Shine

"In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven."--Matthew 5:16 It's funny (or maybe not) how the same things that plagued you when you were little still haunt you today. For me, I was the kid who definitely did not want to stand out in the crowd. I didn't like people looking at me, even if it was for a good reason. When the class sang happy birthday, I really would much rather hide under the table (but I didn't because somehow I knew that would make a bad case even worse).

Today, I would much rather do the same thing. I am more comfortable living my own life in the privacy of my own home. I like staying in the back of a big church. Some Sundays, I make a beeline for the car once I pick up the kids from Sunday school so I could get home without talking to others. Call me antisocial or introverted, but I do really like being alone. (Maybe it's being around kids all day that drives me to it!)

So it strikes me as rather strange that God would have me do something so public as write and start an online ministry. It makes no sense to me, which only confirms to me that this is what God wants to do. As Isaiah 55:8, 9 says, His thoughts are not my thoughts, neither are His ways my ways. Which is a good thing, because His ways are not only different, but they are higher and greater than my own. What He does will not come back void. Not only does it accomplish His purposes, but it blesses the person that He chooses to use.

There have been times when I wish that God could have chosen a more "normal" life for me. I remember as a child wanting to "be like everyone else." As an Asian in a predominantly white community (at the time), that was already a strike against me. I dressed different, looked different, ate weird things. We may think it's no big deal now, but as a kid I remember being embarrassed. In all reality, it was probably mostly in my head.

As an adult, I still wrestle with that. When the adoption opportunity came up, this was part of my wrestling. I wanted to "be like everyone else." I knew that if we stepped up to adopt, this could potentially turn my comfortable private life into a public arena. Not only would we have to open our home to a social worker, we would have to share our parenting styles, financial information and other personal stuff.

It even took me a long time to get ready to share our decision with our church family, mainly because I didn't want to field questions or have people look at me weird or have pity on me or worse, consider me some kind of heroine. (Yes, I think it's all in my mind.) Even with the few friends that I did share with, I felt awkward and embarrassed. Why is that?

Like I mentioned in my post a couple days ago (No Regrets), I think that God has so much to teach me. There are times I am sure that He has chosen the wrong mom because I have so much to learn and mature in. I wish I could say that I feel ready to face the challenges ahead for us.

In this arena, I am learning that there may be times when God is going to call us out of our comfort zones and ask us to walk on a different road than others are going. While we as humans are probably more comfortable in the herd, that is not the kind of life He wants us to live. As believers, He has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9), chosen us to be holy (Eph. 1:4), predestined us to be like Christ (Eph. 1:11-12)---not to call attention to ourselves but to glorify Him.

When I feel like I want to give in to the temptation to hide, to just go with the flow, to stay among the herd, I am like a lamp that has been put under a bowl (Matt. 5:15). When I do this, I am not fulfilling what God has called me to do and be. Not that the light is to call attention to me, but it is meant to point others to my Father in heaven (Matt. 5:16). I am meant to be seen so that others can turn their eyes to Jesus.

This is still a hard thing for me. I feel awkward at times. But I also am learning that every time I feel conspicuous, I can direct others to my Father. If this is the only thing I learn, I hope that the Lord will be very blessed indeed.

But I know it's not only me that He's calling. He's calling you too in some way to be a light on a hill. Together, when we stand boldly for Him, wherever we are, in whatever we do, may our combined efforts serve to testify to the watching world of how great He is.

Part 4 of Adoption Journey