I know I have blogged about this before, but this perfectly describes where I am at today so I am going to go there again! Bear with me...
Growing up, our family raised sheep. My dad and sister had breeding ewes, and all three of us daughters raised sheep in 4-H for several years. We learned a lot about sheep growing up on our little "farm", and there is a lot of rich (and sometimes painful/humbling) truth to learn from the Bible's analogy of us as sheep and God as the Shepherd.
We would walk our 4-H sheep each day up the road, past a beautiful 10 acre lot that often had hay or lush grass growing in it. You would think that as we walked back home past this amazing field of food, the sheep would pull on the halters to get to the acres of grass and hay...but they didn't. Sheep are barnstrong - once they realize they are heading back to the barn, nothing becomes more important than getting back to the familiar. They would pull and tug on the halters, straining to get back to a barn where there wasn't any hay left to eat until night time and the grass wasn't nearly as lush or thick. But it was what was familiar...and a barnstrong sheep will settle for what is familiar even if it means passing by what is best.
This is a great picture of how I am feeling right now. When we realized we would be returning home without the daughter of our heart, all I could think about was rushing frantically back to our life of relative ease and comfort. In my heart I was pulling on the halter, struggling to get back to the status quo of the American dream we were living before God put adoption in our hearts. Even though the "American dream" is nothing but an empty barn, it was where I wanted to return to emotionally and spiritually.
I don't know what the future holds for our family. I really don't. But I realized today that I have been barnstrong in my heart. My emotional and spiritual self-preservation had led me to put my head down and flatly refuse to look around at where God might be leading me. I confess, I have been totally content to head back to the "barn", even though I might miss something better in the process.
Of course, the key word there is process. This is all a process. There is nothing anyone can say to make this all better, and there is no way to get over this except to go through it. But I caught myself today trying to stubbornly tug God along back to the safety of the "barn", even though I realize that may not be where he is leading our family. He may have something else for us, or He may just want to spend more time with me without the distractions of the former status quo. Either way, I realized that I need to stop pulling. I need to allow myself to be led. I don't know where God is leading, but I need to stop trying to get back to that old, empty barn.