"Jesus Draw me, Ever Nearer"
Jesus draw me ever nearer
As I labour through the storm.
You have called me to this passage,
and I'll follow, though I'm worn.
May this journey bring a blessing,
May I rise on wings of faith;
And at the end of my heart's testing,
With Your likeness let me wake.
Jesus guide me through the tempest;
Keep my spirit staid and sure.
When the midnight meets the morning,
Let me love You even more.
Let the treasures of the trial
Form within me as I go -
And at the end of this long passage,
Let me leave them at Your throne.
This blog could be a series of posts about how wonderful our family life is, or of how well I can handle having three little girls under the age of five. It could be full of wonderful moments and great photos that show you how put together our little family is. I could paint you a word picture of us as the poster family in a Pastor's magazine.
The truth is, we are far from having it all together. We are broken people, and we do the best we can loving God through our brokenness. We struggle in life, we mess up, we even dare cry and shout out to God, "You have abandoned me! You don't even care!" Once those words are out of our mouths, we realize how needy we really are.
Last May I posted about Grief Is Not a Speed Sport. It was as honest a post as I could write at the time. But let me back up a little. On July 28th of 2009 we committed to adopt Nina, and on that day, we began a journey that we knew would be emotionally draining. Except now it is not just something that we know, it is something that we have lived, it is something that we are still experiencing.
I have shared as much as I can share about our adoption journey. I have shared about when we first met Nina, and of how falling in love with her has been a journey. Some things I am not ready to share yet, because I am still working through those feelings.
Adoption is hard, it is very hard. The process begins as soon as you start getting paper ready. This process is emotionally exhausting. Then you travel to a different country, already emotionally exhausted. For me, at the end of my time in Ukraine, I was an emotional mess. Just ask the many eye witnesses at the different airports as we made our way back home. Arriving home did not "wipe away my tears" so that we could start anew, I was already too spent to give anything to my girls. I was too tired to love Nina.
God began healing in me, in my heart, when He sent that Russian speaking lady to our small hospital room. It was the day I gave "birth" to Nina. It was the day I first loved her. She had already been with us for almost exactly four months.
A friend said to me, "Ellen, the fact that you were called to adopt Nina does not mean that it is any easier for you than it would be for me. It is going to be hard, the difference is, you were willing to obey, even though it is difficult."
Throw in there some pretty significant issues with my family of origin, and you have a recipe for an emotionally unhealthy woman. Hello, my name is Ellen, and I am needy. If I don't do something about this, I am going to loose it.
In light of the emotional state of our family, Andy asked for a Sabbatical. We had that time from the end of June till last week. Throw in there some pretty sweet counseling, family time (that we really should have had when Nina and I got back from Ukraine), time away from home, and some time to sit on God's lap and you have a recovering me. Hello, my name is Ellen, and I am a recovering...human being.
We have learned much about taking care of our hearts. Of looking at what is inside and actually dealing with it, working through it. Allowing ourselves to feel, to let go. In reality, it is not just about the journey of adoption, it is the journey of life.
Today at church we sang, "Jesus Draw Me, Ever Nearer." A perfect song as I reflect back over the last year. A perfect song as I can see the treasures that have been gathered through the trial. Treasures that have made me love God even more, and hopefully made me more to His likeness. In light of that, I am thankful for the storm, and I am thankful for the journey.
(And if you need to, go ahead, read again the lyrics of "Jesus Draw Me, Ever Nearer." We all have storms in our life)