Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Seven Pairs of Socks

Another meltdown on Saturday night.  I am told that most soon-to-be new moms have moments like this, but I have to tell you, at the time, it felt like I was the only one in the world who felt this way.  I was in Roman's nursery-or rather what will become Roman's nursery as we still have so much to do in there-and I was looking at the baby clothes, toys and books that we have for him.  I was imagining chubby little hands pushing the buttons on the toys and dimpled little fingers turning pages in the books while big blue eyes take in all the colorful pictures.  My eyes drifted over the package of diapers we had for him.  Diapers in the house!  Not because we were having guests and not because we were babysitting over the weekend, but honest to goodness, just because we were going to need them-diapers!  That part of the evening was delightful, but the swing was coming.

All of Roman's little outfits were laid out on the bed and, as I started going through them, I was filled with more and more anxiety.  Every little shirt and each little pair of jeans were so adorable, but I think we'd still need a few more clothes to get him started.  And socks!  My baby has no socks!   We still need to raise $10,000 just to bring him home and if he were to have come home that day, he would have no socks.  What kind of mother am I?   Roman is going to depend on us for his every need and we have only a hint of an idea what that will look like.  How can we do this?  We aren't prepared for this!  In the back of my mind, I knew one quick trip to Target would resolve the sock dilemma but the emotions started spiraling from there.  Roman will be delayed in his speech as, other than the three days we were with him, he's never heard English.  How do we help him catch up?  How do we comfort him when we take him from the only home he has ever known to a strange new world where days and nights are flipped and everything smells, sounds, tastes and looks different?  I wasn't worried that it would be too much work.  All we have wanted for years was to pour our life into another little life.  I was worried though, that we were going to miss the mark for him.  I was worried that we wouldn't be enough for him.  What if we don't know how to meet his physical and emotional needs?  At that moment, I felt completely inadequate and overwhelmed.  What am I doing?   I can't bring a child into a home where he has no socks.

Usually, I am not this person.  It's not really my nature to worry too much about things that are either beyond my control or things that can easily be resolved.  Faith and fear cannot co-exist.  When we are fearful, we are basically saying that God doesn't know what we need, doesn't care what we need or we don't trust that He knows far better than we do how to provide for those needs.  Fear focuses on the problem and faith focuses on the Power.  I humbly and apologetically admit that I was focused on fear at that moment.  For those tortuous moments, I forgot for a moment that the God who has been so faithful in the past would continue to be faithful going forward.  It slipped my mind that He still has a good plan and not only would He give us wisdom if we would seek it, He also knew exactly how many threads were woven together in the socks that Roman was going to own.  He knows! I don't have to have every detail figured out yet, I just have to do what's in front of me to do today.

Yesterday, we received a load of clothes from a good friend.  Sweet little sweaters, delightful little plaid shirts and an array of other adorable items.  Included in the bag were seven pairs of socks.  In the Bible, the number seven signifies completion.  God created the world in seven days.  The Israelites walked around Jericho seven times before the walls came down.  It took Solomon seven years to build God's temple.  I don't want to over-spiritualize socks, and I know that eventually we will need more than seven pairs of socks, but at that moment it was a reminder to me that God does know better than I do what Roman needs and will provide for those needs.  I can only direct my focus in one place at a time.  On one hand, there is a mountain of money that still needs to be found, a large collection of baby items that still need to be obtained and a unknown emotional needs that need to be met.  On the other hand?  "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all of these things will be added unto you."  (Matthew 6.33)  I don't mean we   turn a blind eye to the things in front of us, I simply mean that we pray for wisdom, stay attentive to what's before us and, as my mother would say, "Proceed with confidence".  Through our friend, God not only provided the socks that triggered the silly meltdown I had two days before, but He also reminded me to "be anxious for nothing, but in all things, with prayer and petition, make your requests known to God and the peace of God, which passes all understanding will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus." ( Phillipians 4.6) That's what I needed on Saturday.  I didn't need to worry about something as silly as socks!  I needed to pray about it and trust, whether through ourselves or someone else, God was going to provide socks.  And instead of spiraling out of control that day, I would have had a peace that didn't have to make sense that would have guarded my heart and mind from other equally ridiculous thoughts.  In a way, it's all socks to God.  He's not worried and He is all-powerful.  That's the God I serve.  The God who has my best interest at heart.  The God who has Roman's best interest at heart.  The God who looked in all the world and picked us specifically to take care of Roman.  The God who knew that Roman needed us-with all of our faults and frailties.  The God who knew that we needed Roman.   He does indeed put the solitary in families.  (Psalm 68.6)  My prayer is that this will be imprinted in my brain, carved into my heart.  Regardless of what Roman needs-something as simple as socks or something much bigger, more complicated and critical-God will provide. 

There is a story in my family of my sister, Merry Grace, three years old at the time, being under Mom's feet one day and my mother, laughingly looking down at her, asked, "What am I going to do with you, Merry Grace?" 
"Feed me and love me, Momma, just feed me and love me."

Roman, we will do the best job we know how to do to feed you and love you.   To the best of our ability, with God's help, we will feed your physical needs, your emotional needs and your spiritual needs.  We commit to you that we will work diligently to find out who you are-who you really are.  We will help you reinforce your gifts.  We want to know what you will be passionate about and what brings you joy.  We commit to you that we will work to help protect your vulnerabilities  and also how to help you find strength because of and in spite of those vulnerabilities .  I'm excited to see the man that God will grow you to be!

There are so many things we don't know.  So many things that we will all learn together and we will cross bridges when we get there.  God has made our path straight every step of the way and through hard work and the generousity of family, friends and even strangers, He has provided for our every need exactly when we have needed it.  When we got back from Russia, there were three donations on the PayPal button here from very generous people, checks for teddy bears, donations left at the office and a card from a woman we met one time in Florida with a generous gift.  Every dollar has been an answer to our prayers.  God is building our family and we are completely humbled by how many people have been so generous.  Thank you.  Through you, God has shown us that there is nothing too big for him.  Whether it's money, gifts or even socks, God is showing us that He will see this through. 

And it's all as simple as socks to God.

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