by Alex Fittin
As an adoptive mom, I often get placed on a pedestal that I never asked for. I know that probably sounds conceited or high and mighty or some other cliche phrase that goes along with that, but it’s true. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard phrases like “You’re just so amazing,” or “I don’t know how you do it,” or “you’re like a superhero,” I would have many many dollars. The truth though, is that I’m not. Like at all. I’m just a regular person who said “Yes” to a really hard thing. And I’m guessing you are too. Or maybe you’re not. Maybe you think that you’re not ready or that you can’t handle it or that it’s not the right timing.
There’s a few reasons that people who do things that can appear extraordinary can take the heat, though. One of those is because we have to. For my podcast, The Adoptive Mom, I’ve interviewed countless women who have answered the question “How did you make it through that season?” with “I mean, I didn’t have a choice.” Think about it though, there are so many life-altering circumstances that can happen to us that beforehand, we would have never thought we could handle. A child getting cancer, a spouse leaving abruptly, birthing a child with extreme special needs, the death of someone we depended on, etc. Our list of things that we think we can handle is actually very short in light of the Kingdom, and thankfully, we are not the list makers.
I’m reminded of Moses when God asked him to free the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. Talk about a guy who had a short list of can-dos. When God came at him with a shrub that was both on fire and speaking to him, Moses came back with a slew of reasons why he couldn’t follow Him. Probably never in his wildest dreams did Moses think he could handle what was coming. He had never performed a miracle or sign or wonder, he was apparently introverted and not too psyched about talking to people, AND he was wanted for murder there. “Need I go on?” Moses probably said to God. “Nah.” God probably replied. “Just say ‘Yes.’”
And God followed through, imagine that. Moses, as unequipped and unprepared as he thought he was, was used by God to change history. If he had it his way, he would still be hanging around Midian tending sheep, but God basically kicked him out of his comfort zone and showed him just how little He needs to work with to enact His perfect plans. We’re the “little,” friends. We’re not a lot to work with, ever, but God does.
We are put on this earth to be world-changers. Bottom line. There’s no pedestal for what we were born to do, just glory for God. Whatever difficulties we face carrying out our mission, that’s in God’s hands. Even if it includes heartache, grief, or death, there’s nothing that God doesn’t know about and can’t use for that glory we talked about.
Esther is another biblical hero who showed up and said yes to things she would never have chosen. All of her circumstances happened *to* her up until that final decision. She had to survey the situations that laid before her as a result of a fallen and sinful world and crappy people abounding and decide what she was going to do about it. Was she going to take the easy way out and say “Not my problem,” or was she going to say “Yes?”
Now I know that can seem like an unfair parallel since we don’t often have kings threatening impalement or willy-nilly genocide knocking on our front doors, but if we look around, we can see the needs around us and the hurt and the loss and the fear, and that’s just in our communities. Right now, as we read these words, there are needs that God is pressing on our hearts and souls to meet. Donate to that charity. Pursue that hard friendship. Honor that parent. Adopt that child.
The needs are there, and they’re abounding, and God is 100% asking us to be part of the solution. So what’s our answer going to be? Settle down in our comfort zone with cries of “I can’t. I’m not ready. It’s not the right timing.”? Or a quiet and resilient refusal to sit down in complacency and instead saying “Yes.” to the hard stuff with the faith that God will stand beside us?
“The Lord our God will fight for us, we need only to be still.”