choosing to follow

Tonight is the fifth night we’ve tucked in our new son. Five nights, and this is what strikes me:

Sometimes responding to the Lord isn’t hard. 


When I first heard the whispers of the Lord saying there was another Ayres’ child, my response was blunt.

No. You must be talking to the wrong person. No. Absolutely not. No. No. No.

You can fight me on this, Ruth, but you must know he is just getting older.

You’ve gotta be kidding. This was the sound of my spirit yielding.

My concern has been it will be hard.

“Don’t worry. We do hard,” Andy said.

Not because I want to, I thought. Deep down, I knew he was right. We do hard. Last year I spent the entire year recovering and healing from hard. I spent 2012 learning how to do hard with joy. I finally felt comfortable again and then I heard that voice — a rumble like thunder, but soft like butterfly sneezes. We were stepping onto another adoption journey.

Eighty days later I tucked Jordan in good night. The process wasn’t hard. The wait wasn’t hard. The match wasn’t hard. The placement meeting wasn’t hard. Meeting him and spending time with him wasn’t hard. Transitioning him into our family wasn’t hard.

Sometimes following Jesus’ calling isn’t hard.

In the first month of the girls’ adoption, I committed Psalm 23 to memory. I was especially drawn to verse 4:

Even though I <sup class="crossreference" style="vertical-align: top;" value="(H)”>walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will <sup class="crossreference" style="vertical-align: top;" value="(J)”>fear no evil, for <sup class="crossreference" style="vertical-align: top;" value="(K)”>you are with me; your <sup class="crossreference" style="vertical-align: top;" value="(L)”>rod and your staff, they comfort me.

Today I was drawn back to Psalm 23. This time, verse 6 lingers with me:


My <sup class="crossreference" style="background-color: white; font-size: 0.65em; vertical-align: top;" value="(P)”>cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall <sup class="crossreference" style="background-color: white; font-size: 0.65em; vertical-align: top;" value="(Q)”>dwell in the house of the Lord <sup class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; vertical-align: top;" value="(R)”>forever.

One journey isn’t better than another. They both represent aspects of being a Christ-follower. I needed both lessons. I needed to know that sometimes God expects us to do hard. And it is possible. I also needed to know that sometimes when we respond to the Lord our cups overflow.

Either way, goodness and mercy follow. 

Let's Be Email Pals!

Teaching writers doesn't have to drown us.

Enter your information to receive my free eBook, plus weekly tips and encouragement for teaching writers.

Don't worry, I won't send you spam, and you can unsubscribe any time. (I'd hate to see you go, though.) Powered by Seva

8 Comments »

  1. I agree with Deb's comment.

    It was interesting to see glimpses of what you are learning from this process. It got me thinking about how I imagine your girls are also learning from this experience. Based on what you have said in the past, I am wondering if watching the process from the other side (welcoming someone new in vs. being new to the family) has also been a valuable learning experience for them. It seems like it would be. Maybe it is even comforting for them to see and more fully understand the process. So many possibilities of the impact short and long term.

  2. Encouraged. I feel like I am at that turning point from verse 4 to verse 6. I love reading your heart words my friend. (But realized that I shouldn't try to catch up in one sitting…tears!)

  3. Encouraged. I feel like I am at that turning point from verse 4 to verse 6. I love reading your heart words my friend. (But realized that I shouldn't try to catch up in one sitting…tears!)

  4. You have written some beautiful lines– a rumble like thunder, but soft like butterfly sneezes. I also love your acknowledgement that in life there are lessons to be learned that are polar opposites. Inspirational.