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Thursday, April 3, 2014

I Learned to Keep Laughing {24 of 40 Stories}



Click here for the backstory.

We learned from adopting Sam how God gives blessings out of an abundant love. Before Sam, we waited for a baby. We were matched, and the baby was due on January 31. On Andy’s birthday, in December, we received a phone call informing us the birthmother changed her mind. Although we were matched again at the end of December, the due date wasn’t until March, giving this new birthmother plenty of time to change her mind. We closed up the nursery and didn’t think about a baby.  On the last day of January, we received a phone call to go to the hospital because the birthmother was in labor. Sam was born on January 31. We held him in our arms, in awe that we could call him son. There was nothing, absolutely nothing, we could do to get a baby. He was a gift fresh from Heaven.

We learned from adopting the girls how God calls us to do hard things. In a moment life went from a joy to a hardship. I let the hard win for too many years. Finally, I started laughing again. When we knew there was a fourth child for us, my biggest fear was I would stop laughing.

We learned from adopting Jordan that when God calls us to do hard things, he sustains us with his abundant love. Jordan has a hard history, entering foster care at age 2 and remaining in the system for six years. He’s been home, in our forever family, for over a year.

And I haven’t stopped laughing.

This time, the hard didn’t win. It doesn’t matter who you are, life gets hard. Sometimes the hard comes and there’s nothing we can do about it. Sometimes the hard comes because of choices we make. Sometimes the hard comes because of a calling.

No matter how the hard comes, it doesn’t have to win. When we position ourselves to stay in the Light, God can overcome the hard.

I’ve kept laughing because there is uncontainable joy inside of me. It’s bigger and more pure than when I told myself I’m supposed to be happy because my life isn’t as hard as other people’s lives. It’s genuine instead of contrived. It isn’t something I have conjured up; it’s something that I am.

It is written, But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).

Hard won because my heart wasn’t cultivated to produce this kind of fruit. Cooking is a favorite hobby of mine, creating meals as close to fresh as possible soothes my soul. I quit cooking. I didn’t care about healthy eating. I stopped running, walking, biking, lifting. I quit moving. I stopped reading scripture. I quit opening my bible. Prayers were minimal.

I became numb.

And I quit laughing.

My healing process was a process of turning toward the Light. Bit by bit things returned. Garlic cloves on the counter and patience. Miles logged on my new running shoes and gentleness. Prayers wrapped around my day and peace. As I gave more of my heart back to God, there was more joy.
I keep laughing because, this time, when the calling was hard, I stayed close to the Light.