I was really worried about my kids. So, when the yoga instructor came around and asked which kind of essential oil I would like on my wrist, I said that I would like “whichever potion will convince me that everything will be okay.” She paused and said, “Oh girl, that’s inside work,” which was exactly why I was there.
At one point during the class, the instructor said, “When I’m sure that it isn’t all going to be okay, I try to remember that that’s the old story. There’s a new story that I can believe.” Her words rang true for me, especially as we moved towards Easter. The old story is brokenness and sin; the new story is healing and life. I often drift back into the old story, but the new one is just as available.
The truth of the matter is that our kids will throw us curveballs. They will take paths that scare or confuse us. They won’t turn out exactly as we anticipated. When this happens, we can either resist or surrender; we can look back or look forward; we can grieve or anticipate a brand new way.
I used to describe my experience as an adoptive mom to African-American twins as being “drafted” into a racial justice battle. When I remembered that I’d actually signed up for this adventure, I switched to the language of “enlisting.”
Recently, I have changed my language altogether to describe our experience as parents who have been “invited” into their world.
Here’s what I’ve come to realize: drafted means you were less lucky than someone else. Drafted is random. Invited, on the other hand, means that you were selected for this specific thing. Invited means that you were chosen for this. Invited is a privilege.
Invited is how I’m trying to view several things going on with my family right now. Instead of looking at these new challenges as things to fix, I’m trying to recognize that I have the opportunity to enter into communities and spaces that I wouldn’t have sought out. My children are getting me onto guest lists that I didn’t even know existed.
The way I see it, I can either resist and cling to the old story or I can throw open my heart and my arms and join this new life.
A friend recently made a very bold statement to me. I was stating that I didn’t have the skill set to raise my particular children; I keep having to learn new things and keep getting blindsided. She said, “Make no mistake. From before the foundations of the world, God knew that these children would be ours.”
Her words reminded me that it was no accident that we became the family that we are now. It helps me when I trust that God knew what God was doing when we were chosen for one another.
It also helps me to remember that even sharing in the hard things is a privilege. My kids don’t have to include me, but they do. They don’t have to tell me their complicated truths, but when they do, they need to see love and strength looking back at them. My kids don’t have to invite me into their new stories, but as long as they keep inviting me, I’ll keep showing up.