Boasting In Weakness


In the Bible, in the second letter to the Corinthians, Paul talks about how being weak is a good thing in God’s economy. To summarize, if we feel pride and can brag about our accomplishments, we are delusional about ourselves, but if we realize our weaknesses, we can brag about those because it is in those that God is most glorified. His strength is made perfect when we are weak. He shows his grace to be enough for us, in any situation.

In the past few weeks I have watched my grandfather’s general wellbeing decline, to the point that he was no longer able to walk. He would get dizzy and imbalanced and weak whenever he walked with his walker, even a few steps. So I took him to the doctor on Friday, and the doc was very worried and sent him to the hospital.

Mike was home Friday so I was able to spend all day in the ER with him. Stanley will tell you that getting old stinks. He has had to give up control over his own life and even his own body. He doesn’t boast in his weakness.

My first reaction is not to admit weakness either. I get anxious and start planning everything, trying to think through and control every detail. Care for my grandmother with dementia becomes paramount. I’ve known they really needed higher level care for awhile but I feared moving them again. I was traumatized the last time I moved them last summer.

Making decisions is necessary, but hard. Worrying about doing the exact best thing is unecessary. No matter what I do, it’s all in His hands anyway.

Mike had to go out of town for a project Saturday and still isn’t back. I’ve dragged my kids around town, to the hospital and running errands for my grandmother, to tour various facilities, etc. I’ve been totally on my own in this, and at times I feel incredibly weak.

Kills me to even say that. You can thank Brene Brown for that confession.

So I pray. I read 2nd Corinthians and the Psalms and lots of other scriptures. I admit my inability to control everything and admit my fear and anxiety. In return God places a few people in my path at just the right time. Helpful nurses, my grandparents’ pastor, smart friends with opinions of care places. Pieces start to fall together. I have hope of a good outcome from this crisis.

In the next few days my grandfather will move to a rehab place nearby and my grandmother will move to a Memory Care center nearby. I hope he can join her in a few weeks.

He wants and needs to meet his newest great-grandaughter, Rose.


Compassion Family Changes

Yesterday I got a disappointing phone call. For the second time in a month, Compassion International called to let me know that one of the children we sponsor as a family was no longer part of the Compassion project. Last time it was 13 year old Saitil, a boy I chose from Haiti, and they told me his family moved out of the area. That bummed me out, since we had been writing back and forth with him for quite awhile. This time it was Caroline, a six year old in Ghana. But this time it was because Compassion had discontinued their partnership with the local project she was part of for reasons they were not at liberty to disclose but it sounded like a sticky situation. They said something about Compassion’s unyielding position on child protection. It breaks my heart, but I respect what they’re doing.

The good news is that I get two new children to sponsor and develop a relationship with. Meanwhile I will never stop praying for Saitil and Caroline.

Last month we had the blessing of visiting a traveling exhibit called the Compassion Experience that came to our area. My boys and I got to walk through a dramatic interactive experience telling the real story of three children from three different countries. The first one we walked through was a girl from Kenya, which is where my first sponsored child, Mbeyu, lives. When we got to the end and it showed the real photos of this girl as a grown woman who graduated from college and changed the lives of her entire family, I started bawling happy tears. I know the truth of how Compassion changes lives from my own friend, Maurine Owino, who grew up in the slums of Kenya and now is the Executive Director of Mercy House, a maternity home we support. Child sponsorship really and truly saves lives.

Walking through the  Compassion Experience
Alex listening to the story of a sponsored child in the Compassion Experience.

Here’s a short video I saw this morning about why one mom chooses to sponsor a Compassion child. 

Curious about why I choose Compassion International instead of alternative child sponsorship programs (which I do support in other ways)? It has nothing to do with their hiring policies or political positions, I assure you. It’s their model. Shaun explains it well here.

So if you have never sponsored a child, why not start today? It’s cheap but more importantly super meaningful if you actually take the time to write letters to your kid. Which you absolutely should. The letters mean almost as much, if not more sometimes, than the money for food and school.