Parenting turns ordinary folk into warriors. My mom will attest that I was a very strong-willed, stubborn child. That stubbornness serves me exceedingly well now as a mother. It feels as though all I do some days is pit my will against the wills of my children…and yeah, sometimes I choose the wrong battle. I’m still learning.
Adopting our son has drawn us into warfare of a different magnitude. And I will confess that I, naively, ignorantly, did not realize I was signing up for this. I was not prepared for the intensity of the battle I am now engaged in. I find myself having to choose daily, sometimes hourly, whether I am going to crumple in surrender or stand up and war.
The opponent? Not my son, although it often feels that way. Oh my, does it feel like that most days. But I am fully aware there is an enemy who hates us both. Who hates adoption and redemption. Who would love to see our son continue to be tormented by fear and rage and anxiety. Who fiercely opposes love and healing and wholeness of body, soul, and spirit, the very things we have been contending for.
For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12 (NLT)
So I fight them. For the sake of all my children’s freedom and joy, and because my home will be a place where the Prince of Peace has total authority, I fight.
I fight against other voices, the many one-size-fits-all opinions and ideologies about adoptive parenting, whose clamor weighs me down with unhealthy comparisons and self-scrutiny and tries to overpower the unique leadership of the Holy Spirit in my life.
We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5 (The Message)
I fight my own fear that I cannot do this, that I am ill-equipped, that this job is too difficult, that I do not have what it takes as a mother.
God’s way is perfect. All the Lord’s promises prove true. He is a shield for all who look to him for protection. For who is God except the Lord? Who but our God is a solid rock? God arms me with strength, and he makes my way perfect. He makes me as surefooted as a deer, enabling me to stand on mountain heights. He trains my hands for battle; he strengthens my arm to draw a bronze bow. You have given me your shield of victory. Your right hand supports me; your help has made me great. You have made a wide path for my feet to keep them from slipping. Psalm 18:30-36 (NLT)
And while I fight, somehow, miraculously, I rest. Because I have a God who fights for me. Who defends me. Who desires my family’s peace and wholeness way more than I do, and is himself Peace and Wholeness. When all is said and done, the battle is the Lord’s.
Each one of you will put to flight a thousand of the enemy, for the Lord your God fights for you, just as he has promised. Joshua 23:10 (NLT)
The Lord is my strength and my song; he has given me victory. This is my God, and I will praise him—my father’s God, and I will exalt him! The Lord is a warrior; Yahweh is his name! Exodus 15:2-3 (NLT)
But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. 2 Corinthians 2:14 (NASB)
Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? No…overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. Romans 8:35-37 (NLT)Of this I am convinced.