I feel like this in my Christian faith sometimes. Just like motherhood, in our faith we conjure up feel-good moments of beauty, like doing good deeds, dropping a few bucks in the offering, etc., but in all honesty, God's blessings are not always pretty, glamorous or easy and we wonder, "Was THIS in the job description??" And yet, just like the moment in the bathroom, I look back on it & am able to see the beauty & joy of that moment.
I bring this up because today has been a very emotionally packed day. You see, today was our "goodbye visit" day with our Punkie's birth family. It brought back many snapshot moments from the last two years, but particularly the very first time I took this wee tiny baby to the agency for a birth parent visit. I remember very vividly when the visit was over, the social worker took me back to the visitation room to give me "the talk" about how the goal of foster care was reunification & wanted to make sure I understood that. I just remember how God was impressing on my heart SO fiercely that I was to extend LOVE to this birthmother I had not met or even seen. I would love to tell you that I had a submissive heart & gladly went along with that. Frankly, every fiber of my being wanted to scream & run away. And yet, out of my mouth came the words, "Would it help if I offered to meet her so that she would know who I am & be able to talk to me about the baby's care?"
That was the beginning of a relationship that stretched me in ways I have never known. Was it what I had signed up for? No, but as I look back over these last couple of years, I am overwhelmed to realize that God blessed me in this way. Where there is love, there is no room for judgment, bitterness or any of the other emotions that can eat away at one's soul. I did not have to worry about "building a case"...I just had to love her. Was it always easy? Nope. There were many moments that weren't pretty, that weren't comfortable, that didn't even seem normal from the outside looking in (people were often dumbfounded when they would see me hugging her). I didn't always feel all warm & fuzzy, but I continued to obey what I know God was commanding me to do.
Now, reflecting on these last couple of years, I am beginning to see the beauty in those "snapshots". I am so thankful that God did not leave me to my own human defense mechanisms & guided me in how to love people...His people. It is humbling...it actually brings me to my knees...that God would allow us into the lives of a few of His most fragile & broken souls. By caring for "the least of these", we have built relationships that made today a day of hugging & picture taking with extended members of the family b/c they trusted me. By following God's command, I will always be able to look at my sweet little girl & tell her that I loved her birth mommy........
I have come to believe that blessings are typically not "newborn baby" moments. I think we are blessed when God gives us opportunities to be completely dependent on Him...to lose all control & allow Him to teach us, lead us, mold us. Thank you, Lord, that you have blessed me in ways that will leave me never the same.
"The highest reward for a person's toil is not what they get for it,
but what they become by it." ~John Ruskin