Curtains and Cute lives

I am a polished mess of a girl- like my cute little baby nephew with a dirty diaper. From a distance pretty darn cute and then get up too close and he stinks!  I'm not suggesting that I am "darn cute."  But I have one of those cute lives- you know, cute car, cute clothes, cute pictures of my kids at the beach kind-of life- one of those. But it's not reality.  My cute life covers a lot of mess.

If you have followed this in the last few months- you know that we have been wrestling about the plans God has for us on this planet. We have been willing to do anything, terribly aware that we will only be here for a little while and wanting God to use us in that time.
But when I started this blog I was not even to that place fully. I believed I would use this space to share what I was learning in a transparent way. I had no idea that God was about to stir things in my heart that were slightly beyond my realms of "normal."
Yet here I am blogging and here we are dreaming. And I am torn. I began this blog with the conviction that every entry would be a glimpse into my heart and current struggles- no matter how messy. And yet sharing honestly about the wrestlings of these dreams seems potentially inappropriate- like I am lifting the curtain to our most private wrestlings- possibly opening these things up to dozens of opinions.
But maybe the timing of this blog and our wrestlings are no accident. Maybe this is what God wants to use... and my life is not my own and I write to give away what I have been given. And I write with no shame fully disclosing my inadequate humanity and God's fantastic upheaval of my mess of a heart and head. Knowing full well it is the plight of every believer. That God would be about messing with us on every issue of the heart. So if I make mine public, I sincerely need your grace.
Writer and theologian Henri Nouwen said it this way.... "it is my growing conviction that my life belongs to others just as much as it belongs to myself, and that what is experienced as most unique often proves to be most solidly embedded in the common condition of being human."

I am counting on only fellow humans reading this, and we will see if my messy process with the God of the universe is actually quite common.

So here we go- a small glimpse under the curtain....
Are we going to adopt? If I could save a life, at no risk to my own, would I not do it? This is the position we find ourselves in. We are rich (in light of most of the world) and situated and comfortable with a bed to spare and a usually full pantry and yet I feel scared. I am brought to tears at the sight of almost any picture from Africa. I think of a child over there, could be ours- already born and not yet claimed- and what am I waiting for? I don't know- but I am scared for how our lives will change with the many unknowns. I worry about the white world we would be bringing a child into. I wonder about having four kids- unlike my sisters I never wanted more than three kids. Our lives seem so full- usually overflowing.
We have not begun the paperwork yet but some days we feel close. Of course some people think we are crazy for pursuing this. But I am realizing that goes with almost any act of recklessness, even reckless love. When Zac and I left the movie theatre after "The Proposal" (of all movies) he says, "that made me want to adopt.... it was about a woman who was unloved and so she didn't know how to love... and we have enough love in our home for this." He would start the paperwork tomorrow- he always says, "Why would we not?" On most days I agree.
I can't forget about these kids that have no one and nothing in the world- and I have everything, including the capacity to help at least one of them... why would I not save a life at no risk to my own? Or is this a risk to my life... my familiar safe life, it could only be a risk to our comfort... not my life. Some think we need to be 100% sure before we do this... is God calling you? But I think God does not have to over-clarify for us to obey. God has said His peace... does He will for me to take my ridiculous abundance and bless others in need? Does He want me to care for the poor? Does He want me to lay down my life? Did he command me to care for orphans? God's clarity is not my issue.

On writing... This is a consuming process with no certain end. I have some crazy fun ideas that I am working on- and I truly believe God could use them- but then I look around and realize I am the one supposed to pull them off. It's just me. I'm average girl- not fancy writer girl.
But I am learning that if you wait till you are ready or adequate or 100% sure you will never do anything. So I am hoping with enough God and enough coffee in me the gaps in my ability and clarity will be bridged. (And my kids back in school probably wouldn't hurt the process either...)
My theology is this... I serve a big God and I am a mess and the place I live is a mess and the people around me are messes (no offense) and we all need God. But what I do with that theology is difficult. I either put my hope in Him or the mess of me or the mess of this world or the mess of all of you. I usually get it wrong.
And then as I am writing this ridiculously long blog- I get an update from Katie in Uganda (please read: ).
One thing- big God must replace the mess of me. I'm over my cute comfortable easy life. I don't want to make decisions based on my adequacy and capacity. I don't want to miss what God has for us because I am afraid.

Jennie Allen6 Comments