adoptedfamilyIzzeOn A Personal Note June 30, 2012

“Judge Not”

In December, after being “paralyzed” for four months (and not working) I knew something had to give.  Legal fees were mounting (we hit $45K in December) and I was feeling completely overwhelmed.  David and I had been debt-free (except for our home) for many years and the amount of debt we had accumulated over the past few months was immense and with no end in sight.  I was commenting to a ‘friend’ about how scared I was of going into that kind of debt-at what point did I say I had done enough?-and expressed how confused I was by the whole situation.  The only thing I knew for sure, was that the first time I saw Izze I knew she belonged in our family.  But THIS was madness to be sure!  She lectured me for half an hour – told me I was lacking faith and that God would provide an answer if I would just exercise faith.  She told me when we started the adoption process I should have known that this was possible (how could anyone KNOW?) and that it was my own decisions that had put us in this awful situation.  By the time she finished ranting and left my house I was sobbing.  I had been praying the entire time and felt I had been exercising my faith, but also believe that God expects us to use wisdom in all our decisions and was seriously questioning whether or not I had done that.  $45k and growing by the minute, did not feel like the smartest thing I had ever done.  On the other hand, if it was the right thing to do, how could I put a price on Izze’s life?  I knew exactly what kind of life she would have if we quit fighting for her!  I prayed non-stop for days – and then, without sharing too much- as this was an extremely spiritual and personal experience – I got my answer.  The Lord let me know without question, that He had this!  I was to “stay the course” and in due time, we would have our answer.  I cannot express how personally freeing this was for me.  I went back to work with full heart and literally laid my burden at the Lord’s feet.  I did not know how, or when, BUT I knew He would take care of it for me.  I obviously had NO control over any aspect of the situation.  I could not control the attorneys, the birth mom, DCFS, the judge, OR the Lord’s timing….  BUT I did trust Him to keep his word.  

Lesson from this experience – judge not!  Unless you have walked in someone else’s shoes and had the very same experiences to draw from (which BTW, is NEVER), you do not have the insight to judge another.  Each man/woman’s life is their own.  Each of us will have those experiences that will refine us personally and help us to grow.  We are all blessed with gifts and talents that define us.  It is our experiences, combined with these gifts and talents that shape the way we respond to any given situation.  Dieterf Uchtdorf stated, “Don’t judge me because I sin differently than you do.”  I don’t know that I would call my response to my difficult situation a “sin”, but I do feel I was being judged harshly because I did not respond the way my ‘friend’ would have.  I think I have learned – the hard way – that we are all doing the best that we can and that we do not have the right to judge another.  We all come from a different place (different up-bringing, different experiences, different beliefs about life, different ideas even of right and wrong) and no one but our Father-in-Heaven and his son, Jesus Christ, truly understand our hearts and our true motives and desires.  NOT judging another is much easier said than done, but I pray that I will never cause another to feel the way I did after my “friend’s” critique of me.  Each experience is a teacher if we will allow ourselves to learn from them and each experience will make us stronger and better prepared for the next one.  I hope I have these lessons firmly etched in my memory forever.