I walked through the living room and picked up eleven pairs of shoes. I counted as I walked, and I tried not to be frustrated.
A year-and-a-half ago John and I cleared out my home office and library and hauled it all into our bedroom. We did this because our four new daughters needed rooms. (We were adopting them from foster care at the ages of ten, twelve, twelve, and fifteen.) So out went my desk, chair, books, bookshelves, and files, all to be stuffed into our small bedroom. And in went bunk beds, dressers, and all-things-teen-girl.
The girls moved in the first week of summer 2015, arriving with a truckload of stuff. They had lots of clothes. Some fit them, most didn’t. They also brought lots of toys and mementos—gifts from former foster parents, generous churches, and thoughtful sponsors who had drawn the girls’ names from holiday trees. They still had a few things from their biological mom’s house, from which they had been removed six years prior. The girls came with a lot of internal baggage, too. As their new mom I’ve had to deal with a lot of messy emotions and ugly words. There were days I wondered what I’d gotten myself into.
This is my life. It’s not the life this type-A, neat freak, first-born ever thought she’d be living. Yet it’s one I wouldn’t trade for the world. Because to give up the chaos would be to give up these kids. It would be to give up the books I’m writing and the ministries that bring joy to my heart. It would be to give up the purpose I’ve discovered as I’ve followed Jesus one step at a time.
How Did I Get Here?
Everything changed in my life when I stopped focusing on my own dreams and purposes, and instead concentrated on working out God’s dreams and purposes for my life.
That may sound like an elusive goal. You may wonder how you can even know God’s purposes for you in the first place, but they are easier to discover than you might think.
It comes down to this: Rather than trying to determine what study we should join, book we should read, or ministry we should get involved with, we should instead ask God to break our hearts with the things that break His.
Rather than just reading God’s Word for personal and group study, we should actually do what it says—even the really hard things. This is where we find our joy, our purpose. Not by coming up with our own ideas about how we are to live as God’s daughters, but by taking faith steps daily, believing that as we seek God’s face He’ll invite us to join Him in His work. Not by trying to decipher the future He has for us, but instead by trusting that even though the path doesn’t make sense now, we’ll look back over the years and realize He’s been directing us all along.
God led John and I to adopt kids. It’s messy and it’s hard, but these kids now have a home. They have a family. They have a mom and dad. They have a hope and a future. This is beautiful, even though my house always isn’t.
What About You?
Do you want your life to be messy beautiful too?
1. Ask God to break your heart with the things that break His.
2. After you read God’s Word ask, “Lord, now what do you want me to DO?”
3. Write down the first step you can take to follow God in obedience.
4. Realize God is waiting for you and will strengthen you for the journey. We don’t have to do this alone.
Each of us can choose to stay in our comfort zone, or we can choose to step out with God. God has done more in me and through me than I thought possible, and I’m not the only one who benefits. So does the world, so do my kids. You can do the same … welcome to your messy, beautiful life. To find out more about Tricia visit www.TriciaGoyer.com
Tricia Goyer is a God-centered, passionate and charismatic author with a detail-focused approach to her unique blend of writing. A prolific writer, she's published over 70 books, including Walk It Out: The Radical Result of Living God's Word One Step At a Time.To find out more about Tricia visit www.TriciaGoyer.com.