As Christians, we’re called to make disciples and as moms, it starts at home. But how exactly do we do that?
“My good-natured and ravenous son rolls out of bed each morning chanting, ‘I want oatmeal!’ Within a minute or two, I have his bowl of morning oatmeal ready. He takes the bowl in his chubby hands and says, ‘Thank you, Mommy!’
This early morning interaction is both a sweet, steady gift and a jarring deviation from other elements of my life.
My husband and I began the adoption process when our oatmeal aficionado was barely one, when all he could shriek upon waking was ‘OHMA!’ Now his third birthday has come and gone. Now his sentences have a subject and a verb. Now he’s not a baby, nor is his older sister. There’s no baby in this house, just the distinct feeling that someone is missing.
Growing a family through adoption is not the stuff of microwaves and morning oatmeal. There are no buttons I can push, no clock that counts down the time, no quick satisfaction. Instead, there’s paperwork, and there’s waiting.
The waiting feels volatile and fruitless.
...Ultimately waiting is a crucial element for God-ordained growth. Waiting is not a forgotten, fruitless place but an intentional, ordered place to which God draws us, that we might remember him and practice our faith. It’s not a lifeless place but a place of life underground. In the waiting, below the surface, seeds are undone and roots are nourished. One day there will be fruit, but for now, there is vital work, work that cannot be microwaved.
In the seemly out-of-control waiting of the adoption process, though our hearts yearn for instant satisfaction, we must remember that God isn’t a God of instant oatmeal but the Creator of precious fruit. We must take one faithful step after the other, keeping our eyes on him like the Israelites followed the pillar of fire in the dark wilderness nights. We must be patient, knowing the true work is done underground where we can’t see, soaking up every drop of the rains that come to nourish the dry soil. We must establish our hearts by resting in who God has shown himself to be in scripture: steadfast, kind, and in control.”
Vulnerable moms are all around us—the park, the library, the local school, the store. They might have different concerns, worries, and privileges, but the value of their personhood and need for the gospel are the same. But how do we care for these neighbors? What does God’s word say to the mom in the midst of diapers, school pick-ups, and busy schedules?
“The Bible is full of examples of caring for the vulnerable who have been ‘cast off’ from society.
In the Old Testament, there were laws about caring for the poor, the widows, and the orphans. The lineage of Christ includes the names of vulnerable, imperfect women like, Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and Mary.
In the New Testament, we see that Jesus left his place in heaven, at the right hand of God, to be born into a lineage that included men and women who were unable to follow God’s law, were cast out from society, and were foreigners among God’s covenant people. Jesus was born to a vulnerable woman who was pregnant out of wedlock. He humbled himself to dwell among strangers to show them God’s love by dying in their place, so they could be in relationship with a holy God who cannot look upon sin.
The scriptures tell a story of God bringing vulnerable strangers and foreigners into his family through redemption in Christ. Throughout the narrative of God’s word, it’s clear that we’re not brought into God’s family based on our own merit or lineage but by the saving grace of Jesus. We’re called to extend the same grace to the strangers and vulnerable people in our midst, wherever God has placed us.”
Today’s article is something special. It’s an interview with Tamra Call on gospel-hope for the vulnerable mom. She shares common misconceptions, what God’s word says for caring for the vulnerable, and how we moms—even in the little years—can love our neighbors well.
Yesterday, my husband said, ‘You’re going to be a good mom.’
I was making up bunk beds with the new bedding I’d agonized over for weeks. ‘Can dots be gender-neutral?’ ‘What if they’re scared of jungle animals?’ ‘Do girls like blue?’ He knew I needed to hear it.
I’m a soon-to-be foster mom who’s admittedly unfit for the task. I can count the number of diaper changes I’ve completed on one hand. I’m too young to parent a teenager. I’m not good at pretending or diffusing tantrums. I know nothing about the trauma. I don’t usually say the right thing.
I’m unprepared and unqualified, but the Lord called me anyway.
God called Jeremiah to be one of the great prophets, faithfully serving for forty years in the face of great persecution in a society that lived in complete moral failure. Jeremiah almost said, ‘No.’
He really was just a boy with no resume to support this appointment to prophet. He faced a nation overcome by apostasy—a calling that included great physical abuse and imprisonment. Jeremiah was a boy unprepared and unqualified for the task, but the Lord called him anyway.
God promised that he would give Jeremiah the words to speak, and he would be with him as his deliverer when the nation of Israel turned against him. He was a man who spoke with the words of God.
We sometimes forget we’re living every day with the power of the Holy Spirit inside of us. While the rest of the world tries to face marriage, careers, social injustice, and motherhood on their own, believers are filled with the spirit of the living God. We’re not enough, but our God is more than enough.
Motherhood is a huge calling, in whatever way you face it. Whether you’re navigating the teenage years, struggling in pregnancy, filling out state-mandated paperwork, or in the weeds of waiting, the Lord goes before you to help you accomplish the tasks to which he appoints you.
Even when you feel unprepared and unfit, even when you are unprepared and unfit, the Spirit of God can use you to accomplish his good plans.
As Christians, we know that God’s heart is for adoption. We rehearse to one another that pure religion looks after the orphan (James 1:27). We believe he sets the fatherless in families (Psalm 68:6) and that he will not leave us as orphans, but that he’ll come to us (John 14:18). We know the Father lovingly adopted us, paying an unspeakable price to make us his own (Ephesians 1:5-7).
We rightly apply the gospel to our lives when we acknowledge that we are adopted sons and daughters and we set out to adopt as well. It is a high and holy calling to be an adoptive mom. It is a right response to the love the Father has freely lavished on us.
But when we adopt, there are limitations to this gospel application, which are not always acknowledged. You and I are not God. We are far from perfect, sinless saviors. And our children don’t fit the mold of repentant and grateful sinners expected after a salvation experience. The parallels do break down.
Every adoption is birthed in brokenness. When you and I step in, our children have already endured losses we will never fathom. They carry pain we cannot heal.
It might seem like what you're doing isn't THAT big of a deal. It might feel like ANYONE can change diapers or give bottles or rock a baby. And yes, to some extent, that's true. But you are doing so much more than JUST meeting physical needs.
When you choose to love an infant well: singing that quiet song, using that dorky voice, smiling in that silly way, reading that repetitive book, or feeding that messy snack - you are displaying God's love.