I was walking with my friend earlier this week. Michelle is my BFF from college days, my everything buddy for many years. Bridesmaids in weddings, preschool playgroups, kids as classmates, trips to the cabin, a mountain vacation – we’ve been there and done that, and more. She was even my boss for a season. And in spite of the fact that we live in suburbs touching each other, it had been over a YEAR since we’d been together. Until finally a couple of weeks ago it struck me just how wrong it is, excuses aside, to let life consume your friendships. So I sent her a text. A walk and coffee? And she replied… ten days ‘til she’d be back in the state from making the rounds getting college kids settled in schools all over the map, and then YES. For sure. Let’s do it.
And she was true to her word. Just hours after arriving back on Minnesota soil, and before all of her people caught wind she was home, we snuck away for a long walk and coffee, and much catching up.
A year. Do you know how much life has gone down in a year? We walked fast and talked faster about kids and husbands and jobs and the like. And then I used a phrase I’ve repeated often when describing our season of family life. We went into adoption thinking we’d be sharing our family experience, but then realized it wasn’t so much sharing as sacrifice.
As soon as I said it, it hit me. One of those moments when God gets your attention and you hear His Spirit loud and clear, and He’s asking a question. ARE YOU SURE?
And I wasn’t. It used to be true, for the first many months. It felt like leaving everything dear on the holy altar and whoever it was our family used to be was bled out clean. Poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service – is how Paul put it in one of his letters (only he was glad and rejoiced.)*
But what was true then is not true anymore.
It wasn’t true last Sunday. Sitting at church with a boy wedged between us who used to grumble and scowl about worship. But lately he’s singing. Even lifting his hands. And then this Sunday I’m sitting beside him, and the offering basket goes by. He watches his dad take out his wallet and I see the boy doing the same.
We thought we’d be sharing our family experience, but…
But I guess we’re doing it after all.
It was my husband who said it earlier this summer, when I was still fretting over video games.
The best way to lead these boys to be holy is by showing them what holy looks like in us.
I say this humbly. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about myself through this process, it’s that I’m not all that compliant when it comes to the altar, and this miracle is surely God’s not mine. We thought we’d be sharing our family experience. And this feels like redemption.
So a year goes by and I’m telling my Bestie the whole long story, and I guess that’s the good thing about catching up fast. You say it out loud and all of a sudden you’re blown away by how far you’ve come.