Change and pain

I’m linking up this post with The Gypsy Mama today, 12/26/11. This post is my favorite of the year because it’s raw and true and represents a turning point with God and me. It was written while I was in the middle of our adoption process in Uganda, Africa.

How can you come to Africa and not be changed?

I prayed that I wouldn’t return the same as when I left. This prayer has already been answered. But changing and growth always come with a measure of pain, and yesterday was painful. Not the fear alone, but how quickly it took over. “Perfect love casts out fear” has been a theme of my spiritual lessons over the last year, and I really thought some progress was being made. I was really getting it. Lean into his love when fear rears its head. Love will dismiss it. Fear has no power in the face of love.

And yet. Physically, emotionally, spiritually — fear consumed me yesterday. Even now, when I think ahead to the next hurdles here in Uganda and the adjustments at home, the changes to our family, routine, life… fear is dominant in these scenarios.

An internet friend recently said she read something that said “Uganda will reveal to you a thousand gods you never knew you had.” That one hit me between the eyes today, after the exhaustion had worn off and I could see my reactions for what they were.

The adoption process is so charged — at first, all the paperwork and bureaucracy is about proving yourself a worthy parent — a super-parent, even. You’re “selling” your abilities as a parent to an adoption agency, social worker, your government, a foreign government. You make bold statements and you have the documentation — financial records, reference letters, diplomas, degrees, parenting philosophies, ideals — to prove it.

Then, you are face to face with your new child, and you realize you have all the same insecurities you always had. I’m not a super-parent. I’m not a hero. I’m a very average parent, and I’ve already made mistakes with my third-born child. Bolstered by promises on paper, I thought everything would fall into place after we got through the “hard part” — the process in country, the court, the governments, the checklists. But now I remember. Babies and their needs have a way of bringing me to my knees. It doesn’t feel magical like I’d always imagined — if I’m honest, it feels scary. I am completely humbled by this responsibility, this life I’ve been entrusted in Benjamin. All my brokenness is exposed. Why in the world did God let me do this?

But that’s fear talking again. We are all broken, regardless of the good face we put on paper. If God is going to change me here, I want it to be like this — to bring me to the very end of myself. So all that is left is him.

Jesus, put to death my illusions of control. Slay my self-sufficiency. Open my eyes to see that everything I have comes from you, and that I cannot accomplish a single good thing on my own. When fear raises its head a thousand times, remind me to wrap myself in your love a thousand and one. Help me to walk in the freedom that this will bring: When I am no longer in charge of my destiny and responsible for controlling the outcome, I am truly free to follow your lead, and to finally, really trust you. Kind of like the way my new baby trusts me to give him everything he needs.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>


13 comments on “Change and pain

  1. Marissa and Kevin says:

    >Morning. Kim!

    Just felt I needed to share how blessed I was by your post & willingness to be so transparent. Such a real visual of your emotions and truly puts everything into perspective as we all await the same thing you have!

    We will continue to pray that God would make your paths straight and that His hand would guide and protect you guys!!

    Many blessings,

    Marissa <3

  2. Tina Harriman says:

    >Hey there. I'm loving the ability to hear about God at work in you and through you. He HAS equipped you for this! You may still feel fear at times…but your confidence is not in man, or any desired outcome…your confidence is in HIM ALONE! His mercies are new every morning and he will strengthen you from one difficult moment to the next. Keep trusting! We are all cheering you on and praying for you!

  3. Chasity says:

    >Your openness and honesty are so appreciated. I imagine myself in your shoes soon…feels like I'm reading my heart writing here.

  4. Kim says:

    >Kim- I have read through your entire blog now, and let me tell you that I am a mess. A mess of tears cried for joy, fear, anticipation, and love. WOW!! What an amazing journey. THANK YOU so much for sharing this with me. What a BEAUTIFUL child you have. I will keep you all in my prayers, and continue to follow your journey. God bless!! -Johanna

  5. Deb Sternke says:

    >Thank you so much for sharing Kim — I feel drawn closer into the presence of God when I read what you wrote.

    Thank you.

  6. Barbara says:

    I love how fragile we are, and will always be. How He continually challenges us if we feel self-sufficient. How He brings us to our knees. How He loves to hear us call on Him. And how He comes through every single time, enlarging our hearts for Him first of all.

  7. Claire says:

    What a brilliant post! Praying for your sweet family.


  8. Dawn Hall says:

    Thank you. This was such a great post. I found you on Gypsy Mama. I love the statement,”Uganda will reveal to you a thousand gods you never knew you had.” Thanks for sharing.

  9. Hannah Ruth says:

    Thank you for re-sharing this post today. (Actually yesterday, I read it yesterday, then got called away from the computer, so commenting now.) I’m the person who posted after you on the Gypsy Mama.

    Hm. A good post. Deep thoughts. I like deep thoughts. Even though they are often hard to think about. Being in a new country (like Africa) does change you. I know. I was in India for three months this year. And I even grew up in CHina as an MK, and still. You see. You feel. You grow in awareness. You meet. You leave. And you are never the same.

    I like how you talk about fears. Our inadequacies. And yet in Christ we are complete, because Hi is our Sufficiency. What a comfort! And even though you’re not a perfect parent…your the best one for your kids. God hand-picked you to mother each of them.

    Thanks again for your post! Hope you are enjoying your new baby! And hope you had a great first Christmas with him…and of course with the rest of your family too! 🙂

    Prayed for you today!

    Because of His love,
    Hannah Ruth

  10. Visiting today from the Gypsy Mama. Love this so much! I actually run a ministry in rural Eastern Uganda and have been living here for the past four months with no plans of returning to the US anytime soon. I also am an adoptive Mama to an 21 month old baby girl from here. Love connecting with other UG mamas! Praying for you sister!

    • Kim says:

      Hi Lexi! I found your blog months ago — love it! I miss Uganda so much. Blessings to you!

  11. This was beautiful. I grew up in zambia and have spent much of my adult live in Africa and other Third Culture Countries so understand so much. Thank you for opening your home and your heart.

    • Kim says:

      Thanks Shanda. It’s amazing how this was one of the most difficult and trying times of my life, and I would LOVE to go back. One of those intense, incredible, hard, amazing experiences.