Perform

I grew up performing. When I was in the first grade, I must have sung a song in class because my teacher, Mrs. Irwin, sent a note home to my parents that they should put me in voice lessons. I spent the next 14 years performing so much that it’s really weird that most people in my current life have no idea about that part of my past.

The thing that’s great about performing is exactly what Lorne Michaels tells the SNL cast according to Tina Fey’s book, Bossypants, which I may have read five times and will read again because it is awesome and hilarious. “The show doesn’t go on because it’s ready; it goes on because it’s 11:30.”

When the curtain goes up, you are never ready. There’s always more that could have been done. And I feel like that’s my life right now. I’m a huge mess, but the audience is here, and the curtain is up. It’s too late to rehearse any more.

Confession time. I don’t know what I’m doing. Ever. About anything. 

But I had to take the stage because the curtain is up.

I want so desperately to have it together. I spend so much time thinking about all the things I should be doing or should have done to prepare. I wish I could tell you how to do it. How to be a mom, a wife, a Christ-follower, a servant, a daughter, a world-changer.

But I’m just up here faking it, and I think God’s ok with that.

Sometimes people think performers have thick skin. That we must have an easier time with rejection or criticism because we get so much of it. But I actually think it’s just the opposite. I think we can be more sensitive because we’ve been conditioned to care a whole lot what people think and because we are so often criticized that we come to expect it. Maybe what we are good at is stuffing the anxiety away and getting up on stage anyway. A part of acting, I suppose.

I’m filled with fear and anxiety, and I don’t know what I am doing. Is my son safe in Rwanda? Can my marriage withstand the pressure of life? Will our parents forgive us for moving? Am I doing anything worthwhile at all? Can God use such a weak and trembling person?

But if I get stuck on these questions, I will never take the stage. There are no easy answers. There are no short cuts in life. Only trusting in the One who knows. The One who holds the cards, and the One who will never forsake.

The show must go on.

 

 

Is it possible?

There’s a lot of press these days about ethical adoptions.  A number of new books have recently come out, a documentary is making a nationwide tour, and the DRC has been seeing some ups and downs with its program (maybe other countries too, but I mostly follow DRC).

On one of my FB group pages, a common question is posed:  How can we ensure that adoptions are ethical?  I love the hearts of the adoptive parents out there.  We all want to have ethical adoptions.  No one gets into adoption to traffic a child.  I personally know parents who have discovered that their adoption shouldn’t have passed muster, and the heartache is great.  But is it possible to avoid this?  The how is so much harder.

Faced with the difficulty of ensuring an ethical adoption, parents can go one of three ways:  give up entirely, go forward in the face of possible shady circumstances, and move heaven and earth to try and do it ethically.  There are certainly pros and cons to each approach, and it’s hard to say which is really the right answer.  The waters are muddy.

And isn’t that what’s so hard about ethics?  Once you are sure that no laws are broken, there’s still an area of gray.  Sometimes the answer is unclear.

This is why I am still on the fence about starting again.  I don’t want to give up, but I am scared of getting back in the water.  I don’t want to screw it up!

As a Christian, I am called to get into the water.  All the way to the deep end.  Yes, we can’t fix all the problems with international adoption.  The whole idea comes out of a broken, messy tragedy.  Same with global poverty, world hunger, sex trafficking, war.  There are no easy answers.  But we have to try, don’t we?  Because sometimes it works.  Sometimes there is redemption.

And, really, what else do we have to do?  Isn’t this why we are on earth?  To work towards redemption and restoration.  I can’t sit home and just focus on myself and my family.  That’s not why I was put on the earth.  I have been given so much, and I have a responsibility to use my resources towards this goal of restoration.

It’s scary.  It’s hard.  I don’t have any answers.  But I will keep walking forward in obedience to the One who does.