Monday, March 18, 2013

Perfect Love Drives Away Fears


Recently, I have been posting about how God has been changing our minds about what adoption should look like in our family. (See Big Kid Adoption and Big Prayers.) We originally thought we would adopt one healthy child under the age of three. Fast forward about a year and we in the home study process being approved to adopt up to two children, unrelated or siblings, ages six and under, either healthy or with some correctable and/or minor medical/special needs. In my post  "Big Kid Adoption" and "Big Prayers," I wrote about how researching and finding answers to our questions has helped put to rest our fears about adoption. While this is true, perhaps even more true is that God's love has put to rest our fears.

1 John 4: 18 says that perfect love (God's love) drives out fear. While I am all for preparation, I know all the preparation in the world without the love of God in our hearts, wouldn't be enough. God's love enables the preparation and education to lay our fears to rest.

Sometimes I still have fears. This week I opened my inbox and found an email from K. our social worker with a draft of our home study for us to look over. (We happened to receive the draft on our 3rd wedding anniversary! What a nice gift!). I was so excited to read our home study! Reading it made our adoption seem more real. Yes, I felt very excited, but I felt a little nervous and fearful too! The reality hit me that Andrew and I will be completely responsible for these children that we are bringing into our family!  I am sure every new parent feels a little nervous about the responsibility of parenting children. For me, God's love is what calms and soothes those fears! God fills my heart with love for these children who will someday be mine to mother. When our children are finally home with us, and the days are long and hard, it will be God's love that will help us through those hard times.

I don't want to sound like I am tooting my own horn here - I am praising God for His power and love in me. I am not capable of being loving in and of myself. By nature, I am a very selfish person. I want what I want and I want it now! Know what I mean? But God, through His great love, has saved me from my sin and selfishness. He has changed my selfish nature and is helping me to continue to change and to become more loving like He is loving. Every inch of our adoption journey, from the idea being born in our hearts, to God opening our hearts to the very neediest children (older and special needs), has been because of God's love in our hearts. 

1 John 4: 7-14 NASB

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.

Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. We love, because He first loved us. If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.

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