i never thought of mother teresa as successful.

as a little girl i’d dream about her landing in my backyard in her airplane and taking me with her to india to serve the poor. she was godly, yes, and sacrificial and strange and selfless, but i wouldn’t say she was successful.

but she was, and it’s all backwards, this God-kingdom.

it’s all about the people who don’t have anything. it’s all about the blind beggar crying out on the corner, because only he can truly see, and it’s all about the bleeding woman who stretched out her hand and it’s all about the mothers who’ve lost their husbands and are trying to make ends meet while raising three children.

these cathedrals, these mammoth churches with their fancy washrooms, they confuse me. they remind me of the tower of babel and i think God is sad. sad that we’re just as ignorant as the disciples who argued over who was going to have what, in heaven.

i think he’s sad because he came as a baby born in a barn to a single mother and we still don’t get it.

he died a gruesome death on a cross with no one but his mother and his best friend believing in him, and we still wonder why we’re not prospering.

because faith is about the unseen. and all of those righteous people the bible mentions? they died without having seen. they died, in faith.

it’s backwards. i’m reminded of this, looking at joey, who’s wearing one red sock, one white.

i’m reminded of it looking at my piles of laundry and dishes and books that need to be written and floors that need to be mopped.

i’m reminded of it when my son throws a temper tantrum because he misses me and i speak sharply to trent because i miss him and for some reason, they all need to be hugged at the exact same time. all four boys.

but God didn’t say he wouldn’t give us more than we can handle. no. he said, “when you pass through the waters, i will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. when you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” (isaiah 43:2)

we will pass through the waters. we will walk through fire. and God will walk with us.

katie, from kisses for katie, writes this, “i believe that God totally, absolutely, intentionally gives us more than we can handle. because this is when we surrender to him and he takes over, proving himself by doing the impossible in our lives.”

i would never have understood this before taking in these boys.

i would never have known what it was to love, this deeply, and at the same time, be this bone-aching tired.

but, as katie puts it, “it is in the brilliantly, gloriously, wonderfully difficult seasons that God seems to show himself all-powerful and in control … the more i give of myself, the more he fills me up. the more i love, the more love i have to give.”