I don't have much to write by way of our adoption, except that I'm missing Mekonen. We got another picture of our boy today. He was sleeping in his little crib snuggled by a pink blanket! hehe. Oh baby, you make pink look good!
Jon was in Chicago this past week for the Gospel Coalition Conference where he listened to some of our favorite speakers: John Piper, Mark Driscoll, Tim Keller, and more! I wanted to go so badly, but couldn't due to work. We so desperately want to be in an environment where Jesus, the gospel, and calling people to repentence is the norm, the standard. I find myself frustrated with "the church." I sense a lack of urgency in "the church," a lack of connection to the Gospel, to JESUS. So much so, that one of our favorite pastors, who we listen to via podcasts, in every sermon brings JESUS and the GOSPEL smack in front of your face, right in the face of culture, right in the face of your sin, that at first, it almost seemed "wrong." After all, I have been a Christian since I was four years old when I understood that JESUS forgave my sins, so why haven't I heard so much about JESUS? I've heard a lot about GOD, a lot about what I need to be "doing," but honestly, not a lot about JESUS and what that means for my SIN as a believer.
Many churches see the gospel and JESUS as only for non-Christians who need salvation. That's where the Gospel stops in a lot of conservative, evangelical churches. Where did we get off the path? How have we gotten away from JESUS, the center of EVERYTHING! Pay attention to the sermons you hear in church. The application section of the sermon usually calls non-Christians to repent of their sin, and usually exhorts Christians to 'start doing good things', or 'keep doing good things.' It's been a long time since I have sat in church and heard the pastor vigorously, passionately, and directly, call me, a believer, a Christian, to repent of my sin. I despise that no one has done this. It has only further propelled me to try and "be perfect" instead of realizing my fallen state as a sinner and a human being who desperately needs to always repent, and always fall on the GRACE of Jesus. When repentence as a believer has not been a part of my teaching in the Christian church, I find myself struggling desperately with perfection, struggling to not beat myself up over my everyday mistakes and shortcomings. I view my sin as a complete bash on who I am as a person, how God views me, and how others view me. This is SO backwards and SO against everything the Bible teaches. Jesus did not die for us because of the good things we will do. He died for us simply because of His deep love for us. He has come to set me free, not just forgive my sins so I can go to heaven. It doesn't stop there. He is the cornerstone, the center, the very essence of all we do, think, and believe. There was nothing lovely, worthwhile, or good about me that caused Jesus to look on me with favor, and choose me. It was soley out of his love, goodness, and GRACE.
JESUS is what led us to adoption. JESUS is the very reason for the kind of life that we live. That is the reason it aggrivates me immensely when I see, hear, and witness Christians who do not understand adoption. How can you know the heart of JESUS and not get why we are doing what we are doing? It is incredibly painful to witness the subtle ways it is made known that adoption is thought to be "second best" to pregnancy. It's sad to say that there are some people who would view the expansion of our family with much more enthusiasm and excitement if that expansion were by way of pregnancy. This underlying thought is blaring, so easy to see, even when they try to hide it. And most of all, it's just utterly painful.
My mama defenses go up and I want nothing more than to hold Mekonen, take care of him, keep him safe, teach him about Jesus, and show him how much he is truly loved and cherished. I will do whatever it takes to protect him and make sure he knows he is OURS. I have never felt this insane, crazy, out-of-control protective love before, so watcht out...it's incredible. We pray daily for the GRACE needed to deal with the underlying subtleties that scream, "blood is always thicker..." Jesus, help us to be gracious. Help the hurt not to turn into bitterness and discouragement. For we know in all things YOU are leading us, and so, nothing else matters.