Monday, September 16, 2019

Bursting the Bubble

“Being an advocate is almost always emotionally, physically, mentally, & spiritually exhausting. It's a heck of a lot easier to live within our bubbles--where everyone looks and thinks and acts like us--than to burst those bubbles.”

“It’s only when our circumstances do not require advocacy that we get to decide whether we want to be an advocate. And that ability to choose advocacy is a privilege I once possessed before kids with Down syndrome or dark skin entered my life.”

“Jesus was the greatest advocate and shouter of worth to ever live.”

“So if we love Jesus, if we are familiar with His work on earth, then we can no longer say we don’t know. And if we know, then we have the privilege of choosing to step boldly into our roles as advocates for others.  As people who love Jesus and strive to be more like Him, none of us get to sit this one out. Advocacy is not only for those of us born into privileged space; it’s for everyone.  Even if you are among those who need others to shout your worth, there is someone sitting behind you who needs you to shout theirs. Just imagine then, a whole world of people who love radically, who live a lifestyle of looking beyond their bubbles to see who’s left out, who scoot over to make some room, who shout at the top of their lungs, ‘I see your worth! You are worthy of life! Worthy of a place to live! Worthy of an education! Worthy of a job! Worthy of our love! Worthy of our forgiveness! Worthy of our positive assumptions!’ When we use our voices to shout the worth of others, it drowns out all the other voices, and the world hears just one thing—the love of Jesus!”

This is an excerpt from Heather Avis’ book, “Scoot Over and Make Some Room” and it is preaching to me right now!

I can so relate to this because my bubble was burst when Deacon was born with Down syndrome.  I lost the privilege of getting to decide whether or not to be an advocate.  But that new path of advocacy led to adoption.  And that led to foster care.  And who knows where things will go next.

It’s hard and it puts me in very uncomfortable positions, but it has also strengthened my relationship with The Lord.   It allows me to see Him and others in a way like never before.  It makes me want to keep pushing past my comfort zone to whatever direction He leads.  And it allows me to give Him the glory for things that I know without a doubt I could have never done in my own power.

I'm not going to lie, there are a lot of days when I feel completely exhausted and emotionally drained.  Here lately my days have been filled with some major anxiety over some of the day to day battles we're facing.  (I am a worrier by nature and sometimes it gets reeeal bad.)  BUT when I stop, get out of my head, and get into the Word all of that begins to fade.  I begin to feel more at peace and more up for the challenge.  I even become grateful for it because I know it means He's stretching and growing me.

I am mediating on these words today...

"Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.  Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.  Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you." (Philippians 4:6-9)

Friends, I encourage you...don’t wait til you don’t have a choice.  Be an advocate!  Shout for the underdog!  Step out, step up, speak up, and allow God to do things with your life that you could have never imagined or thought you had in you.  It will NOT be easy.   And if you are like me,  you will feel completely unequipped, mess up on the daily, and be afraid.   But that’s the beauty of don’t have to be equipped because He will equip you, He's not keeping count of your failures, and it's okay to be scared.  As my pastor said last week, "Courage is not the absence of fear.  Courage is not needed until there is fear."  Joshua 1:9 says, "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous.  Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

If you feel the Lord leading you to do something but you're letting fear get in the way, just take the first step.  If you're doing it by His Word, you cannot fail.

You should also go get Heather's book, "Scoot Over and Make Room".   The excerpt I shared is from a chapter titled "Shout Their Worth,  and if you liked it, you'll love the rest of it.  So much goodness in this book!  After my morning devotion, I started rereading through a few chapters for inspiration.  The next chapter is titled "Sit in the tension" and if you travel the path of advocacy, you will definitely be sitting in some tension! Anyway, one thing led to another and I ended up on this blog that I haven't posted to in months.  It always helps clear out my jumbled head when I write here. This whole post is basically a pep talk to myself, but I figured somebody else might need it to.

And here are some pics of some of my favorite moments from the past several months.  We took a big road trip this summer to the east coast, and I haven't had a chance to edit those yet.  Maybe that will be my next post.

Have a blessed day, Friends!