How Many Hot Tamales Can You Eat, But Not Die?
For the past two weeks, I had fake red hair (that has since returned to it’s brown state), and I ate all the ice cream and nachos on non-ice-cream-and-nacho-approved days, and I cried all the tears, and rapid-fire texted my friends long, sad soliloquies (sorry, guys), and consumed so many Hot Tamales that I earnestly asked my sister-in-law the question, “How many Hot Tamales can you eat, but not die?”
Here is a gif that represents how I’ve been handling the world for a full fortnight.
Fortunately, I write to you here on the other side of the land of sadness and cinnamon candies. The vegetable eating, well-rested, still texting too much side. I actually sent a draft of this post to Brandon when I was still somewhat stuck in nacho misery, and he said, “Maybe shelf this one for a little bit until you feel better...and please don’t eat any Hot Tamales today...I’m starting to worry about you.”
He’s a wise friend.
The biggest thing behind the hair dye and the weeping and the many tamales (the single greatest candy the world has ever known) was that I zeroed in on suffering and took my eyes off my hope. Or, rather, my hope seemed like a distant, far away thing that was hard to reach. Kind of like when the Kroger by my house runs out of Hot Tamales, and I have to make an extra stop at Walgreens.
So, I’m on this adoption adventure right now, which all began when God put orphans on my radar, and I entered this new world. The adoption world - with it’s own lingo and acronyms and questions. For the first few months of the journey, I was full of Jesus joy and I was moved to action as God “broke my heart for what breaks His,” as they say in Christian songs. Then, the closer I got to the suffering, the more it consumed me. And suddenly, I found myself knee deep in Hot Tamales, tears, and files about children with no mommies and daddies.
For a little while, I spent more time crying and scrolling through child advocacy pages than I did spending time with the God who loves me and all the orphans in the world - the God who made each child and hears each little cry they make and acknowledges each birthday they live through without earthly parents to celebrate with them.
Like anything sad, adoption is hard to think about. Even as we take steps to bring our daughter home, there are so many other girls who will never find a family. Even though we are well aware of “The Starfish Story,” there are around 132 million orphans in the world, and sometimes it feels hopeless.
But, you know, there’s this…
"Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation." -Psalm 68:5
“In you the orphan finds mercy.” - Hosea 14:3
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” -Romans 15:13
There’s hope. Our hope is everything. Hope was the driving factor that made us want to adopt in the first place. We want to share our hope with a little girl we have not yet met. Because our hope is true. Our hope is Jesus. And the hope of Jesus brings us joy.
I have that. It's in me. But, I’m weak. And sometimes, the pervasiveness of pain makes me cry and eat Hot Tamales and then eat more Hot Tamales.
But when I open the Magic Book, it’s perfect Author fills me with joy and I can keep moving forward and help the hurting with hope in my heart and strength that comes from Someone else.
You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in your word. - Psalm 119:114
Thank you, Jesus. I’ll try rejoice with the right amount of tamales.