My "Spiritual Comfort Zone" is easy to describe.....one word....here it comes....ORPHANS!!!
In addition, I have a passion to be a part of the special needs community because of my little "special ones"....to love them, accept them, and be a friend to them.
Last November, most of you will recall, our daughter Lydia (with help from her brother and sister, Caleb and Natalie, and some dear neighbor friends) raised close to a whopping $30,000.00 in seven days last Thanksgiving so our family could travel to the Ukraine to adopt a little orphan girl who has Down Syndrome. Can you begin to imagine just how much this was IN OUR COMFORT ZONE? It met both of our "Spiritual Comfort Zone" criteria....orphan and special needs.
We began to plan our trip, gather our documents, and spread the word. Then God, in his "way", halted everything. Chappy, ten years my senior, had aged out of the program. In order to make the adoption work, I would have had to enter the Ukraine under false pretenses....stating I was a single woman seeking adoption. Deal Breaker!!!
Soon after learning our adoption of Darya was not going to go through, our family learned that Hope was (and is) again having major issues with her heart. The "Love Balloon" (aneurysm) within her heart continues to grow and change it's shape. As a result, her prognosis is uncertain and our staying within the confines of the United States "just in case" suddenly became vitally important to us for Hope's sake.
We forwarded the money Lydia had raised for Darya's adoption to Reece's Rainbow to be used for another family to become her adoptive family. Without delay, the Fick family stepped forward; and remarkably, the only thing that had been preventing their adopting was money. God used Lydia and her faith to raise the money, but chose the Fick family to be the recipients of the honor of raising little Darya. Today, her adoption was finalized. Praise the Lord!!!
We could clearly see God's hand in all of this....and decided the issue was "timing", but felt certain God would send another child our way to adopt since all of our homestudy paperwork is complete.
Then, on a trip to the beach in June, Chappy and I quite randomly learn of our current Senator, Jack Johnson's, proposed bill (SB2517). If that bill had passed, educators in TN would have had the right to physically restrain and LOCK special education students, mentally/physically disabled students, in isolation rooms at school! Outraged doesn't adequately describe my feelings on this issue.
Chappy laughed: "The only way to change that kind of thinking in the TN Legislature is if you replace Jack Johnson and speak up for all the special needs kids."
I thought about his words for several minutes and then replied: "I'll do it!"
"Are you kidding me?" he asked.
"No, I don't think so." was my answer.
Forty days until the election, and I am running for State Senator, District 23.
OUT OF MY COMFORT ZONE!!!! (Ok, I am screaming that to both the reader and God!)
OUT OF MY COMFORT ZONE!!! (screaming again, just in case He didn't hear me the first time)
God put the brakes on our journey to the Ukraine so fast he left our heads spinning. We tried to fanangle and bedangle and do whatever we could do to get to the Ukraine to adopt Darya, but God just kept saying "no"and the rules just would not change (poor Chappy, no matter how hard he tried, could not take those two "too many" years off of his life).
On this State Senate race, God keeps saying: "Yes, Yes, Yes!" and I keep asking Him "Why, Why, Why aren't you stopping me?"
In my search for answers (and assurance), I have completed the book "Radical", and watched the above video this morning (and other videos on the same "Radical" topic) by David Platt. I received my answer; actually I already knew the answer, but wanted God to pound it in my head a few times. His Word? "Follow Me Out Of Your Comfort Zone!"
I have been told more than once, if elected, I will be placed on every committee that no one else wants to touch...and will be given a basement closet to set up as my office. Afterall, I am completely "non-establishment" as a write-in candidate, right? That alone will supposedly earn me some "hate". Imagine being told this a few too many times....sound like fun??? Not really. But I am reminded again: "Follow Me!"
All the more reason to stay on my knees....RADICALLY in love with my Creator, my Savior, and my Lord! Trusting Him. Faithing Him. And following Him. Winning or losing this election just doesn't matter. I am a winner because of the cross! And by the way....so are you!