voice for someone who had none. I remember hearing Bob Pierce’s quote, “Let my heart be broken by the things that break the heart of God,” and thinking, “YES! That is what it’s all about!”
I wish I’d had the wisdom at a young age to lay my life before God and allow him to mold that passion. But being the control freak that I am, I conjured up ideas of how I would serve God. I dreamed that I would rescue runaways off city streets. I read everything I could find on Covenant House and even went to tour their facility in NYC after college. I can still remember stepping out of the taxi alone on the street corner and feeling like I was on holy ground. I never rescued the first runaway. But my (by that time) 15 year old passion led me to volunteer at Safehouse . I met a woman in Cabbage Town and helped her with inner city kids for a couple of years. I was involved there until I started having children. Then I felt my mission field changing.
Over the years, my passion for the forgotten of this world has grown. But it looks different as the seasons of my life change. When I did finally lay my life before God and take my hands off, he revealed just how he wanted me to serve him. That revelation came as I was being rolled out of a recovery room…holding the most perfect eight pounds of human flesh I’d ever seen. I will never forget the words that flooded my heart the first time I touched Noah. “I was made for this.” I felt the weight of those words all the way down to my toes. Yes, even with the epidural!! When his little cheek touched mine, nothing else in the world mattered. As they rolled me down the hall, I said to Danny, “I want 4 of these!”
It took me four years to have another baby. I remember feeling so angry with God. “Why did you give me this passion then refuse me more children?” I’d ask. Little did I know he was peeling back a layer of my heart to allow me to feel love through adoption. And God, in his wisdom and sense of humor, gave us another birth child as we were adopting. After completing all the paperwork to adopt from China, we became pregnant. Now we have daughters who are three days apart in age. Then another four years later, we were blessed with another birth, another boy. So I have my four. Why didn’t I say I wanted six kids that day??? God did come through. He gave me exactly what I asked for, just not the way I expected. And you know what? It’s better this way. They are all perfect. In retrospect, the timing was perfect. I wouldn’t trade the infertility issues for anything because they shaped the family we have.
A big part of my heart is in China. Other than my home, that is where I serve these days. Since I am a homeschool mom, that service has been only once a year. But God is teaching me to serve through intercession. I have a lot to learn. This requires focus and humility and anonymity. But so does being a stay-at-home mom! I really don’t think there exists a more trying job in the whole world. But when I am honest with myself, I would not trade it for any other job I could choose. Sometimes I think of other things I would like to do. And I always land on the realization that those things can be done later. God will open doors for me to serve in different areas as my kids get older. He has opened the Safehouse door for Danny and One Atlanta. When I read blogs like Drew’s and Alicia’s, I think, “I want to be involved in that too.” But I hear God saying, “In time. You are right where I want you for today.” I am a dabbler. So that is hard to hear. I want to stretch myself thin. I want too much on my plate. But every time I do it, I crash. I hear God saying, “Please let me direct this scene. Please trust me and focus on the task in front of you.” God hasn't placed so many passions on my heart for nothing. And I trust he will open doors for me to serve when the time is right.
So when I think back to the day I read that book as a 10 year old and God stirred compassion in my soul, I see that his plan was for me to raise children to know who he is and what he is all about; to instill compassion in young hearts. And if you think about it, isn’t that what everybody needs to make sense of this life and be effective in this world?