Monday, July 18, 2011

So, what IS with all the Changing? (part two)

Let's get this straight. 

I'm an up-front kind of gal, and I want you to recognize that I never promised
this blog would be solely dedicated to our heart journey (or our literal journey) to Maylin Li.

What I meant to say, whether or not I actually did, was that our adoption has caused me to finally succumb to the blogging world. I will try to blog frivolous details, and extraneous information in abundance while we are in Ch*na. I will do my best to convey our varied emotions as we spend time with our newest daughter. 

But, I wanted to finish our last conversation. My unusually strong, multi-tasking brain just doesn't want to move on until this topic is put to bed, so to speak.
**the parenthesis in the title that states this is (part two) should suggest you read 
(part one), the previous post**

I hear you say:
Get. on. with. it...
(which is what I would be thinking if this were your post,and I was waiting to get into your head...)

While sitting at a fine entertainment establishment
known for it's terror-inducing Mouse and money-sucking games,
I was pondering the thought I posed last:

"Lord, if you want to mold me into the image of Your Son, and
You 'call out to me to change'
Why don't You just start with a better product??!"

I love when it's obvious to me that God is listening in on my conversations with myself.
ALL day long, in lots of corners of my brain and life,
I found Flowers from Him:

1. The third stanza from one of our worship songs Sunday morning:

And I know I'm weak
I know I'm unworthy
To call upon Your name
But because of grace
Because of Your mercy
I stand here unashamed

2. My feeling of genuine affection for one of my kids,
at the very same time that I was annoyed beyond myself at his/her behavior
(Can't share which kid... I have to protect the reputation of the little jerks sometimes...)

3. Thinking of Maylin's soon arrival and the discussion Mark and I had last night regarding her future. It MUST be an awesome life ahead for God to have her adoption all planned since before time.

4. A couple of other things that really wouldn't translate well if I tried to put them into print.

While I was at the Mr. Cheese's House, I was considering the analogy of the Maserati and beater that I used yesterday. I came to an amazing conclusion:

Let me back the conversation up a little to talk about parenting, then I promise I'll say those
three awful words again... 
you know which three.

As a parent of children that have come to our family biologically and through adoption, I think I have the right to say, there is amazing potential in children. Research backs me up when I say they come pre-wired, but malleable. It's the Nature vs. Nurture debate that I had to discuss in a college course WAY before I cared.

Most of the parents I know look at the pooping bundle of tiny human in their arms
and dream...

I am not one to pre-set my kid's destiny based on my desire for his or her future job.
(I would not be a very good "Jewish Mother" in that respect.
"Meet my son Austin, the future inventor of something useful and costly.")

I dream things that are big, and yet specific. I pray that this screaming bit of sweetness that demands nutrition every few hours will be a man or woman of God. That they will change the world they entered and truly leave it with more people seeking a relationship with God because of them. That they will be successful in the ways that count in eternity.
I believe they each have amazing potential.

That's why they are stuck in piano lessons until they get paroled to another instrument of their choice.
That's why I expect them to complete homework and study for tests, even if the teacher is stupid.
That's why we expose them to real, live m*ssionar*es and m*ssion fields.
That's why we take the time to repeat their weekly verse each night
(when we're on our game, at least.)
And a billion other things that include learning to love themselves, and others, and God above all.


What they might become;
What they could become;
What they will become.
(future tense used on purpose)

So I must shamefacedly admit: I was wrong. The basic assumption was wrong. It sounded so right, but when I compared it to Truth...I was wrong.
(not so painful to type the third time...)
The sometimes-painful process of become like Christ doesn't start with
a decent product that He needs to tweak.
I was processing the whole surrender thing as if He is taking all the good He's already instilled in me and when (read:if) I let Him, changing it into something else, that looks more like Christ. In reality, I think He is actually working His (occasionally painful) work of GRACE in my life to
return me to what He had envisioned all along for me.

In some ways, He is Restoring me to what He intended at Creation.
In some ways, He is Creating a whole new beast.

For those who are analogy-prone like I am:
He isn't making a Jaguar out of a Dodge.

He's making the stuffed toy jaguar on my child's bed into the real, breathing, muscular, sleek-coated cat that moves and hunts and senses and LIVES. He is taking the me that I was--a pretty poor representation of the Image I was created to bear--and transforming it into the Eden-dwelling human
He originally planned for me to be.

The Velveteen Rabbit and Skin-Horse know what it is to be REAL,  and what it takes to become REAL.

I haven't even touched on dealing with the pain we see inflicted on others, and how devastated that can make us feel. If this post wasn't so shockingly long already, we'd go there. But instead, I wonder what you're thinking.

A favorite from C.S. Lewis:
"We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us;
we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be."


  1. ..."It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand." (excerpt from The Velveteen Rabbit)

  2. This one is deep. I've always wondered why God didn't give me a little bit more of someone else's (far superior) personality. If only He had created me differently I wouldn't be the mess than I am today. Sounds like I need to examine that line of thought.

  3. I'm so glad there was a part two.

    What really resonated with me from part one was that God "paid top dollar" for us. It's overwhelming really to consider just how high a price he paid.

    And you know, it's just as overwhelmingly amazing to me to consider whether I look at myself as "the beater" or the "stuffed jaguar".

    Though I must say, I think agree with you about Him restoring us to what He intended us to be. And I love the picture (literal and figurative) of us going from the stuffed animal to the real thing. So, so, so glad you shared these thoughts and the quote from Velveteen Rabbit. Now I need to get my hands on a copy of that book.