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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Earning My Way to Heaven

I've earned my way to Heaven with my good deeds.

Now you can close that gaping jaw and take a deep breath. I'm kidding!

But unfortunately the people who told me this were not.

A few weeks ago, a very sweet Muslim woman told me that I had certainly assured my place in Heaven by adopting my children. Today, a very kind pre-school mom told me I was a wonderful do-er of "good works."

Both meant well.

But both made my stomach drop. Both made my heart a little heavy and my spirit a little sad.

To the former I wish I had somehow beautifully and gracefully slid into a gospel presentation explaining how indeed, I do believe I have a place in Heaven but it is only because of the saving blood of Jesus Christ shed for my sins and regardless of, rather than because of, any works I have done. But as is often the case, the unexpectedness of her comment left me stammering in the moment and later lamenting I was unable to say what was truly on my heart.

To the latter I simply explained that my children are not "good works" to me - they are simply my children whom I love, my precious gifts from God.

I haven't earned my way to Heaven by adopting my children. In fact, on days like yesterday and today I am reminded very clearly how far removed from sainthood this frazzled mother is. For whatever reason, it has been a difficult couple of days. It really has nothing to do with adoption except for frustration with the resolution (or rather, lack thereof) of some major financial commitments related to the adoption. And it really has nothing to do with adoption except for how overwhelmed I have been with trying to juggle housework, laundry, low water pressure, overdue expense reports, back to school schedules, and tsunami warnings with now FIVE whining, fighting, crying kids while feeling ever so exhausted.

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest," Jesus said.

Yes, coming to Him is exactly what I need ... to get to Heaven ... and to get through today.


Terri Fisher said...

Hang in there, Steph! We love you!

Ellie said...

It is a commonly held belief in that specific religion. Hang in there and ignore it. Or answer, "I already knew I WAS going FOR CERTAIN to heaven BEFORE I adopted any kids!" That will get them puzzled since they are sure there is no way to know for sure... But one kid would have got you enough good deeds, so it is the three that has them puzzled. Either you were very sinful or there is something else, and again that will puzzle them... so let them wonder. Wondering leads to questioning.