And then I got married and had kids and like most parents, I started playing it safe.
I’m not saying that life with kids isn’t adventure but if we are honest we have to admit that we tend to play life safer when we have little lives who are dependent on us for their every need. When you become parents those crazy, impromptu road trips become well-planned road trips with bathroom breaks and boxes of animal crackers. Big decisions are not made on a whim but are made with a lot of prayer and consideration of how those decisions will affect the family’s finances and future.
It’s what the social media world calls “adulting” and sometimes it’s no longer about fun and adventure but it’s about security. We settle into our safe life with our 2.5 kids in our comfortable house in the suburbs and we sit in our minivan with the built in DVD players and coast into middle age.
Our family was there. We were comfortable. We were coasting.
And then one day God stepped into our safe, secure and comfortable existence and said, “But wait…I made you for more than this. I gave you a purpose much bigger than this. I made you to do big and brave things for me and my kingdom.”
“Who ME? But isn’t raising kids enough? Isn’t going to church enough? I give money. I volunteer. I sponsor a child overseas and I pack two boxes for Operation Christmas Child every single year for Pete’s sake! What more could you want from little old me?”
And then we heard that soft gentle whisper from God: Jump in.
You see, when God calls us to do something for Him, He doesn’t call us to stand on the shore and haphazardly dip a toe in to test the water. Oh no. The maker of the universe, the Lord of Lords says, “Jump. In.”
Jump in and swim out beyond the shore into the deep water–out to the place where you have no choice but to rely on Him.
In 2015, God called our family to leave the shore of safety and security to dive into the muddy, painful, heartbreaking waters of the foster care system. We didn’t jump in right away. I’ll admit that it took us a lot of toe dipping before we were finally obedient. But now here we are: beyond our safe and secure comfort zone, beyond the shore, out in the deep water. We said yes to God’s calling not because we are anything special but simply because we are obedient.
Some days it feels like we are drowning. Some days I’m frantically waving my hands, calling out to God, “Why me?!” And then there are days where the water is peaceful and I can feel God’s steady and sure hand holding onto my own. On those days, I’m certain I can hear Him whispering, “I. Got. This.”
Has it been scary? Absolutely. Are we tired? Absolutely. Do we doubt our abilities as parents? Everyday. But I can’t imagine life any other way. God didn’t call us to a life of comfort, He called us to a life of obedience and living in obedience to Him is a good place to be.