Afterwards, we discussed the story, and I asked Tucker, “What places are scary to you?” With all seriousness in his eyes, and no hesitation in his voice, his answer was simply “church”. Wanting desperately to get to the root of this fear that we had known about for a while, I prodded him gently until I got more.
“The building is big, and I am afraid of the cross”.
Oh, how often I am afraid of things that seem too BIG — too BIG, I believe, for God to accomplish, too BIG a trial for Him to carry me through. Like the Israelites, I wander aimlessly missing God’s best because I’m afraid to trust. And oh, I wish I didn’t have to admit it, didn’t need to write it but I am often afraid of the cross. Afraid to die to it. Afraid to pick it up. Afraid of what it might cost me.
Recently, my fears have been threatening to drown me.
I have fear of the unknown, fear that we will keep hearing the word “longer” for our adoption (like we did on Friday), and that in a few years it will be “a few more”. Fear that we won’t be able to raise this $5,000 (let alone the remaining $16,000). Fear that the country will close its doors on adoption halfway through our process. I fear writing a blog ... I am afraid of criticism, afraid of putting our family’s life open for other people’s opinions. I have fear about the long flight back with a little one who doesn’t know us, doesn’t know we won’t abandon him/her, doesn’t know we’ve loved him/her for a long time. Fear about the transition for our family. Fear about raising a little one struggling with the scars of a broken past. Fear of people’s response to our bi-racial family. Fear of how I will respond to people’s response. Fear that He will lead us to the hard places.
And if I were to recite all of my fears involving our adoption I could fill up the book my mom’s been wanting me to write with just a list of them.
Sunday morning, Ben took Tucker to get close to what he feared and to even reach out and touch it. And as they walked back, hand in hand, Daddy asked son “See that didn’t hurt, did it?” And somehow Ben managed not to laugh when our 4-year- old responded, “Yes, it did! It pinched me!”
That’s what I must do. I must reach out and take hold of the cross and all of the pain that goes with it. Sometimes, the small things I’m afraid of happen and sometimes the BIG … and they hurt so much it’s hard to breathe. And sometimes I’m simply drowning in my fears of “what if”. But as I tread water and wait until the very last minute (as I so often do) to throw my hand up and grope blindly in the darkness for His, the Prince of Peace pulls me up gasping for air. Then we carry the heavy, painful cross together and Jesus reminds me that I was never meant to carry it alone.
And in just the tiniest way, I get to share in His suffering. And then I get to share in His glory (Romans 8:17).
And there is nothing better.
*We covet your prayers right now as we are facing some “speed bumps” in our process and have some hard decisions to make. Will you pray with us?