This is a guest post from my friend Jamie Ivey. I met Jaime through her husband Aaron, a worship pastor at The Austin Stone church in Austin, TX. When I heard about her heart for adoption (and the way she lives it out) I had to have her write something for my blog. – Kevin

Sometimes I cannot even begin to understand why God continues to love me when I continue to disobey him and put things above him in my life. Time and time again he continues to reassure me that he is still my Father and will not leave me nor forsake me. When I question his love after all he has done for me, he doesn’t give up. He continues to love. He never tells me that I have hit my limit on freak out moments towards him. This concept of God’s never ending love has become even clearer to me in the past two years that our son, Amos, has been in our family.

My son came home to our family of five when he was four and a half years old and in that instant was an Ivey. Although that day was a day full of joy, the journey forward has not been an easy one. For four and a half years my son wasn’t in a family. He had no mom. He had no dad. He had no brothers. He had no sister. He belonged to no one. Believe it or not, that makes it hard for a child to accept love once he receives it. It’s also taught me some important lessons about my own relationship with God.

I question love

We have loved Amos unconditionally since the day we met him, and yet he has questioned our love time after time since the day he arrived home. One particular night I was getting so frustrated with his lack of trust in me. He had disobeyed and so I talked with him about it and afterwards, just like we always do, I hugged him and told him that I loved him. A few minutes later I found him in his room crying and after lots of persuading I got him to tell me what was wrong. He was convinced that I did not love him because he had messed up and gotten in trouble. Oh – how my heart broke in a million pieces for my sweet son crying all alone in his room wondering if his momma still loved him. I had told him I loved him. I had kissed and hugged him. Yet he was still questioning my love.

I keep asking God to prove himself

Recently it occurred to me that I do the exact same thing. I may not do this with my earthly father, like Amos, but yet I find myself doing this with my heavenly Father. How many times does God have to be faithful to me until I stop wondering if he will still be there for me in the morning? How many times does God have to bless me to get me to stop asking “where are my blessings?” How many times does God have to forgive me until I stop wondering if I have the confidence to go before him?

I must remind myself that God loves me unconditionally

Through parenting a child that is learning to love and trust I am constantly reminded of God’s love for me as his child. Just as I will never leave Amos or stop loving him, neither will my Father leave me. He promises that he will not leave me (Joshua 1:3) and I need to believe him. Just as I love Amos, even through discipline, so does my Father love me through discipline (Romans 8:28). Just as I have adopted Amos into my family and given him all I have, so has my Father (Ephesians 1) adopted me and provided me with all that is his.

We are all just like Amos and I. We have a Father that has given us all we need, poured out all his love on us, and yet sometimes we worry that he won’t accept us or love us. Through my son’s questioning of my love and my reassurance of him that I will always love him and never leave him, I’m reminded of those same promises from my Father in heaven.

Now when Amos fights my love I love more. I continue to pour my love out on him. I continue to reassure him. For just as my heart is forever bent towards loving him, so is my Father’s heart forever bent towards loving me.

 

Jamie Ivey lives in Austin, Texas with her four kids, and her husband, Aaron, who is the Worship Pastor at The Austin Stone Community Church. She loves Mexican food, the TV show Parenthood, a good latte and black olives. You can connect with her on twitter, facebook, or read her blog, DreamingBigDreams.

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