One thing that God has been nudging me about is how I get fearful.
Earlier this week, when I asked Hubby to pray for me, one of the things he prayed that was that my fear would not get in the way of what God had me to do. And I realized it really had. It was confirmed when our pastor from http://www.gatheringbythebay.org/ was talking about how we, in the Western church, tend to try to attract people to our churches, events, culture, etc., rather than putting ourselves in their world. This isn't very effective, yet we spend so much money and time taking people away from their spheres of influence, make them "nice" Christians, and then when they no longer have contacts with others outside the church, we ask them to gather in others. It doesn't work very often, it isn't very Biblical, and yet we still do it. David Watson, at http://www.davidlwatson.org/ has some interesting things to say about it.
Anyway, that got me to thinking about how I've been interacting with the birth family. I have been dragging my feet with having much contact in their home by not going to their neighborhood after dark, asking that we meet at our church, our park, our home. Those are places I feel safe, with people I trust, in situations where I feel comfortable. I am now realizing how incredibly brave Birthmom has been. Because of her love for her kids, she is willing to come to where they are, even if it means coming out of her comfort zone. And now I'm thinking that I should be willing to step out of my comfort zone, to go to her turf, to put aside my worries about gangs, drive by shootings, and out of control brothers. I'm thinking that yes, I need to be wise, but if I'm ever going to be an influence on the lives of that family, I need to go to them and put aside my fears. I need to pray a blessing over them and their home. I need to love them where they are. And hey, it's not like we didn't live in a similar neighborhood when we were first married! Didn't we use to put our lawn chairs on the front porch and watch the prostitutes and drug dealers? Didn't we have multiple break-ins and thefts? Didn't we have all sorts of people come to our house, eat with us, stay the night, or many nights even? God took care of us then! Why couldn't He do it now? And if I'm not afraid to die of asthma, how much more should I not be afraid to die while showing God's love for someone and for a whole extended family? It wasn't by accident that we are in contact with them again. I don't know how all of this will end up. But I do know that God is up to something.