“This time, let’s not let anyone talk us out of doing what we know we’re supposed to do.” Those words have stuck with me since I heard them from Francis Chan, quoting his wife when they decided to move to San Francisco.
Have you been there? Have you let people talk you out of doing what you knew you were supposed to do? Or maybe it’s not even people. Maybe it’s philosophies, culture, surroundings, worry, money, even dreams.
I have. And I haven’t. And when I look at the times when I was tempted to let someone talk me out of it, but I did it anyway, those are the times that define my life, really.
When we decided to adopt instead of having biological kids. People were shocked. Those closest to us tried to talk us out of it. They were afraid, they were worried. Were we really prepared to take on whatever health issues might come with international adoption? Didn’t we want to see what our biological kids would look like? Wouldn’t we be missing out on something if we didn’t have biological kids?
But we felt it in our bones, you know? That we were supposed to adopt. So we did it anyway.
When we decided to move back to where we grew up, at least for a while. I decided to stop pursuing my acting career for a time and we left L.A. when we loved L.A. Most of my friends didn’t get that. I was so young to be putting it all on hold to become a mom. Why would I walk away from those dreams so early?
But I knew I could go back to those dreams later in life and that those dreams had been overcome by a stronger, deeper dream to give a family to a child who needed one. I knew it would be easier to become parents where we’d have help from our families and cheap housing. So we moved.
When we decided to accept the referral for our second son. It wasn’t what we’d planned. We thought it would take a lot longer than 3 weeks to get matched so we thought E would be older before we got our second child. We didn’t think our kids would be 6 months apart. People worried. Social worker wondered if it would work. Is this what was best for E? Could we handle two toddlers only 6 months apart? Was this the child who would really fit best into our picture of our family?
But we didn’t care about any of that. We knew God didn’t call us to adopt because it would be easy or comfortable or organized or even because it would make a picture-perfect family. J-Man needed a family and we had a family. So we did it.
Those are the decisions, the risks, the craziness that have changed our lives. And we could’ve so easily allowed ourselves to be talked out of those decisions. Or we could’ve easily talked ourselves out of them. Thank God we didn’t.
But this continues to be such a struggle for me. I am easily filled with doubt and second-guessing. I am not bold or gutsy.
So I guess we have to keep praying for boldness, friends. And sometimes we have to do things when we’re not 100% sure and just see it if works.
Take the plunge, make the turn, and hopefully when you do, “your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’” (Isaiah 30.21).