Saturday, January 11, 2014

Blessings & Curses

December was a month of things gone wrong.  Bad news was being hurtled at us from every direction.  Some of it public, some of it private, there were few that knew the extent of what we were dealing with.  Just after Christmas, a press conference took place in Ethiopia to address a politician's intent to end all international adoptions in Ethiopia.  It was at this point that I looked and Wes and said "OK.  I'm really starting to feel picked on."

In a moment of utter frustration I texted a friend to unload on her my "list".  It was the list of all the things that had gone wrong, all the fires I was working to put out, all the things that had me pulling my hair out going "enough already!".  A few more days went by, and a few more things went wrong.  While mentally adding these events to my growing list it occurred to me that I had been so focused on the little disasters...spending so much time taking inventory of the things gone wrong...that I was paying no attention to the things gone right.

So I turned my mental list into a physical list.  I wrote it all down.  Then I spent some time contemplating each situation, what could have been, and what comes next.  And then next to each item, I scribbled down the blessing.  In each situation, it was there...something to be thankful for.  And to my surprise, there it was...a brand new list!  A list of the ways that I had been blessed.  What a joy and wonder to discover that in this month where I had felt cursed, what I actually had been....was blessed.  When I felt abandoned and forgotten, I was cherished and remembered.  When I had felt lost and alone, I was actually found and held.  The things I had thought had come into my life in recent weeks to break my heart, were actually there to help heal it.  My life like a poorly healed fracture, there were ways that I needed to be broken anew in order to find true healing.

And now in this new year, a time for new beginnings.  Moving ahead.  Praying for meaningful movement in our adoption.  But remembering as we go, the many ways that we have been blessed.  That we are loved, and cherished, and remembered, and held.  That when we focus so deeply on the curses in our lives, we may actually miss the blessing.

I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants.
Deuteronomy 30:19