Hebrews 12:1-2
"...let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith..."

Friday, January 28, 2011

Thick Skin

Last night five adoptive moms and myself went to the home of a pretty amazing woman.  This woman is the mother of 10 children--2 biological and 8 adopted!  (I'll call her Mom W)  She is wise beyond measure and amazingly transparent.  What started out as a hair and skin care class developed into Mom W sharing about her life as an adoptive mom, and ended with us being able to ask question after question about anything.  Mom W was great!  Six of her kids were home and graciously agreed to join us for a time so that we could even ask them questions (of course, the cake awaiting them afterwards served as a great bribing tool)!  We smiled, laughed and even had a few tears throughout the night.

I learned a lot.  THICK SKIN.  Mom W shared that not everyone will be excited about a white family adopting black children.  There will be white people who are not happy with it.  There will be black people who are not happy with it.  BUT, they will ALL be HAPPY to let us know their opinion...in the middle of the grocery store, while we're eating at a restaurant, as we're shopping Target...whenever and wherever they want.  I will need THICK SKIN.  I thought a lot about this on the way home and even yet this morning...and I am wrestling with the idea of it.

Thick skinned means that you are not easily offended or hurt by criticism.  You are callous, unfeeling and hard hearted.

Hhhmm.  Am I thick skinned?  Can I be thick skinned?  Do I WANT to be thick skinned?  I'm not so sure.  Granted, I've yet to be in the situation where someone is voicing their opinion, using who knows what kind of language and pointing fingers at my family.  It might be that my momma bear instincts will rear up, ready to defend and even attack without warning.  But, do I REALLY want to be like that?

As a Christ follower, I know I don't want to be callous, unfeeling or hard hearted to the world.  THICK SKINNED.  Observing my life might be the only time that someone "sees Christ".  How would he respond?  Will I reflect him?  The Bible calls us to bless those who persecute us (Romans 12:14).  In 1 Cor. 4:12-13 Paul says, "...When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; when we are slandered, we answer kindly..."  Can I do this?  Will I be able to die to myself, endure, bless and respond kindly to someone who curses or persecutes my family or I solely because of skin color?  Hhhmm.  Honestly, I'd better be praying about that one.

What I am sure about....what I am confident in....is that God has called our family to adopt.  I do have THICK SKIN and will not be easily offended or hurt by criticism when someone judges my family or I in our obedience to Christ.  Being in the will of God is, without question, the safest place to be.  It is not always easy, but it is good and it brings a peace far beyond words.

3 comments:

  1. Lisa, I am so with you on this...I have been thinking a lot about it since last night too. And pondering all the stuff that I just haven't thought much about. It was so great that Mom W was so open with us, and the kids too! It really opened my eyes to start considering the kinds of things that they will experience, growing up with a white mama. (As opposed to just the things we will experience as parents with black children.) Above all I want Christ to shine in their lives and mine...and I know my tendency will be to turn into a mama bear when criticism comes. I have been asking God to help me with that...and even more so after we all talked last night.

    I'm so glad we're on this journey together! I love your posts and I love getting to know you and the other moms better through all of this!

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  2. I laid awake forever last night thinking about our night with Mom W. It was so great!
    Even though some of the difficult things about adoption were shared, I was SO encouraged by ALL the wonderful things! My fears are being set aside in faith to THE CREATOR who made us all and THE ONE who sees the whole picture at once!
    It makes me that much more eager to get our kids home, along with the good or not so good times. I'm at the point where, if God says no somewhere along the road, I would just be heartbroken. But somehow I'd even have to submit to that . . . Joyfully? Kind of strange to think that my wrestle with God about pursuing adoption has turned into a pleading for it to become accomplished!
    So glad, my sister, to know you now and GET to experience this with you!

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  3. http://kissesfromkatie.blogspot.com/2011/01/today-we-remember.html

    They will be ours . . . no matter what color they are. Not because we carried them in our bellies, but simply because God said so!

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