Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Child Sponsorship

Several years ago after giving birth to Sage Elyse, my oldest, my heart grew for other children. It's strange how that happened. I paid more attention and found myself being even more entertained and delighted by children in general. I always loved them, it wasn't like I didn't like kids, but my heart grew, it just did. The second they placed that crying baby in my arms and she heard my voice, her crying subsided. Simultaneously, my instincts as a mother kicked into high gear.

I know most of you understand exactly what I'm talking about. Some of you may not have children yet, but I'm sure can relate on some level too. It's very human, raw and pure. Selfishness is forced out of you as you tend to continuous needs of a child so precious. It's hard and beautiful. I look at young mothers with newborns and my heart just wants to hug them. I seriously want to go over and rub their backs and hold them while they cry. lol If you're a new mom reading this, you're doing SOOOO good! It's HARD! You are keeping that little one alive and that is more than most of us do all day. Nurture is an amazing ability isn't it?

So yeah, my heart enlarged. I'm realizing every time my heart opens wider, the Lord fits something perfect in it's place to cause it to stretch out even further. It can be quite painful. I guess if that didn't happen the most unfortunate thing would though. I'd draw inwards, become selfish and begin focusing on my life, my dreams, my 401k. I don't think these things are bad, actually they are awesome, but God knows how unfulfilled I would be if I focused on them, and made my life about them. I can't imagine how much sorrow I'd hold in my hands at the end. It's the goodness and mercy of God to keep enlarging me, even though at times it seem too heavy and breaking open is the only release.

Eric and I have never had a lot of money. There's been times where we've had more, but never a lot. In one of the seasons of most lack, my heart became the most full. I saw a show that tore me up. It was about child sponsorship. Who knows whether manipulation with flies and the rest were used as tactics to extract money from people, I don't really care. The truth is, since then, I've seen the flies and those precious sad eyes. I don't care about motives as much as I care about truth and you know, that stuff is real. It is so important to find trustworthy organizations though since so many don't give the money where it is most needed. But in that moment, the organization didn't matter. The compassion in my heart did. I saw those children as if they were my Sage, my only child at the time. I was holding her, watching them and a miracle happened. My heart enlarged again!

We didn't have enough money to pay our mortgage each month. We didn't have enough money to buy groceries each week. We were stressed and in debt and too be honest, had a good bit of debt.
Did you know that when your heart is filled with compassion and you don't act, it goes away? I only know this because I've had it happen many times in my life. It does, it just goes away eventually. You get distracted and stop feeling that little nag and life goes on. You know what's crazy though, you know how much God loves these people, He loves them so deeply he allows that feeling to overwhelm you again some time later. And again, and again, and again it comes until you cannot move forward without acting. You have to act or you will be crushed under the weight of such love. This is what beauty looks like.

We figured that God was going to have to supply our needs any way, why not start believing for theirs to be covered too. We took on our first sponsor child. If I told you the money came rushing into our lives after that decision, it would be a lie. It didn't. We acquired more debt after that decision. That said, that decision remains one I'm most proud of. Every time I looked at my fridge and saw her face, my child's face, I knew my life was bigger than me and that my footprint now extended through the world. I knew that she knew, someone in this big lonely screwed world, someone loved her enough to prove it. And every time I walked away from my fridge and saw the abundance of my home and what I have in comparison to others, my financial lack was the furthest thing from my mind.

If you don't know this feeling, it is truly unique. I have nothing to gain by exposing our experiences but this, that you might know how lovely this world can be when we love each other and when we cooperate with compassion by allowing it to cause us to move. Little decisions make big impacts in peoples lives. Consider your own life. Do you remember things or moments? Do you remember when someone stopped for you, listened to you, loved you, valued you? I sure do.

To esteem value to someones life who has never done a thing for you, and who you probably won't receive any gain from, is the most God like thing we can do. We value people all the time for what they can do, for their abilities,or how they may improve our life. Sponsoring a kid is not like that. It's not selfish, it's raw and pure and beautiful!

Because this is a subject of great passion for me, I have done a lot of research on trustworthy organizations. If you feel inspired, it's a great time to act, because if you don't, it will go away. ;)
I'm not pushing any organization, but did post a really great one on my NCB facebook page. If you're interested in knowing more about that one or where Eric and I sponsor our kids, I'll be glad to share. Much love!

May your heart enlarge today!