Thursday, February 21, 2008

Loving God


Last night we had the pleasure of hosting the Sheppard family. They have been missionaries in the West African area for about 20 years, and were the family who nursed our Eva back to health before she came home to us. They are in the US until late November raising support during their travels. I was so happy for them to see the After "pic" of their time and sacrifice that they poured into the Before "pic" of Eva. (As an aside, I think Nia thought they might be here to take her back to Liberia. She remembered us staying with the Sheppards while there. She hung close all night and started drawing these pretty pictures with words about Jesus' love, etc. for each family member. That's never happened before.)

Connecting with them again, and in particular, picking Nancy's brain about the Liberian culture was such a joy for me. She gave me more valuable insights into the Liberian way of thinking and responding (ie, Nia's tantrums). But the thing that keeps ringing in my brain and heart is when she answered my question about loving the unlovable, "I had to stop trying to love people, and start focusing on loving God instead" (paraphrase). We just can't love people unconditionally. Only God can do that. People disappoint us, hurt us, betray us, especially our kids and spouses. We can only love those people if we are loving God first. She was also a great testimony to obeying God with the things He has set before you instead of trying to "save the whole world." We can make ourselves crazy thinking about all the horrors, the children that aren't adopted, the people who are starving. But God gives us something to do for His kingdom right in front of us - like the people in Nehemiah who repaired the broken wall that was right across from their house. What a great place to start! For her, something that God set before her was caring for Eva, along with many other children who would cross her threshhold.

7 comments:

Amy said...

Oh, I'm so jealous. :) I LOVE the Sheppards! Nancy is such a terrific mom, a warm host, and a strong Christian woman. And she makes it look so effortless. :)

Ginger said...

Very profound words. Blessed me a lot today. Thanks so much for sharing!

Missy said...

Angel, I'm so glad you all got to visit with the Sheppards again. Like Amy, I am envious of that opportunity. I remember Nancy using the phrase "loving the unloveable" when we were there in reference to Merry. I'm glad she was able to give you some good council regarding Nia. And poor Nia, thinking they were taking her back to Liberia. Take care, Missy

Tama said...

I am so sorry I did not get to meet them while there in Liberia. We stayed at the other guest house and focused on our girls. But I too am jealous. What a treasure of a night you had with them. She sounds like an amazing woman.

amber said...

We really enjoyed the brief lunch we had with the Sheppards on their way through Washington... I am so glad you were able to spend time with them and that Nancy was able to see Eva. She was telling us stories about her when we visited with them.
I too have appreciated her perspective on life and loving God first and foremost. It puts everything in the right place because in the end it IS all about Him...
I also wanted to tell you how much I enjoy reading your blog. I will come out of lurking now... :)

Amber G.
(Henry's mom)

Anonymous said...

Yep, that's MY mom!!!

-Melodie
www.xanga.com/Africaz_Melodie

Scarlett_333 said...

Hi there! I am just trying to get the word out to other families who adopted (or are adopting) from Liberia, that the Charity of the Month for March is a family adopting a little boy named William from Liberia, and who already adopted a little girl named Naomi. I am stylizing blogs for $20 to raise money to go on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic, and $5 of every blog stylized in March will go to their adoption. Thanks so much!
Nikki
www.madebynikki.blogspot.com