Upside Down Living

“The will of God — nothing less, nothing more, nothing else.”
— F. E. Marsh (also attributed to Bobby Richardson)

I realized the other day that I sort put it all out there on my blog, which I hope people find refreshing, though I know sometimes it might be a bit much. I don’t aim to be preachy or offensive. These are my honest thoughts on life. Sometimes they’re great, other times…not so much.

Anyway, over the last three and a half years, God has really driven home that message above. His will matters most of all. It’s what led me to leave my academic career. It’s what led me to Florida. It’s what led us to adoption. God’s will. Nothing else.

As I think about the “sacrifices” God’s will requires, I am struck by one thought: The more we are in a relationship with God, the less these things feel like sacrifices and the more they are something we willingly give up – maybe even want to give up. It’s upside down to how the world thinks. It’s counter to our culture. But there is something in growing closer in a relationship with God that makes all else fade into the background.

It’s not that some things aren’t appealing. There are days that I would love not to have to fundraise to bring my child home. There are days where the will of God is less of what I want and more of a duty. But sticking these moments through, I find myself more and more chasing after God. I think this is what Paul means when he says,

7But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ.

8More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ,

9and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith,

10that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death;

11in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.

12Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.

13Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,

14I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

We know that our lives make little sense when you just look at them. I realize that being “called” to adopt is a little crazy. I get that giving time and resources to go halfway around the world to love on orphans is nutty. Sometimes our lives don’t always make sense to us either! But I know what God has spoken to our hearts about our calling to be a part of the solution to the fatherless, and we keep pushing forward.

I’ll be honest. Sometimes, it’s not an easy road to walk. God’s will sets a new standard for us. It calls us to live for more than comfort and ease. But I rest in knowing that God’s will is best.

I had a friend, as I was going off to grad school, give me a little brass ship. While I’m usually averse to quick little Christian sayings, something about this particular nicknack has spoken to me continually. The nicknack moved with me from Massachusetts to Florida, and now sits on my desk at work. It reminds me that God’s will never supersede His grace and kindness.

"The Will of God will never lead you, where the Grace of God cannot keep you."

May God’s will be all-consuming in your life, and may you rest in the assurance that His will never leads you where His grace cannot keep you.

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4 thoughts on “Upside Down Living

  1. Carla,
    I started to cry when I read this quote from you: “There are days that I would love not to have to fundraise to bring my child home.” It shows that you already have a “mother’s heart” for your unknown child. It’s the same heart that God gives you when you find out you are pregnant and in awe of the fact that He has placed a child in your womb. It tells me that you are already praying for that child and calling on God Almighty to do His work in this baby’s life and soul. I am so excited for you and Evan AND our family. I can’t wait to be a Nana to this little person that you already are loving, praying for and concerned about. I love you sweet daughter-in-love!

  2. Such wisdom! I so look forward to your posts, especially your transparency and honesty. I see what God is doing in you (and Evan) and your lives. You are growing, and listening, and doing and running the race. I’m proud to be part of your cheering section.
    Love and blessings!

  3. Beautiful thoughts! And you are right, the longer you live a nutty life the more normal it starts seeming, even though it really is so counter-cultural to think of others first. What a wonderful example to the rest of the Christian world of love and faith in action.

  4. Oh the sweet will of God that draws us into close fellowship with our Lord! The cost fades into insignificance in light of the certainty that we are expressing our love in obedience to His expressed leading. Thank you for sharing your mother-heart. And thank you for the messaage on your sailboat.

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