Surrendering to God’s call

Written by Rebekah Lyons
Published on September 24, 2021

When God prompted us to adopt Joy three years ago, it came out of the blue—days before our twenty year wedding anniversary.

For seven years, I’d grown accustomed to being in a different city most weekends from September through May, except for school holiday breaks. I never anticipated this would be the pace of a writer turned teacher. 

But engagements made way for more in kind, and this new invitation to adopt found me at a crossroads. I’d almost forgotten I had the right to choose. 

Desperate for clarity, I begged God aloud, “Does this mean I stop writing?” A convicting nudge toward my heart responded, “Do you trust me?” I pressed further, “Do I stop traveling?” Again, “Do you trust me?” 

While this wasn’t the answer I was looking for, it was enough to keep going. 

Unexpected call of God

Through the years, I’d learned that the unexpected call of God always accompanies risk and sacrifice, and I was hungry for it. This would be the third time in my adult life I put all the chips in the middle of the table. 

First with Cade’s diagnosis of Down syndrome in my entrée to motherhood in my twenties, second with leaving home and community in Atlanta to live in New York City in my thirties, and now in my forties adding to our family through the gift of a girl on the other side of the world.

A new pace with enjoyment

We met Joy on a cloudy December day in China, and fourteen days later we returned home right before Christmas. Healthy attachment for a child who’s never experienced a mom or a dad by age five takes three to six months, minimum. 

She had never experienced any type of family, and as parents we were the only ones who could meet her needs, so I canceled all work plans until she would start school later in the fall. 

There’s something about settling into the decision to stay home. Like riding a bike, I picked up the muscle memory of a decade prior, when I was a mama with three toddlers in tow. 

I remembered her with empathy, never having enough moments in the day, constantly cooking and cleaning up messes, anxious for nap time. 

I wanted to return differently, a little older and wiser, with a perspective I couldn’t have had then. I wanted to enjoy cooking lessons and bedtime books—nowhere to go, nowhere to be. 

Weeks into the slowing of winter, a friend interviewed me for a podcast, curious about this new change of pace and scenery. I almost declined the interview because I couldn’t imagine what I’d say, but I gave it a go one day during nap time. 

The fullness of God’s calling

Her final question caught me off guard: “When God looks at you right now, what does he think about your season?” 

A lump formed in my throat as the tears welled. “For most of my life, I’ve compartmentalized my roles, but God doesn’t. He’s restoring the fullness of who I am from my earliest days. Not a fragmented or fractured Rebekah, but a whole coming back together.” 

When God calls us to be a daughter or mother, to a vocation inside or outside the home, all these things work together for good, for those who love God and are called according to his purpose. 

Perhaps God wants to change your desires, cramp your style, to show you that his fullness looks different than what you currently see. It’s the breadth of the still and quiet moments, without hiding. 

There’s still risk, work, and offering something to the world. In the tension the music is made. This is the fullness God calls us to.

Taken from A Surrendered Yes by Rebekah Lyons. Copyright © 2021 by Rebekah Lyons. Used by permission of Zondervan.

Consider a few extra resources to help you navigate these conversations:

Answering the call
I Surrender All—Even the Play Dates and Chicken Nuggets
Trusting God’s plan for my kids

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Rebekah Lyons

Rebekah Lyons is the author of A Surrendered Yes, Rhythms of Renewal and Freefall to Fly.nShe is a mother of four, wife of one, and dog walker of two living in Nashville. An old soul with a contemporary, honest voice, Rebekah reveals her own battles to overcome anxiety, depression, and consumer impulses. Finding joy in raising a special needs child—she invites everyone to embrace the unique calling God has for each of us. Rebekah wears her heart on her sleeve, a benefit to friends and readers alike.
Alongside her husband, Gabe, Rebekah serves as cofounder of Q Ideas, an organization that equips Christians on how to winsomely engage culture. Her favorite hours are spent with her nose in a book and a discriminating cup of coffee in hand.

Read more about Rebekah

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