“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:6-7 NIV
Yep, it’s that time of year again. The holidays are here and it’s time to start getting those cute kiddie Thanksgiving crafts and have everyone around you begin asking what you are thankful for this year. But, life seems to have a way of throwing us curve balls doesn’t it? Or, all too often, that 30 yard reception we were certain to catch for a 15 yard run to a touchdown gets too easily intercepted. In a moment, the game changes and all the momentum swings in the other team’s favor. It’s easy to start feeling the pressure of finding ourselves down 31-16 with only 5:58 to go in the 4th. Anxiety rises and the weight bears down on our chest and feels suffocating doesn’t it?
I tend to hide it well, but I get it. I really do. Those who know me best know I’m incredibly pragmatic to put it nicely and if I’m honest we can say I’m a bit pessimistic too. Even when things are going well or as anticipated, I tend to stay more grounded in reality than to lose myself in the excitement of the possibilities.
This has been especially true in the journey of adoption. I’ve known for years that I wanted to adopt, but life just didn’t seem to be working out the way I wanted it to in order to start the pursuit. But, through encouraging of friends, I began to consider both adoption and fostering at the same time. The farther along I got in both processes the more I realized God was telling me to pursue adoption. So, I did.
I never dreamed I would get chosen so fast. Who would choose a single woman over a married couple? It was painful presenting my profile and getting passed over and thinking I’d just never get chosen or that if I did it would take years. Imagine my surprise (and sheer panic) when in just at three months I was chosen to the be mommy of a little boy who would be born in just… THREE… WEEKS!!!
I’m a planner, people!!! Three weeks was simply not enough time for me to figure out the finances, get a nursery together, get the necessary baby items and simply prepare my own heart and mind to bring home a baby. I mean, it takes me a month just to prepare a Sunday sermon and here I had just three weeks to prepare for caring for a little life! Can we talk about anxiety???
Did you read the verse above? Sure, we know we are supposed to pray and ask for things we want and need and want for others, but did you notice that it says to do so with thanksgiving? Isn’t it interesting that thanksgiving seems to be a huge part of the key to receiving the peace of God?
That’s really what has gotten me through the last three months. I have THE BEST family and friends surrounding me and could not be more thankful for the love and support they have shown for me and Keagan. Additionally, I’m in constant awe and thankfulness to God for how he has arranged even the smallest details along the way. Even before Keagan and I were officially matched, God seemed to have made a promise to me that he’d be mine. Daycare was lined up in an amazing way. Friends completed the ENTIRE nursery all the way down to even having a few toys for Keagan to play with when we got home. Help with finances is coming in. And, my family was immediately excited for me and has loved Keagan from the moment they knew he was mine.
Just because bringing Keagan home has seemed to be perfect, doesn’t mean life is now easy or everything actually IS perfect. I do have the perfect little boy for me and I pray I’m the perfect mommy for him. But, I know we both still have challenges to face and battles to come.
You are probably in a similar boat. Maybe things are going well, but not perfect. Maybe you feel like my Saints probably did this past weekend when they found themselves down by 15 with less than 6 minutes to play. It’s an uphill battle. Regardless, we all gotta play the game we are in. The good news is we have the best Coach/Leader (aka Jesus 😉 ) imaginable and the best team (the church) we could ever be on. Focus on that. Focus on the things you can be thankful for and God promises his indescribable peace that will also guard your heart and mind. I’m not the best at focusing on what I can be thankful for, but I’m learning. And I can guarantee there’s more to be thankful for than you realize. And, if you have trouble getting started, come see me. I’ll tell you Keagan’s full story and all the ways we are thankful and I think you’ll start seeing the things to be thankful for in your own story.
Mom to Keagan