Corner of the World

>> Thursday, June 28, 2007

This is a strange question but have you ever felt like a Google Earth map? You know, how it starts in outer space somewhere and zooms in closer and closer and closer until the details of your destination are so close you can almost touch it? Sometimes, I'll be sitting somewhere, like on my back porch and all the sudden it will hit me, how did I land here? On this exact coordinate, at this exact moment? Of all the zillions of places on the earth, and all the zillions of people I landed here...on this corner of the world. Somewhere out there is a boy herding sheep in Ireland in his corner of the world. Somewhere else is a girl in Iraq shielding her ears from gunfire and that's her unfortunate corner of the world. Yet in another corner is a woman walking down her own corner street to get fresh fruit. But how did my corner become XYZ Street, USA? Choice? Somewhat. Destiny? Maybe. Purpose? Absolutely.

Over the last year, I've been thinking a lot about purpose. Most people define their purpose in life by what they do. For most men, this is obvious...they are where they work. For most women their purpose is wrapped up in their families. For some their purpose is to grab all they can out of life and buy as many toys as possible. I'm sure many others are muddling through without any sense of purpose at all. I guess I thought I knew what my purpose was this time last year. Wife. Homeschooling Mom. Graphic Designer. Foster Mother. I wore many hats, had many roles and thought I had life figured out. Until I got sick. When I found myself in bed day in and day out unable to wear any of my "hats" I started doubting my purpose. I wasn't much of a mom in bed, I certainly wasn't getting any homeschool done. I lost several graphic design clients because I couldn't get their work done and a couple of our foster kids had to be moved on. I felt like God had stripped me of everything I "was". What's worse? I think the house somewhat ran better without me. I would have liked to think the whole world would have stopped when I did, but that wasn't the case. Instead the world kept right on ticking as if I wasn't even there. If life keeps going with me and all that I "do" then why am I even here in the first place? What is my purpose?

Lately, we've been fostering some very sick babies...one right after the other. The most recent one is going to stay. We're fortunate enough to adopt him. He has a rare birth defect causing severe neurological damage. He's blind and has pituitary problems. We're told he may never learn to walk or talk. He will have feeding issues and will never lead a so-called normal life. So what is his purpose? I've struggled with this question almost more than my own sense of purpose. I know this can't be a senseless act of God. But when then? The answer I've come up with so far is...joy. He brings joy to everyone in our family. When he hears my voice his face lights up making me weep for joy. Once I watched him laugh so hard at a funny sound that I actually cried tears of joy. I see him sleeping peacefully, and a smile of joy comes across my face. He brings joy to us, and we bring joy to him...that's his purpose. In fact, we named him Nathan meaning "gift of God". He came to us Christmas weekend and he has brought us the gift of joy.

Job was stripped of everything he had in a much more dramatic way than I ever was. But I feel God's message was the same, "Am I enough for you? Even if I take away everything you *think* your purpose is...your spouse, your livelihood, your children, your things...will I still be enough?" Why does God even care? He can have anything He wants in this whole world!! Anything. So why does He bother with little old me on this very teeny tiny, miniscule corner of the world? Because I bring Him joy. Just like our son brings us intense joy, I bring God joy. Wow. He is like the ultimate Google Map zooming in closer and closer and closer to my heart. My heart. Because I bring him joy. So wherever our corner of the world is...God sees us and we bring him joy no matter what our circumstances. No matter who we are. We don't have to perform our motherly duties to achieve purpose. We don't have to work 60 hours a week or own many toys. We don't have to "do" anything. My little corner of the world is enough for Him and He is enough for me! Pretty cool.

Oh, and coincidentally, *my* middle name is Joy.

2 comments:

Anonymous June 28, 2007 at 10:09 PM  

Ok, I knew you were a good writer but you just took it to a whole new level.
That was just beautiful.
John

Anonymous June 29, 2007 at 4:57 AM  

no coincidence your middle name was JOY :)

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