The other day, although I can’t remember for the life of me who it was, asked me… “Did we know that Olive had special needs when she came to our doorstep?” The question in itself made me laugh. My words replied that I was thankful for what we didn’t know as it would have intimidated what we did.
This question got me thinking about the year of 2020.
Wade and I did not intend to be a foster home. The very thought was a resounding NO as our hearts were more drawn to adoption. I would google the adoption sites. Talk to friends who had made the leap. And think of fundraising ideas so that our family of 6 could welcome in a group (yes, group) of siblings into our own bundle of blessings. I even wrote the word adoption on my 2016 dream board and would pray over this idea almost daily.
Little did we know, we’d find ourselves sitting in a Christian Fostering Agency, A Door of Hope, listening to the gospel being preached about the modern-day orphan. We didn’t know that 2020 would bring the year of social distancing and the fear of almost all strangers and even friends. This year our homes would become our safe haven and all social events would be canceled. Seems like the perfect time to welcome in a complete stranger.
Did you know that we finished our fostering class in February 2020 and the whole world would shut down just 3 weeks later? We didn’t see it coming either. This moment of shut down had us questioning whether we were even doing the right thing to begin with. As our fostering journey was put on halt along with so many other things in the world. We were also faced with global questions, our own family fears of what was to come, and a sense of overwhelming lack of vision.
This was supposed to be the year of vision but yet we found ourselves unable to see or identify any of the things we thought were from God.
While we were busy visioning our goals and our dreams for 2020, God was envisioning something greater. To envision is to imagine a future of great possibility. 2020 seemed far from what any of us envisioned. But yet somehow God was working through our visions to envision something greater.
To imagine a future that was far greater than what we could see for ourselves.
I always find it interesting and sometimes strangely comforting that God took away Paul’s vision. Well of course when he went blind his name was Saul and he was a murderer who hated all Christians. Paul was equally convicted of his vision. To eradicate this so-called false teaching of Jesus who came to save the world. As a Roman Citizen, he saw it as his purpose to kill all those that believed. Paul’s vision was intersected by what God could see.
God took away his vision so that Paul could envision what God saw.
I wear contacts and I am so thankful because I am almost blind. However, if I am not careful, I can take for granted this modern convenience and begin to focus on the time it takes to clean them, take them out at night and pay money that I wish I could spend on other things each year. But every evening when I put on my thick glasses I am thankful that I can see. I am reminded of just how blind I am when I look out my peripheral and see that without my glasses/ contacts, I would be in a world of trouble.
2020 was supposed to be the year of vision. But about a quarter in, things got a little blurry. A little unpredictable.
Did we know this was all coming? I think if we had, we would have done everything we could have to stop it and would have missed out on what God was doing through it. I am not saying that God caused the deaths and hardships of so many people. However, I am saying that sometimes He will temporarily blind us so that we can tune our vision to what He sees instead.
No, we didn’t know that our new little girl would have special needs. We didn’t know that we would be running around crazy to get her to every appointment, every need and have so many hard days and nights seeing God work in her life. But if we had, we would have likely been intimidated to say no. So instead, God blinded us with what we didn’t know and used it to propel us into a beautiful season of dependence and thankfulness based on what He knew.
Our lack of vision created space for Him to envision something greater.
I am thankful God blinded Paul so that he would gain new sight of what was to come. I am grateful that God took my vision of what this year was supposed to be and taught me something greater. We have NO idea what 2021 will be, but 2020 has taught me the beauty of not knowing.