Tuesday, October 1, 2013

How out is your reach?

Where is your bubble?

 Is it your church-- your city--your school-- your neighborhood?

We tend to live inside of little bubbles. We surround ourselves with people who look like us, act like us, and think like us. And we encase ourselves in that world. It is human nature to be drawn to others similar to us--because it is comfortable. I am guilty. It is a happy place to be.

I get it.

But what would happen if we got out of that comfort zone and included some people that were not like us? Would we add more richness to our lives? Would it be as scary as we think?

I say yes, and no.

I believe that it is safe to say that Nick and I got out of our bubble through adoption. We jumped into a completely foreign world to us. After all, the normal path is to fall in love, get married, have a baby, maybe another. And for the super brave... a third. But after falling in love and getting married, we realized that our path would not be normal. We were going to have to pave our own way, and it was not inside of our bubble. We did a lot of research, met a lot of new friends, and pressed on way far away from our comfort zone at the time.

It was not easy. We faced some battles. Loved ones had doubts, questions, hesitations. A lot of them. It was a tough road. We had to hunker down as a couple and move forward towards the goal that God had set before us.

But....did this action enrich our lives? Absolutely. The end result is two amazing children, and a third unexpected blessing. But even in the midst of the struggles, we had blessings. We became closer as a couple, closer to God, and met a lot of amazing people that we would not have met otherwise.

Ours is not the normal American picket fence life, but it is rich. I dare say richer than we, ourselves, could have planned or imagined. If you had asked us on our wedding day what we saw 10 years down the road-we could have never guessed where we are now. Three kids under 4, one of them with big brown eyes and olive skin, 2 boys six months apart-never.would.have.guessed.

But I thank Jesus for giving us the strength to step out of our bubble, and into that great unknown.

Many people tell us how Sister and Little Man have hit the jackpot with us. But we strongly argue that we--Nick and I--are the ones that have hit the jackpot... and I cannot even begin to describe how big. I really can't. Really.

But stepping out of your bubble does not have to be the big step of adoption. There are so many needs and opportunities in our world, our country, our cities.

I saw Jen Hatmaker speak a few weeks ago--and girlfriend brought it. She spoke about outreach in our world, and stressed the fact that God is all about it. After all, aren't we here to share His love?

She discussed the fact that Jesus did spend time in the temple(church), but he spent A LOT of time out and about with people. All people...not just people like him.

She also talked about how she began feeling a pull towards outreach in her own life, and she acted on it by simply giving a hamburger to a homeless person. That act snowballed as her eyes were opened to need after need. She is still spearheading outreach projects, but one of the outcomes of this was the adoption of two precious children.

See that? Hamburger for homeless=adoption.

Crazy right?

But she stressed how much she has been blessed by blessing others...and not just others in her circle. Others that a lot of us don't 'see'. Because it is so easy to close our eyes and pull down that shield and pretend that there is nothing ugly going on around us.

I guess my point is this...we are blessed by blessing. When we step out, God steps in. So I challenge all of you-as I also challenge myself-to step out into this world-and love.

 It's that easy, and that hard.

 Love the unlovable. Take care of those who can't do it for themselves.

Although it is certainly not the easy road, I believe that you will be the one with infinite blessings falling into your lap.

Amen and amen.

"'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'"--Matthew 22:37-39