You know, God really does speak to us. Sometimes it takes awhile to hear Him, to see or understand His reasons. As our friends and we were talking about this evening, they could have moved to anyplace else in the US, and yet they ended up in a place where God could use them to help us. Although the financial benefits are overwhelming, one of the more personal benefits is that this will allow us to remain more closely connected to this beloved family. All of us are cheering over that, and I have no doubt that God is looking at all of us with a big smile on His face, having known all along that our sorrow at the news of their leaving would eventually be seen by all of us as a blessing in disguise. While the next week will be one which will have me trying to let go of the ache in my heart as part of their family leaves, the sobs that will never be held in check will also be accompanied by the joy of knowing that God has not only watched over both of our families financially, but that He is protecting our blessed friendship as well.
And once again I am left at a loss...how in the world can I ever repay the blessings in our life? How can I pay it forward or backward? I see my beautiful, wonderful family which He created, I feel the love of those around us who have carried us in so many ways, and I just can't see how to balance it out, how to make it fair. We don't deserve this, what we have received is so far and away beyond what we have ever offered. How can we repay our friends for their generosity, encouragement and friendship? They have always done far more for us than we have for them. How can we repay Shriner's for the gift of financial stability they handed us today in a large white envelope? How can we adequately EVER repay the kindness of another family who are standing firm beside as with financial support in the hopes that we can one day add to our family again? Then there are the smaller but equally wonderful kindnesses of others...boxes of clothing shipped to us from loved ones who have always shown their support, strangers who offer a magical trip to Disneyland, unexpected emails from unexpected places asking "what can I do to help?" so that two little girls far away might one day come home, envelopes discreetly handed to us at church to help as yet others walk up and say "If your girls come home, we will cover their first set of clothing and shoes".
It is too much, it is like walking around covered in His love. But there are times when it feels wrong, when you look and try your hardest to pay it back in the ways you can and it feels so insignificant in comparison to what you have received and you wonder to yourself "What am I doing wrong? What more can I do that I am not seeing? Why do we deserve this?". To whom much is given, much is required. But what do you do when you can't possibly repay because SO much has been given that it is beyond your ability to possibly come close to balancing the scale?
As I looked in the eyes of my three little guys today as they each presented me with gifts of dandelions that they proudly stuck in cups and in the side of our pantry cupboard, a cupboard which was covered in the growth charts of all the wonderful children who have thus far crossed our paths, I felt even more humbled at the joy and innocence reflected in their faces, the pure love and trust that they offer up to us as their parents. Such a responsibility it is, to parent any child. Of all the gifts we have been given, of all the blessings bestowed, those three faces smiling back at me are the biggest by far.
Thank you to all who are there for us, if our children grow up to be healthy, successful, kind, productive men it will be due to many factors...personality, parenting, and participation of every single person who has contributed to their lives in untold ways.